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  • July 17, 2018
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Thailand Travel Essentials

Thailand travel is convenient for visitors as there are many ways to get to Thailand and even more ways to travel in Thailand, whether your destination is Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, or the most remote provinces.

Airports

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Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thailand’s premier international air travel gateway and a regional center for aviation, links all aspects of air travel and transport. It also supports the country’s travel and tourism development, as befits its auspicious name, “Suvarnabhumi.” The name, which means “Golden Land”, was bestowed upon it by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

International Travel

Air

With Bangkok serving as the international travel hub of SE Asia, the capital serves as the landing port for numerous international airlines, most with direct flights from their destinations. Some chartered and regional flights may land at one of the other international airports within Thailand, consisting of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Hat Yai, Phuket, and Ubon Ratchatani. The country’s national airline is Thai Airways.

Airports

Suvarnabhumi International Airport
Phuket International Airport
Bangkok International Airport
Hat Yai International Airport
Chiang Rai International Airport
Chiang Mai International Airport

Best Time to Travel

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Thailand's monsoons arrive around July and last into November (the 'rainy season'). They can be uncomfortably, unpredictably sticky. This is followed by a dry, cool period from November to mid-February, followed by much higher relative temperatures from March to June.

By far the best time to visit is from February to March when the weather is kind and the beaches are at their finest.

The peak seasons are August, November, December, February and March, with secondary peak months in January and July.

If your main objective is to avoid crowds and to take advantage of discounted rooms and low-season rates, you should consider traveling during the least crowded months (April, May, June, September and October).

On the other hand it's not difficult to leave the crowds behind, even during peak months, if you simply avoid some of the most popular destinations (e.g., Chiang Mai, islands and beaches). This is also the prime time for diving in terms of visibility and accessibility.

Clothing

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Dress code is also important. Thais like to dress smartly and neatly. Do not wear revealing clothing such as shorts, low cut dresses, bathing suits as they are considered as improper attire in Thailand. Keep in mind that this type of clothing is only acceptable in the beach. It is advisable to wear long skirts or long trousers when entering a temple.

Currency

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The currency of Thailand is the baht.

Currency Notes

Paper baht comes in denominations of 10 (brown), 20 (green), 50 (blue), 100 (red), 500 (purple) and 1000 (beige).

Currency Coins

There are 100 satang in one baht; coins include 25-satang and 50-satang pieces and baht in denominations of 1, 2, 5 and 10.

Language

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The main language spoken in Thailand is Thai.

Different parts of Thailand have different dialects and different ways of speaking, so it can be quite difficult to understand Thai speakers from another part of the country.

Hill tribes and other ethnic groups have their own languages, for instance there are villages of Chinese settlers in Thailand where little Thai is spoken, or on the islands where sea gypsies have settled.

Medical

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Medical Services

All tourism destinations and provincial capitals have hospitals and clinics staffed by well-trained doctors and nurse. In the case of an emergency, an ambulance can be summoned from any private hospital.

Hospitals in Thailand

For the past few years Bangkok, Thailand has become the center for medical tourists from all around the world. Thailand has caught up with the advancements of medical science in the west and at the same time maintained, a higher service standard and considerably lower prices.

Bangkok being the capital of Thailand boasts the most and some of the best hospitals in the country. However many larger chain hospitals have opened hospitals in major cities such Pattaya, Koh Samui, Phuket, and Chiang Mai.

Vaccinations

As in most other countries, visitors do not require vaccinations unless coming from or passing through a designated contaminated area.

Transportation

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Transport in Thailand is extremely well-organized and makes the whole stay in Thailand comfortable and easy. The air, rail, bus, road and water transport is very competent. The different islands and cities are connected to each other and the tourists can easily move about the country. Bookings and reservations should be done preferably in advance to avoid the rush at the last minute.

Thailand operates a good, cheap and safe transport system. From the main hub in Bangkok, all the major tourist destinations are accessible by either, Bus, Train, Boat, or National and International Airlines.

Bus Terminals

Ekkamai Station

Eastern Thailand-To get there take the BTS (sky train) and get down at Ekkamai Station on Sukhumvit Road.

Morchit Station

Central, Northeast & Northern Thailand- To get there take the BTS (sky train) and get down at Morchit Station (terminal station). Then you can take a motorbike taxi for about 50 baht to reach the bus station.

Sai Tai Mai Station

Southern Thailand- To get there you can take bus number 511 from Sukhumvit Road or the Constitutional Monument.

Train Schedule

Check schedule for northern, southern, eastern and northeastern lines.

Visa Info

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U.S. and Canadian citizens carrying a valid passport and in possession of an onward or return airline ticket do not require a visa to enter Thailand. The passport must have at least six months validity remaining to be allowed entry. Upon entry, Thai immigration officials will place an immigration stamp in the passport permitting a 30-day stay in Thailand if arriving by air or a 15-day stay if arriving by land. This time limit may subsequently be extended or may be extended in advance by visiting a Thai consulate.

Weather

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Thailand can best be described as tropical and humid for the majority of the country during most of the year. The area of Thailand north of Bangkok has a climate determined by three seasons while the southern peninsular region of Thailand has only two.

In northern Thailand the seasons are clearly defined. Between November and May the weather is mostly dry, however this is broken up into the periods November to February and March to May. The later of these two periods has the higher relative temperatures as although the northeast monsoon does not directly affect the northern area of Thailand, it does cause cooling breezes from November to February.

The other northern season is from May to November and is dominated by the southwest monsoon, during which time rainfall in the north is at its heaviest.

The southern region of Thailand really has only two seasons -- the wet and the dry. These seasons do not run at the same time on both the east and west side of the peninsular. On the west coast the southwest monsoon brings rain and often heavy storms from April through to October, while on the east coast the most rain falls between September and December.

Overall the southern parts of Thailand get by far the most rain with around 2,400 millimeters every year, compared with the central and northern regions of Thailand, both of which get around 1,400 millimeters.