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    Travel to Thailand: how to organize it

    Who I am
    Pau Monfort
    @paumonfort
    SOURCES CONSULTED:

    wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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    I have collected in this article all the practical information to organize a trip to Thailand. I hope I haven't forgotten anything!

    Documents required to enter Thailand

    Spanish citizens can enter and stay in Thailand for up to 30 days without applying for a visa: it is called the tourist visa exemption (not to be confused with the "entry visa"). Only one is required passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry into the country. However, the requirements can always change (as we were able to touch everyone during the Covid pandemic!) Then I always advise you to consult the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before leaving



    Money and credit cards

    The Thai currency is the Bath: in April 2020 the exchange rate was more or less 36B = 1 euro, but the exchange rate fluctuates a lot. Cash machines (ATMs) are found everywhere, even in smaller towns, often also in supermarkets and 7Eleven. The only thing is that, with practically all credit cards (Revolut included) a commission of 220B (6 euros) is applied to each withdrawal. Even if you pay directly by credit card, a commission of 5-6% is often applied. My advice is to bring enough cash to change there (exchanges are everywhere) to avoid paying 6 euros or more on each withdrawal. Thailand is a safe country and there are no particular problems traveling with a lot of money. When you have to pay for something, anything, always remember to bargain on the price! It is common practice in Thailand (as in all of Southeast Asia) and everyone expects you to! 

    Phone sim and Internet connection

    In Thailand everyone has a mobile phone and the connection speed is insane. To save money (and to browse quickly in 4 or 5G) vi it is better to buy a local SIM directly at the airport upon arrival. All operators are more or less equal and have comparable prices. You will find the stalls of the different companies just outside the arrivals. The contracts are more or less like this: SIM valid for 8 days with 3G included at high speed (then it is reduced) for 300B (8,5 euros), SIM valid for 15 days with 5G for 500B (14 euros), or finally valid SIM for 1 month with 10G for 750B (21 euros). 



    When to go to Thailand

    Thailand has 3 seasons main, the the rainy season from May to October caused by the southwest monsoon, the cool season from November to February (cooler in the north than in the south) e the hot season from March to May. The coast and the islands of the Gulf (such as Koh Samui, Koh Chang, Koh Kood, etc.) have a slightly different climate: it is less affected by the southwest monsoon, but suffers from the northeast one which brings a lot of rain in the months of September October November. If you are planning a trip that includes the south and north of the country plus a few islands, the best time is from December to March. The peak tourist season is concentrated during the Christmas / New Year holidays and during the Chinese New Year. In these periods the prices are higher and you will have to book accommodation and internal flights in advance. 

    Travel to Thailand: health insurance is required

    In Thailand our health coverage is not valid. My advice is to always take out medical-luggage insurance that can cover you during the trip. I am very happy with many insurance companies, a site that compares the policies of different companies and proposes the most convenient policy for that particular trip. To do this you will have to enter the data relating to your trip (country, duration, etc.) and they will send you an email with the best proposal that you can then buy directly online.


    How to get around Thailand

    Getting around Thailand, as in all of Southeast Asia, is very simple and comfortable, because there are many efficient and cheap connections with buses, trains, ferries and internal flights. The buses and trains have different categories and different classes, and the higher categories are super comfortable. The night trains, for example, are much better than the Spanish ones (it doesn't take much you will tell me!). The main tourist resorts such as Chang Mai, Pukhet, Koh Samui and many others are also connected by frequent and cheap internal flights. To find / buy the most convenient and comfortable tickets for you, I recommend that you use this site. I used it to buy any type of transfer and I always had a great time! 


    Renting a car or a moped: do you need an international driving license?

    In some areas of the country (for example the north) or on the islands it may be convenient to rent a car, motorbike or moped. For the latter 2 often they will not even ask you for a driving license, but I advise you to 1) rely on well-known rental companies (where possible at least), especially for the rental of a car (I usually use Rentalcars) and 2) take the international driving license, if you have it, even if it is not mandatory. In case you have an accident, the insurance may not pay if you do not have it (in any case, make sure to rent any vehicle beforehand!). 


    How much does a trip to Thailand cost?

    Thailand is a fairly cheap country for the Spaniards; for some years the exchange rate of Bath against the euro has risen and the Thai currency has gained more power, but despite this, it remains an economic country for us. There is also to say that in Thailand the offer is really wide and varied, you can sleep in hostels from 5 euros a night, up to 5-star resorts from 1500 euros a night, and the same goes for food. The street food is very good and super-cheap, but there are also many high-level restaurants with prices similar to those in Europe. Let's say that to travel with average comfort (3-star hotel, restaurants and travel by train / bus), you will have to calculate more or less 40-50 euros per day per person. 

    Is Thailand dangerous?

    No, Thailand is not dangerous at all!! Most Thais are Buddhist and, at least in my personal experience, in all Buddhist countries I have always felt very safe, even when traveling alone. The Thais are an extremely peaceful people and the crimes against tourists are very few. As always, the only rule I recommend you follow is common sense! 


    Do you need to get vaccinations for Thailand?

    There are no mandatory vaccinations to do and I have never done any, neither for Thailand, nor for the other countries of Asia and Southeast Asia, but I advise you to always consult  the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before leaving. In some areas of Thailand, especially during the monsoon, there is dengue and in very few areas (such as on the island of Koh Kood and near the border with Cambodia) there is malaria. These diseases, as you know, are transmitted by mosquitoes so it is advisable and recommended to always use a repellent. On some islands (e.g. in Koh Kood, but not only) there are mosquitoes that come out at sunset (I don't remember the name) that make annoying pinches that last for more than 10 days so ... always carry the repellent with you !! 

    What to bring to Thailand

    Among the things not to forget absolutely when organizing a trip to Thailand there are certainly:

    • Anti-mosquito
    • pareo / light trousers for covering in temples
    • Sweatshirt (for A / C on transport and in restaurants)
    • K-way for the rain

    Trip to Thailand: 2 weeks itinerary

    1. arrival in Bangkok
    2. Ayutthaya and overnight transfer to Chang Mai
    3. Chang Mai
    4. Chang Mai
    5. Father 
    6. Pai and back to Chang Mai
    7. Chang Rai 
    8. flights to Bangkok + Koh Samui/Pukhet/Trat
    9. islands (Similan, Surin, Kho Pha Ngan, Koh Tao, Koh Kood)
    10. islands 
    11. islands
    12. return to Bangkok 
    13. Bangkok
    14. Bangkok

    Trip to Thailand: 3 weeks itinerary

    1. arrival in Bangkok
    2. Ayutthaya and night transfer to Sukhotai
    3. Sukhotai
    4. transfer to Chang Mai
    5. Chang Mai
    6. Chang Mai
    7. Father 
    8. Father
    9. Pai and back to Chang Mai
    10. Chang Rai 
    11. flights to Bangkok + Koh Samui/Pukhet/Trat
    12. islands (Similan, Surin, Kho Pha Ngan, Koh Tao, Koh Kood)
    13. islands 
    14. islands
    15. islands
    16. islands
    17. islands
    18. return to Bangkok 
    19. Bangkok
    20. Bangkok
    21. Bangkok
    22. Bangkok
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