Thailand Travel Guide
Known as the land of smiles it won’t take very long to realize why. The people are as friendly and warm as the temps here. Ornate temples and beaches with towering cliffs and waters as blue and green as you’ve ever seen before are almost taken for granted after a while as there is such an abundance of beauty everywhere. The sharp flavors of Thai food with a spicy kick go so deep they touch your soul. Learn to give up order and time and let go of control as you step into this beautifully chaotic country. I called this place home for 6 months and while my relationship with it is a little complicated, I am forever grateful for how much it taught me.
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Best time to travel Thailand
Cool Season: November – February is generally regarded as the best time to visit, but because of this it is also the high season with the largest influx of tourists which bring higher prices as well.
Hot Season: March – June brings fewer crowds but in my opinion is unbearably hot (it’s worth noting I am also uncomfortably hot in “cool season” though). Songkran (Buddhist New Year) falls in mid April, though, and is one of the most fun festivals you’ll ever attend.
Rainy Season: Mid june – Mid October
Burning season (Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand): January – March – extremely poor air quality and not recommended to go to that part of Thailand
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As of July 1, 2020 Thailand has partially re-opened borders but not for tourism. Arrivals will be required to pay for their test upon arrival (around ฿3,000 or $95 USD) that would allow the bypassing of a 14 day quarantine.
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Official currency: ฿ Thai Baht
Budget: $25-$35 USD (฿800 – ฿1000) per day for the budget traveler. The islands are a bit more expensive, though. A large Leo or Chang (beer) from 7-Eleven will run you around ฿80 and expect to pay 200-300 baht per night in a hostel dorm. Make sure to stay away from touristy food, the best Thai food will be at a hole-in-the-wall joint and generally cost less than ฿70 – ฿100 where the same dish would cost you ฿300 at a tourist spot.
Credit cards: The places to eat mentioned above will usually only accept cash. Hotels and hostels as well as many bars and large restaurants take cards no problem. Make sure to check foreign transaction fees as well as ATM fees for your card and your bank and never exchange money at the airport.
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Where to go
Suggested itineraries for traveling Thailand
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Argentina, Brazil, S. Korea, Brazil, Peru and Chile can enter Thailand for 90 days visa free.
Hong Kong, Laos, Macao, Mongola, Russia and Vietnam have a 30 day visa waiver
51 nations have a 30 day exemption including many European countries, Aus and NZ, US and Canada, Japan and a handful of Asian and African nations.
**Always check with your government for the most up to date information on visa requirements.**
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**Recommendations are given assuming you are up to date on routine vaccinations. Always check with your government for the most accurate and up to date information on required vaccinations for Thailand travel specific to your country**
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Exercise Normal Precautions
**Always check with your government for the most accurate and up to date information on safety**
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Know before you go so you can be the most respectful and responsible visitor possible
Things to keep in mind when traveling Thailand:
- ELEPHANT RIDING- Under no circumstances ride elephants. Elephants are some of the most intelligent creatures on this planet. Because of both their size and intelligence they have been used for labor as well as entertainment. To train then, they are beaten into submission using a variety of tactics and their spirits are broken down until they are left a shell of their former selves. Used in logging and performing for the entertainment of humans the truth behind all elephant tourism is devastating. There are several responsible places that rescue and care for these gentle giants where you can still touch them and interact with them as well as become more educated about the industry as a whole. Make sure to research before you go. I have left resources throughout my various pages on Thailand of responsible sanctuaries.
- Tiger selfies- Have we learned nothing from Tiger King? Taking selfies with full grown tigers means they are drugged out of their minds. No matter what they tell you.
- Long neck tribes- Not all traditions are good ones. I think we can all agree feet binding and genital mutilation are not great. This would also fall into that category. The reason it is still practiced today is solely for tourists. You can support villages in other ways but to go gawking at other humans like they’re in a zoo and to encourage the continued practice of this tradition is very much inadvisable.
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Official Languages: Thai
Plugs: Plug A (Commonly associated with the Americas) which is two pronged. You’ll still need something for three prongs, such as laptops. Europe, UK, and Aus plugs will need an adapter, although occasionally you’ll see type C which is the two pronged European outlet.