What to know for a trip to Thailand

Who I am
Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Land of Smiles and Gateway to the East, Thailand is the only country in the south-east not to have suffered western invasions, this makes it deeply oriental. Bangkok is one of the liveliest cities on the planet as well as one of largest metropolis of Asia. A city in frenetic and constant movement where it is still possible to find spiritual corners with magnificent temples.

The northern region holds the heart of the cultural soul, natural and rural of the country. The Golden Triangle is an explosion of famous temples, lush forests to be discovered on the back of mammoth elephants and, above all, the area where ethnic minorities live. The south is dotted with heavenly beaches, one more beautiful than the other. Phuket, Koh Samu, Phi Phi Islands, Koh Samet ... you are spoiled for choice! Here's what to know for a trip to Thailand!


  1. Best time
  2. Required documents
  3. How many days
  4. How to dress and what to bring
  5. To see
  6. Getting around
  7. What to book in advance
  8. Accomodation
  9. Where to eat
  10. How much
  11. How to pay
  12. Safety
  13. Useful advice and rules of conduct
  14. User questions and comments

Best time

The best climate for a stay is the "dry season" that goes from November to February: the hours of sunshine are greater, the humidity is lower and it rains less. The best month ever is January: in addition to the climate factor, in fact, after the New Year, prices drop.

From March to May there is the "wet season", the temperatures rise significantly as well as the humidity. Despite the climate, tourism is always very active, thanks also to the famous "Thai Water Festival", an event always full of young people and the Thai New Year in April.
For purely seaside holidays, Phuket, Krabi and Khao Lak are perfect from November to May; while Costa Gulf, Ko Samui, Ko Phangan and Kho Tao give their best from April to October.

May and October are the rainy months; however it is hot and the rains are not constant all day long, they appear in the form of violent thunderstorms and of short intensity. Although it is not the best from a meteorological point of view, just bring an umbrella and K-way and enjoy Thailand at even 50% lower prices.

Required documents

Passport with more than 12 months of validity for multiple entry and at least 6 months for single entry.
Two passport-size photos, facing, without sunglasses and with his head uncovered.
Photocopy of the return ticket that does not take place after the visa expires.
Country exit tickets with at least 2 entries and 2 exits to be used within 6 months if you have a multiple or only exit permit within the expiry of the normal tourist visa.
Photocopy of a confirmed hotel reservation for the duration of the stay.
Visa required: for stays up to 30 days it is requested directly upon arrival in Thailand (€ 30,00). Until 60 days: must be requested before departure at the Consulate of Thailand (€ 35,00). Until 6 months multi-entry: allows you to enter several times within 6 months from the date of issue and, at each entry, allows you to stay in Thailand for a maximum of 60 days (€ 175,00).

It is essential to take out travel insurance covering medical expenses, loss of luggage and / or documents, cancellation or reduction of the stay.

Obligation to international driving license and helmet for car or scooter rental.

How many days

  • Minimum travel time: at least 8 days
  • Recommended duration of the trip: at least 12 days

How to dress and what to bring

Comfortable, light and breathable clothes, preferably in cotton and natural fibers; light scarf for possible breezes, sweatshirt or sweater always at hand for any cool evening and interiors with maximum air conditioning. Beach equipment, sun hat, sunscreen and sunglasses. Equipment for snorkeling and repellent.
Some heavy clothes for the evening if you go to the north (eg Chiang Mai). Umbrella and k-way always and in any case.
Comfortable shoes that can be removed and put on easily, because on various occasions (temples, private homes, massage centers ...) it is normally required to take them off.

To see

A trip to this country generally consists of a tour, more or less long, to be associated with a sea ​​stay.

The first time you visit the country, at least 2 or 3 days are to be dedicated to Bangkok. Do not miss the Royal Palace where the venerated Emerald Buddha is kept, the War Arun, Wat Bo with the gigantic statue of the reclining Buddha; without forgetting the nightlife to spend in the colorful Chinatown and the lively Khao San Road, here's what to see in Bangkok in 3 days. Moving south, you can choose between places where you can enjoy a relaxing beach holiday depending on the period in which you stay.

