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Everything Vancouver travellers need to know to plan a trip to Thailand

Find out when to score the cheapest flights, what to know about visas, and much more.
Find out everything you need to know about travel from Vancouver to Thailand, including how to get the cheapest flights out of YVR Airport.

Travellers looking to fly from Vancouver to Thailand can enjoy direct service to the bucket-list destination 

From its vibrant, bustling city streets to its achingly beautiful beaches, Thailand offers some of the best places to soak in local culture, enjoy a wild night out, or lay back on a sparkling white sand shore. 

Bangkok is a great place to explore ancient shrines and taste a variety of street food, boasting sprawling "eating streets" that you'd be hard-pressed to make a considerable dent in. 

While Bangkok is its capital city, there is a vast array of unique travel experiences across the popular Southeast Asia destination. Some of the viewpoints on the country's islands are also said to feature some of the most awe-inspiring sunsets in the world.

Find out everything you need to know about planning your trip to Thailand from Vancouver.

What airlines should I fly with to Thailand?

From Vancouver International Airport (YVR), travellers can fly directly to Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) in Bangkok or via a connecting flight.

Airlines that fly to or partially to Bangkok via one of their airline partners include:

  • Air Canada
  • Air China
  • Air France
  • Air India
  • Alaska
  • American
  • ANA (All Nippon Airways)
  • Asiana
  • Austrian
  • Bangkok Airways
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • China Airlines
  • China Southern
  • Condor
  • Delta
  • Emirates
  • Ethiopian
  • Etihad
  • EVA Air
  • Finnair
  • Gulf Air
  • Hainan
  • JAL (Japan Airlines)
  • KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines)
  • Korean Air
  • Lufthansa
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Philippine Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Sichuan Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • SriLankan
  • Starlux
  • Swiss
  • Thai Airways 
  • Turkish Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • WestJet
  • Zipair Tokyo

Travellers may also wish to fly to other airports, such as the Phuket International Airport (HKT).

When should I book my ticket to Thailand?

Tickets to Thailand should generally be booked five or six months in advance. Unless a large airline drops its fares, these tickets tend to increase in price closer to the date of departure. 

It is possible to get tickets for round-trip flights from YVR to BKK for around $1,000 if they are booked in advance. However, these lower-cost tickets typically include one or more stops.

What makes Air Canada's flight from Vancouver to Thailand unique? 

Tourists looking to fly from Vancouver to Thailand this fall can enjoy the only nonstop service in North America to Bangkok.

Air Canada has announced an early start to its seasonal service connecting YVR and BKK. Due to increasing popularity, flights between the cities will commence on Oct. 27; the airline had planned to resume the flight in early December.

From Oct. 27 through the end of November, Air Canada will operate thrice-weekly flights on the route on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. Starting in December and continuing through March 2025, the airline will ramp up its service to five flights weekly. 

Flights cost around $2,000 from Vancouver but offer the only way for locals to get to Thailand without making at least one stop. 

When is the best time of year to visit Thailand? 

Most people advise visiting Thailand between November and March when the monsoon rains have dissipated. However, this is also when most people visit. 

September, October, and April are also good choices to avoid crowds.

Is it safe to visit Thailand? 

While it is one of the most popular destinations for Canadian tourists, the government urges travellers to exercise a high degree of caution when visiting the country. 

The Thailand travel advisory includes regional risks in the southern provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla, and Yala. People should avoid all travel to the "unpredictable security situation" with periodic violent attacks by separatist grounds that include shootings, bombings and arson. While the attacks are typically directed at the government, bystanders could get caught in the crossfire or be in a targeted building. 

Martial law and "heavily enhanced security measures" are in place In Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala, and Sadao District in Songkhla

Increased enforcement powers allow authorities to:

  • detain suspects without charge
  • conduct searches
  • seize objects or documents
  • impose curfews

Travellers must also exercise a high degree of caution In the Myanmar border areas in the provinces of Mae Hong Son and Tak where there is "occasional violence, banditry and clashes between government forces and drug traffickers." Border-crossing points may also be closed without notice. 

Thailand and Cambodia dispute the borders in the Preah Vihear Temple area and the surrounding border region; there are reports of landmines in the temple area. 

Exercise a high degree of caution if you are travelling to any other Thai–Cambodian border areas.

The Canadian government warns that Political tensions have created an "unpredictable security environment throughout the country, particularly in Bangkok." 

The advisory notes that legal provisions may allow the military to retain and exercise sweeping powers at any time that could include the right to:

  • prevent public gatherings
  • censor media
  • impose curfews
  • set up checkpoints
  • restrict movement
  • search for weapons
  • exercise force in response to violence

Some television channels, radio stations, and websites may be unavailable, and access to social media services may be intermittently suspended.

