All the information you need to prepare your trip to Thailand, as well as links to go further in discovering the different facets of the land of smiles.
Thailand in brief
- Situation: Southeast Asia
- Capital: Bangkok
- Religion: theravâda Buddhism
- Surface area: 513 115 km2
- Culmination point: Doi Inthanon 2,595 m
- Population: 67,740,000 inhabitants (2014)
- Density: 123 inhabit / Km2 (2014)
- Life expectancy: Man 71 – Woman 77.5 years (2014)
- Literacy rates: 94.1% (2011)
- Unemployment rate: 0.75% (2012)
- Major languages: Thai, Chinese. International language: English
- Money: Baht (THB).
- Political regime: constitutional monarchy.
- Composition of power: Rama X king of Thailand, a Prime Minister, a Chamber of Deputies composed of 360 members elected for four years by direct universal suffrage and a Senate of 270 members.
- National anthem: Phleng Chat Thaï
- Prime Minister: Prayuth Chan-Ocha since 2014
- GDP: USD 401 billion (2013)
- PIB/inhabitant. : 5879 USD (2013 )
- Inflation rates: 2.2% (2013, DG Treasury)
- Government deficit: 2.2% (2012, World Bank)
- SMIC: 300 THB / day since 01/01/2013
- Growth: 2.9% (2013)
- Fertility rate: 1.5 (children per woman) (2013)
- Inferior death: 9.86 per thousand births (2014)
- Army: about 306,000 active and 200,000 reservists
- Computers: 5.8 per 100 inhabitants
- Telephone lines: 9.1 per 100 inhabitants
- Internet users: 26.5 per 100 inhabitants
- Access to electricity: 99.3% of the population
Thailand is a Southeast Asian country highly appreciated by travelers from all over the world for its delicious cuisine, its diverse landscapes (seas, mountains, rice fields, plains, jungles…), its culture, its modern infrastructures, and its welcoming population.
The country is prosperous and relatively stable because she has never been colonized and has therefore not had to suffer wars of independence like most of its neighbors.
Its capital is Bangkok (Krung Thep in Thai), the official language is Thai, and its currency is Baht.
It is a country of rare beauty that does not leave anyone indifferent; it is difficult not to fall in love with one of these many facets.
It is the country of Smiles, the Thai massage, the muay thaï, but also the “Mai pen rai,” a magic phrase that means “it doesn’t matter” or “it’s not serious,” to ease all the tensions, the small problems of life.
It is not surprising that after a first trip a large number of visitors fall in love with the country.
Travel to Thailand: some advice
The best thing is always to consult your doctor and dentist before taking a trip, do a little check-up so as not to have any surprises.
The Thai health system is of good quality; you will find doctors who speak English in most hospitals.
You will also find a large number of pharmacies and practically the same medicines as in Western countries.
If you are in a low budget mode, without good insurance, go to the public rather than private hospitals.
Rates in the private hospital-like “Bangkok Hospital” can be up to 10 times higher (or even much higher) than a regular consultation.
It is advisable to take out an insurance company covering medical repatriation costs before travel to Thailand.
If you buy your flight ticket with your credit card, you benefit from a minimum insurance policy.
Formality, passport, Visa
Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of your entry into Thailand.
For some countries, if you do not stay for more than one month, you do not need a visa.
Warning when you arrive at the airport in Thailand
You are only allowed 200 cigarettes (ask the sellers for confirmation).
And you are not allowed to bring back, or use electronic cigarettes, even if they are well hidden and dismantled in your bag; you can get caught.
The Best Time to Visit Thailand
Climate and weather
The best time to go to Thailand is between November and March; this avoids both the rainy season and the hot spring temperatures.
But it is also the high tourist season, which is logical.
To visit the mountains of the Northwest (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai…), it is better to choose the hot season (from March to July), because it is cold in altitude.
It is better to avoid the Northeast and Central from March to May because it is a very hot period with hot temperatures!
It should also be noted that during the hot season, there are always more pleasant temperatures on the many islands and beaches in the south of the country, with the wind and good sea air.
See our article:
A Seasonal Guide to the Best Time to Visit Thailand?
Festivals and celebrations
In addition to the weather, you can also organize your trip according to the Thai holidays.
If you like water battles, don’t miss the Thai New Year, Songkran.
The Festival of Loy Kratong is one of the most beautiful festivals in the country, during which many shows are organized, such as beauty contests, lantern drops into the sky, and rafting decorated in the waterways.
An event that usually takes place in November.
For information on festivals and holiday, see:
Festival and holidays in Thailand, important dates in 2019/2020
Thailand: practical information
Thailand is one of the cheapest countries in Southeast Asia, accommodation, transport, and food are of better quality and at lower prices than in neighboring countries.
Life is cheaper in the north of the country, higher in the center and south, especially in Bangkok, and prices can double on some very touristy islands.
You will find comfortable accommodation from 200/400 baht depending on the region and from 600 baht in Bangkok.
You can eat a good meal (plate) for less than 60 baht and have a feast or eat a foreign dish for 150/250 baht.
After that, of course, it depends on the restaurant you choose, restaurants for tourists are more expensive.
See our article: Cost of living: prices in Thailand
Transportation is numerous, comfortable, and economical; for example, it will cost you about 600 baht to travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by bus (800km).
You can book your plane, bus, boat tickets with our partner 12go.asia :
Thailand is one of the best-equipped countries for housing; you will have no trouble finding clean and comfortable accommodation at low prices and stay in magnificent luxury hotels without having to be a millionaire!
There are places everywhere, but if you travel during big festivals, it is better to book in advance.
You will find the best quality/price ratio by comparing offers from the main booking sites via our partner Skyscanner.
Traveling to Thailand is also an opportunity to discover one of the best cuisines in the world if some dishes are too spicy for the Western taste buds, many others will add to this healthy and refined cuisine.
Asian culture is very different from Western culture; there are a few rules that are best known before traveling to Thailand.
The most important thing is that you should never speak ill of the king or a member of the royal family, so this can lead you to jail.
I advise you to read our article: Do’s and don’ts in Thailand
Time in Thailand
Displacement from the Buddhist calendar
Add 543 years to your Gregorian calendar.
In 2016 Thailand went to the year 2559!
Thailand uses 220 Volt as in France but with American plugs.
You can sometimes use the plugs to connect your devices, but it is better to get an adapter (easily available on site).
Post offices are open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, and Saturday from 9 am to 12 pm.
All post offices have a parcel delivery service by land, sea, or air. By sea, delay of 3 months.
There are also many private post offices in major cities.
What to see during a trip to Thailand
This part has been moved to:
What to see in Thailand, where to go, what to visit?
Map of Thailand
To quickly find all our maps of the country, provinces, cities, and islands, see our article: Thailand map
Country presentation videos
Two videos to promptly present the Land of Smiles, the landscapes, the populations, the festivals, the activities :
The Land of Smiles
The best activities in Thailand
Discover the different facets of Thailand
I suggest you through this site to discover some aspects of the country:
Anything that can be useful to you before or during your Travel to Thailand, such as :
- knowledge use toilets without toilet paper,
- learning to meditate or
- discover a natural method to treat dengue and Zika.
A presentation of Thai culture
With the country’s specialties such as :
- Thai massage,
- Muay Thai and its techniques with illustrations,
- Essential information such as Do’s and Don’ts in Thailand during travel in Thailand,
- Ways of greeting, Wai…
To discover the fauna and the tropical flora in Thailand: Nature
To discover in pictures the country, the inhabitants, the landscapes: Picture of Thailand