Tourism in Thailand

First time travellers/first time to Asia/Developing Countr/What t expect

Visas for Thailand

Nationals of many countries receive a 30-day visa free entry on arrival by air into Thailand.  On arrival at land borders this is only a 15-day visa free entry.  If you plan on staying in Thailand longer than 30 days, on boarding your flight to Thailand you will need to show your airline that you have either a visa for your entire stay or proof of onward travel before the 30 day visa expires.  This can cause problems for those planning extended travel overland in South East Asia using Bangkok as their hub.  Depending on where you live, you can pre-arrange a 60-day visa or a multiple entry visa in your home country through your Thai Embassy.  One way to get around the need to pre-arrange visas, is to organise a flight departing Thailand within the 30 day period.  Some people choose to buy the cheapest onward ticket on budget airline Air Asia (to Phnom Penh or Kuala Lumpar) and then travel overland at their own pace
Do be aware though that you must not overstay your visa for Thailand.  A border run to a neighbouring country will gain you an extra 15-day visa but this can use up valuable holiday time.

Types of accomm
What to expect
Book in advance etc
High seasons/low seasons

The Thai currency is the Baht symbolised with the ฿.  ATMs that accept foreign debit and credit cards are widely found and usually distribute ฿1000 notes.  There is no need to bring travellers cheques or foreign currency to Thailand.  You should always travel with some emergency cash stashed in your luggage seperately from your main supply in the event that you lose your debit or credit cards.
Most accommodation mid-range and up and some travel agents will accept payment by credit card but there may be a 1-2% service charge.  You will need cash for all but the fanciest restaurants.
Some of the smaller islands (Koh Lipe, Koh Ngai etc) don’t have an ATM so you should come prepared from the mainland with enough cash for the duration of your stay.  On islands such as this resorts may be able to give you a cash advance from a credit card with a 5-10% commission.  

What to take
Don’t over-pack.  Before you leave, lay out what you plan to take with you and put half of it back.
You can buy just about everything you need in Bangkok.
You should take with you:

  • ATM/debit card and/or credit card
  • A couple of hundreds US dollars worth of cash, either in Thai baht or your own currency, provided it’s something common and easy to cash (e.g. Australian dollars, euros, yen).  Stash this money somewhere in your bag and use it in case of an emergency, like losing your credit cards.
  • Lightweight, loose clothing.  Longer sleeves are actually better, keeping you out of the sun and away from mosquitoes.

Shopping/What to buy

Tourist Police

Dangers and Scams
Tuk tuks
That …. is closed today
Chiang Mai Death Hotel
Animal Bites

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