Public demonstrations are common and may turn violent at any time. There is also a threat of terrorism and small-scale bomb attacks have occurred in public places throughout the county. 

Petty crime is also common throughout the country, including pick-pocketing and purse snatching. Thieves may use razors to cut purse straps. Thefts also occur on cross-country buses and vans and personal belongings are stolen from luggage compartments under buses. Travellers should only use reputable companies.

ATM scams and fraud are common and should be reported to local police. Be cautious when using debit or credit cards.

Road collisions are common across Thailand due to poorly maintained roads, adverse weather conditions, and disregard for laws. Travellers should avoid driving on mountain roads at night. Many roads are "impassable" during the rainy season. 

Motorcycles Rental scooters and motorcycles are often poorly maintained, making them unsafe for their riders and others on the road.

Important considerations for water activities in Thailand for tourists to know

Tourists planning on spending time in the water need to consider several risks. 

According to the Canadian government, people have died after coming in contact with poisonous jellyfish off Koh Lanta, Koh Pha Ngan, Koh Phi Phi, Krabi, and Phuket.

Several deaths from drowning have occurred in popular coastal areas. People have been caught in riptides in Cha-am/Hua Hin, Koh Samui, Pattaya, Phuket, and Rayong. 

Diving schools and rescue services may not adhere to international standards. Canada advises the following to stay safe:

  • Rent water sports equipment only from operators affiliated with major international training organizations
  • Exercise extreme caution when swimming or practicing water activities
  • Heed flag warnings and don’t swim when a red flag is displayed
  • If stung by a jellyfish, seek immediate medical assistance

Similarly, travellers who plan to enjoy any adventure tourism, whether on land or sea, should exercise caution. Always choose a reputable tour company or operator with insurance. If you doubt the safety of the installation or equipment, do not use them. 

Do I need to get any special travel vaccines ahead of visiting Thailand?

Visit a travel medical clinic before you book a ticket. The healthcare professionals will inform you about what vaccinations you require and what you can expect on your trip. 

There is a risk of contracting chikungunya in Japan, which is a disease spread by mosquitoes; it typically causes fever and pain in the joints and this pain "can be severe and last for months or years."

Do I require a visa to visit Thailand?

Tourists do not require a visa for stays up to 30 days in Thailand. 

You can stay for up to 60 days if you obtain a multiple-entry tourist visa. The visa is valid for six months and must be obtained before travelling.

Your passport must be valid at least six months upon entry into Thailand.

What kind of activities can I enjoy in Thailand?

Floating markets are one of the most popular attractions in Bangkok, bringing locals and tourists together to shop from passing boats in the rivers.

Tourists can also take the river shuttle boat up the Chao Phraya River, known as the River of Kings. The important waterway brings people to noteworthy attractions such as the Grand Palace. Visitors to the palace must adhere to a strict dress code. 

Phuket, one of Thailand's most popular vacation spots, is a lush, mountainous island in the Andaman Sea. It offers some of the country's most breathtaking beaches with sparkling turquoise waters. 

Thailand's crystal-clear waters offer the perfect playground for water activities, including diving, snorkelling, surfing, and stand-up paddleboarding. 

How much money will I spend on accommodation?

Accommodation prices vary dramatically across Thailand, ranging from ultra-budget options to posh hotels. However, most places are reasonably prices, with only a handful of options exceeding the $200+ range.

Cost-conscious travellers can find places to lay their head starting at under $10, although they shouldn't expect a lavish stay. For instance, a one-night stay at the Matchbox Bangkok Hostel ranges from $9 to $20 and has an "excellent" rating on Tripadvisor based on $141 reviews. It's an ideal place for backpackers who don't mind sleeping in dorm-style accommodation with a shared lounge, bathrooms, and a kitchen.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok offers a lavish oasis in the heart of Bangkok starting at upwards of $400 for a night's stay. The five-star hotel offers a luxurious spa, Thai-inspired fine dining with modern elements, and elegant rooms.

Numerous options cost under $100 and provide a private stay in the heart of Bangkok. Always read reviews before booking and keep in mind that some options may be more secure than others. 

Find more information about exciting destinations in B.C. and across the globe, as well as travel deals and tips, by signing up for V.I.A.'s weekly travel newsletter The Wanderer. Since travel deals can sell out, find out the day they are posted by signing up for our daily Travel Deals newsletter.

Want to learn more about a specific destination or simply have a travel concern or idea that you would like V.I.A. to write about? Email us at elana@vancouverisawesome. Send us stories about recent holidays that you've been on, or if you have any tips you think our readers should know about.