General Information about Thailand

Thailand, formerly known as Siam, is one of the most exotic and exciting travel destinations in Southeast Asia. This country shares its boundaries with Laos to the northeast, Malaysia to the south, and Myanmar (Burma) to the west.

Little is known about Thailand’s prehistory period. From the 10th to 14th centuries, this country was ruled by the Khmer empire and Malay tribes. The Ayutthaya Kingdom then became a great power in the country since the Khmer empire weakened. Ayutthaya maintained independence for a short period of 400 years before serving as a vassal of the Burmese in 1767. Taskin reunified the country and established the Thonburi Kingdom. The country was named Siam.

From the 18th to 19th century, when the European colonial power threatened Southeast Asia, Thailand luckily became a neutral territory between the French and British. That was the reason why this country remained its control during the time of such heavy interference of the European in the region.

Today, when traveling to Thailand, tourists can have a chance to visit gorgeous royal architecture, religious buildings, and historical relics. Besides, this country is ideal for thrill seekers and beach lovers with a system of romantic beaches and islands, pristine jungles, and mysterious mountains.

Best Time to Travel to Thailand

Though the weather varies throughout a year, Thailand is suitable for you to visit year-round. Located in a tropical monsoon zone, the weather in Thailand is characterized as hot and humid. The average temperature of this country is 28 degrees Celsius, and in Bangkok it ranges from 25 to 30 degrees Celsius.

The best time, also the high tourist season in this country, ranges from November to the end of February when it is cool and pleasantly dry.

The rainy season runs from July to October, but don’t worry if you had booked a ticket to Thailand at that time. There are still Thai massage, street foods and exciting nightlife for you.

Between March and June is the hot season here while April and May are the hottest months.

Passport & Visa to Thailand

Koh Phi Phi - Thailand Travel Guide
Koh Phi Phi

It is required that your passport must be valid for 6 months from the date of entry to Thailand and you must have at least one blank visa page.

Thailand’s visa exemption rule allows nationalities from 55 countries to visit Thailand without a visa. Generally, nationalities from US, UK, Australia, Canada and most of the countries in Europe are eligible for 30-day visa-free when you enter this country by air and 15 days if you enter through a land border in Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Myanmar.

It is required that tourist visa holders must have at least THB 10,000 per person in cash to enter this country.

Thailand Currency

Thailand Currency - Thailand Travel Guide
Thailand Currency

Baht is the official currency in Thailand. Thai Baht is issued both in coins and notes. Coins come in ฿1; ฿2; ฿5; ฿10 and notes come in ฿20; ฿50; ฿100; ฿500; ฿1000 denominations.

It is not usually possible to spend other currencies such as US dollars, British Pound Sterlings or Canadian Dollars in this country. We recommend that firstly, you should exchange your home currency into US Dollar since exchange rate for US Dollars is much better. Then, you can exchange your US Dollar into Bath when entering Thailand. You will get a higher rate than exchanging your home currency into Baht, regardless of which country.

It is not necessary to exchange currency into Baht in your home country since Thailand’s local banks offer a very favorable exchange rate. You can exchange your cash at the airport or at some local banks in big cities.

ATMs are plentiful in this country, even in smaller provinces. But if you go to some off-the-beaten-track places, prepare some spare cash.

Though debit/credit cards are accepted in some restaurants, hotels and shopping malls, Thailand is still a cash-based country. Prepare some Bahts if you go to the market or buy some souvenirs.

Transportation in Thailand

Traffic is chaotic in Bangkok during rush hour; but thanks to rapid transit systems such as MRT and BTS (Bangkok Skytrain), it is fast and convenient to travel around this city. Tuk tuk is also an authentic transportation to discover the city. Motorbike taxis may not safe, hence, we do not recommend.

Buses and trains are main transportation to travel between provinces. Railway system is well-established in Thailand and you can even travel to Malaysia and Laos from this country by train. Renting a car in Thailand will offer more flexibility for you, especially when traveling to some off-the-beaten-track routes.

