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Travelling to Thailand – what you need to know


A backpacker’s haven, Thailand contains an intoxicating mix of tropical islands, fantastic food and bustling cities.

Beach in Thailand

Some information before you travel to Thailand


Travel information

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory in Thailand if you need medical attention. Hospitals will request your travel insurance details or proof of payment before they'll treat you.

The standard of private hospitals and clinics are excellent in most parts, but they can be very expensive. Public clinics are not always up to the standards you may be used to in the UK.


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


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



Population of 6.3 million.

Time difference

GMT +7

Visa requirements

British passport holders can enter Thailand for 30 days without a visa whether arriving by air or land - this is known as a visa exemption.

If you plan to stay in Thailand for longer than 30 days, or you intend to work, 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 risk being held in detention, fined, deported at your own expense and black-listed from re-entering Thailand.

For more information on visa requirements and where to purchase a visa, see Thailand entry requirements on GOV.UK.  


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.

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.


The climate is tropical.

There are three main seasons:

Hot season (March-May)

Cool season (Nov-Feb)

Wet season (Jun-Oct) 

Main attractions

Island hopping is one of 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


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