Prior to your trip to Thailand, it is advisable to perform an online check on iVisa to determine the appropriate visa requirements. At present, Thailand does not require any evidence of COVID-19 vaccination.
For the best deals on flights, check Google Flights, Skyscanner and CheapOAir. The cheapest day to fly out is usually Tuesdays. Open an incognito window on your computer to avoid google remembering your searches.
Before travelling to Thailand, familiarise yourself with the following tips so you can feel confident in your knowledge of the country and its customs.
Respect is integral to Thai culture, so it is important to always be respectful of Thai people and their beliefs.
It costs 220 Baht (6 USD) to withdraw cash from an ATM in Thailand, so I recommend withdrawing money for the duration of your trip in your home country.
Many places in Thailand only accept cash. Card machines are commonly found in hotels, restaurants, and large businesses.
The best money card for travelling is the Wise Debit Visa Card as it has low conversion fees and zero transaction fees.
Sign up and create an account with Wise even if you’re not going to use their card. It’s free to open an account and it’s the easiest way to send money to bank accounts in different currencies/countries. In Thailand, if restaurant card machines aren’t working or they don’t have one they will usually accept a transfer through Wise which is handy if you don’t have enough cash!
If you plan on riding a scooter in Thailand, you should obtain an International Driver’s License for scooters larger than 50ccs and bring your home country’s license with you. Scooter rental companies do not request it, but if you are pulled over by the police, you will be fined if you do not have the proper license.
When renting a scooter in Thailand, you must either leave your passport or a cash deposit with the company.
Always wear a helmet, not only for your own safety but also to avoid being fined.
In Chiang Mai particularly around the Old City, there are numerous roadblocks where police will stop tourists and fine them 500 Baht if they are not wearing a helmet or have the proper license.
You can preorder a prepaid 4G SIM card before arriving in Thailand and pick it up at the airport (Bangkok and Phuket airports only). Click here for more information.
eSIMs are the easiest way of getting data without requiring a physical SIM card. I use Airalo for eSIMs everywhere I travel and I highly recommend them.
Selling alcohol is limited to the hours of 11 am – 2 pm and then again from 5 pm until midnight.
You’ll find that convenience stores won’t allow you to purchase beer, wine or liquor outside these times however some Family Marts and small stores will.
If you are travelling by bus to get to one destination from another, make sure to wear warm clothes as the buses are usually very cold with the air conditioning.
Redeem your bus ticket for a free meal at the food stop during long bus rides. Just present it to the people dishing out the food.
Download the Grab app to your phone for the cheapest and most convenient way to get around Thailand’s cities.
In Bangkok, there are taxis that don’t run on a meter and the driver will just tell you a price. It’s usually a lot more than it should be. Always make sure to get metered taxis or use Grab so you know exactly what you can expect to pay.
If you want to order food to your room download the Food Panda App.
If you’re in a public place at 8 am or 6 pm, be prepared to stand up, stop what you’re doing and keep silent as the national anthem plays. This can occur in shopping centers, night markets etc.
There are many scams, especially in Bangkok, so it’s a good idea to be aware of them before visiting Thailand. Read my blog post – A Quick Guide to Bangkok for a list of scams to avoid.
Because tap water in Thailand can make you sick, use bottled water even when brushing your teeth.
Temples are considered holy places, and everyone is required to dress modestly. Both men and women should cover their knees and shoulders. You will not be allowed to enter the temple if you are dressed inappropriately. Remove your shoes before entering a temple, a home, or even some stores.
When visiting markets, you can barter with the locals to get a better price. Tipping is appreciated when you receive excellent service. Locals are paid very little, so even 20 Baht, which may seem insignificant to us, is appreciated by them.
Disrespecting the Thai Royal Family can result in incarceration. Show reverence for monks and Buddha images.
Avoid placing your feet on the table while sitting, pointing to anything with your feet or touching anybody with your feet.
Thailand is a diverse and culturally enriching Southeast Asian travel destination. There is so much to see and do in Thailand! Knowing the above tips will help provide a better experience.