Home Visiting Thailand Preparing your trip to Thailand: the complete guide

Preparing your trip to Thailand: the complete guide

by Pierre To
18 minutes to read
Preparing your trip to Thailand: the complete guide

All the information you need to prepare your travel to Thailandand links to further discover the different facets of the land of smiles.


For entry formalities, see :
End of restrictions, Thailand fully reopened to tourism


Thailand in brief

  • Official name: Kingdom of Thailand
  • Location: South East Asia, 9412 km from Paris
  • Capital city : Bangkok
  • Religion : Theravada Buddhism
  • Thai flag :

The Thai flag

See the meaning of Flag of Thailand

  • Area: 513,115 km2
  • Highest point : Doi Inthanon 2,595 m
  • Population: 68,977,400 (2020)
  • Density: 134 inhabitants / Km2
  • Life expectancy: 75.1 years (2018)
  • Literacy rate: 98.1 % (2015)
  • Unemployment rate: 0.75 % (2020)
  • Main languages : ThaiChinese. International language: English
  • Currency : the Baht (THB).
  • Political system: constitutional monarchy.
  • Composition of the power : Rama X King of ThailandThere is a Prime Minister, a 360-member Chamber of Deputies elected for 4 years by direct universal suffrage and a 270-member Senate.
  • National Anthem: Phleng Chat Thai
  • Prime Minister : Prayuth Chan-ocha since 2014
  • GDP: USD 557 billion (2020)
  • GDP per capita: 8194 USD (2020)
  • Inflation rate: 0.9 % (2020)
  • Minimum wage: 331 THB / day (2020)
  • Growth: 2.8 % (2019)
  • Fertility rate: 1.52 (children per woman) (2018)
  • Lower mortality: 9% (2018)

Presentation of the country

Thailand is a Southeast Asian country that is much appreciated by travellers from all over the world for its delicious cuisine, its varied landscapes (seas, mountains, rice fields, plains, jungles...), its culture, its modern infrastructures and its welcoming population.

The country is prosperous and quite stable, as it has never been colonised and therefore has not had to endure wars of independence like most of its neighbours.

Its capital is Bangkok (Krung Thep in Thai), the official language is Thai and its currency is the Baht.

It is a country of rare beauty that does not leave one indifferent, it is difficult not to fall in love with one of its multiple facets.

This is the Land of Smilesof the Thai massageof the muay thaiBut also "mai pen rai", a magic phrase that means "it doesn't matter" or "it's not serious", to ease all the tensions, the little problems of life.

It is not surprising that after a first trip many visitors become addicted to the country.

National Children's Day in Thailand
Smiles
Thai massage, Nuad Bo Rarn
Massages
How Thai boxing is making a comeback in Thailand after the pandemic
Thai Boxing

What to see on a trip to Thailand

To help you make your choice, you can visit our guides:
What to see in Thailand, where to go, what to visit?

Islands In Thailand: Choose From The 5 Most Popular

8 Good Reasons To Visit Thailand

Where to go directly to :

Guides to the main cities and provinces

Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Ayutthaya, Sukhothai, Chiang Rai, Kanchanaburi, Pai, Phitsanulok, Khao Sok National Park, Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Khao Yai National Park, Erawan National Park, Hua Hin, Phatthalung, Chiang Saen

Guides to the main islands

Phuket, Koh Lanta, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan

Travel to Thailand advice before leaving

Health, insurance

The best thing to do is to consult your doctor and dentist before you leave, to have a check-up so that there are no surprises.

The Thai health care system is of good quality, you will find English speaking doctors in most hospitals.

You will also find a large number of pharmacies and almost the same medicines as in Western countries.

If you are in low budget mode without good insurance, go to public rather than private hospitals.

Ads

The fees in the private hospital chain "Bangkok Hospital" can be up to 10 times (or even much more) than a normal consultation.

It is advisable to take out insurance to cover medical expenses and repatriation before travelling.

If you buy your ticket with your credit card, you benefit from a minimum insurance, see our article :
Travel insurance: why a bank card is not enough

All our advice on : Health in Thailand

Formalities, passport, visa

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of your entry into Thailand.

If you are not staying longer than one month, you do not need a visa.

Alternatively, see our article : The different types of visas for Thailand

When to go to Thailand

Climate and weather

The best time to go is between November and March, which allows you to avoid both the rainy season and the scorching spring temperatures.

But it is also the high tourist season, which is logical.

To visit the northwestern mountains (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai...), it is better to opt for the warm season (from March to July), as it is cold in altitude.

It is best to avoid the North East and Central regions from March to May, as this is a very hot period with scorching temperatures!

It is also worth noting that during the warmer months there are always more pleasant temperatures on the many islands and beaches in the south of the country, with the wind and fresh sea air.

See our article :
When to go to Thailand?

