Planning a trip to Thailand? Here are our personal recommendations on how to plan your trip
Do not travel
Do not travel to the southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani and Songkhla due to ongoing politically-motivated and criminal violence, which occurs on an almost daily basis. The Thai Government has warned tourists not to travel to these areas.
THAILAND TRAVEL ADVICE
Everyone has their own vision of Thailand – gleaned from glossy brochures and travellers’ tales. But to truly understand it, you need to get your head around ‘Sanuk’. This is a very Thai concept of deriving pleasure from whatever you are doing – at work or play. It forms the basis of Thailand’s exceptional hospitality – and its reputation as the “land of smiles”. This beaming introduction to SE Asia has a zingy cuisine, textbook paradise beaches and superb accommodation – you’ll soon see why people just keep coming back.
Thailand Quick Information
Currency: Thai Baht
Electricity Socket: 220V AC electricity. Power outlets are usually two-prong round or flat sockets. Be sure to pack a universal travel adaptor so you can still use all your electronic gadgets.
Thailand Visa: Generally speaking, people from the US, UK, and EU passports are given a free 30-day visa when you enter Thailand by air and 15 days if you enter overland. This visa is easily extendable if you want to stay in the country for longer. ASEAN passport holders get a free 30-day visa upon entry (but some aren’t valid for extension).
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to the provinces on the Thai-Malaysia border, including: … UK health authorities have classified Thailand as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks …
If you want to stay in Thailand for longer, you can look at applying for a tourist visa in any Thai embassy beforehand (this gives you 60 days). Please note that more and more countries in Southeast Asia are requiring you to show proof of onward flights before allowing you to enter the country so make sure you make the necessary booking arrangements.
Safety: Generally speaking, Thailand is a safe place to go. Yes, there are a few scams here and there but as long as you take the time to read about them beforehand, you’re good. Based on our years of experience of travelling all over the world, we would never leave home without travel insurance. We recommend going with World Nomads.
The most common accident in Thailand has to be scooter or moped-related. What most people don’t realize is that even if you have travel insurance, if you don’t have a valid motorcycle license from back home, most policies won’t cover you so make sure you look into this before your trip.
Language: In the Thai Islands, English is a lot more common as a lot of people are in the tourism industry. Most people, especially those who work in tour activities and hotels will be able to help you out. In Northern Thailand and more rural areas, there are chances that you will encounter people who don’t speak English. However, don’t fret. Smiles and a fun game of charades is a great way to get to know the locals.
TIP ON VISITING ANCIENT CITIES
- Some vaccinations are advised before travelling to Thailand; consult your GP or travel clinic six to eight weeks before departure to ensure you have time to complete all the series of injections.
- There is a low risk of malaria in Thailand, mainly concentrated around the border regions and in heavily forested districts.
- Contact your GP or travel clinic beforehand to find out if you are at risk. Wearing long sleeves and trousers is always advised, as well as insect repellent, as this protects against dengue fever and infected bites.
- Tap water is unsafe to drink – also be wary of ice in drinks and unpeeled fruit and vegetables.
- Parts of Thailand are incredibly hot and humid, so keep well hydrated at all times and keep an eye on children.
- Thailand has superb private hospitals, but public hospitals are not always well-equipped to deal with more serious cases. Bring any prescription medication with you; pharmacies in Thailand’s cities are generally well stocked but medication purchased on the street may be counterfeit or past its expiry date.
- Be sure you have comprehensive travel insurance which covers medical evacuation and emergency repatriation, along with any other activities you may be doing, such as riding a motorbike or quad bike, bungee jumping or diving.
- Take note of the emergency number: 1669. You can also call the tourist police on 1155.
See the latest Thailand health advice on the CDC website.
Most visits are trouble-free, however, terrorism is sadly a reality of travelling in these times. Thailand has suffered at the hands of terrorists’ activities, most recently in the coastal town of Pattani in 2017, with several bombs in tourist areas. Also at a hospital in Bangkok in 2016 and the capital’s Erawan Shrine in 2015. Although responsibility is rarely claimed in Thailand for such attacks, they are believed to be linked to ongoing unrest in the southern provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani, all bordering Malaysia. This region should be avoided by tourists. The Ta Krabey and Preah Vihear temples and their surroundings are also to be avoided as there is periodic fighting. Check the FCO website for up-to-date information on the safety situation. Always get up to date information at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advisory department before travelling to Thailand.