My Thailand travel guide
Here’s my complete Thailand travel guide. After several trips to Thailand and a good number of posts about the places I loved, it was about time to write something more practical.
Documents, vaccinations and other details to know about Thailand
For a stay up to 30 days you do not need a visa, but as always your passport must be valid for at least six months on entry into Thailand and you have to show the booking of the return flight or in any case one to exit the country. According to the overland border you’re crossing – from Myanmar for instance – the stamp they’ll put on your passport may be giving you only a 15 days authorization to renew.
Your passport can be requested by the local police at any time, so carry it with you. Accordingly to local law they might event arrest you for not having it with you, but I do not know if this actually happens… I was asked several times, especially in the north and I’ve always managed with a photocopy, though once in Mae Salong I thought I was about to get a fine, but I was saved by the National Anthem that literally put the policeman at attention !
For entry into Thailand no vaccination is required, but if you plan a long hike tour in the forests or you’re simply planning a very low cost trip, I recommend you get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B … As to mosquito bites, a homeopathic prophylaxis based on ledum palustre will make your blood rather unpleasant to these fearsome critters.
For any medical problem, Thai pharmacies are stocked and cheap. If you do not have travel insurance hospitals are excellent, but relatively expensive – though less than western ones. The one in Koh Samui for example looks more like a 5-star hotel than a hospital, while the Chiang Rai one is more similar to our clinics. Yes, I was in the hospital several times during my travels through Thailand …
For those who decide to rent a scooter to visit in freedom, and I truly recommend you do so, remember that you drive on the left hand side of the street and the helmet is mandatory (especially for foreign people!). You also need an international driving license and a temporary insurance signed upon your arrival in Thailand, since foreign insurers are not recognized. Actually I’ve never done as mentioned, but I took risks.
Free WiFi is available almost anywhere and when it’s paying it cost nothing! Meaning that calculation the conversion from Bath (THB) to Euro you get figures like 0,000something.
Oh, if like me you love art in general and plan to buy some on the spot, I suggest you first check this website. Some years ago I bought a jade opium pipe for my collection – perhaps the most expensive thing I’ve ever treated myself with – and once the antique dealer provided all the documentation I had to request an authorization to the Department of Museums in order to go through customs. Complicated, but fair.
The flight to Thailand
Finding a cheap flight to Bangkok, especially if you can book in advance, it is not difficult. Usually companies that offer the most attractive rates are Turkish Airlines, Air France, Oman Air, Emirates and Egypt Air and unless you have special preferences about a possible prolonged call in one of those companies’ cities, I recommend Emirates. With 400 € you get comfort, elegance and great service.
My Thailand favorite itinerary and personal map
Ideally I suggest you move slowly and spend time and days at each stage, to understand it and live it fully, but, at worst, transport in Thailand are really comfortable and cheap and so you could do this tour, without too much stress, in two weeks.
Click on the map and discover the route I recommend and more detailed infos! Have a nice virtual trip 😉
Tips and advises against
- people are extremely polite and friendly, but their culture is much more respectful than ours and it’s better not to raise the voice in public … advice that one should actually apply everywhere 😉
- pack clothes for a week in order to have light luggage to carry around. Laundry shops are everywhere and are quite cheap. In this post I explain how to pack light
- pack a silk sleeping back to feel comfortable and sleep well even when the venue doesn’t look clean. I’m using this one and it’s perfect after several years and lots of trips: Stretch Silk Liner
- always keep sweatshirt and socks on hand when you move by bus or train because the air conditioning is kept at a freezing level
- do not forget tissues when going out, useful to blow your nose during meals … you’ll let me know!
- carry something to cover your shoulders and legs when visiting temples or official palaces and do not forget socks for walking on cobblestone/marble in the sun (once I actually got my feet blistered while visiting the Grand Palace in Bangkok)
Mī kār deinthāng thī̀ dī
Have a nice travel!