Good planning can mean the difference between an amazing trip and a disastrous one. Being prepared is the key to ensuring that your vacation will be a memorable one. The old adage, “Knowledge is power.” rings true, especially when traveling to unfamiliar countries. Seriously Travel has compiled a useful list of tips to help make it that much easier to pack and go…
Voltage: Thailand power voltage is: 220 V; Plugs A & C so bring a converter as not all hotels have enough to go around. Tip: us the USB port in the back of the TV to charge your phone! It works great and frees up the limited outlets for your computer!
Currency: Currency is the Thai Baht and is about 33 baht to 1 USD
Accessing money: Exchange money to Baht at home. It’s much cheaper. Although ATMs can be found everywhere in Thailand fees are expensive. Banks charge 150 Baht per transaction. That’s about $1.55 USD. It might not seem like a lot but can add up if you take out money several times a day.
Passport and Visa requirements: For US citizens a passport is required to travel period! You won’t even be able to leave home without one. Upon arrival, Thai customs will automatically give you a 30-day visa. If you intend to stay in Thailand for more than the normal tourist visa, the 90-day non-immigrant visa is the best option. It will allow you to stay for 90 consecutive days. For non-US resident’s visit your countries embassy website for information on Visa requirements for Thailand.
Phone usage: You’ll have to check with your local carrier to ensure that it offers the ability to use your cell in Thailand. You’re phone must be unlocked in order to accept other SIM cards. Mobile phone network coverage is almost 100 percent around Thailand and it’s surrounding smaller islands, though you might experience difficulties in some remote areas, or when traveling through limestone cliffs. Thai pay-as-you-go SIM cards can be purchased and topped up inexpensively in any 7-Eleven store, with no registration required – but remember you need an unlocked phone. Pay-as-you-go (pre-paid) Thai 3G SIM and micro SIM cards (for iPad) can be bought in larger mobile phone shops, though 3G speeds are rare. For cheap international calls buy a long-distance calling card or use the TOT public phone booths.
Wi-Fi service: Most hotels offer free Wi-Fi; although we’ve found that some of the higher end resorts will still charge a small fee per day…figure that one out?!
Climate: Thailand climate is controlled by tropical monsoons and the weather in Thailand is generally hot and humid across most of the country throughout most of the year. While Thailand’s seasons are generally divided into the hot season, cool season, and rainy season, in reality it’s comparatively hot most of the year. The weather in central, northern, and northeastern Thailand is determined by three seasons, whereas the southern, coastal regions of Thailand feature only two, making the weather in Thailand quite easy to understand and plan a trip around. In Thailand’s inland regions the seasons are well-defined: Between November and May the weather is mostly dry and the cool season and hot season occur from November to February and March to May respectively. The rainy season lasts from May to November and is controlled by the southwest monsoon, during which time rainfall in most of Thailand is quite heavy.
The southern, coastal region of Thailand really has only two seasons – rainy season and dry season. Fortunately, for those planning a beach holiday, Thailand’s two coasts have slightly different rainy seasons, allowing visitors to find sunny beaches nearly year round.
On the Andaman (west coast) where most of the finest beaches are located; Phuket, Krabi, and the Phi Phi Islands, the monsoon season lasts from April to October, while on the Gulf of Thailand or east coast, where Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao lie, the most rain falls between September and December.