Festivals and events

Festivals in Thailand

In addition to the weather, you can also plan your trip according to Thai holidays.

If you like water fights, don't miss the Thai New Year, Songkran.

The festival of lights or Loy Kratong is one of the most beautiful festivals in the country, where many spectacles are organised, such as beauty contests, lantern releases in the sky and decorated rafts in the rivers.

An event that usually takes place in November.

To keep up to date with festivals and celebrations see :
Important dates for public holidays in Thailand
And you can find a reminder of the parties and all the events per month here:
Calendar of festivals and other events in Thailand

Practical Information

Budget

Thai 1000 baht banknote

It is one of the cheapest countries in South East Asia, with better quality accommodation, transport and food at lower prices than its neighbours.

Life is cheaper in the north of the country, higher in the centre and south, especially in Bangkok, and prices can double on some of the tourist islands.

You will find comfortable accommodation from 200/400 baht depending on the region (see baht rate) and from 600 baht in Bangkok.

You can eat a good meal (plate) for less than 60 baht and feast or eat a foreign dish for 150/200 baht.

After that it will depend on the restaurant you choose, restaurants for tourists are more expensive.

See our article : Cost of living: prices in Thailand

Transport is plentiful, comfortable and cheap, for example, it will cost you about 600 baht to travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by bus (800 km).

You can book your plane, bus and boat tickets with our partner 12go.asia :

Powered by 12GB system

See also : Transport in Thailand, getting around in the land of smiles

Hosting

Anantara Siam

Anantara Siam Hotel in Bangkok

Thailand is one of the best equipped countries for accommodation, so you will not have any trouble finding clean and comfortable accommodation at a low price, or staying in palaces without being a millionaire!

There are places everywhere, but if you are travelling on a big holiday, you will have to parties or festivalsIt is best to book in advance.

You can compare the best hotel deals in Thailand with Booking.com

Food

Pad Thaï: the recipe for Thai fried noodles

Travelling in Thailand It is also an opportunity to discover one of the best cuisines in the world, if some dishes are too spicy for Western taste buds, many others will make you addicted to this healthy and refined cuisine.

See :

Recognise Thai dishes so that you can order them in restaurants

10 delicious Thai dishes not to be missed, what to eat in Thailand

And all our Thai recipes

Culture

Do's and don'ts in Thailand: the rules of politeness

Asian culture is very different from Western culture, so there are a few rules you should know before you travel.

The most important one is that you should never speak ill of the king or a member of the royal family, as this can land you in jail.

I advise you to read our article : Do's and don'ts in Thailand

Time difference, time in Thailand

In order to be on Thai time, you need to add 5 hours to the time in France in summer and 6 hours in winter.

When it is 12 noon in Paris, it is 5 p.m. (summer) or 6 p.m. (winter) in Bangkok.

Deviation from the Buddhist calendar

Add 543 years to your Gregorian calendar.

In 2016, Thailand reached the year 2559!

Electricity

Thailand uses 220 volts like France, but with American plugs.

You can sometimes use the sockets to plug in your appliances, but it is better to get an adapter (easily found on site).

See : Electrical outlets in Thailand, what is the voltage and do I need an adapter?

Post

Post offices are open Monday to Friday from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

All post offices have a parcel delivery service by land, sea or air. By sea, 3 months delay.

There are also many private post offices in major cities.

Telephone see :

Calling from or to Thailand
Mobile phone in Thailand
Telephone numbers for the provinces of Thailand

Map of Thailand

To quickly find all our maps of the country, provinces, cities and islands, see our article : Map Thailand

Map Thailand

Videos presenting the country

Two videos to quickly introduce the land of smileslandscapes, people, festivals, activities:

The Land of Smiles

The best activities in Thailand

Discover the different facets of the country

Through this site, I propose to show you some of the facets of the land of smiles:

Practical advice

Everything that can be useful before or during your trip to Thailand, such as :

A presentation of Thai culture

With local specialities such as :

Thai cuisine

And recipes for delicious dishes such as Pad Thai (fried noodles), the Tom Yam Koung (shrimp with lemongrass), the Tom Kha Kai (chicken with lemon coconut milk)...

Thai music

With its great artists like Carabao or Sek Loso whose clips you can find in the Thai music videos.

Personalities from Thailand

Characters to know such as the King Rama X from Thailand, Queen Mother Sirikit, the princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn

Nature in Thailand

To discover the wildlife and the tropical flora Thai

Videos on the land of smiles

To discover the Thai music, laugh

Pictures from Thailand

About the country, Thailand in the pasts, the portraits

Follow Thai news

All the latest news on the country is in the category News to keep abreast of the political, economic and social situation.

Questions about Thailand

To find answers to your Question on Thailand

Source: Wikipedia.org ; Wikitravel.org ; Photos: North West Thailand : hereisthailand ;

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