Public holidays in Thailand 2020
Note, March 2020: In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Songkran holidays from 13-15th April have been postponed. Dates to be announced.
As the current year comes to a close and the start of a new decade rolls around, there’s no better time to already start thinking about the vacations to go on next year.
For starters, here is the list of public holidays we’ll be enjoying in 2020:
|New Year’s Day
|Magha Puja Observance
|Royal Ploughing Day
|Queen Suthida’s Birthday
|Khao Phansa Day
Asahna Bucha Observance
|King Vajiralongkorn’s Birthday
|Her Majesty the Queen Mother’s Birthday
|Passing of His Majesty the Late King
|Chulalongkorn Memorial Day
|His Majesty the Late King’s Birthday
|His Majesty the Late King’s Birthday Observance
|New Year’s Eve
Reference: Bank of Thailand
With a whopping 14 long weekends in store for us, here’s what we can do with all that free time. We’ve got some tips on when to take your leaves to maximise holiday time, plus ideas of countries you could travel to.
– JANUARY –
New Year’s Day – 5D4N holiday
Recommended destination: Malaysia
Start the year off with a quick getaway near Thailand. You’ll only need to take 2 days of leave to enjoy a long weekend, as New Year’s Day falls on a Wednesday.
Make some new friends at The Huskitory in Malacca
If you’d like to get out of the country but not stray too far, hop on a plane to our neighbour down south; Malaysia. Fun destinations include Malacca, where you can play around with adorable huskies and sip on coconut milkshakes, and Penang, which is home to the adrenaline-pumping Escape Theme Park.
Whizzing through the forest
If you’re not into almost getting a heart attack on thrilling rides, opt for a chill afternoon exploring Penang’s kampongs (villages) by the pier instead.
– FEBRUARY –
Magha Puja – 4D3N holiday
Recommended destinations: Koh Lipe, Phuket
Enjoy Koh Lipe’s waters by day…
Just because you’ve got just 4 days to spare doesn’t mean scrimping on the luxury. Thailand is home to island paradises of our own, so head over to Koh Lipe for a balmy vacation complete with stargazing at night.
…and enjoy the starry skies at night
If you’re looking for a place that’s slightly more happening, head down to Phuket instead. You’ll have tonnes of things to do here like cafe hopping and fun outdoor activities that’ll keep you busy the entire weekend.
Snorkel in clear blue waters
One highlight we recommend is paying Elephant Jungle Sanctuary a visit. Unlike tourist traps that promote cruel activities like elephant rides, this haven is where rescued elephants receive the proper love and care they need. Visitors can learn more about these gentle giants – you’ll even get to bathe and feed them!
– APRIL –
1. Chakri Day – 4D3N holiday
Recommended destination: Krabi
April comes with another quick getaway opportunity to seize. Weather in April is often cool and dry – not as chilly as the early winter months, but not yet gloomy with rain. Enjoy the season with a short trip to Krabi.
Go snorkelling at Lading Island
When here, head for Hong Islands for some island-hopping action, which can be done in a day. If a “lazy” beach day ain’t a part of your itinerary, you’re in luck. Beachgoers can have fun snorkelling with fishies and kayaking along emerald waters here.
Explore Hong Island Bay’s cliffs and lagoons
2. Songkran Festival – 10D9N holiday
Recommended destination: USA
Songkran is an absolute blast, but if you’re a seasoned Songkran-goer who’s itching to enjoy the week-long break elsewhere, it’s time to pack your bags for a trip around the world. Taking just 3 days of leave will have you enjoying a full 10D9N vacation.
Image credit: @lyqian
With that many days on your hands, you can plan a trip around USA, visiting hotspots like San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City. April will be springtime too, which means perfect air-con weather.
While in San Francisco, pay the iconic Chinatown a visit and drop by Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. This isn’t any ol’ cookie factory either – this is the birthplace of fortune cookies, which were invented back in 1962!
Los Angeles is an easy destination to go to after gallivanting around SF. In fact, you could even do a road trip between the 2 cities, complete with free activities and photo-spots to hit up. And if the Big Apple is calling your name, hop on a plane to New York City, which will take you around 5 hours from either LA or SF.
P.S. Don’t forget to nom on some In-N-Out Burger while in Cali!
Check out more things to do in USA here:
- 20 Places You Can Visit In Los Angeles
- Musee Mecanique: Rare Vintage Arcade In San Francisco With Old-School Pinball & Fortune-Telling Machines
- San Francisco’s Museum Of Ice Cream Has Sprinkle Pools, Carousels & Swing Zones
- 9 Things To Do In Seattle For First Time Visitors
– MAY –
1. Labour Day, Coronation of King Vajiralongkorn, Visakha Bucha – 9D8N holiday
Recommended destinations: London, Paris, Brussels
With a whopping 3 public holidays within the first week of May, you just need to utilise 4 days of leave to enjoy a long holiday.