If you are lucky enough to return a second time to the Land of Smiles, the advice is to deepen the historical-cultural knowledge of the country by exploring the northern regions: Chiang Mai where there are wonderful temples, Chiang Rai which hosts the immortalized Wat Rong Khun temple, Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of the kingdom of Siam and the historical park of Sukhothai, without forgetting the visit to some of the many villages of ethnic minorities.

  • If you are visiting the destination for the first time: Bangkok: Royal Palace, War Arun, Wat Bo, Chinatown, Kao San Road, south sea
  • If you are returning to the destination: Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Ayutthaya, Sukhothai

Getting around

La airline company flag efficiently covers the national territory (eg Bangkok-Chiang Mai from € 25,00 to € 110,00).

The whole territory is also connected by bus daily that offer services such as TV, water, snacks and wi-fi; those at night reclining and covered seats. Tickets can be purchased directly at the various bus stations or online (Bangkok-Chiang Mai € 30,00).

La railway line it offers a good service and has prices and times similar to those of the buses; its limit, however, is that it does not reach all the seaside resorts of the south.

Larger cities, such as Bangkok, are very busy and getting around metropolises is not always easy.
Very comfortable it is SkyTrain, the flyover (the cost of the ticket varies according to the route: from € 0,45 to € 1,70); the characteristics Tuk tuk and songthaew (vans) roam with agility everywhere and allow you to experience the thrill of an indigenous and fun experience (moving around Pukhet costs just over € 0,50).
Equipped with a taximeter, i taxi meter they are the perfect choice to travel comfortably and without bargaining.

It is possible to rent cars and, in the most touristic centers, even bikes and motorcycles.

What to book in advance

Il volo Intercontinental is certainly the first thing to book months in advance, especially if you plan to stay in high season and want to find rates that are, as far as possible, quite cheap.

Also to be booked in advance internal connections either by air or by train or bus.

To travel more peacefully and without worries, we recommend that you also book in advance Lodging, especially if you plan to visit the most famous and busy areas in high season.


There is a huge choice of hotel accommodations.
In any Thai location it is possible to find both high-level luxury structures equipped with every comfort, both simple and modest hotels and guest-houses, and even Spartan hostels for a few euros a night.

In Bangkok, most of the structures are luxury hotels often located on the upper floors of the most exclusive skyscrapers in the city, at incredible prices (€ 60,00).
However, there are also more modest solutions that cost as much as a low-level pension in Italy (€ 30,00).

The general rule is that hotels on the mainland are on average cheaper than those on the sea or on the islands, which can reach prices of several hundred euros per night. In Phuket, for example, there are luxury resorts (often with a private beach too), which cost a lot (€ 380,00!)

Advice to fully enjoy your holiday and get to know its culture up close, is opt for a good standard hotel, but without overdoing it.

  • Hotels and b & b in Bangkok from € 17,00 per room -
  • Hotel and b & b in Pukhet starting from € 23,00 per room -

Where to eat

There are tons of options for eating. From sidewalk kiosks to typical markets, to fast-food and European-style cafes and restaurants for all tastes: Italians, Indians, Argentines, Chinese, Brazilians, Mexicans etc ... The prices obviously change depending on the area in which you are located and the type of place.

Street food and markets are the cheapest option where it is possible to spend even a few cents. However, the hygiene factor must be considered.

Another economic alternative is the food court. On the top floor of each mall are food areas: a sort of self service very cheap with an eye to basic hygiene rules (dishes from € 0,80 to € 5,00).

I classic restaurants, both of Thai cuisine and of other nationalities, have slightly higher prices than the food courts, but still a little lower than European standards (€ 15,00). But the position does a lot; in the most touristic places, it is not uncommon to find prices almost like ours.

