Thailand is one of the most attractive tourist attractions in Southeast Asia. With a modern transport infrastructure, magnificent landscapes and excellent hospitality services, this country has developed tourism to be one of the key sectors of the Thai economy. With a lot of attractions such as the elephant ride, the preserved islands, the Buddhist temples, the scandalous nightlife, the delicious local dishes or the fabulous resorts, Thailand will never disappoint you! While traveling in Thailand, you will have the opportunity to meet friendly and playful inhabitants who make this country a “land of smiles”. Here are most essential things to know before traveling to Thailand. Let’s dive in!

1. Visa and Passport

It is essential to have a passport valid for more than 6 months from your date of arrival in Thailand and to have blank pages in your passport for the visa stamp. The entry visa waiver policy in Thailand is applied for 55 countries including France, Belgium, Switzerland and Canada, and several European countries for a stay of fewer than 30 days if you arrive by plane and 15 days if you enter by land border via Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Myanmar. You must have a return air ticket to ensure that you will be leaving Thailand during this time. You must show your plane ticket when entering Thailand and proof of funds and accommodation.

Tourist visa holders are asked to have 10,000 THB per person in cash to return to the country.

2. Currency

The Bath is the official currency in Thailand. It is not possible to use other currencies such as the euro, the U.S. dollar, the British pound sterlings or the Canadian dollar during your stay in Thailand.

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Things to Know Before Traveling to Thailand

Thai baht

We recommend that you first exchange your currency when you arrive in Thailand. You can exchange your money at the airport or local banks in major cities. You will have a better exchange rate in Thailand than in your home country. It is not necessary to exchange currency in Bath in your country since local Thai banks offer good services and rates of change.

ATM banks are found all over the country, even in small towns. But if you’re traveling off the beaten track, have some cash on hand. Credit cards are accepted in some restaurants, hotels and shopping centers.

Thailand remains a country where you can more commonly in cash. Prepare baths if you go to the market or buy souvenirs. This is one of most important things to know before traveling to Thailand.

3. Electricity, Telephone, and the Internet

The Internet is available in hotels, restaurants, and cafes. However, if you are going to rural areas, buy a data internet plan. The three famous network providers in Thailand are AIS, DTAC and True. No need to go far. There are many SIM card stores at the airport.

In Thailand, people use 220V, 50 Hz and 2 or 3 pin electrical outlets. You can bring your adapter or your hotel will provide you with multiple sockets.

4. Getting around Thailand

Traffic is very complicated, even chaotic in Bangkok during rush hour, but thanks to public transport like MRT and BTS (Bangkok Skytrain), you can travel more easily and quickly in the city. Tuk-tuks are also an authentic means of transport to discover the city. You must try this unique means of transport in Thailand at least once on your tour. Motorcycle taxis are not safe, that’s why we don’t recommend them. This is among important things to know before traveling to Thailand that you should keep in mind.

Things to Know Before Traveling to Thailand

Tuk-tuk, a very common means of transportation in Thailand

Buses and trains are the main transport for traveling in the different provinces of Thailand. The rail system is efficient and safe in Thailand and you can even travel to Malaysia and Laos by train. Renting a car in Thailand gives you more flexibility, especially if you want to travel off the beaten track. Do not hesitate to contact a local travel agency to better prepare your trip to Thailand.

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5. Health and Safety

Thailand is a relatively safe place to travel. Bewaring of scams and pick-pocketing in some overcrowded tourist destinations is among things to know before traveling to Thailand. Choose street food wisely, select only vendors who appear to be clean and crowded with customers.

Driving a motorcycle in Thailand is dangerous. The most frequent accident in Thailand is related to the motorcycle and this is one of best things to know before traveling to Thailand. There are many other practical ways to get around the country.

6. The Best Time for Your Tour in Thailand

The weather changes throughout the year, so you can travel to Thailand all year round. Even though, knowledge of climate here is important and one of top things to know before traveling to Thailand. This country is located in a tropical area prone to monsoons. The weather is characterized by a hot and humid climate. The best time to go is during the peak tourist season, from November to February, when the climate is cool and dry.

The rainy season lasts from July to October, but don’t worry if you’ve already taken your tickets to Thailand for this season. You can still enjoy Thai massages, street food and enjoy the nightlife.

Between March and June is the hot season. April and May are the hottest months.

7. The Customs of Thai culture

When traveling in a foreign country, it is important to respect certain different customs, especially in Buddhist countries like Thailand. You must cover your shoulders, elbows, and knees when entering a temple. Do not wear transparent or sleeveless clothing. There are many sarongs that you can buy at the markets and wear them to go to the temples. You cannot visit religious sites if your attire is not correct, and this is among things to know before traveling to Thailand.

