» Check that your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the day of arrival in Thailand.
» Make the first reading of your travel insurance policy to familiarize yourself with the coverages you have and the procedure if necessary. Keep the phone number and contact email handy. Be aware of the limits of your policy. What travel insurance do you need?
» Make copies of your passports, insurance policy, credit cards, vouchers and flight tickets. Carry one copy with you and upload the second one to the Internet.
» Have the address and emergency telephone number of your embassy in Bangkok or consulate at hand.
» Prepare travel money in cash and at least one credit card. Update the official exchange rate here.
» Have at hand the name and address of your first accommodation in the country, you will have to include it when filling out the immigration form.
» If you plan to purchase a Thai sim card to have Wi-Fi and be able to make/receive local calls, you can book it in advance and have it installed and activated as soon as you arrive at the airport.
» Backpack or suitcase? Both options are good, choose the one that is most comfortable for you. The smaller, the better and avoid exceeding the weight you can move cosily. Keep in mind the possible limitations if you fly with low-cost companies and also if you plan to make purchases in the country.
» Include mosquito repellent, sunscreen and moisturizer cream. Sunglasses and a cap or hat.
» Some analgesic–antipyretic, antidiarrheal and also a thermometer. Band-aids, scissors and an antiseptic. Remember that knives and scissors cannot go in hand luggage.
» If you are going to catch a ferry, take dizziness pills.
» Light clothing, which transpires well and comfortably. A good raincoat. For activities in the tropical forest or jungle, you can wear light long pants and cool long-sleeved shirts to protect yourself from insects.
» At least two pairs of shoes or sneakers that adapt well to the activities you are going to do.
» It may be interesting to wear a neckerchief or scarf to defend yourself from air conditioners and at least one sweater. If you anticipate mountain activities, wear more warm clothes. In January it is usually cool at night in many destinations.
» If you are going to rent a motorcycle, be aware that you will have to be very cautious and wear the helmet (this recommendation is not as obvious as you could think).
» If you are going to drive a motorcycle or car, do not forget to bring the international driving license and your local permit.
» Transfers with airports can be done perfectly by yourself with the information we provide here.
However, there are travellers who prefer to make the reservation before leaving and not to have to solve it when they arrive in Bangkok tired after a long journey.
» Include in the travel documentation the certificate of vaccination against yellow fever if you come from a tropical country of Central/South America or sub-Saharan Africa.
Website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand yellow fever certificate (Attention with Argentina and Paraguay, despite the list follows the alphabetical order of countries, both appear at the end of the list).
» Remember to check-in the flight online, it will save you time at the airport.
» The day before departure check the weather forecast for the first days.
Some time before, about the Thais
» Take some time to get acquainted with the Thailand culture. Update the country’s circumstances through the press and Internet, inquire your embassy and foreign affairs department.
» Be aware and prudent regarding the law and Thai culture. Probably some rules and social uses will not match with those of the country from which you come. If during the trip you are unsure of the repercussion of something you want to do, seek advice from someone with experience, Thai or foreign who lives there for a while.
» Bear in mind the different social and religious sensitivities, especially regarding nudism and topless. In Thailand, explicit demonstrations of affection between couples may be awkward for Thais around.
» Buddha images are sacred and must be treated as such, even by foreigners. Thais feel high esteem for the royal family and do not let anyone disrespect them.
» It is forbidden to leave the country with original images of Buddha, only those considered as souvenirs are allowed.
Be careful, I mean ...
» Thailand is a country where women travel alone without danger, but always aware of the local culture and with the usual precautions to avoid risky situations. Also get information on the standards for women in the local culture, including clothing.
» Bring more than one means of payment (cash and at least one credit card), some service or entrance fee might require only one way to be paid. Do not carry all the money kept in the same place and leave it in the hotel room if there is a safety box available.
» Nowadays, airports in Thailand don’t require any fee to passengers, but it is advisable to have some cash in Thai currency (baht) because it may be necessary to pay the entrance fee to national parks and other places.
» Confirm the flight back the previous days.
A safe journey, few ideas
» Never carry with you or get involved in drugs, no way. Penalties are severe: from 10 to 50 years in prison or even a death sentence. Also, check that your medical prescriptions are legal in Thailand.
» For extended stays or when security circumstances are not stable, it is advisable to register at your country’s embassy in Bangkok or the local consulate.
» Beware of pickpockets when visiting crowded tourist spots.
» Keep your passports safe, often stolen. Never leave your passport as bail when renting a motorcycle or a car. If you decide to keep it in the safety box of your hotel, take a copy with you.
» In the event of an incident, as it could be a robbery, request the first aid to the tourist police (1155), present in the tourist areas of the country.
» Be careful when riding a motorbike because driving this vehicle in Thailand may be dangerous, especially at night, when the alcohol shows up, as well as during the rainy season. Never discard the helmet, which often happens among Western visitors.
» Regarding scuba diving, keep in mind that this is a risky activity and, therefore, you must find a specialised company with the most demanding standards.
» Never go through a customs office with something that doesn’t belong to you.
» Upon arrival on your international flight, verify that your passport has the entry stamp once you have passed the immigration counter and do not lose or damage the immigration card. Take a photo with your mobile.
» Do not accept the help of the local guides that are offered on the street, even if they show apparently right credentials.