Phra Nang Beach, Krabi, Thailand
Phra Nang Beach, Krabi, Thailand

Phra Nang Beach, Krabi

The cave, on the east side of the Railay Bay is famous for its wonderful stalactites and stalagmites.
Photo by Sumit Chinchane

THAILAND

Asia

Thailand Travel Information

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Key facts

Capital:

Bangkok

Location:

Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, southeast of Burma

Currency:

Thai baht (THB)

Area:

513,120 sq km

Population:

69,480,520 (July 2021 est.)

Languages:

Thai (official) only 90.7%, Thai and other languages 6.4%, only other languages 2.9% (includes Malay, Burmese); note - data represent population by language(s) spoken at home; English is a secondary language of the elite (2010 est.)

Religion:

Buddhist 94.6%, Muslim 4.3%, Christian 1%, other <0.1%, none <0.1% (2015 est.)

TimeZone:

UTC+7

Tel Code:

+66

Weather

Thailand has a tropical monsoon climate, with three main seasons: the hot season, the rainy season, and the cool season. The best time to visit Thailand depends on what kind of weather and activities you prefer.

Cool Season (November to February)

The cool season is the best time to visit Thailand for comfortable weather and clear skies. The temperatures are mild and it's the most pleasant time to visit the country, making it ideal for sightseeing, outdoor activities, and visiting historical sites.

Hot Season (March to May)

The hot season is when temperatures in Thailand can reach up to 40°C (104°F) and it can be quite uncomfortable for outdoor activities. However, it can be a good time to visit the beaches and islands, as well as some of the more popular tourist destinations, as it's not as crowded as the peak tourist season.

Rainy Season (June to October)

The rainy season is the time when Thailand receives the most rainfall. It can be heavy at times, and it can make traveling by road difficult. The humidity can be high and make it uncomfortable for sightseeing. However, the rain can also bring a lush green landscape and the rice fields are a beautiful sight. It also can be a good time to visit as it is less crowded and the prices are lower.

Overall, the best time to visit Thailand depends on your preferences. If you prefer mild weather, clear skies and comfortable weather for sightseeing, the cool season is the best time to visit. If you don't mind the heat, and you want to avoid the crowds, the hot and rainy seasons can also be a good time to visit. Keep in mind that the weather can be unpredictable and it's always a good idea to check the forecast before you go.

Transportation

There are lots of transportation options in Thailand, they tend to differ by region and size of city.

Plane

Thailand has a well-developed airline industry, with multiple airports and frequent flights to various domestic and international destinations. it is the most convenient way to travel around the country, especially when traveling long distances or to remote areas.

Train

Thailand's railway system connects major cities and towns in the country, it is a comfortable and scenic way to travel. However, the train network doesn't cover all the destinations.

Bus

Buses are widely available in Thailand and are a popular and affordable way to travel between cities and towns. They offer regular service and are available for both short and long-distance travel.

Minivan

Minivans are also a popular option for traveling between cities and towns in Thailand. They are typically more comfortable than buses and offer a more direct route, but they can also be more expensive.

Songthaew

A Songthaew is a pick-up truck with bench seating in the back and it is a common way of getting around in smaller towns and rural areas in Thailand. They are usually shared with other passengers, and you can flag one down on the side of the road.

Motorbike Taxi

Motorbike taxi is a common way of getting around in the cities of Thailand, it's an affordable way to get around, but make sure to wear a helmet and negotiate the fare before starting the trip.

Tuk-Tuk

Tuk-tuks are a popular and unique way to get around in Thailand. They are a type of motorized rickshaw that can be found in most cities and towns. They are a fun and affordable way to get around, but make sure to negotiate the fare before starting the trip.

Bicycle

Bicycles can be rented in many places and it's a good way to explore the countryside and small towns at a more leisurely pace.

Mobile Apps

The Grab App is the most popular mobile app, especially in large urban centres. With Grab you can order anything from cars to motorbikes as well as food, deliveries and more.

Overall, Thailand offers a variety of transportation options including planes, trains, buses, minivans, songthaews, motorbike taxi, tuk-tuks, and bicycles. The best option for you will depend on your destination, budget, and personal preferences. It's always a good idea to research and compare the different options before making a decision.

Accommodation

Thailand offers a variety of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. Here are some of the main options:

Hotels

Hotels are one of the most popular options for accommodation in Thailand. They can range from luxury resorts to budget-friendly options and are widely available in major cities and tourist destinations. Many hotels offer amenities such as private bathrooms, air conditioning, and room service.