The king of Thailand is highly respected, so some rules prohibit everyone (local and foreign) from criticizing him. Do not discuss government or political matters during your Thailand tour.

8. Language

Thailand being a famous tourist destination in Southeast Asia, most of the people working in hotel services here speak English at a decent level. In some rural areas, some people do not speak English. So prepare some translation apps for your phone.

9. Holidays and Festivals in Thailand

There are a multitude of festivals in Thailand and 2 the most famous are: Songkran and Loy Krathong. Songkran is the most anticipated in the country. It is the traditional New Year, the locals come into the houses and share a friendly moment with the family. Splashing with water is the activity of the festival, by splashing the inhabitants believe they give luck to others.

Here are some top events in Thailand

  • Makha Bucha: the full moon party during the 3rd lunar month (February to March)
  • Songkran: the traditional Thai new year, occurs from April (April 13-15 but the date may change in some places)
  • The day of the coronation: May 5
  • Loy Krathong: the first full moon day, the second lunar month, usually in November
  • King’s birthday (Father’s Day): July 28

10. Best Destinations to Visit

Bangkok

Things to Know Before Traveling to Thailand

Beautiful sunrise in Bangkok

It is the capital of the Kingdom of Thailand and the third most visited city in the world! A cosmopolitan city, which combines tradition and modernity, Bangkok will charm you during your trip to Thailand.

This magnificent capital is always included in the tourist circuits when we visit Thailand. Bangkok is suitable for all travelers, whether you are on a family vacation, a luxury trip or on a budget. This city is famous for its huge palace and the spectacular temple like Wat Phra Kaew, one of the 3 national treasures of the country. An hour and a half drive from Bangkok is the vibrant floating market of Damnoen Saduak which represents a local Thai scene and everyday life to discover. Don’t forget to buy tropical fruits and taste street food like Som Tam (papaya salad), Khao Pad (fried rice), Pad Thai (shrimp noodles) and Khao Niao Mamuang (sticky rice in Thai to the mango).

Chiang Mai

Things to Know Before Traveling to Thailand

Beautiful Chiang Mai

This is a city located 700 km north of Bangkok, in a green and mountainous region. A dynamic city at the heart of which modernity and tradition mix, you will undoubtedly fall in love with it.

If you want to see Thailand and Thai culture in all authenticity, it is better to avoid wasting all your time at the beach, after Bangkok, Chiang Mai is the place where you must visit during your tour in Thailand. The city is a combination of splendid landscapes and architecture reminiscent of the ancient capital. The temple of Doi Suthep which overlooks the city from the top of a hill is the main tourist attraction of Chiang Mai. For nature lovers, there are plenty of exciting activities to do, you can enjoy the cruise along the Mae Ping river, explore the mountains and experience an elephant ride.

Ayuthaya

This city is less than 100 km from Bangkok, this peaceful city has about 80,000 inhabitants, far from its past, this former royal capital had 1 million people. It was once the flagship city of all of Southeast Asia in the 17th century.). Ayutthaya once dazzled the whole world with its 1500 temples.

Pattaya

Gorgeous beauty of Pattaya at dawn

Gorgeous beauty of Pattaya at dawn

2 hours by road from Bangkok, Pattaya is a paradise for foreigners who want to live crazy nights. Due to its proximity to Bangkok, Pattaya has become the perfect place for Thai weekends. It is easy to find luxury resorts, friendly places to eat, bars, pubs and clubs to party. Pattaya is also a city known for the golf circuit in Thailand.

Phuket

Located in the south of Thailand, Phuket is the largest island and one of the most coveted islands in the country. Its preserved tropical forest and white sand are the reasons why this island is a true paradise. Jet skiing, surfing, and paragliding are the 3 sports activities that you can practice during your stay in Phuket. Besides, the city of Patong in Phuket is a paradise where you can experience evenings that last all night.

11. Unique Thai gastronomy

Tom yum goong

It is a spicy shrimp soup (if you do not want it to be spiced, specify your request at the restaurant while you place the order). Many herbs and lime juice add flavor to this typical Thai dish!

Tom kha kai

A coconut milk soup, tender chicken pieces, some herbs and some spices which only Thai people have the secret, etc. we are almost getting closer to the recipe for happiness!

Pad Thai

The specialty Pad Thai

The specialty Pad Thai

Thai version fried noodles! Beef, chicken, shrimp, vegetarian, etc. this dish comes in a thousand and one ways and will delight all palates!

Khao Soi

It is a curry noodle soup, served with new onions and meat of your choice: beef, chicken or pork.

Delicious Khao Soi dish

Delicious Khao Soi dish

Khao Kha Moo

Many versions of this dish exist, but the main ingredient remains the same: the boiled pork leg. It is a dish very well known and appreciated throughout the country, which is easily found on every street corner.

