Visiting Thailand for leisure or business is always exciting. You will be exposed to a whole new way of life, different weather, and get to enjoy authentic Asian culture, hospitality, and adventure all at once. Yes, Bangkok is as exotic and as mad as you’ve seen it depicted in western movies.
Getting access to Thailand is not hard, especially for westerners. All you need is a passport, some money, and a backpack, and off you go. Simple enough, but certainly not much help if it’s your first visit. Here are some of the things you need to do before visiting Thailand.
The Thai Tourist Visa -Do You Need One?
You may need to apply for a Thai tourist visa in your home country or on arrival. This only if your country is not among the 90 that are offered visa-free entry for tourism purposes. Most European and a good number of Asian nationalities don’t need a tourist visa to visit Thailand. For example, tourists coming from Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Austria, and the United States have visa-free access to Thailand.
Don’t worry if your country is not among the ones exempted, you can always apply for a visa- thailandvisa.net– that gives you three months or six months access to Thailand. Those transiting through Thailand may or may not require a visa depending on their country of origin and length of their stay. Note that overstaying your tourist visa attracts a $16 fine.
Things You Need to Pack
As with other destinations in Asia, you are advised to pack light clothing as the weather here can get really warm. You can always purchase a raincoat locally in case there is an unexpected shower especially if you happen to visit between seasons. Here are other things you may need to pack when traveling to Thailand:
- Pack a warm Fleece jacket for use in air-conditioned shopping malls, hotels, and other high-end locations. You may need it if it rains too.
- Mosquito repellant
- Water bottle- You can always buy a water bottle locally or carry a decent one with you. There is plenty of drinking water in the major cities but not very much in the smaller towns and villages. Water purification tablets might be handy if you venture inland or go hiking.
- Your passport
- Some prescription drugs for inflammation, antihistamines diarrhea, and the flu.
- Good shoes- You won’t have much luck finding good shoes in Thailand unless you are ready to spend an arm and leg in international shops.
- Lockable luggage carriers and backpacks- You might find yourself using public transport and Tuk-tuks a lot.
- An unlocked cellphone- buy a local sim card on arrival.
Getting into and Around Thailand
You will most likely get into Thailand via The Suvarnabhumi airport (Bangkok Airport) or one of the major airports in the city. From there, you can connect to other destinations if you so wish. It’s one of the busiest airports in the region with fairly decent amenities and friendly staff.
From the airport, you can always use one of the colorful taxis at the airport or board a bus to the city center or your hotel. Tuk-tuks are popular among tourists and locals alike but avoid them when it gets dark. You will need to board a ferry or boat if you want to get to the Thai islands. There are public transport options available in Thailand, such as buses, Klongs, the metro, boats, and trains.
All in all, Thailand has a lot to offer for those who are visiting for leisure, business, or just passing by. Being a top destination in Asia, everything is quite organized, and any foreigner will always feel welcome anywhere in Thailand.