Baggage regulations for domestic flight
Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways are allowing baggage following the international 20kg/ person- rule. Some low cost- carriers such as Nok Air or Air Asia are only allowing 15kg/person, but passengers may upgrade against charge. Please contact your local travel agent or see the airlines- home pages for details.
The best time to travel to Thailand is late October to the end of April. This is the so called “dry season”, but don’t be fooled by the name you are in the tropics, so you always have to expect some outbreak of (heavy) rain from time to time. There is one exception to every rule, in this case it’s name is Koh Samui (and the neighboring islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Tao); best to be visited in the European summer months from March to early October. Temperatures in Thailand are high throughout the year, with the slight exception of the mountainous north, where “off season” and in the night- or early morning hours, you might want to wear some slightly warmer clothes. To give you an orientation, here are some climate charts for certain regions.
Currency & Exchange
Currency is the Thai Baht (100 Satang = 1 Baht). Most common are 1, 2, 5 and 10 Baht coins. 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1.000 Baht notes. 1 Euro = 42 Baht or 1 USD = 31 Baht (January 2014). For current conversion rate please visit our bankers home page at Bangkok Bank Plc but please remember to apply the buying rates when converting Thai Baht to your currency, or we lose on the exchange rate.
Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, Nok Air (low cost), and Air Asia (low cost) are the common and most used domestic airlines in Thailand. Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways do fly in code-share with many of the international carriers.
Throughout Thailand 220V are the norm- in areas outside the tourist- destinations, you still might find 3way-sockets, while most places have switched to 2 plugs by now. If you want to be 100%- safe, use an adapter.
Facts & figures
Thailand covers a land area of 513,115 sq.km or approximately the same size as France, with a coastline of approximately 2,700 kilometers on the Gulf of Thailand and 865 kilometers along the Indian Ocean. There are approx. 66 million people living in Thailand. Capital and biggest city is Bangkok, with approx. 10 million citizens.
Food & Drink
Thai food is generally very spicy, very healthy and very exotic. Instead of salt, fish- sauce is used to salten dishes (a fact that vegetarians and vegans should consider). Common spices include chili, garlic, ginger, galanga, Thai- basil and lemon grass. Some of these herbs and spices may be unusual to European mouths. If you don’t mind the “simple ways”, Thai- food is also very cheap and available practically everywhere, as the Thais simply love to eat. Alcoholic beverages (except for beer and some local brands) are mostly expensive. You should generally stay away from tab- water or ice, made from tab- water. The water- quality has improved over the last years, but in some regions you may still risk a night or two of sleep in exchange for some unhealthy “diet”- behavior of your belly.
Thailand is generally flat, with the southern ranges of the Himalayas making the north rather mountainous. The south is dominated by beaches and a long coastline with many small islands.
Thailand is a shopping- paradise. From the night- markets to the luxurious shopping centers, from the fake watches and t-shirts to high quality Thai- products (silk, teakwood, silverware etc)- shoppers or souvenir- hunters will their places for sure. A word of warning though avoid the “special offers” that some taxi- or Tuk Tuk drivers make you- they will most definitely turn out way more expensive, than you may think.
Using trains in Thailand is relatively cheap and secure- you may have to take a lack of luxury into concern, as the train- system is not very modern. If you can live with that, getting around by train is a good alternative, if you have time to spend and are not on a tight schedule.
For every service you are paying a “service charge” in Thailand, which practically covers tips. But of course it is a nice (and happily taken) gesture, if you pay a few baht extra for good service or quality. There are no rules, but you may consider this a tip of 35 baht provides a full-grown meal.
The easiest way to travel in Thailand is still by plane. Trains, buses or mini- vans are available almost everywhere, but there have been some safety issues, lately…especially with the vans.
What to bring when traveling to Thailand (clothes, medicines..)
Although the major tourist destinations have a fully developed infrastructure and there are hospitals and doctors available at all times, it is always a good idea, to bring specific medicines with you and make sure, your accommodation can handle your special needs.
For tropical-diseases, please contact an experienced doctor. Most tourist areas of Thailand are free of Malaria, but there are cases of Dengue-fever from time to time.
Anti- Mosquito spray should not be missing in any suitcase.
Sun-protection is the A & O when traveling to Thailand, as the tropic sun can be harmful to unprotected body- parts. Apart from that bring mostly light clothing, made from natural fabrics and -if you travel up north- a light jacket or equal, as it may get a little chilly at night.
Passport & Visa
Citizens of most EU countries will receive a visa- upon- arrival with a validity of 30 days. Please contact your nearest Thai- embassy for details regarding your specific nationality.
Anyhow your passport has to be valid at least 6 month after the date of leaving the kingdom. Children of most nationalities need a passport.