Miang Kham

These are small bites that will delight your taste buds for the entry. Betel leaves are used to coat various ingredients, creating ready-to-eat bites.

12. Activities Not to be Missed During Your Tour to Thailand

Enjoy street food in Bangkok

This city is a paradise for gourmands because Thai gastronomy is not expensive but quite delicious. It is easy to find street vendors in the city, there are a large number of local food stalls in markets and on sidewalks. Stroll through Chinatown, Rattanakosin (the old town) or Khao San, you will find what you are looking for. You must taste the specialties which are: Som Tam (papaya salad), Khao Pad (fried rice), Pad Thai (shrimp noodle) and Khao Neeo Mamuang (Thai sticky rice with mango).

Visit the elephant park in Chiang Mai

60 km from the center of Chiang Mai, the elephant park is known for protecting and rehabilitating elephants in the north of Thailand. It is the home of a dozen elephants from across the country. If you visit it, you will have the chance to learn more about the life of these animals and you can get involved voluntarily by feeding them.

Trek on exotic paths

Indeed, Thailand is known for its delicious food, its magnificent beaches and its hectic nights. But Thailand is more than all that, there are many wonderful places if you want to escape mass tourism during your stay in Thailand. Northern Thailand is a paradise for all hikers, with unspoiled tropical forests, towering mountains, and mysterious caves. For treks, we speak more about Chiang Mai because of the beauty of the landscapes. You will have the chance to breathe the fresh air, admire breathtaking landscapes and discover the mountain villages.

Participate in water sports

The coral island, a true tropical paradise for scuba-diving in Phuket

The coral island, a true tropical paradise for scuba-diving in Phuket

The turquoise water, the gentle waves, the calm wind, the beaches and the islands in Thailand is the perfect meeting point for sunbathing, strolling along the coast and swimming in the water. There are lots of nautical activities available in Thailand. Pattaya, Phuket, Koh Tao, Koh Samui, etc. are perfect places for an adventure tour in Thailand. You can go scuba diving, snorkeling, paddle, surf, jet ski, and many other activities. After long hours on the beach, nothing better than a Thai massage or an atmospheric bar to enjoy the nightlife.

Visit Buddhist pagodas

Buddhism is the dominant religion in Thailand and it is not surprising that there are so many pagodas and so many pilgrims there. The Buddhist sites in Thailand are truly spectacular with magnificent architecture and incredible decorations. Going to temples is important for Thai people and this is among things to know before traveling to Thailand. As a tourist, you can take photos and discover Thai culture through multiple temples. The best temples you can visit during your stay in Thailand are WatPha Sorn Kaew, Wat Phra Sri Sanphet and Wat Pho.

13. Important Addresses in Thailand

French Embassy

  • CAT Tower, 23rd floor, number 35 Charoenkrung Road, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500.
  • Landline: +66 0 26 57 51 00/0 26 27 21 00.

Embassy of Belgium

  • Address: 16/F Sathorn Square – Number 98 North Sathorn, Silom Sub, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500.
  • Landline: +66 2 108 18 00.
  • Fax: +66 2 108 18 07 consular section.
  • Fax: +66 2 108 18 08 political section.
  • In an emergency: +66 81 833 99 87.

Embassy of Canada

  • 15th floor, Place Abdulrahim, Number 990 rue Rama IV, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500.
  • Landline: +66 0 26 46 43 00.
  • Fax: +66 0 26 46 43 36.

14. Suggested Routes to Explore The Best of Thailand

Thailand is one of the favorite destinations because it is always full of surprises for travelers from all over the World. This country has all the ingredients necessary for a dream vacation. Indeed, the land of smiles offers a combination of circuits and experiences to surprise and amaze you throughout your stay whether you are looking for adventure or a vacation with unequaled comfort, whether you are a lover of sensational landscapes or cultural visits, whether you love thrills or relaxation and well-being, be sure that Thailand will meet your expectations.

Here are the suggested itineraries for your circuit in Thailand:

Discover more: Amazing Thailand tour packages

15. Checklist Before Your Trip

These are among most important things to know before traveling to Thailand:

  • Identity card, visa, passport and copies of these documents
  • Travel insurance
  • Vaccination
  • Credit/ debit card and a few US dollars
  • Airline tickets/ boarding pass
  • A pair of high-quality shoes
  • Insect repellent
  • Light clothes
  • Medication and first aid kit
  • Adapter – 220V, 50Hz; 2 pin plugs

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Bich Ngoc

As a true Vietnamese enthusiast of music, books and coffee, Bich Ngoc loves researching into those typical cultural characteristics of Vietnam as well as exploring further destinations in the country of thousand years of civilization.

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