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Travelling to Thailand – what you need to know

Thailand beachSa-wat-dee!

Thailand is a mixture of tropical islands, bustling cities and luxury resorts. Popular for gap years, it’s described as a backpacker’s haven.

You’re sure to find something to excite your senses, be it the Asian fusion of flavours in food, scuba diving in Ko Tao, or elephant trekking in Chiang Mai.

Thai people are among the friendliest in the world. While the majority of Thais are known for being hardworking honest people, don’t assume everyone is like that… Some are known for fraudulent behaviour and ripping off tourists.

Some information before you travel to Thailand

 Travel insurance
Travel insurance is compulsory in Thailand if you need medical attention. Hospitals will request your travel insurance details before they'll treat you.
Get a travel insurance quote

 Currency 
Thai baht

Money info 
Credit/debit
cards are accepted in most hotels/restaurants and hostels.

ATMs
are easy to find all over Thailand, some will charge a small fee to withdraw cash. Make sure you contact your bank before you travel, to avoid any payments being declined.

Traveller's cheques
are accepted only at foreign exchange shops.

Official language 


Thai

You'll find English speakers in most bars, restaurants and hotels.

Capital city
Bangkok
Population of 6.3 million
 

Time difference


GMT +7

Visa requirements
You don't need a visa to visit Thailand. All you need is a passport valid for more than six months. On arrival, you'll be granted access for a maximum of 30 days.


Driving in Thailand
 
 
Driving in Thailand is a popular way to see the hidden treasures of the country. Tuk-tuks are a common sight in most towns and cities while scooters are a popular choice for many tourists to get around.

To drive while in Thailand you will need:

- Full driving licence
International Driving Permit (IDP) 

For more information on driving in Thailand, see
our guide.

Vaccinations
All travellers should have routine vaccines, such as measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). You may have had this as a child.

Most common vaccines include
hepatitis A, typhoid and malaria.

Check with your GP before you travel, they can advise on further vaccines you might need, depending on where you plan on visiting.

British embassy 
The British Embassy is located in Pathumwan in the capital city Bangkok. They can assist British citizens in an emergency.

Climate
The climate is tropical

There are three seasons
Hot season (March-May)
Cool season (Nov-Feb)
Wet season (Jun-Oct)

Main attractions
Island hopping is the main attraction for visitors. Each island has something unique to offer; including Monkey Beach in Phi Phi, and Angthong National Park near Ko Samui - where there's scuba diving in crystal waters and beach parties galore!

Back on the mainland you can enjoy floating markets, and the eyebrow-raising
Khaosan Road in Bangkok, along with many night markets for those who enjoy a bargain!

National dish
Pad Thai is one of the most popular dishes in Thailand, commonly served as street food. It's a fusion of rice noodles, chicken and spices all stir-fried together, served with crushed peanuts and beansprouts on the side.
 

 Other things to consider
It's a requirement to carry your passport with you at all times. If you fail to produce your identification on the spot, you could be fined or arrested.

 Local information site
tourismthailand.org

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