TRAVELLING TO THAILAND - EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
Updated: Jun 21, 2022
I have been to Thailand three times for longer periods, currently living in Koh Phangan, and I would like to get you through everything important that you need to know before travelling here.
We are currently living at such hectic times, everything can change in days but in this blog post I will try to have the most updated information about travelling to Thailand. Hopefully 2022 will bring more stability in the world and more people can come to explore this amazing Southeast Asian country.
Thailand is open and from 1st February 2022 the most popular Test&Go is available again. It means fully vaccinated people are allowed to enter Thailand with a negative PCR-test and have to do one more after arriving in the country.
Awaiting the result tourists are required to quarantine officially for one night in the hotel, but for example in my case it took around 5 hours to get the result and I was free to go wherever I would like to.
Check the latest entry requirements of Thailand
In this Guide
- Is it safe to travel to Thailand?
- Thailand weather and best time to visit
- Things to consider in Thailand
- SIM Card
Is it safe to travel to Thailand?
This is usually the first question that pops up in peoples mind when thinking about travelling to Asia.
It also can have slightly different answers depending on the parties involved. I can speak only about my experiences and the answer is YES – Thailand is a very safe country to travel for tourists.
There is a history of social unrest and violent conflicts in parts of the country but crimes in tourist areas are rare.
Tourism is a significant part of the country's economy and millions of people are travelling to Thailand yearly. Government knows how important a safe environment is and I would say they are making utmost effort to provide it.
As long as you exercise standard travel safety precautions like staying alert, keeping an eye on your belongings, respecting local people and their culture, you will be welcomed everywhere you go.
Thailand weather and best time to visit
Thailand has been one of the most well-loved travel destinations for years now. Idyllic beaches, lively celebrations, fascinating culture and authentic Thai food should be in every people’s bucket list.
Although Thailand welcomes people all year round, there are some aspects to consider before booking your trip. For example, weather can vary dramatically throughout the year and it is essential to choose the right time to make the most of your holiday in 'The Land of Smiles'.
Thailand has three official seasons: hot, cool and wet.
Cool Season – November til early March
This is also the high season. Weather-wise the best time to visit Thailand.
There is little rain, humidity is lower and temperatures are just below 30 degrees. Keep in mind that this is the busiest and most expensive time to visit Thailand, especially around Christmas and Western New Year holidays.
Prices could be up to 50% or more, accommodation should be booked in advance, restaurants and beaches are crowded.
Hot Season – March til June
This is generally a very hot and dry time to visit Thailand. Temperatures can go up to 40 degrees and it could be quite unbearable to do outdoor activities that are not related to water. Towards the coastal regions, the ocean breeze will keep the climate in check.
April is the hottest month, however, hosts one of the biggest festivals in Thailand - Songkran, the Thai New Year’s national holiday.
Read more about the Songkran festival.
Wet season – June til October
It will be raining in most of the country with slight variations. Temperatures drop, rainfall starts to increase and it usually drives tourists away. August experiences the heaviest rainfall of the year, especially in the Golden Triangle and Chiang Mai.
If you know where to go during the Wet season you can still get lots of sunshine and enjoy a cheaper holiday. The East Coast beaches like Koh Samui will be dry during this season and welcome you. It gets very wet there in November.
For more details about the daily average temperatures and rainfall in Thailand check HERE
Currency in Thailand
The official currency of Thailand is the Baht. In 2019 it was ranked as the 10th most frequently used world payment currency. There are 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 Baht banknotes.
As of February 2022 1 Euro equals 37.50 Thai Baht (1 USD equals 32.8 Thai Baht).
There are ATMs next to every 7-Eleven store and currency exchanges are easy to find. Keep in mind that ATMs charge you 220 Baht as service fee per withdrawal.
Transportation in Thailand
12Go Asia – This is the most useful website you need to know for travelling around Thailand. Their search engine shows you all the available options on any given route – bus, train, ferry, flight tickets.
You can find timetables, prices, duration of trip, different companies and all other important information.
It will save you a lot of time as you can book everything from one place. I have used it personally many times and all the process has been smooth.
YOUR TOUR DESK offers different transportation options and also a good site for booking tours.
Grab is the main Taxi application in Thailand. It is the safest and fastest way to move from one place to another.
Taking a taxi from the street could be stressful as drivers usually tell you higher prices for a trip or drive the longest possible way to the destination. If you still decide to do it, always ask for a meter, it means they will have fixed fares for starting the ride and per kilometer.
Things to consider in Thailand
Don’t go elephant riding and other attractions related to animals
Carrying your passport around
Don’t disrespect Buddha, The King or the flag
Wear proper clothes when visiting temple – no tank tops, shorts, skirts or flip flops
Don’t drink tap water
Don’t touch Monks (specially for women)
Don’t buy or use drugs
Don’t overstay your visa period
Don’t go to Ping Pong show
Most common scams
Thailand’s people are one of the most welcoming and friendly people I have met in my life. This country is nicknamed Land of Smiles for a reason. I personally have never had any bad experiences with locals but there are some things you should look out for in big touristy areas like Pattaya, Bangkok or Phuket.
This topic is not to spread negativity about Thailand, it’s just a precaution, so no one can take advantage of you.
Damaged jet ski / scooter
Renting a jet ski or specially scooter is an essential part of visiting Thailand. After returning the vehicle you could be accused of damaging it and shown already existing bumps or scuffs. Always take pictures and document the vehicle's current condition - this way you can prevent bad surprises laterwards. Never leave your passport as a deposit, just let them make a picture of it.
There could be people at crowded places who will try to give you wrong change on purpose. Always make sure how much money you give to the cashier and count change at the counter. It would be difficult to complain if you discover a scam after leaving the market.
Enormously high fares for Tuk tuk / Taxi
Taking a transport from the streets could come with high risk of overpaying. My experience has shown that half of the taxi drivers say their meter is broken, so they can’t set up a fixed starting fare and price per kilometer. They will tell you their own price which could be two or three times bigger than normal. My recommendation is always to ask for a meter, if that’s not possible you can ask someone who is more familiar with the area about the estimated price for the trip. In that way you will be in a good spot to negotiate with the driver.
It is popular to get tailor-made suits or clothing in Thailand. No doubt there are lots of tailors who will make you quality clothing way cheaper than back home, but you should still look out for scams. Most common problems would be that after paying, the tailor won’t provide you with the product at all or the quality would be way lower than what you tried in the shop.
If you would like to read more about scams in Thailand, click HERE
SIM Cards are easy to buy from every 7-Eleven, supermarket or other resellers. You just need to present your passport to register it. Data is fast and cheap. I have found that the best deals are offered at the airports. I got unlimited data for 30 days for 300 Baht. The main providers are AIS, dtac and TrueMove.
Grab application or how company themselves call it 'Grab Superapp', has some other really helpful additional services beside taxi service.
Your favourite foods delivered to your doorstep.
Have your daily essentials from shampoo to dinner ingredients delivered to you.
An App-based express parcel delivery service that is fast, safe and reliable