Top tips for traveling to Thailand
Once eluded to as a mystical land that only seasoned travellers went to. Now Thailand has become a lot more accessible for people wanting to explore the country. The likelihood is that most travellers will begin in Bangkok as this is where the major airport is. No trip to Thailand is complete without spending a few days in Bangkok. Allow a day or two to soak up the capital’s atmosphere and enjoy a night out on Khao San Road before beginning your adventures.
Overall Thailand is a safe place to travel and crime is much less likely to occur than in other developing nations. However, like you would in any foreign place you do need to be aware of your surroundings and personal safety. We have found living in Thailand to be very safe and children friendly.
Here are some of our top tips for travelling to Thailand.
• Thailand is beautiful to visit all year round. Chiang Mai is considerably cooler than the Islands in the South. It is much cooler from December to the end of February. It doesn’t rain from October to the beginning of April. It rains from April to September. However, don’t be put off by the rain as it normally comes in short bursts and rarely rains all day. Living in Chiang Mai we have found that it normally rains in short bursts in the late afternoon, evening or night time. When it does rain we find it quite refreshing and it helps to clear the air. If you do wet you will dry quickly as the sun comes out.
• While travelling in a tuk-tuk is a Thai experience you must try do not use them as your primary means of transportation. When you do use them negotiate your fee before you set off. Please remember to not pay until you arrive safely. When you get in state exactly where you want to go and do not allow drivers to take you places where you have not asked to go.
• Getting around Thailand can be very affordable but the quickest way to travel larger distances are through cheap domestic flights around the country or the extensive bus services. You can take train services between Bangkok and Chiang Mai, or Bangkok and Surat Thani. However, these trips will obviously take a lot longer, but it’s a great way to see the countryside. If you rent a motorbike make sure you wear a helmet. Thai’s are supposed to wear helmets by law but invariably lots of locals don’t wear them which can lead to terrible accidents.
• Women should always dress modestly as tight clothing or that which shows off a lot of flesh can be misinterpreted as showing your level of morality. Always carry jackets and make sure you cover up when out and about so men do not misinterpret you. This is especially important in religious buildings where you may be refused entry if you are not dressed appropriately.
• Street food is a normal part of Thai eating and is both tasty and affordable, but it is always advisable to eat where there are larger crowds as this means the food is likely to be fresher. The last thing you want is to be left feeling unwell or contracting food poisoning.
• If you choose to go down to one of the local beaches in the South bear in mind that almost all beaches do not have life guide protection. So we suggest you go to a beach which is busier and never venture out into the sea on your own. At the moment there seems to be a ban on having deck chairs on the beach but you can lay on towels.
• If you hold a full UK passport you will not need to apply for a Visa when entering Thailand for a period up to 30 days. If you plan on staying for longer or hold another passport check with the Thai Embassy before you go to see if you need a Visa. The currency in Thailand is Baht so make sure you have some local currency before you arrive. 100 baht is about £2.