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Thailand Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Thailand in 2023

Thailand Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Thailand in 2023

Welcome to Thailand

Welcome to this ultimate Thailand travel guide, a must-read for people who want to travel to Thailand. This guide will teach you everything you need, including destination information, travel documentation requirements, COVID-19 restrictions, and much more.

Thailand is famous for its tropical beaches, opulent royal palaces, ancient ruins, and Buddha temples. In the capital or cultural centre, you will find an ultra-modern cityscape along with quiet canal-side communities and the iconic temples of Wat Arun, Wat Pho, and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Everything you will find in this country is simply outstanding.

Get ready for an incredible trip!

Document checklist for Thailand

Among the documents that must be presented at the border to enter Thailand are the following:

  • Valid passport

  • Lodging

  • Air ticket

  • Insurance

  • Other documents

Essential Thailand Travel Information

Here's some general information about Thailand to help you plan your trip... Let's see:

  • Daily Budget for 1 person - It is approximately USD 100 per person.

  • Currency - The currency in Thailand is the Thai Baht, THB, which is further divided into 100 satangs. Currently, there are coins of 25 and 50 satangs and 1, 2, 5, and 10 baht. You can also use credit cards in most destinations. USD 1 is equivalent to approx. TBH 36,13.

  • Languages - The official language of Thailand is Thai or Siamese, originally from India and influenced by Sanskrit and Pali. In most tourist centers and lodgings, you will be able to speak English; however, English language proficiency among the population could be higher.

  • Socket type - The electric current in Thailand has a power of 220 volts and a frequency of 50 Hertz. Different plugs are used in this country; type A (two flat pins), B (three flat pins), and C (two cylindrical pins).

  • Time zone - Thailand's official time throughout the year is GMT+7.

  • Top 3 cities to visit - Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket.

  • Top landmarks/monuments - Elephant Retirement Park, Phi Phi Islands, and Chiang Rai Temples.

Visa information for Thailand

There are different types of visas in Thailand, and each varies depending on what you want to do in Thailand. Let's see the different kinds of tourist visas:

  • Tourist Visa - Tourist visas are for those who want to visit for tourist purposes. It is advisable to process your visa at least 15 days in advance and present the documents correctly.

With this Tourist Visa, you can apply for a single-entry visa, which has a duration of 3 months.

  • Non-Immigrant Visa - This visa is often used for business, study, or work in Thailand. It is usually processed in 2 working days, and applying for it at least 15 days before the travel date is advisable.

You can apply for it per entry, with a validity of up to 90 days, and for multiple entries, with a validity of 1 year.

  • Transit Visa - This is a special type of visa for those who need to enter Thailand for transit purposes.

  • Retirement Visa - You can get a residence permit in Thailand in case of retirement if you are 50 years of age or older. s:

Typical costs and budgets for Thailand

These are the approximate costs of a trip to Thailand. Please take this information into account when planning your trip.

  • Daily expenditure per person - The average spending on activities in the country ranges from free to USD 15 per person. It should be noted that this amount may increase if you take a private tour.

  • Meals - Regarding food, in this country, you can find many cheap restaurants where food can cost between USD 3 and 5 per person. However, if you want something more luxurious, you can spend up to USD 20 per person.

  • Transportation - Tourist transportation in the country ranges from USD 3 per person to USD 20 if you want more private transport.

  • Hotel - If you are looking for cheap accommodation, you can spend between USD 20 and USD 30 per person. On the other hand, more luxurious hotels can cost approximately USD 70 per night.

Transport and ways to travel around Thailand

There are different ways to move around the country. Here are the most common ones:

  • Bus - It is one of the most common means of transportation for travelers in Thailand. It is usually fast and comfortable.

  • Train - Thailand's railway network is quite extensive, so it is common for travelers to make the longest journeys by taking advantage of the night trains to save money at the hotel.

  • Boat or Ferry - There are areas of Thailand where it makes more sense to get around by boat or ferry such as Phi Phi, Phuket, Koh Tao, or Koh Phangan, which can only be reached by water.

  • Private vans - If your budget allows, these are one of Thailand's most convenient transportation options, as they are fast and do not have to make stops along the way.

  • Long Tail Boat - These wooden boats are the ideal way of transportation on islands like Phi Phi, where roads are conspicuous by their absence. They are also a traditional means of transportation in the country.

  • Taxis, Songthaews, and Tuk-Tuks - Tuk-tuks are a symbol of Thailand and one of the most fun options for getting around big cities like Bangkok. In addition to tuk-tuks, in Bangkok, you can take local taxis, which are significantly cheaper than tuk-tuks.

  • Airplane - In Thailand, the most important airports are Bangkok airport, Chiang Mai airport, Chiang Rai airport, Phuket airport, and Koh Samui airport.

We don't recommend renting a car, you should have an international driving permit and a good GPS if you do. If you get lost, you can ask the local authorities for help.

Safety in Thailand

Generally, Thailand can be considered a safe country: some parts are very safe, while others are very dangerous. That is why it is essential to follow this brief guide.