Religion in Thailand

Doi Inthanon - Chiang Mai - Thailand Travel Guide
Doi Inthanon – Chiang Mai

When traveling to any foreign country, it is important to respect cultural differences, especially in a Buddhist country like Thailand. You should cover up your shoulders, elbows, and knees when entering any wat and temple. Don’t wear anything that is see-through or sleeveless. There are a lot of beautiful sarongs you can buy at the market, wear them to a pagoda. You will not be allowed to visit religious sites when you dress improperly.

The king is highly respected in Thailand; thus, there is a rule that prohibits people, both local and foreign, from criticizing him. Don’t discuss anything related to government nor politics in this country.

Holidays in Thailand

There are plenty of festivals in Thailand and two of them are celebrated nationwide: Songkran and Loy Krathong. Songkran is the most anticipated festival in this country. It is the traditional Thai New Year when people come home to share the festive moment with their families. Water splash is the main activity at this festival in which the locals believe to bring luck to each other

Top events in Thailand

  • Makha Bucha: full moon of the third lunar month (February or March)
  • Songkran: traditional Thai New Year, occurs in April (officially 13-15 April, but the date can be varied in some locations)
  • Coronation Day:5 May
  • Loy Krathong: first full moon day of the twelfth lunar month, usually in November.
  • King’s Birthday (Father’s Day):28 July

Top Destinations in Thailand

1. Bangkok

The Grand Palace - Thailand Travel Guide
The Grand Palace

This exquisite capital city is always included in tourists’ itineraries when visiting Thailand. Bangkok is suitable for all kinds of travel – whether you are planning a family trip, a luxury holiday or a budget-friendly backpacking vacation. This city is famous for its eye-widening Grand Palace and the spectacular Wat Phra Kaew Temple, one of three national treasures in Thailand. One hour and a half drive from Bangkok, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is a lively scene of local Thai’s daily life. Don’t forget to buy fresh tropical fruits and sample some street foods such as Som Tam (papaya salad), Khao Pad (fried rice), Pad Thai (noodles with shrimps) and Khao Neeo Mamuang (Thai mango sticky rice).

2. Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai - Thailand Travel Guide
Chiang Mai

Located in the north of Thailand, Chiang Mai is the second largest city of this country after Bangkok. If you want to see an authentic Thailand and Thai unique culture, as well as not spending too much time on a beach, Chiang Mai is your place. This city is the combination of splendid natural scenery and architectural reminders of an ancient capital city. Doi Suthep Temple which overlooks the city from a beautiful hill is the main tourist attraction in Chiang Mai. For nature lovers, there are many thrilling activities you can enjoy here, such as cruising along Mae Ping River, visiting hill tribes and experience an elephant ride.

3. Pattaya

Pattaya - Thailand Travel Guide

About two hours drive from Bangkok, Pattaya is a heaven that foreigners seek for outrageous nightlife. Because of its convenient distance from the capital city, Pattaya has become a perfect weekend getaway for the locals. It is easy to find numerous luxury beach resorts, fancy dining places, bars, pubs, and clubs in this exciting city. Pattaya is also a popular place for a golf tour in Thailand. It is surprising that this city has the highest number of golf courses than any region in Southeast Asia with the system of 21 well-designed golf courses.

4. Phuket

Phuket - Thailand Travel Guide

Located in the south of Thailand, Phuket is the biggest island and one of the most sought-after attractions in this country. Unspoiled tropical forests and sandy white beaches are the reason to visit this paradise island. Jet skiing, surfing and paragliding are three water sports you can enjoy in Phuket. The town of Patong in Phuket is the heaven where you can attend endless ‘you-only-live-once’ night parties.

5. Koh Samui

Koh Samui - Thailand Travel Guide
Koh Samui

Long white beaches with swaying coconut trees have become an iconic image of Koh Samui. Compared to Phuket, it is a more quiet and tranquil island. Koh Samui is excellent for snorkeling, diving and surfing, especially in Chaweng Beach. Koh Samui caters every request for accommodations, from affordable hotels to many world-class beach resorts for honeymooners and luxury tourists.