London from the top
London, Paris, and Brussels are the trifecta of cities all first-timers to Europe should visit. It’s fairly easy to travel within these locations via train or bus as well, like the Eurostar Train, which will take you just 2h from London to either Paris or Brussels.
So even if you aren’t planning on staying in each city for long, you can still hop on over for a quick day trip!
Living the luxe life in Paris
From channeling your inner wizard at London’s Harry Potter Studios to feeling like a royal at the Palace of Versailles, are some ideas of things to do in these cities:
- 10 Secret Things To Do In London
- Harry Potter Studio Tour London Guide
- 5 Non-Touristy Places To Visit In London Away From Museums & Musicals
- 10 Instagram-Worthy Spots In London That Aren’t The Big Ben Or Telephone Booths
The historical sights of Brugge
2. Royal Ploughing Day – 5D4N holiday
Recommended destination: Bali
Bali is holiday central, so there’s no better place to spend your summer at. If long holidays aren’t your style, enjoy a 5-day mini-vacation in Indonesia’s seaside gem.
Being such a touristy hotspot, it’s okay if you think that there’s only so much you can do in Bali. But good news; there are lesser-known places in the city you can visit, such as the Bali Swing, which is home to gigantic 78m swings that’ll have you whizzing above treetops, and Keramas Aero Park, where you can dine in an abandoned airplane.
For those who want to really go off the beaten track, take a journey up north to Bengkala Village, where almost every villager is deaf. You can even get a chance to learn Kata Kolok, their unique sign language.
– JUNE, JULY –
1. Queen Suthida’s Birthday – 7D6N holiday (June)
2. Asahna Bucha, Khao Phansa Day – 5D4N holiday (July)
Recommended destination: Mongolia
This one’s for the true-blue adventurers who seek the road less travelled. Mongolia isn’t typically a top destination for most, but if you’re into living the Nat Geo dream in the Gobi Desert, this place is for you.
From horseback riding through canyons and living with a nomadic family to camping right beneath the Milky Way, the plains of Mongolia will be a trip you’ll never forget.
We even made a perfect 5D4N itinerary for you here. But if you want to spend a little extra time here, you can take a 7D6N trip here in June instead.
3. King Vajiralongkorn’s Birthday – 7D6N holiday
Recommended destination: South Korea
Whether it’s shopping till you drop in Seoul or enjoying the breezy island of Jeju, South Korea’s got something for everyone. It’s also undoubtedly one of the most sought after travel destinations for locals, so a trip here is pretty much compulsory.
Here’s the lowdown on things to get up to while here:
- 12 New Things To Do In Seoul, Busan & Gangwon-do Away From The Shopping Districts
- 8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1 Hour Away
- 9 Mountains To Hike In Seoul & Other Parts Of South Korea To Burn Off All That KBBQ
- 10 Unique Cafes In Seoul, South Korea
- 10 Clubs To Visit In Seoul, Korea For The Most Happening Parties
– AUGUST –
1. Her Majesty the Queen Mother’s Birthday – 9D8N holiday
Recommended destination: Switzerland
Admire the riverside sights of Zürich
When you think of Switzerland, you’ll probably visualise snowy mountains, ski resorts, and quaint cottages. Well, you’re right. But come August, summertime takes over, giving travellers a different side to the country people don’t really see.
Bern in the summer
With a public holiday sandwiched right in the middle of the week, take 4 days of leave to enjoy a 9D8N trip. This will give you just enough time to hit up 3 major cities in Switzerland which you can easily travel to via train with a Swiss Travel Pass: Zürich, Bern, and Lucerne.
Thrill-seekers are in for a treat in the summer, when lots of mountain activities are open for people to enjoy without freezing their butts off. From whizzing down a mountain coaster to paragliding over the alps, make sure to pen this destination into your bucket lists.
Paragliding over Lake Lucerne
Check out more fun things to do in Switzerland here – don’t worry, there’s stuff for the fainter of hearts too:
- 15 Things To Do In Switzerland For Travellers Visiting For The First Time
- 6 Outdoor Activities In Switzerland To Crush Your Fear Of Heights Once And For All
– OCTOBER –
1. Passing of His Majesty the Late King – 9D8N holiday
Recommended destinations: New Zealand, Australia
While the rest of the world starts cooling down as the end of the year approaches, Australia and New Zealand are just starting to warm up. October is a great time to visit as it’ll be the middle of spring, which means pleasantly warm temperatures all around.