On the coast there are many seafood restaurants on the beach they cook the freshest catch of the day at ridiculous prices (eg lobster € 10,00).

How much

  • Cost of flights and travel: € 800,00 per return flight + internal transfers
  • Cost accomodation: solutions for backpaper € 12,00 - mediocre accommodations € 25,00 - very good hotels € 70,00 - luxury and extra luxury over € 300,00
  • Minimum daily budget for meals and attractions: considering a quick and frugal meal for lunch, a good meal in a restaurant for dinner and a couple of attractions for a fee, min € 35,00 per person

How to pay

The Thai currency is the Baht (฿ or THB): 1THB = € 0,028.

You pay for practically everything in cash; in fact there are numerous small clubs, markets, stalls and many "characteristic" points of the country that they require cash payments.

In Italy it is impossible to change Euros into Baht. The suggestion is to change as little as possible at the airport (maybe just enough to get to the city center or to your hotel) and instead make a more substantial change in the authorized Change Money.
SuperRich is the agency that gives the best exchange rate.

Alternatively it is possible withdraw money directly from an ATM. Keep in mind that, in addition to the charges applied by your bank, the branches provide for theapplication of a fixed fee to all withdrawals regardless of the amount withdrawn (150 or 200 baht equal to € 4,30 and 5,70). Before leaving, ask your bank for all the information to get a complete picture of the situation.

The credit card should be carried only as a spare. More than anything else they serve as a deposit for hotels, vehicle rentals or for purchases in shops considered luxury.


Episodes of theft, pickpocketing and petty crime are very common to the detriment of foreigners. Maximum attention in clubs for men only but also in the busiest pubs.
Do not accept drinks from strangers as they may contain sleeping pills, to rob you once you pass out.
Never follow Thai people who offer to be your guide or who want to take you to some place, they could be bad guys. The same goes for the girls who will try to approach you both inside and outside the most popular clubs. In most cases they are escorts or lady boys, but it is not certain that they are "red herrings" designed to rob you.

During the rainy season, situations of great inconvenience or emergency could occur.

We recommend pay particular attention to any alerts o indications that local authorities could issue following possible earthquakes in areas at risk of seismic or tsunami. Always follow the updates on the official website of the Farnesina.

Useful advice and rules of conduct

  1. Proper attire to visit the temples (no skimpy clothes, bare shoulders and shorts), take off your shoes and maintain a composed and respectful attitude.
  2. Don't touch people's heads, not even a child as a sign of affection. According to Buddhism, the head is the most sacred part of the body and the feet the most impure.
  3. Never sit down pointing your feet to a sacred image. In temples one sits cross-legged or "mermaid". The feet are the impure part of the body; never point them in the direction of a Thai or a Buddha statue.
  4. Don't use your left hand to eat or pass objects. The left is in fact used for the hygiene of the private parts.
  5. In a restaurant, if you are in a group it is customary to bring a single large plate to share among the guests, then everyone usually has their own plate of rice, which replaces our bread.
  6. Never speak ill of the Royal Family, even in a broad sense. These offenses are punished by law and the penalties are very severe. The same goes for offenses against religion.
  7. It is common practice to leave tip, equal to about 10% of the total for waiters, drivers, bellhops.
  8. Use the bargaining rule, except for supermarkets, bars, restaurants and shopping centers.
  9. Never raise your voice in public, do not make a scene and do not argue, neither between you nor with the Thais, because for the local culture the loss of self control and emotions is considered very serious.
  10. To greet don't hold out your hand like you do in Italy but the palms of the hands are joined (as if to pray) and makes a little bow with the head.
  11. Never give affection in public like kisses, caresses and so on. In Thailand it is considered very scandalous.
  12. From January 31 2018 smoking is prohibited on 24 beaches in Thailand, among the best known and popular with tourists. Violators will be punished with 1 year of imprisonment and / or a 100.000 Baht fine (€ 2.700).
  13. Travel / health insurance: recommended.

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