Travel to Thailand - Travel Tips & Suggestions
Thailand heavily promotes its tourist industry and is an increasingly popular destination for travellers. It is one of the more accessible Asian countries, culturally speaking, and is geared up for tourism. Thailand's open, friendly culture and variety of attractions makes it a good place for all types of travellers, from those who are backpacking for the first time, experienced travellers, or those who are on a package holiday with their family.
Here we have put together a few things to contemplate before traveling to Thailand - skip to: Flights, Accommodation, Visa, Health, Travel Insurance, Money, Etiquette
Flights to Thailand: Many airlines operate to and from Thailand. British Airways, Emirates and Thai Airways are to name a few. The best idea is to use Expedia or Cheap Flights to compare and contrast flights. If you are flexible this is the way to score the best deals.
Cost: The cost of flights to Thailand vary depending on your destination, the airline and the time of year you wish to travel. However cheap tickets are usually booked between March and November.
Cost: The standard cost for a room is between 700-1500 baht (£15 - £32) a night, though if staying in Bangkok, Ko Samui, Pattaya or Phuket, expect prices from 1,000-10,000 baht (up to approximately £210). Usually the best deals can be found in guesthouses and beach bungalows where for 200-1,000 bht your accommodation will be taken care of. The best advice is to book well in advance to snatch the best price.
Peak: Thailand's peak months are between November and February as this is when the weather isn't unbearably hot. During this time it may be harder to find hotel space so either book well in advance or travel outside the peak season.
Tax: Check that the prices you are given include VAT (value added tax) and in more luxurious hotels, check if there is a service charge as this can add a further 10%.
Tipping: Tipping is not common place in Thailand culture however it is seen as polite to give 50 baht to the bellmen who delivers your luggage (equivillent to about £1).
Places to stay: See our Thailand Accommodation Guide for guides to Thai Bungalows, Thailand Hotels and Resorts.
Visa: If you are British and traveling for less than 30 days you do not need a visa for entering Thailand. This also applies to Australian, Canadian and US citizens, though it is advisable to check with the Thai Embassy or their website for current exemptions of the visa requirement if you are unsure.
What you need: Return ticket (date must be less than 30 days after your arrival) and your current passport (check that it is valid for six months)
Immunisations: The main health requirement when entering Thailand is having a valid certigicate for Yellow Fever if you are holding a passport or are in residence of certain countries (check here for a list of countries). If you have a British passport and are a resident of the United Kingdom this does not apply to you.
Other Health Requirements: It is advisable to consult your doctor or local travel clinic to make sure you are fully protected. They will be able to assess whether your vaccinations are up to date and whether there are any other specific medications you may need. It is advasable also to visit your doctor or travel clinic well before traveling as some immunisations are needed to be taken well before your travel date.
Water: You should not drink tap water in Thailand so be sure to only drink bottled water.
Thailand Healthcare: Fortunately, Thailand has the reputation of some of the best healthcare in Asia (such as the Bumrungrad in Bangkok). You should make sure you have travel insurance to cover any medical needs or hospital treatment.
What to cover: First decide what your individual needs are that your policy should cover, such as medical cover, personal liability, lost/stolen baggage and cancellation cover. These needs will change depending on age, what sort of traveling you are doing (backpacking, family holiday etc). Once you have identified these things, then seek out a policy that covers these needs.
Where to find insurance: There are several places that will insure your trip to Thailand. The best place to start is the internet, though if you are a new traveler it may be helpful to get the advice of a travel agent as they will be able to advise you on what cover is neccessary. Be sure to check that the cover they give matches your needs.
Currency: The currency is the Thai Baht which you can get on arrival, using either travellers cheques, bank cards or hard currency. The Thai Baht is divided into 100 stang. One pound is approximately converted into between 45-50 Baht (depending on the exchange rate). Click here to check the current conversion.
Smoking: You are not allowed to smoke in any public places, this includes transport, pubs and restaurants.
Monks: When traveling by public transport, women should avoid sitting next to a monk to avoid accidentally touching them as it is prohibited for a monk to touch or receive anything from a woman directly.
Wats: A wat is a temple (a sacred place) therefore the following must be abided by: avoid disturbing the peace, clean and respectable clothes must be worn, shoes are to be removed before entering, all Buddha images are sacred therefore visitors must never sit with their feet pointing toward them.
Travel in Thailand can be very easy with the right advice and guides. So use these tips to ensure you have a safe and easy trip.