Some basic tips for traveling in Thailand:
Visa & Passport
– Before you travel abroad, make sure your passport and visa are in order. Most nationalities will be given a 30 day visa on arrival at the Bangkok airport. Please consult your local Thai embassy for the latest visa requirements. Under normal circumstances a passport needs to be at least 6 months valid at the time of entry in Thailand.
– In case of loss or theft, try to keep a copy of your passport in your backpack or suitcase.
– Keep a copy of your nation’s embassy’s address with you, in case of emergencies.
– Visitors to Thailand are recommended to get vaccinations to protect themselves against diseases such as Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B. Ask your doctor for a full list of the recommended vaccinations. The Thai government requires a proof of Yellow Fever vaccination from tourists who are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever.
– It is also advisable to bring mosquito repellents on your trip.
– If you are from Europe, there’s a chance your pin card doesn’t work outside of Europe. This is a security measure taken by your bank, in case of theft. Consult with your bank if you can use your pin card outside of Europe.
– Keep some cash with you. In most cities it is possible to change US Dollars and Euros to Thai Baht.
– Tipping is accepted and often expected in the more luxury restaurants. In the small local restaurants people usually do not give tips. If you decide to give a tip, then normally the tipping amount is around 10% of the total price. Some of the modern style restaurants charge service fee at the end of the bill. This will then already include your tip.
– Food hygiene in general is of good quality in Thailand, but there are things to keep in mind. Food that has been lying in the sun for a long time has the most chance of containing bacteria that will make you sick. It’s not just the meat to look out for, but also the fruit. While unpeeled fruit is not a problem, often fruit will be sold that has already been cut into pieces. Make sure you are there when they cut it up so you know it’s still fresh. Meat as well, is often cut into fine pieces. As a result, the meat is easy to cook and safe to eat, but when you are in doubt, it’s best to follow your instinct.
– Keep a bottle of clean water with you. Water in Thailand, even from the tab, isn’t always safe to drink. Try to keep bottled water close, not just because of hygiene, but also because of the sun. Temperatures in Thailand can rise high, so having water with you to prevent dehydration is advisable. You can also use the water to clean something, should the situation arrise.
– Keep a roll of toilet paper with you. especially when on the road, there isn’t always toilet paper available, even in toilets.
– Dress conservatively when visiting temples. Please do not wear shorts or sandals. Pants or skirts must cover till below the knee. Shoulders and stomach areas must be properly covered.
– Pay respect to Monks. It is seen as inproper for a woman to sit next to a Monk.
– Don’t disrespect the King and the Royal family. Disrespecting the Royal family is a crime in Thailand. In cinemas they play the national anthem before the movie. During the national anthem you will have to stand up to pay respect to the King.