Vacationing in Thailand offers a unique and wonderful experience. Spectacular beaches, awe-inspiring ancient ruins and palatial accommodations make it so that over 60% of Thailand’s visitors are there for their second or more time. Below are a few tips and facts that will help you be well prepared to fully enjoy your experience.
Entry Requirements: If you plan on staying less than 30 days you’ll only need a valid passport (with an expiration no further than 6 months away) and proof of a return ticket. No visa will be required.
Currency: The Baht is Thailand’s currency denomination and it comes in both paper and coin forms. The exchange rate varies, but a rough approximation puts 30 baht worth an equivalent amount to a US dollar. Major credit cards and debit cards are accepted in most restaurants and shopping centers.
Climate: Thailand has a tropical climate and the best time to visit is from November to April during what is known as the high season. May through October coincides with the rainy season, however, Thailand spans a large latitudinal swath and while the northern parts are experiencing monsoons, the southern areas surrounding the Gulf of Thailand are bright, sunny and warm. From March to April the climate is warm and dry with average temperatures in the mid-80s.
What to pack: Due to its tropical climate, Thailand can get somewhat humid so it is recommended that you pack light, airy clothing. Loose cottons and linens are ideal. If you are visiting the northern areas during wintertime, it is advised that you pack a light sweater or jacket.
While visiting temples proper attire is required. This includes covered shoulders for everyone and skirts that extend below the knees for women. Shorts are not allowed so be sure you plan ahead if you intend to enter any Buddhist temples. And remember, it’s considered polite to remove your shoes before you enter!
Language: Thai is the official language of Thailand, but English is widely spoken. Signs are generally in both Thai and English.
Electricity: Thailand’s electric outlets are 220 volts AC. If you will require power, you are advised to bring an adapter kit to allow you access to electricity. Some hotels will have adapters available for a deposit.
Water: Tap water is not safe to drink. It is strongly advised to stick to bottled water. Most hotels offer complimentary bottled water in the rooms on a daily basis. This extends to ice. Be cautious of using ice, however most restaurants serve ice made from government inspected ice factories.
Phone: The international dialing code for Thailand is 66. To make international calls from Thailand, first dial 001, then the country code, followed by the area and phone number. SIM cards are available from local Thai network providers to allow local call/texting.
Royal Family: The King is revered and respected in Thailand and visitors are expected to uphold the same considerations. Speaking disrespectfully or gesturing inappropriately to the Royal Family is punishable under Thai law.
Additional Courtesy: The Buddha is a deity and respect is a priority. Women are not allowed to touch Buddhist monks. However Buddhist teachings influence much of Thai society, so Thai’s usually tend to be relaxed and non-confrontational. Any conflicts can often be resolved with a smile.