Guesthouses

Guesthouses are a popular budget-friendly option for accommodation in Thailand. They are typically small, family-run establishments that offer basic rooms with shared bathrooms. They can be a great way to experience local culture and are a good option for budget travelers.

Hostels

Hostels are also a budget-friendly option that can be found in most major cities and towns in Thailand. They offer dormitory-style accommodation and shared facilities such as bathrooms and kitchens. They are a great option for backpackers and budget travelers.

Resorts

Resorts are also a popular option for accommodation in Thailand, particularly for those looking for luxury and relaxation. Many resorts offer amenities such as private beaches, swimming pools, and spa services. They are mainly found on the coast, and on the islands of Thailand.

Vacation Rentals

Vacation rentals such as apartments, houses, and villas, are becoming a popular option in Thailand, especially for families and groups of travelers. They offer more space, privacy, and amenities than hotels, and can be a cost-effective option for longer stays.

Home Stays

Home stays are a unique and authentic option for accommodation in Thailand. They allow visitors to stay in the home of a local family and experience Thai culture firsthand. They can be found in rural areas and are a great way to support local communities.

Overall, Thailand offers a variety of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. Whether you prefer the luxury of a resort, the authenticity of a home stay, or the budget-friendly option of a guesthouse or hostel, you'll be able to find something that suits your needs.

Money

Money Tips for Travel

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to avoid any potential issues with international transactions.
  • Bring a mix of cash, credit, and debit cards--and possibly a travel money card.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.
  • Make sure to have a backup option for accessing money in case your primary method doesn't work.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • NEVER accept currency conversion at ATMs! Always get your home bank to convert at much better rates.
  • Think about getting a Wise or other travel debit card; these can provide much better rates and some free ATM withdrawals.

ATM and Credit Cards

  • Research the availability of ATMs and credit card acceptance at your destination before you depart.
  • Keep your ATM card in a safe place and be mindful of your surroundings when using it.
  • Try to stick to using ATMs that are affiliated with major banks.
  • Keep your credit card information safe and secure, and be aware of potential scams.
  • Make sure your cards have the necessary security features, such as chip and pin.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.

Exchange Rates

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • Be careful of places that may offer to exchange money at rates that seem too good to be true.

Mobile

When traveling, getting mobile access is very important these days. If you are working remotely, wanting to update social media, or need to access your banks SMS authentication messages having a reliable service is a must. At WhereNext we recommend:

eSIM

Services such as those offered by our partner, Airalo, allow you to easily order and install an eSIM for different countries or regions that you are traveling in.

Dual SIM phone

If you have a phone that supports dual SIM's then you can get a SIM on arrival for each country, this is probably better done at a telco store rather than at the airport.

Extend your home plan

Depending on where you live and your mobile service provider you may be able to extend your plan to cover mobile roaming at reasonable rates.

Keep your primary SIM

With the amount of accounts we all have that require two factor authentication via SMS, keeping a constant number for these accounts is a must.

Community

There are several online communities and platforms that you can use to meet people while traveling, both for making new friends or for networking professionally. Some popular options include:

Facebook groups

There are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people while traveling, from expat groups and travel communities to groups specific to certain cities or regions of the country. You can search for groups based on your interests or location and connect with others who share similar interests.

Meetup

Meetup is a platform that allows you to find groups of people that share your interests in your local area. There are Meetup groups all around the world, and they cover a wide range of topics, such as language exchange, sports, and cultural activities.

Internations

Internations is a social network for people who live or work abroad. It has a large community of expats and organizes regular events, activities and gatherings that allow members to connect and socialize.

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a platform that connects travelers with local hosts, who offer free accommodation and a chance to experience the local culture. It's a great way to meet locals and make friends!

Reddit

Reddit has a large community, and there are several subreddits dedicated to connecting expats and travelers. You can use it to ask questions, get advice, and connect with others who are also living or traveling in the country.

Linkedin

LinkedIn is primarily a professional network, but you can also use it to connect with people who work in the same industry or have similar backgrounds. It can be useful to connect with people before you arrive and establish a few professional contacts to help you get started.

At WhereNext, we use Nomad List as a global community and then research more local ones for our destination. These are just a few examples of online communities you can use to meet people; please suggest any others that you think are appropriate for this destination.

Insurance

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It covers a wide range of needs--even some you might not expect!

Medical Coverage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses if you become ill or injured while traveling. This can include coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, and emergency medical transportation. It's also a good idea to ensure that your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related illness and delays!