  • The leading cause of death among visitors is motorcycle accidents, which often occur on the narrow, mountainous, and winding roads of Phuket and Samui. It is therefore advisable not to travel alone on these roads, but with a local guide.

  • On the other hand, being an increasingly popular tourist destination, pickpockets are expected everywhere, usually in places full of foreigners. Extreme vigilance is recommended. Also, beware of muggings, especially in remote areas of the country and on the outskirts of major cities.

  • If something happens, you can contact Thai authorities for help or immediate medical attention.

  • Beware of tuk-tuk drivers, fake tourist police officers, and street vendors. They are all potential scammers.

Weather in Thailand

It is always hot in Thailand. However, the country's climate comprises three seasons: the rainy or monsoon season, from May to October; the cooler season, from November to February; and the hottest season, from March to May.

The best time to travel to the country would be from November to February, as this is when there is less rain and less heat. However, it's okay if you can't travel during this season. Traveling to Thailand during the rainy or monsoon season doesn't have to be a problem.

Popular cities and towns in Thailand

These are some of the most popular cities in Thailand:

  • Bangkok - Bangkok is the most fascinating city for tourists. In addition, the capital of Thailand combines its modern aspect with culture, history, and tradition.

  • Chiang Mai - The capital of northern Thailand is known for its calm character and mix of tradition and modernity. It is a perfect place to stroll around and get to know it on foot. Especially to admire the more than three hundred temples and monuments.

  • Chiang Rai - It is a tranquil place and is home to some of Thailand's most impressive buildings. You will be dazzled by the White Temple, the Blue Temple, and the Black House.

  • Sukhothai - It is a destination with a lot of history and culture. Legend has it that the Thai alphabet was created here, Theravada Buddhism was adopted, and the country's law was founded.

  • Ayutthaya - This city was the kingdom's capital that dominated Southeast Asia between the 14th and 18th centuries. You can learn a lot about its history.

Must do and see in Thailand

We suggest visiting these destinations:

  • Ayutthaya City - Founded in 1350 by King U-Thong, Ayutthaya City grew to a population of over 1 million. It became the country's main financial center and international port.

  • Hin Daeng Cliff - It is known as one of the best diving destinations in Thailand. It owes its name to the coral in the area, which varies in many shades of red.

  • Floating Market - The floating markets are a must-see for any tourist. They are located on the city's outskirts, in its rural area, and are part of Thailand's most famous shopping places.

  • Ko Lipe - A quiet island resort. This island is part of the Tarutao National Marine Park, famous for its beautiful beaches, white sand, and crystal-clear waters.

  • Ko Tao - A diving paradise, this is a simply beautiful destination. You can relax on beautiful beaches such as Ao Tanote, Sai Ri, Sairee, June Juea Bay, or Nang Yuan Island.

Typical Thai gastronomy to try

Thai cuisine is unique and combines many spices and ingredients that make each dish a particular delight. It is common to find spicy, sour, sweet, and salty flavors in each of its recipes.

These are some of the most popular dishes in the country:

  • Pad Thai - This is the signature dish of Thai cuisine. It consists of rice noodles stir-fried with chicken, shrimp, or tofu and seasoned with fish sauce, soy sauce, egg, lime, chili, and sugar.

  • Kuay Teow Lui Suan - These are Thai-style spring rolls. These are rolls made with rice paper and stuffed with bean sprouts, lettuce, and other vegetables.

  • Tom Yum Goong - It is a spicy soup served with shrimp, chili, tomato, lime, and mushrooms.

  • Tom Kha Kai - It is a mildly spicy soup. It is based on chicken in coconut milk with vegetables and seasoning.

  • Kai Med Ma Muang - It is stir-fried chicken with fried cashew nuts and other vegetables.

Vaccine information for Thailand

Vaccinations recommended for travel to Thailand are based on the traveler's clinical characteristics and the trip type. However, they are usually routine vaccines.

These are for Tetanus-diphtheria or Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis, MMR (measles, mumps, or rubella), Hepatitis A, Typhoid fever, Hepatitis B, Japanese encephalitis, Cholera, Rabies, and Malaria vaccines.

Covid-19 vaccine, RT-PCR tests, or certification of vaccinated travelers are not required to visit the country. So you don't have to apply for a Thailand pass to enter this country.

Bangkok's real name

Did you know that Bangkok is smaller than the city's actual name? When it was founded, the real name formed by Pali Sanskrit and Sanskrit words was Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit.

What does this name mean?

It means "City of Angels, Great City of the Immortals, the Magnificent City of the Nine Gems, Seat of the King, City of the Royal Palaces, House of the Gods Incarnate, Erected by Visvakarman at the command of Indra."

Fun facts about Thailand

Among some of the country's curiosities are the following:

  • Try to smile whenever you can. It is polite in Thai culture.

  • Take off your shoes when you enter a Buddhist temple or someone's house.

  • Thais take a lot of notice of the way you dress. Try to adapt to local customs and cover up as much as possible.

  • Avoid touching someone's head. The head is the most important thing for Thais.

  • Thais generally try to keep calm, and raising your voice is rude.

  • If you feel like partying, keep in mind that nightclubs are usually open until 2:30 am.

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