Sugar Loaf Rock in Perth
The land Down Under hosts tonnes of fun festivals, like the Perth Royal Show and Byron Bay International Film Festival. The former has awesome farm competitions, animal displays, and carnival rides, while the latter is the biggest film festival in the region for movie buffs to enjoy.
And hey, feel like going on an epic road trip? Travel across Darwin in a campervan, just like we did here. We even got to swim with crocodiles!
Hawke’s Bay, NZ
Nature lovers can visit New Zealand and take in its rolling green pastures and glorious mountain range instead – this country is truly a postcard come to life.
More things to do in Australia and New Zealand:
- 11 Unreal Sights In Australia & New Zealand For Otherworldly Pics
- 7 Unreal Wildlife Experiences Hidden Only In Australia That Go Beyond Selfies With Koalas
- 8 Holiday Spots In Australia So Gorgeous, They’re Like Windows Wallpapers Come To Life
2. Chulalongkorn Memorial Day – 3D2N holiday
Recommended destination: Singapore
Treat yourself to a quick weekend trip to Singapore at the end of October, where you wouldn’t even need to apply for leave. The Little Red Dot has tonnes of things to do, but if you’re strapped for time, 3 days is enough to cover the basics.
Gardens by the Bay often has special exhibits – just like this display inspired by the Land of Oz!
You might have seen the dazzling sights of Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay on Crazy Rich Asians, but ain’t nothing better than savouring SG’s sights and sounds as a local would. Skip the typical tourist hotspots and head to lesser-known activities like being a pilot for a day and exploring a secret bunker from World War II.
Nothing beats enjoying some classic kopitiam (coffee shop) fare like Asian-style carrot cake and orh lua, which is a Singaporean version of hoi tod (oyster/mussel omelette)
Check out more things to do in Singapore:
- 17 New Attractions In Singapore In 2019
- 101 Things To Do In Singapore From Secret Local Hangouts To Experiences Even Repeat Visitors Will Love
- 10 Restaurants With Unblocked Views Of Singapore To Impress Your Date
– DECEMBER –
1. His Majesty the Late King’s Birthday, Constitution Day – 10D9N holiday
Recommended destinations: Germany, Austria
Image credit: Stuttgart-Marketing GmbH
December; the most wonderful time of the year. Get into the Christmas spirit with a longer trip to Central Europe, this time stopping by Germany and Austria. You’ll be greeted with chilly winter weather (even snow if you’re lucky) and pretty Christmas markets with treats and goodies to gorge on.
Pop by lesser-visited cities like Stuttgart or Leipzig during your trip. These spots have a quainter, more community feel to them, and the Christmas vibes are spectacular.
Can’t argue with that view!
Image credit: Edgar Moskopp
But if you want some hardcore winter wonderland vibes, start your journey down south in Münich and head to Schloss Neuschwanstein – also known to the world as the “Sleeping Beauty castle”.
Image credit: News Viennaresidence
Vienna is just an hour away by plane or 4h by train from Münich, so might as well visit while you’re in the region. While here, visit The Belvedere, which hosts its own Xmas village amidst its historical palace grounds.
2. New Year’s Eve – 6D5N holiday
Recommended destination: Japan
We’ve come full circle folks – New Year’s Eve in 2020 might seem ages away, but time flies, so it’s not too late to start planning.
Continue your snowy adventures in Japan, which is a treasure trove of things to do come wintertime.
Here’s a new city to add to your list: Akita. This is one of Japan’s lesser-known towns that is a mere 1h flight from Tokyo, yet almost untouched by tourists. Plus, I can’t think of a better place to visit in the winter. I mean, look at it:
This is a great destination for families with kids as most activities here are fit for all ages. You can go skiing in the mountaintops, visit a steamy onsen to stay warm, and even play with adorable Akita Inus!
Hana-chan the fluffy Akita
Here are other ideas of new places to visit in Japan:
- 5 Day Japan Itinerary – Osaka, Tokyo And Lesser-Known Prefectures Like Tottori & Tateyama
- 6 Uncommon Japanese Experiences For People Who’ve Already Conquered The Major Cities
- 10 Things To Do In Nikko, Japan – An Untouched City With Waterfalls & Mountain Lakes
- Things To Do At Fukuoka – The Venice Of Japan With Sakura, Cat Islands & Floating Palaces
Long weekends in Thailand in 2020
I don’t know about you, but I’m already pumped just thinking about all the destinations that are waiting for me to visit next year. So whether it’s chilling in Thailand’s own island paradises or venturing into countries far beyond, it’s never too early to start planning for your next trip.
P.S. Here’s the full infographic to keep handy:
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