Trip Cancellation and Interruption

Travel insurance can provide coverage if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unexpected events such as illness, weather, or travel bans. It can also provide coverage if your trip is delayed or if your travel provider goes out of business.

Lost or Stolen Luggage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen luggage, as well as personal items such as passports and electronic devices.

Emergency Assistance and Evacuation

Many travel insurance plans offer emergency assistance services, such as providing information on local hospitals and doctors, assistance with replacing lost or stolen documents, and help with arranging transportation in the event of an emergency. At WhereNext we have partnered with Global Rescue for evacuation services, which are highly recommended if you are undertaking dangerous activities or are travelling to dangerous parts of the world.

Liability coverage

Travel insurance can also provide liability coverage in case you cause an accident or harm someone while you are traveling.

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It can help cover the costs of medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. It's always a good idea to review the coverage and compare the different options available before making a decision. At WhereNext we both use and have partnered with Safety Wing for general travel insurance.

Entry Requirements

Here are some general travel tips regarding entry requirements that apply across all countries:

Passport

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the country you are visiting. Some countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within a certain period of time.

Visa

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if you need a visa. Some countries require a visa for entry, while others do not. Make sure to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip as the process can take several weeks. Check the latest Visa requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Health Requirements and COVID-19 Rules

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if there are any health requirements for entry. Some countries require vaccinations or proof of medical insurance. Check the latest health requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are traveling internationally. Travel insurance can cover you in the event of trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and other unexpected events. Our travel insurance partner is SafetyWing. For dangerous activities and/or countries consider a rescue service like those offered by our partner, Global Rescue.

Customs

Be familiar with the customs and laws of the country you are visiting. Some countries have strict laws regarding drug possession, alcohol consumption, and dress codes.

Currency

Check the currency exchange rate and make sure you have enough local currency for your trip. Some countries may not accept credit cards or travelers cheques, so it is always good to have some cash on hand. At WhereNext we recommend use a Wise debit card, which provides low cost currency conversions and ATM withdrawals.

Research the country

Research about the culture, customs and laws of the country you are visiting. It will help you to understand the place more and also prepare you better for the trip.

Contact Information

Make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate place from your passport. Also, leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with a friend or family member at home.

COVID Status

I am vaccinated 
Thailand Open
Test
Not required
Quarantine
Not required

Check Visa Requirements

      Things to Do

      Thailand is a country of contrasts, where ancient temples and traditional culture coexist with bustling cities and tropical beaches. Known as the "Land of Smiles," Thailand offers visitors a unique blend of history, natural beauty, and vibrant modern culture. From the bustling streets of Bangkok to the tranquil beaches of the south, here are just a few of the top things to do in Thailand that you won't want to miss.

      1. Explore Bangkok

      Bangkok is the capital and largest city of Thailand, known for its historical and cultural landmarks, such as Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), Wat Pho and Wat Phra Kaew, as well as its street food and shopping.

      2. Visit Chiang Mai

      Chiang Mai is a city located in the mountains of northern Thailand. It's known for its temples, traditional markets, and outdoor activities such as trekking, elephant riding, and visiting hill tribes.

      3. Visit the Grand Palace and Wat Prakaew

      The Grand Palace and Wat Prakaew is a former royal residence, now open to visitors, located in the heart of Bangkok. It is known for its intricate architecture, gold-plated buildings, and precious stones.

      4. Visit the ancient city of Ayutthaya

      Ayutthaya is an ancient city located about 80 kilometers north of Bangkok, that was the capital of the Kingdom of Siam from 1350 to 1767. Visitors can explore the ruins of the city's temples and palaces.

      5. Visit the island of Phuket

      Phuket is the largest island in Thailand and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. It's known for its beaches, nightlife, and luxury resorts.

      6. Visit the island of Koh Samui

      Koh Samui is an island located in the Gulf of Thailand and known for its beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters and its vibrant nightlife.

      7. Visit the island of Koh Phi Phi

      Koh Phi Phi is an island located in the Andaman Sea, known for its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters, as well as for its diving and snorkeling spots.

      8. Visit the island of Koh Tao

      Koh Tao is an island located in the Gulf of Thailand, known for its diving and snorkeling spots, as well as for its laid-back atmosphere and beautiful beaches.

      9. Visit the city of Chiang Rai

      Chiang Rai is a city located in the northern part of Thailand, known for its temples, including the famous White Temple, and its beautiful landscapes.

      10. Visit the Golden Triangle

      The Golden Triangle is the name given to the region where the borders of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet. Visitors can explore the region's history and culture, including the famous Hall of Opium museum.

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