If this is your first trip to Thailand you
may want to spend a some time preparing for
your trip, after all you want this to be a
special memorable one. While it is
impossible to pinpoint the exact things a
traveler should prepare for, there are some
basic issues that should be considered.
Remember that a trip begins at the
preparation stage, and the better you
prepare the better and the more enjoyable the trip is
likely to be.
Budget: Since we all have different
spending habits this is a near impossible
question to answer. Some run up
bar bill others not so, some may have 2 or
more ladies per day others a few per week,
some chose to stay in an inexpensive guest
house where other prefer upscale hotels and
the list goes on.
To help budgeting try the
LOS Vacation Calculator.
Reservations: Flight reservations is
obviously a given. Here are a few websites to
search for airfares:
Upon departing for Thailand you should have
documentation for onward travel, according
to Thai regulations. It is rare that
immigration in Thailand asks for this, but
not uncommon for the airlines to enforce the
issue, however, the airlines are likely to
require it; see
FAQ. In high season, particularly at the
peak of that season, a hotel reservation
well in advance is highly recommended. Most
travelers, however, would never travel
without a reservation anyhow.
See also Selecting
Visitors holding passports from most Western
and most Asian countries are not required to
obtain a visa in advance when traveling to
Thailand if the stay is 30 days or less when
arriving via air or 15 days if arriving overland (overland for passport holders of a G7
country is 30 days). Tourist visas for stays up to 60 days
(extendable for up tor 30 days) may be applied for at any Thai embassy or
consulate. Multiple Entry Tourist Visas can
afford nearly 270 days of stay when
maximized correctly ... see
Visa FAQ section.
Overstaying the allowed time in Thailand
will result in a fine and possible delays
obtaining future visas and future entries.
Being caught in Thailand with an expired
privilege may result in arrest, detention
and deportation. Depending on the
circumstances an overstay may result in
being bared from reentry for years.
Thai Visa Frequent
Asked Questions and Options.
Embassies and Consulates by Country.
: You will need a current and valid passport
with at least 6 month remaining before
expiry each time you enter Thailand. Yes, even if
your stay is only 30 days that is the rule.
Take a quality copy of the main personal
information pages of your passport.
Technically, you are required to carry your
passport at all times, however, most people
do not and here is a good alternative. When
you enter Thailand you will have an
card stapled in your passport along with the
entry stamp, take a copy of the picture
page, the departure card as well
as the page with the stamp after arriving
and keep the copies with you. This are most
often accepted by the Thai police and most hotels
in Pattaya as valid documentation. Remember,
losing your passport will involve a great
hassle and may damage your holiday. Keep the
passport in a secure place while in
Thailand, for example in a hotel room safe
or lobby safe.
Money: Exchange your money in Thailand.
To get cash in Thailand, you may use an ATM
when you can (fewer and larger withdrawals
are better than many small ones as a per
usually applies), make sure your daily
withdrawal limit is sufficiently high and
inform your bank that you will be using your
card in Thailand (or they may bar it). As an
alternative bring travelers checks. Remember
there are limits as to the amount of cash
and negotiable instruments you may be in
possession of when entering and leaving
Thailand (as well as your own country). When
arriving in Thailand the max amount is US$
20,000 or its equivalent; when departing the
aggregate is the same, but the max amount in
Thai baht is 50.000 (unless traveling to a
neighboring country or Vietnam then it is
500,000 baht). More details here:
For addition information on money matters in
Thailand please see the
Vaccinations: In most cases
vaccinations are not absolutely necessary
for visiting Thailand, especially the
tourist areas. Tetanus and Hepatitis A are a simple vaccines
and is highly recommended for all travel to
Asia in general. Also worth considering is
Hepatitis B vaccines. The risk factor of
contacting tetanus and hepatitis in Thailand
some would recommend even additional
vaccinations. For complete details consult
with your physician. The Center for Disease
Control has a complete list of recommended
CDC - Health Information for Travelers to
you take prescription medicine and travel
for an extended period make sure to consult
your doctor so to bring enough for the trip
and some for unforeseen delays. If you travel through a
middle east country you may want to check
for with your carrier as some drugs may be
illegal - even if you only transit. Always
pack essential medicines in your carry-on.
Over the counter medicine is readily
available in Thailand, but it may be easier
to bring it from home.
Packing: One big advice is Pack Light.
Laundry is cheap in Thailand and so is buying a
bit of extra clothes. Do make sure to pack
your personal essentials, such as
prescription medicines in
If you do a good job at packing you may be
able to carry all on board and not having to
wait for luggage at the designation.
Identifying your bags
Many bags looks alike and BKK airport has
nearly 150,000 arriving passengers each
and every day. Tying a simple colored (or
two) bow or yarn around each handle may save
you a lot of confusion and hassle. Also make
sure to leave contact information inside the
bag, including the hotel information of you
destination; any mix-up can be rectified
quickly that way.
Condoms: If you plan on a lot of
adult entertainment you may want to
bring condoms from home. You certainly can
buy them in Thailand, but many types will be
the wrong size (look for Durex Comfort as a
good choice for Westerners). buying condoms
at home (Internet) in bulk is generally much
less expensive than purchasing them in
Mobile Phone: You may want to get an
extra cell phone so that you can purchase a
local SIM card and phone number in Thailand.
The phone has to be unlocked; note that
getting phones unlocked in Thailand is
pretty cheap and so is buying a used or no
frills phone. The phone has to work on the
GSM-900 and GSM-1800 bands (same as
Australia, Europe, Africa, most of Asia and
some of Latin/South America). If you come
from North America and some countries in
Latin/South America you should have a
quad-band phone. SIM cards are available
everywhere in Thailand, even in 7-Elleven
shops, and the cost may be less than 100
baht providing enough air time for an
average holiday. Thai phone refill cards are
sold in denominations from 50 to 300 baht a
Notifications: It is always good
general practice to alert someone to your
approximate whereabouts and ways that you
can be contacted while on holiday. If you
are concerned about emergencies you may also
contact the embassy of your country in
Thailand and report your stay.
Health insurance: Minor treatments
and medication in Thailand can as well be
paid in cash as it is very cheap. Be aware,
however, that your health coverage from home
(social security or otherwise) may not be
valid in Thailand. Travel Health Insurance
can be relatively inexpensive. Many credit
card companies also offer cheap but
effective travelerís insurance policies.
Electrical Appliances: If you plan to
bring electrical appliances make sure they
will operate at ~220VAC, also be mindful
that the mains connectors in Thailand may
not match yours, however, adapters are cheap
in Thailand and can be bought at most home
appliance stores. Both American style
outlets and Continental European styles are
used and most hotels offer combination
sockets. Be careful, however, with voltage
converters as some of the cheaper models
operate on a light dimmer principle and can
do serious damage to sophisticated power
supplies and devices.
One more note. Grounding is not present in
older hotels, so a ground-defeater plug
(sounds safe) may be required. Also, if you
have sensitive electronic equipment a surge
protector may be advisable.
GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupters) are
rare, refrain from using appliances near
water such as in the bathroom.
Jetlag: Jetlag is covered in the
however, as a part of the preparation for
the journey you may want to adjust your
sleep cycle to be closer to that of Thai
time, also be careful to avoid dehydration
by control of your fluid intake, prepare any
medication you need on the way, and etc.