Located in Southeast Asia, Thailand is the world’s 50the largest city bordering with Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia. The country has a maritime border with India and Indonesia through the Andaman Sea, and with Vietnam via the Gulf of Thailand.
Theoretically, Thailand is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, however, due to the unstable political situation, the country has been turned into a military dictatorship for the past several years.
The capital: Bangkok
Population: 69.43 million (2018 census)
Official language: Thai
Writing system: Thai (Abugida system)
Currency: Thai Baht (THB)
Do you need a visa?
Generally speaking, visitors coming to Thailand must have a visa obtained from one of the Thai diplomatic missions unless they are from a visa-exempt country or can get it on arrival. Currently, citizens of 64 countries and territories can travel visa-free to Thailand, while citizens of 18 countries can get a visa on arrival. Check this document for a detailed list.
Those who can apply for a visa on arrival can stay in the country for 15 days, while others are given a 30-day stay period. Only the citizens of five countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, South Korea, and Peru) can stay in the country for 90 days.
Most of those visas are extendible except for those obtained upon arrival. Those citizens who can get a visa on arrival can apply for an e-visa, however, there are only certain checkpoints that can issue the e-visa including Chiang Mai, Phuket, and both of Bangkok’s international airports.
Is Thailand safe to travel to?
One of the most frequent Thailand travel tips I am asked is how safe the country is. Generally, it is very safe to go to. There are few scamsthat lots of foreigners fall for, however, if you do your research and read about them, you’ll be fine.
There are few incidents of petty crime as elsewhere to general precautions apply here as well – always be attentive and keep your belongings at sight.
In terms of your health safety, it’s always a good idea to have proper travel insurance to cover unexpected incidents. I recommend SafetyWing as one of the most budget-friendly services.
Best time to visit Thailand
Thailand has two seasons that greatly affect the cost of your travel and how much you’d like to travel around. If you are a budget traveler and want to avoid the crowds, then plan your travel to Thailand in the monsoon season that falls from May till October.
Even though the weather is rainy most of the time, the prices for accommodation, flights, and various activities do drop. It should be noted that due to the rain, you might not be able to visit particular places or do some activities, but the rainfall lasts only for a few hours.
For those of you who want to have perfect sunny days to do island hopping, plan their honeymoon in Thailand, or visit various cities without worrying about the rain and bad weather, plan your trip during November to April – the dry season. This is the time which also brings lots of tourists, the warm temperatures, and low humidity.
Thai festivals to attend:
- Songkran, Thai New Year celebrated as a water fight – April. Here’s your perfect guide for surviving Songkran
- Loy Krathong lantern festival all over the country – dates vary
- Yi Peng lantern festival in Chiang Mai – November
- The Vegetarian Festival in Phuket – October