Thailand is one of the most frequently visited countries in the world, thanks to its hospitable people, tropical climate and unforgettable landscape. However, as with visiting any other country, there are cultural differences to be aware of, as well as general information that any traveler should be privy to. Here are the top 10 tips to remember when visiting Thailand.
1. Getting around Bangkok
Chances are that of any way to get into Thailand, it was through on of the many flights to Bangkok. Therefore, Bangkok is your entrance into the wonderful world of Thailand. Bangkok is a highly populated, densely packed and oftentimes, very stressful place. Getting around Bangkok is easy, however, through the network of buses, trains, and taxis. When getting around Bangkok and choosing to use a taxi, make sure that it is of a metered kind, otherwise you will be seriously overcharged.
2. Thai Weather and When to Visit
Very near the equator, Thailand does not experience four seasons. Instead, there is a dry season and a wet season. The best time to visit is during the dry season, which lasts from October and January. This is when temperatures are a little cooler, and there is no rain. March and April are the hottest months. They are best avoided as the heat can limit travel and the overall pleasure of visiting Thailand. The busiest season for tourism is from December to April, therefore prices at resorts and hotels are higher during this peak season. May to October is the rainy season, where it may rain most of the day.
3. Health and Safety
Be sure to have preventative treatment for malaria and dengue, as Thailand is prone to these insect-born diseases as with any tropical country. The biggest health problems to worry about are gastrointestinal, related to the different food and water. Try to avoid the spiciest foods, or your stomach may rebel. Do not drink the tap water in Thailand. Instead drink bottled water, and also use it to brush your teeth, which is totally different than Greece, for example.
Tourists to Thailand who stay 30 days or less do not need a visa to travel. A visa-on-arrival is stamped in the passport upon arrival. If you wish to stay for longer, apply for a visa online or in country.
5. Cost of Living
Bangkok and Phuket are the exception to the remarkable value of visiting Thailand. Everywhere else, tourists can enjoy a higher-than-normal standard of living due to the favorable exchange rates. A three star hotel room can be around 1000 bahts, or 20 euros. A regular Thai meal will cost around 100 baht. Flights within the country and flights to Bangkok from within the country are super cheap.
Bring very few clothes – fewer than you normally would pack. The reason for this is because buying clothes in Thailand is very cheap and it will lessen your load, similar to Bora Bora.
7. Internet Access
Internet can be accessed most anywhere – there are several wifi hotspots, as well as many internet cafes in the cities.
8. Bring an International Drivers License.
Renting a car, IDLs are more widely accepted than national licenses.
Thailand is actually a conservative country, and so it is wise to dress respectfully when visiting around. Leave the beachwear for the actual beaches.
10. Do not talk badly of the royal family – even jokingly. This is taken quite seriously and you may find yourself in trouble with the police if you do.