THAILAND PRE-DEPARTURE INFORMATION
Thailand is a wonderful country and offers something for everyone. From the bustling modern metropolis of Bangkok to ancient archaeological sites, to jungle and beautiful tropical beaches, this Buddhist country is sure to leave visitors with warm memories. We wish you a memorial trip in Thailand, and offer the below information to help you prepare.
Most nationalities may stay for at least 30days in Thailand without a visa and at no charge (or with visa-on-arrival) when arriving at one of Thailand’s international airports. However, we encourage you to check online at www.mfa.go.th for the latest information. (Note – Mexican, Venezuelan, Costa Rican and some other Central and South American nationals must apply for a visa before travelling to Thailand. Please check with your local embassy to be sure).
Tourists from Andorra, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan are entitled to apply for Visa on Arrival (VOA) at 42 designated immigration checkpoints, which will allow tourists to stay in the country up to 15 days.
From Sep 27th 2016, the Visa on Arrival fee will be 2,000THB for single way. The list of the countries, may apply for Visa on Arrival, can be changed because of the regulation at the airport. For the following types of visa, please visit http://www.consular.go.th/main/th/customize/62281-Summary-of-Countries-and-Territories-entitled-for.html.
The 42 designated immigration checkpoints to apply for the VOA are as follows:
For Nationalities requiring a visa prior to arrival in Thailand, it is important to ensure a visa is pre-arranged when transiting through Thailand. This is particularly important for clients whereby the luggage is required to be collected from the luggage carousel and checked into the next flight. Example: Paris to Bangkok on Air France, connecting flight Bangkok to Phnom Penh with Bangkok Airlines. These two airlines do not connect and client must pass through immigration to collect luggage and check into next flight.
Please make sure your passport is valid more than 6 months from the date of departure of each country you are visiting. Also, make sure you have enough blank pages – you may need up to 1.5 pages for each country you visit in Southeast Asia.
Tourist arriving at land border and without a pre-arranged tourist visa in their passports will be granted only 15 day stays.
If you are visiting Thailand and you live in or have traveled through a yellow fever zone then you need to have a yellow fever certificate to show that you have been accinated against the illness. When you arrive in Thailand, you will be asked for your yellow fever certificate. You need to show this at the medical counter before queuing for immigration. The following countries have been listed by the Thai Government as yellow fever infected areas. Check to see if you have been in any of these places during the last 6 months.
|Burundi||Equatorial Guinea||Guinea Bissau||Peru||Suriname|
Thailand has two airports in Bangkok: Suvarnabhumi International Airport is the new airport for international flights and Don Muang Airport is used mainly for domestic flights. There are also a number of international airports across the country.
Regional international airports include Hat Yai, Koh Samui and Phuket in the South and Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in the North.
TRIP & TRAVEL INSURANCE
Travelers are highly recommended to purchase trip and travel insurance. Trip insurance covers the cost of your trip should you be forced to cancel your trip before you start the trip. Travel insurance covers such cost as emergency and medical evacuation, hospital fees, property loss, etc. which could possibly happen during the trip.
Please consult your doctor to discuss your particular health or immunization requirements. If you would like to have a source of further information, please refer to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov
- International Airlines
Bangkok is one of Asia’s largest air hubs, so it is very well connected to the rest of the world. Major airlines flying to Thailand include Thai Airways, Air France, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa, Qantas, Singapore, Emirates Airlines and many more.
- Domestic Airlines
There are a number of domestic airlines operating in Thailand but the most reliable ones are Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways.
Thai Airways is the national carrier operating with larger size aircraft from Airbus and Boeing, while Bangkok airways operates some ATR72-200 (70 seats) in addition to the smaller airbus jets.
- Seat Assignment on the airplane
The internal flights throughout Southeast Asia are relatively short, therefore seat assignment is not always possible in advance. The best way to secure a seat of your choice is to arrive at the airport early. You are requested to be present at the airport at least 1 hour before departure for domestic flights and 3 hours before departure for international flights.
- Airport security
Please be aware that our courtesy check in service is now limited due to the current world security climate. Some airports will stipulate that you must check in your own bags. We thank you for your understanding on this matter.
- Luggage allowance
Each airline has its own luggage allowance policy. Excess baggage is charged at a certain specific rate depending on the individual route. You are advised to check your airline prior to travel. All airlines now stipulate that liquids, gels and/or aerosols in carry-on luggage must be in completely closed containers of 3 oz/100ml or less (even if the container is partially filled).
- Departure airport tax
Airport tax for both domestic and international flights is included in the ticket price.
Thailand’s currency, the Baht, trades for around 34 Baht to 1 US Dollar (check www.xe.com for the latest exchange rate). You will have no trouble finding ATMs, getting cash advances, exchanging travelers’ cheques or using popular credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, JCB, Amex, UnionPay) or debit cards (Visa, MasterCard, UnionPay) in Bangkok and other major tourist centers (Chiang Mai, Phuket, Koh Samui, etc.) although it is wise to bring adequate funds in Thai Baht if traveling in remote areas. The most popular credit cards are Visa and MasterCard, followed by Amex and JCB. US Dollars are not accepted in shops, restaurants, taxis, etc. so you should carry Thai Baht. Credit card fraud is a problem so please exercise caution and do not allow vendors to take your credit card out of your sight.
Tipping is not compulsory but it is greatly appreciated throughout Southeast Asia, especially in the service industry. For reference, we have provided a general guideline below.
Tour guide/ Driver
If you are pleased with the services provided by your tour guide and driver, a tip for their hard work will be very much appreciated. In general, we recommend around US$10-20/day for guide and US$5-10/day for driver if less than 4 people in a group. We recommend around US$15-25/day for guide and US$10-15/day for driver if there are 5 people or more.
Hotel and Restaurant staff
A tipping of 5-10% of the bill in restaurant is appreciated. If you stay a couple days in the same hotel, a tip to the maid service of 1-2$/day is appreciated.
If you travel on a local basic boat such as Chao Praya River, a suggested tip from US$5-10 per boat is appreciated – more or less depending on the group size and the trip’s duration. For an overnight boat trip such ason the Manorah Song Cruise, the suggestion is $20 – $30 per person to cover all the boat crew.
SHOPPING & SHIPPING
If you choose to ship items home, we highly recommend that you buy shipping insurance and check the policy details. As shops are not responsible for damages incurred en route, it is better to be safe and sorry.