Night markets are one of the specialties of Thailand which exist in almost every town of the country. Visit one to pick up souvenirs, handicrafts, and other items that are otherwise not found in high-end malls and big stores.
Mesmerizing tropical beaches, gleaming sacred spaces with golden statues of the Buddha, a unique culinary culture, an extremely happening nightlife, and the ever-comforting Thai smile―Thailand just makes for a perfect holiday destination. Officially known as the Kingdom of Thailand, this Southeast Asian country is located right at the center of the Indochina peninsula, and its economy relies heavily on tourism.
Therefore, it is definitely not surprising that the country features some of the best maintained tourist spots in Southeast Asia. Offering state-of-the-art tourist infrastructure and comfortable living to the core, alongside several luxurious budget options, Thailand is undoubtedly, a country worth visiting. We bet that you will return satisfied, but will keep craving for some more of the exotic experience.
Planning a Thai Vacation
If Thailand is where you are headed to this vacation, Vacayholics brings you this rough guide to help you plan your trip and ensure your holiday is a roaring success.
Best Time to Visit
- Thailand is most crowded between the months of November and late March, simply because it rains the least during this time, and the weather isn't very hot. Moreover, many of the Thai festivals, such as Loi Krathong, are held during this time. Owing to this, airfares and accommodation prices are sky-high during this period, and there are very few, if any, chances of finding last-minute bargains.
- On the other hand, Thailand's least crowded months are April, May, June, September, and October. These are the months when it rains in the country; however, the climate tends to be pleasant. This is the best time to visit Thailand if you want to avoid heavy crowds. Traveling during these months also means discounted room rates and better bargains on airfares.
Tip: Unless you want to travel during the high season, it is a good idea to be a little flexible with your travel dates. This will help you get some really great bargains.
Are Visas Required?
- Citizens of as many as 41 different countries are allowed to enter Thailand without a visa. These include visitors from Australia, New Zealand, the US, and most of Europe.
- Nationals of countries that enjoy exemption from a prearranged visa are issued a free 30-day visa if they arrive by air, and a 15-day visa if they arrive via a land border.
- If you wish to extend your stay beyond the stipulated period granted by a visa, you will have to apply for a 60-day tourist visa from your nearest Thai embassy before arriving in the country.
- Visa extensions while in Thailand are possible at the discretion of the Thai immigration officers. For arranging these, you should get in touch with the immigration office that is nearest to your in-country address.
- Note: For information regarding immigration and visa issues, visit the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or consult your nearest Thai embassy.
Note: While overstaying the visa for one day is allowed in Thailand, you will have to pay a fine of 500 Baht for every subsequent day, with a limit of 20,000 Baht.
- Thailand is an inexpensive destination, so even if you are on a meager budget, you can rest assured that you will be able to spend a comfortable holiday in this country.
- If you are outside Bangkok, you can afford a good stay at a cozy guest house, nice meals, and local transport at about 600 to 700 Baht, which is roughly about USD 20 to 25 per day.
- Moreover, if you also include drinks, tours and activities, and private transport, your expenses will mount to about 1500 Baht per day, which is approximately USD 45 to 50.
- Bangkok being the capital city is a little pricier than other provinces. However, it is still an affordable bargain by American and European standards.
- Shopping can be entertaining in Thailand as different stores may have different prices for the same item. So, it is advisable to check with a couple of stores and compare prices. Moreover, you can bargain big time in the Thai market, and many times, you buy an item at 40% the quoted price.
Tip: If you make a purchase of 5,000 Baht or more in a day, make sure that you ask the seller to fill in a tax refund form for you. Get this stamped by the customs while leaving Thailand, and you can get your taxed money back after displaying the stamped form at the passport check point on the airport.
Vaccinations and Travel Insurance
- Before you travel to Thailand, it is vital that you take all the routine vaccination shots―measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR); diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTP), chickenpox, polio, and a yearly shot for influenza―as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Apart from these, you will also need to be updated on certain vaccines, which all travelers to Thailand are required to take. For more information about the immunizations required for traveling to Thailand, visit CDC's official website.
- It is also important that you buy an appropriate travel insurance before traveling anywhere internationally, and Thailand is no exception. While covering all the health-related contingencies should be the main consideration, things like loss of baggage, cancellation of journey, and so on, should also be regarded.
Tip: Do not forget to carry documented proof of your immunization shots as well as your travel insurance documents. In case of an emergency, you will be required to produce these.
- Carry casual clothing, swimsuits, and an umbrella or raincoat (in case of rains). Do not pack too many clothes as they are pretty cheap in Thailand, and you can easily buy a pair whenever needed.
- Pack dresses/clothes that are long enough to cover your knees as you will need them while visiting temples and pagodas.
- If you are on any special medication, ensure that you have packed all your medication, along with your doctor's prescription. Also, it is advisable that you know the generic name of your medication, in case you need to buy it in Thailand.
- In the end, make sure that you have packed all your travel documents―passports, visas, insurance papers, travel tickets, etc.―to ensure a hassle-free journey.
Other Important Tips
- Avoid buying antiques and jewelry from street shops. In case you wish to do so, buy from large stores or malls; the stuff is always reliable.
- The Thais don't like public displays of affection and so, refrain from them, especially in public places.
- In Thai culture, the soles of the feet are considered to be the dirtiest part of the body and head the purest. So, avoid offending someone by pointing your foot towards a person or object, and/or touching a person's head.
- Do not climb on the Buddha statues to click pictures. This may hurt local religious sentiments.
- Lastly, do not pass a remark or do something that may offend the King and Queen of Thailand. They are highly respected in the country, and you may invite some serious trouble by doing so.
So, whether you are on a budget or not, Thailand can offer you an extremely fulfilling holiday. It is one of those handful of destinations which never cease to entertain tourists, come what may.