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9 things you need to know to plan your trip to Thailand

Planning your trip to Thailand? In this article, discover 9 things to know to plan your next trip to Thailand !

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Organizing your first trip to Thailand can be a bit tricky at first glance. But let me reassure you: in reality, organizing and traveling in Thailand is pretty straightforward! In this article, discover 9 things to know to plan your trip Thailand.

We’ll be talking about visas, public transport and Thai culture. In short, as you can see, this article touches on several subjects. I hope you enjoy reading it!

the wonderful ricefield of the northern thailand

Organize your trip to Thailand

Visa

When planning a trip abroad, and here in Thailand in particular, it’s important to find out what visas are required.

If your trip lasts less than 30 days, you don’t need a visa, just a passport valid for another 6 months after the date you leave the country. This information is valid for holders of a Swiss, European or North American passport (December 2023).

For trips longer than 30 days, I advise you to visit the official website of the Thai embassy in your country.

Exit ticket

Thailand is one of the countries that requires proof of exit when you enter the country, especially if you arrive by air. Sometimes this check is already carried out by the airline when you check in for your flight to Thailand. This is what happened to me on my last trip to Thailand.

If you have a round-trip ticket, this second part of the paragraph won’t concern you much. On the contrary, if, like me, you don’t know when you’ll be leaving Thailand, I’d advise you to “rent” a plane ticket online.

Personally, I’ve been using and recommending Onwardticket.com for several years. Renting a ticket costs $16 and takes just a few minutes to arrive in your mailbox. The ticket is generally valid for 48 hours. It’s really practical and works really well!

Local currency

When planning a trip to Thailand, it’s important to bear in mind that the country operates mainly on a cash basis. The local currency is the baht (TBH).

If your trip is mainly to Thailand, I advise you to exchange your money for Baht in advance. This will avoid the sometimes very high withdrawal fees charged by Thai cash dispensers.

If, on the other hand, your trip takes you through several Asian countries, you won’t be able to avoid withdrawing money. Some credit cards, such as Revolut, offer good deals on foreign withdrawals.

A final word of advice: if you need to withdraw money, try to use the ATMs of domestic banks. Rates and taxes are often lower.

moving around thailand here in Krabi area

Safety in Thailand

Thailand is a fairly safe country. The crime rate is quite low. It’s a perfect country to start traveling alone too. The locals are generally very helpful and friendly.

However, I would advise you to be a little more careful in the big cities and tourist centers in the south of the country, without becoming paranoid. I travelled there alone in the summer of 2023 and felt very safe!

If you’d like more information on solo travel in Thailand, I recommend you read this article!

Getting around Thailand

To get from one end of Thailand to the other, there are several means of transport. Public transport works extremely well, and you can literally get anywhere in the country.

For longer distances, I recommend trains, buses or planes. Short distances can also be covered by bus, cab (GRAB), ferry or even scooter if you feel up to it.

As far as cabs are concerned, I advise you to download the GRAB application (equivalent to UBER) and use the 12go.asia platform for all your bus and train bookings in Thailand.

I’ve written a whole article on the different means of transport available in Thailand. Discover it here!

Thai culture

Thailand has a very strong culture influenced by Buddhism and Hinduism. It’s a plunge into new knowledge and customs. Between the temples, the food and the friendliness of the locals, I really felt the presence of Thai culture throughout my stay.

In my opinion, it’s very important to respect local customs and practices. I’m thinking in particular of sacred places, where proper clothing must be worn. In my opinion, it’s also important to dress respectfully when visiting Thailand!

Plan your trip to Thailand with respecting the culture

Local food

Going to Thailand and not tasting street food is a bit like going to Italy and not eating pizza. Thai cuisine is rich and varies from region to region.

Almost every city has a night market. These night markets are where you’ll find the best dishes. There’s something for every taste and budget. Personally, I’ve never been sick after eating at a street stall.

Don’t miss the Khao Soy, Pad Thai or try the various curries on offer!

Negotiation

Negotiation is something of a national sport in Thailand. Whenever a price is not directly displayed, often at the market, try to negotiate the price! There’s often plenty of room for negotiation. But remember to be respectful.

After a few days, you’ll soon realize whether the prices on offer are acceptable or far too high.

The essentials to pack in your bag

Organizing your trip to Thailand also means preparing your bag or suitcase for adventure. There are a few essentials to take with you.

A rain jacket – Although you’re traveling during the dry season, a little downpour can happen very quickly!
Sunscreen – I’d advise you to buy some before you leave, as prices are higher in Thailand.
Light pants / long skirt – These are essential for visiting the temples.
A pair of sneakers – even if you’re going to the islands, a pair of sneakers is always welcome for sightseeing.

boats in the islands of Koh Phi Phi Thailand

I hope this article has helped you plan your next trip to Thailand! Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!

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