The land of smiles, with ancient temples, golden beaches, lush jungle and rich cuisine.
Officially the Kingdom of Thailand and formerly known as Siam is one of the main hubs in Southeast Asia. Composed of 76 provinces it’s one of the most visit countries in the region.
The country is the only in Southeast Asia known to avoid direct Western rule, in the past centuries. After changing the name from Siam to Thailand in 1941 and King Bhumibol Adulyadej ascended the throne, the country started to grow fast. In 1997 the Asian financial crisis ended 40 years in economic thriving. Today, King Vajiralongkorn is the ruler after the death of beloved King Bhumibol. But the country is a constitutional monarchy.
Thailand is divided into several districts. In the north and west, mountains and highlands. The center, the northeast with the Klorat Plateau and the southern where the islands are located.
Tourism has been increasing since the 70’s as the country seems to have anything for all kinds of tourists. From beautiful beaches made tourists delightful to mountains and tropical forests for the more adventurous. Religion is a part of the country, framing old temples with golden Buddhas and ancient banyan trees. Don’t forget the food! Appreciated around the world, Thai street food is fresh, using local ingredients and full of flavours.
Nature was generous with this amazing country. National parks are all around, home to endangered species. Elephants are a national symbol although still victims of animal abuse in some places. Youngest is captured for use in tourist attractions. Hunters still frequent, with species like tigers and leopards, suffer the most. Efforts are been made to protected animals from these issues. True is, the country still needs better legislation to nature conservation. Thailand is also a country of ethnic diversity. Comprising many migrants from neighbouring countries but, also international, like Britons and Aussies. With such a richness in history, culture, things to do and see, it is difficult not to fall in love with Thailand.
Our Thailand travel guide will help you plan your trip. Before going here are some simple guidelines to make it easier
Borders: Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia & Myanmar
The country has a good network system. It is advisable to buy a local SIM card. It’s cheap and good for strolling around to find the places. Main providers are AIS, dtac and True. All of them have good coverage, even in the most remote corners.
Travellers normally get a prepaid card at the airport. To make the most of your money go directly to the provider shop in town. You can find all the information about the best option for you, here.
Internet is fast. There is still available internet cafes but, mostly for Thai teenager gamers. Almost all accommodations offer free Wi-Fi.
Although Thailand is a safe place for all kind of travellers, always stay alert. If you don’t do it at home, don’t do it when travelling.
The most concerning thing are road accidents. With a high number of traffic-related deaths. Wear a helmet when driving a motorbike and follow the rules. One common occurrence is petty theft, mainly pickpockets, bag snatchers, hotel-room burglars and theft on bus services.
Violent crimes are rare to occur. In most of the times, this is following some sort of argument and often alcohol is involved.
In 2015 Erawan Shrine, in Bangkok suffer a bombing. It was the first-ever terrorist attack, 22 people were killed. All seems calm now.
Travel insurance is one of the most important things, even if you do not use it. It is better to stay safe and protect.
Thailand has some of the best medical care in this region of Asia. In the majorities of touristic cities, there are good medical facilities. In rural areas, of course, you will have less medical care.
Hospitals are not cheap for tourists, with English speaking staff and providing all you need. Most people who visit Thailand worry about exotic infections. Although slightly less in recent years, dengue fever still present in some regions of the country. Malaria no longer represents a risk but, stay aware in rural areas.
If you are staying a long period it’s recommended to seek medical advice in your home country before going. The doctor will instruct vaccination and medicines according to the period of travel.
Travellers should take care with the tap water, it’s not drinkable. Be careful where you eat in the streets. Heat could be an issue, so eat a lot of fruits and liquids to avoid dehydration. For mosquito bites, tourist uses a DEET-containing insect repellent.
In any of the situations, just don’t forget the travel insurance.
Most nationalities get 30 days visa-free if arriving by air and 14 days if arriving by land. Thailand visa system is constantly changing so, check all the information at the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affair.
At entering it is required a 6 months valid passport. You will also need proof of onward travel, funds and accommodation. Although, many times they didn’t ask.
Thailand is one of the most visited countries in Southeast Asia burst a good network of transportation. There are several airports in the mainland and islands, with a large number of airlines flying to the country. Buses and trains are spread across the mainland. While in the islands ferries and longtail boats are the main transportation service. Tuk Tuks and songthaews are also used.
All kinds of transportation are cheap, so you just need to adjust the best one for you.
The best way to reach Thailand is by flying to one of the International Airport.s Usually Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Phuket and Chiang Mai airports.
A great number of international carriers fly into the country, making it easy to enter. Actually, Thailand is one of the main hubs in Southeast Asia. People all over the world fly here, not only for visiting the country but, also to reach other nearby countries.
Thailand is connected to neighbour Laos via a new train system. It operates from Bangkok to Vientiane. Two daily trains leave from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet in the border with Cambodia, crossing almost 40 stations along the way. From Thailand, via train, it’s possible to also reach Myanmar, Malaysia and Singapore.
It is possible to cross from Malaysia (Langkawi) to Thailand (Koh Lipe) by ferries. You must check it before going, especially in the rainy season. Bundhaya and Tigerline are the principal running companies.
Thailand borders with Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Malaysia. If you are travelling by land, you can enter/leave by overland crossing, in one of the mentioned countries. Keep in mind that overland crossing only granted you 15 days in Thailand.
Several buses companies connect Thailand and neighbours. It’s an easy way to arrive or leave the country.
Thailand is a fantastic destination for cheap accommodation. You can book online via Booking or the best one in Asia, Agoda. Or just show up at places to get a room. Sometimes is good to negotiate the price. Keep in mind that popular places run out of rooms quickly.
The cheapest region for accommodation is the north, good value for money. Prices between 6-12€. The islands tend to be slightly higher the prices. A room with air-conditioner could start at 18€ per night. In the capital, Bangkok you have a bitter of both.
You can choose from guesthouses, usually, family-run business, composed of a simple room with shared or private bathroom. These places normally have on-site restaurants, serving the classic banana pancakes and fruit shakes.
Hotel is a good value for comfort. The rooms have more add-ons and breakfast is included. International-class chain hotels can be found in places like Bangkok, Chiang Mai or Phuket.
If you want to save money the best option is hostels. The numbers are increased and the design becomes elegant. Most of them have shared or private rooms with a diverse range of services and activities. All of this with a community vibe. Use the search tab to book your accommodation. With this, you are helping us at no cost.
You have to plan accurately when to go to Thailand. The best months are between November and March. The capital is not so hot at this time and the north can be cooler at night. Shoulder season runs from April to June and October, but it is hot and sunny. Be aware of monsoons in the northern part of the country at the end of May. From July to September it is the rainy season. Floods can occur and humidity is on an average of 90%.
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You can easily plan your next trip with the tools below. They are affiliated links, by using them you are helping us, without any cost, continue our work.