Why We Love Thailand
There is a reason Thailand has been a long-standing tourist destination for the Western World. It’s not just beach raves and scandalous fun, this nation is a rich cultural tapestry with amazing food, sights, nightlife and natural wonder. It’s a destination that can suit every traveler of any age. Thailand will provide whatever you seek so please go see the buzz for yourself.
Stay by flying into the very vibrant city of Bangkok and indulge in city’s diverse and tempting street food. The food will be fresh and local, and the intricate flavours will keep your taste buds busy whether you are an average Joe or a foodie traveller.
Full? Then head to the white sandy beaches and islands that make up the nation. Relax in Ko Samui, rage on the infamous party isle of Koh Phi Phi or enjoy the natural wonder of Krabi. If you are a beach bunny, no matter what kind, Thailand is for you.
Tired of island hopping and sun lounging? Enjoy the spiritual side of Thailand by experiencing a meditation retreat or by visiting one of the multiple buddhist shrines the nation has to offer throughout. From caves, to mountains to cities, you can begin to know the heart of the nation and her people by visiting these sacred places.
Partier, foodie or spiritual travellers alike will leave Thailand feeling fulfilled and ready to head back. Thailand is a multifaceted, complicated, beautiful destination that does not bore of disappoint.
Thailand almost has two seasons but just to try to be accurate we’ll split into three, High Season, Shoulder and Low Season.
High Season runs from November to April and is after the monsoons. Days are dry and warm and it’s very pleasant, no wonder this is when most tourists from Europe descend to Thailand to escape the cold winters, as a result prices can be pushed up as you’d expect.
Low Season runs from July to Oct and is full of rain as the monsoons annual visit commences. The Shoulder period is from May to June but in all honesty the Low Season can overlap and bring just as much rain during the later months. The temperatures remains pleasant if a little cooler than high season but it’s not cold as you might know it if you live in Northern Europe.
The currency in Thailand is the Thai Baht. At the time of writing £1GBP is worth around 43THB. It’s worth checking XE.com for the latest ecxhange rate.
Below are some general prices to give you a rough guide as to the day to day cost of living. Do bear in mind these prices can change and are only to be used as a guide.
- 3 course meal for 2 at a mid priced restaurant: 600THB or £14
- Domestic Beer: 60THB or £1.20
- Cappuccino: 60THB or £1.20
- Can of Coke: 20THB or £0.50
- 1 litre of milk: 50THB or £1.10
- 1kg Bananas: 40THB or £1
- Taxi per km: 10THB or £0.25
- 1.5 litre of water: 15 TH or £0.30
- Bottle of wine: 500THB or £13
This might be surprising but tipping is not mandatory in Thailand, its unusual to tip. having said that it’s worth noting that in general most people working in the hospitality industry earn very little and so a tip can go a long way. You’re under no obligation to leave a tip whatsoever, if you decide not to that will be seen as normal. If you do leave a tip you’d be seen as very generous. As an example, a 20THB tip to a porter for carrying our bags would be appreciated and is a normal amount (£0.50p ish).
The king and royals in general remains an important and prominent figures in Thai culture so do not mock and disrespect, you’ll get a swift and unpleasant response from a local.
When hailing a taxi keep your hands face down, fingers up is seen as disrespectful, you can see how its; done by watching a local!
As with anywhere, respecting the local culture, people and traditions will make your visit even more enjoyable.
Thai is the national language. English is widely understood in Bangkok and big cities.
Buddhists 94.2%, Muslims 4.6%, Christians 0.8%, others 0.4%.
The red, white and blue bands symbolize the nation, religion, and the monarchy respectively.
220 volts 50 cycles throughout the country.
Drink only bottled or boiled water.
Light, cool clothes are highly recommended. Thin cotton is the best. A jacket or sweater may be necessary in the cool season, especially when you are in mountainous areas in the North or Northeast.
GMT + 7 hours.
1. Local calls
All telephone numbers for local calls, long distance calls within the country and all mobile phones have nine digits, starting with 0.
• For Bangkok calls, it is 0 + 2 + numbers, e.g. 0 2250 5500.
• For provincial calls, it is area code + numbers, e.g. 0 5323 6400 for Chiang Mai (053 is the area code for Chiang Mai) ; 0 7623 6400 for Phuket (076 is the area code for Phuket).
2. International calls
• The international dialling code for Thailand is 66.
• To direct dial a foreign number from a private phone, dial 001 + country code + area code + telephone number.
Note: For useful numbers in Thailand, see Useful Calls.
British passport holders arriving by air or land can enter Thailand for 30 days without a visa – this is known as a visa exemption. If you need to stay longer, it’s possible to extend your stay once, from the expiry date of the original visa, for up to 30 days.
If you’re using the 30 day visa exemption you can only enter Thailand through a land border twice per calendar year. To cross more frequently, you’ll need to obtain a visa in advance of travelling. This doesn’t apply to entry by air into Thailand. You should contact the nearest Thai embassy or consulate for further information.
If you plan to stay in Thailand for longer than 30 days, intend to work, or use land borders regularly you must get a visa before you travel. If you have entered Thailand on a visa, it’s possible to apply for an extension of stay but you must do this before your permission to stay expires.
If you overstay, you’ll be fined 500 baht per day up to a maximum of 20,000 baht. You also risk being held in detention, fined, deported at your own expense and black-listed from re-entering Thailand. The Thai authorities have stated that they will always enforce detention for overstays of more than 42 days. Since March 2016, you’ll be banned from re-entering Thailand if you overstay your visa. Check with the Thai Immigration Authority for details.
The only legal way of getting a new visa, entry permit or extension of stay is from a Thai Embassy or Consulate, an Immigration Officer at a point of entry into Thailand or one of the Immigration Offices around the country. Visas issued by visa shops, travel agents or by any other means are likely to be illegal and lead to criminal proceedings.
If you have any queries about visas or entry requirements, check with the Royal Thai Embassy.
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