Introduction

Thailand, land of smiles

The Kingdom of Thailand is nestled in the heart of Southeast Asia and is approximately the same size as Spain. Known as a major tourist destination for years, Thailand offers visitors an amazing range of attractions, from pristine beaches to jungle-covered mountains to cosmopolitan nightlife and more.

Most visitors arrive at the thriving metropolis of Bangkok and then branch out according to their itineraries and travel plans. Beach lovers tend to head south to the white beaches on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand or the Andaman Sea. The northern region of the nation offers different, but equally attractive destinations.

The central part of the nation is dominated by the Chao Phraya River system which flows through Bangkok and empties into the Gulf of Thailand. The eastern region of Thailand is bordered by the mighty Mekong River.

Destinations
Travel tips
  • The culture of Thailand has been greatly influenced by Buddhism. There have been dominating influences of Hinduism as well as from its neighboring nations of Myanmar and Laos. Indian culture has also had influences on the Thai culture and cuisine.

  • NEW YEAR DAY

    The New Year Day on 1st January is very special as the entire country celebrates with the Buddhist rituals and entertainment activities throughout the day.

    CHIANG MAI FLOWER FESTIVAL

    The festival sees the display of flowers, parades and beauty contests. The 3-day festival is celebrated in February

    SONGKRAN FESTIVAL

    This is the traditional Thai New Year celebrated throughout the country and the main ritual of the event is water throwing along the people. The festival is celebrated in April

    VISAKHA BUCHA DAY

    Visakha Bucha Day is a very holy day and many rituals are held in temples and shrines. The event takes place in May.

    ELEPHANT ROUND UP SHOW

    This event sees the commemoration of the fact that elephants are very important in the lives of the Thais. The event is held in November.

  • Some people may worry about their health in Thailand or about Thailand safety, but Thailand is a very safe country, generally free of crime and most dangerous diseases.  Regardless, travelers should take standard precautions. Avoid walking alone at night in remote areas and keep tabs on your valuables (such as your wallet or camera) when in crowded public areas.  Some diseases that travelers may be exposed to, such as Dengue Fever, are mosquito borne and should be protected against with quality mosquito repellant.  Minor stomach illnesses can be avoided by drinking bottled water and by eating made-to-order foods.  Fortunately, if you need to go to a Thailand hospital, there are many hospitals with world class service around the kingdom, particularly in Bangkok. Furthermore, there are police stations and tourist police booths located in and around all major tourist areas and police are typically very helpful to foreigners.

  • The Thai unit of currency is the Baht (THB) and US Dollars are widely accepted. The exchange rate for US$ 1 is approximately 31.2 THB.

    Traveler’s checks are best changed in banks, many accommodations will change money also, but heavy commissions and reduced rates may apply. There are abundant ATMs throughout Thailand that accept Visa and other credit cards. Major credit cards are generally accepted by restaurants, hotels and shopping malls.

  • Phone service: roaming agreements exist with many international mobile phone companies. There is good coverage, especially around main towns.

    Internet: there are plenty of Internet cafés, some even found in remote areas visited by tourists.

    Post: air-mail to Europe takes up to one week. The General Post Office in Bangkok is located on Charoen Krung Road

  • For 24 hour emergency assistance dial: 191

    For tourist police:  1155

  • VISA & CUSTOMS

    Tourist visa will be issued to applicants who wish to enter Thailand for tourism purposes. Visa fee is about 300 Baht per entry. Validity of a visa is three months. Those who wish to stay longer must file an application for permission at the Office of Immigration Bureau located on Soi Suan Plu, off South Sathorn Road, Bangkok 10120 , Tel (662) 287-3101-10.

    CUSTOMS

    All visitors require valid passports for the duration of their stay; visitors require have a passport with at least a validity of 6 months and one completely blank visa page remaining. Travelers entering Thailand are required to show a copy of their airline ticket and/or a travel itinerary for Thailand and must prove that they have sufficient funds to cover the length of their stay.

    Visas are not required if you are staying less than 30 days, your purpose of visit is tourism and original nationality is among 41 designated countries, including Australia, European Union countries, Canada, New Zealand, Russia, Japan, and the United States.

    BORDER-CROSSING

    Thailand is sharing borders with Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia as below:

    Thailand Laos
    Chiang Khong
    (Chiang Rai)
    Huay Sai
    (Bo Keo)
    Nakaxeng
    (Loei)
    Kaenthao
    (Sayabouly)
    Nong Khai
    (Nong Khai)
    Friendship Bridge
    (Vientiane)
    Bungkan
    (Nong Khai)
    Pakxan
    (Bolikhamxay)
    Mukdahan Friendship Bridge II
    (Savannakhet)
    Nakhon Phanom
    (Nakhon Phanom)
    Tha Khek
    (Khammouane)
    Chong Mek
    (Ubon)
    Vang Tao
    (Champasak)
    Thailand Cambodia
    Aranyaprathet Poipet
    Hat Lek Ko Kong
    Chong Jom O Smach
    Chong Sa Ngam Anlong Veng
    Ban Pakard Phsa Prum
    Ban Laem Daun Lem
    Thailand Malaysia
    Ban Ta Ba Pengkalan Kulor
    Sungai Kolok Rantau Panjang
    Sadao Changlun

     

  • DO NOT POINT YOUR FEET          

    The feet are considered the lowest and dirtiest part of the body in Buddhist culture. Never point the bottom of your feet at anyone while sitting. Do not touch people with your feet or raise them higher than a person’s head.

    AVOID SCAM

    Many Thailand scams have been around for decades. It is recommended to know some in advance to avoid being ripped off.

    + Make taxi drivers use meter: don’t travel with taxi drivers who refuse to use the meter
    + Don’t pay entrance at the Full Moon party: there is no entrance to the party, but some scammers try to sell overpriced bracelets
    + Tuk-Tuk scams: avoid the age-old scam of accepting a tuk-tuk driver’s offer of driving you somewhere for cheap in exchange to visit three shops.