Thailand For Beginners

If you are a beginner of Thailand travel, here you can find some information that might be essential for planning your next trip to Thailand.

Thailand for beginners

Thailand Visa

Thailand Visa is relatively easy to obtain. Most nationalities can get a visa free-exempt stay for 30 days at the airport or for 15 days at land border crossings. Others can obtain Visa on Arrival that is valid for 15 days and costs 2000 THB. If you wish to stay longer, consider applying for a tourist visa at any Thai embassy or consulate worldwide.

For more detailed information see our Thailand Visa page.

Currency

Thailand's currency is called the Thai baht (THB), and it's around 38 THB to 1 EUR or 33 THB to 1 USD.

ATMs can be found across the country and international withdrawals are not a problem. Currency exchange booths are found in all international airports and touristy areas. Credit cards are widely accepted in the tourist industry, at restaurants, shopping malls and some shops. Small businesses usually accept only cash so you should be ready to use it (Thai baht only) for most of your daily purchases in Thailand.

If you are arriving at Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK), you can find currency exchange booths offering very good currency exchange rates at the airport.

Cell phones and internet

There are 3 main cell service providers in Thailand: AIS, DTAC and Truemove. All three providers offer ‘pay as you go’ deals for short and long term travellers and have 3G/4G capability providing fairly good coverage in all but the most remote corners of the country. The easiest way for you to buy a SIM card and to set up your phone is to head directly to a provider's shop or service booth. Your phone must be unlocked for you to use a Thai SIM card on it. All three providers have offices in most major malls and on the arrivals floor of Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Internet connection is fairly good in Thailand. Most hotels and guesthouses provide free Wi-Fi and if you need internet constantly, just grab one of reasonably priced mobile internet plans at cell service providers mentioned above.

Transport

Transport is one thing that you don’t need to worry about in Thailand. Public transport system in the country generally offers excellent value.

Buses are cheap and convenient with many routes to various destinations around Thailand. The railway network connects four corners of the country and is a cheap, scenic but slow way to travel around the country. Minivans and songtaews (pick-up trucks with two rows of seats in the back) can help you to reach even the most distant villages in provinces.

A combination of public transport, consisting of songtaews, public buses, tuk-tuks, regular taxis and motorbike taxis can be found in most of Thailand’s cities. Bangkok has a reliable and constantly expanding metro system.

Large islands can be accessed by large ferries and smaller islands can be reached by speedboat ferries and smaller boats.

Thailand is also well-served by international and domestic airlines. There are plenty of airports to choose from. Domestic flights are very reasonably priced.

For more detailed information see our Thailand transport page.

Weather

Thailand's climate is tropical with high temperature and high humidity throughout the year.

Three seasons can be defined in Northern and Central Thailand - the cool season (November to February), the hot season (March to May) and the wet season (May to October). December and January are the coolest months here and April is the hottest.

Southern Thailand has only two seasons - the wet and the dry. These seasons do not run at the same time on both coasts as Southern Thailand is affected by two different monsoon seasons. It means that different islands have good weather at different times of the year making Southern Thailand a perfect place for beach vacation all year round.

The peak tourism season of Thailand is the cool season lasting from November to February when the weather is coolest and driest. Crowds and prices are at the highest during that time. If you wish to avoid crowds and save some money, you should evaluate other options too. If you have a trip plan in your mind already, checking when is the best time for you to fulfil your Thailand trip plan might be a good idea.

For more detailed weather information, see our Thailand weather page.

Cost of traveling

Traveling on a budget is easy in Thailand. There are many cheap enough accommodations available almost everywhere so you won’t need to break your budget. By spending as little as 20-30 EUR a day you can get yourself accommodation, street food and a bottle of beer at night.

Choose fancier hotel, dine at restaurants, drink cocktails at nightclubs and your daily expenses will multiply but it will still be much cheaper than you would pay for that back home.

Thai language

English is quite widely spoken by Thais in touristy destinations. Hotel receptionists, travel agents, taxi drivers, vendors and other people related to tourism industry usually speak some English.

However, learning some basic Thai would be a good idea. Phrases like "hello" and "thank you", numbers for setting the price and Thai food names for ordering it can be really handy, especially if you are going to visit more remote areas. Learn some basic Thai phrases and words with our Thai Language page.

Thai Culture

When you are traveling to Thailand, no one expects you to be perfectly polite in Thai way. However, it's important to know the basics of local culture before your trip if you wish better understand Thai people. There are at least 10 things about Thai Culture that locals would love you to know before traveling to Thailand. Get yourself familiar with them and surprise locals with your nice behaviour.