Most nationalities are issued with a Tourist Visa upon arrival at Bangkok Airport. This visa allows you to stay up to 30 days. If you want to stay longer, a 60 Tourist visa can be obtained in advance from Thai consulates in your country. Please check with your local Thai Consulate for more information.
When to go
Thailand is hot and humid year round, with the best time to travel is from the middle of December to the middle of May which is the off-season for typhoons.
There are international flights from most countries to Bangkok. There are direct flights from LA, Vancouver, Sydney, Melbourne, London and most Asian cities. Please check with your travel agent for details. The main airline in Thailand is Thai Airway.
Hotels are plentiful and easy to find when you get there. If you are only going for a short time, or don't want any hassle then its possible to book better hotels from your country. If you want to save money by staying in cheaper and simpler Hotels, then its probably best to just find somewhere when you arrive. Costs for Hotels are as follows: - Budget: US$3-15 Mid-range: US$15-600 Top-end: US$60+. As is always the case, you get what you pay for.
Thai food is tasty and abundant with numerous choices for eating ranging from street stalls to 5 star restaurants. Larger cities have the usual western fast food outlets and western food in some supermarkets. Costs for restaurant meals are as follows:- Budget: US$2-4 Mid-range: US$4-7 Top-end: US$7+.
There are internal flights between most large cities and long-distance buses to all cities and towns of any size. There are also ferries and boats operating to the islands. Car rental is also available in larger cities, although many people will find it hazardous to drive on Thailand roads. Local transport includes buses, metered taxis, tuk-tuks (motorbikes with sidecars) and motorcycle taxis (only for the brave in Bangkok traffic!!).
Thailand is generally a reasonably clean and healthy place, although sanitary conditions can be lower in poorer or remote areas compared to your home country. Your required vaccinations and medical preparations will depend on which parts of Thailand you will be visiting. If you are only going to Bangkok and resort areas then you may not require anything, whereas if you are going to a village in the jungles in North West Thailand then you may need vaccinations and Malaria tablets. Please check with your doctor several weeks before you go. People with sensitive stomachs should be careful with what they eat. If that's you then avoid under cooked meat, salads and unpeeled fruit. Most people should avoid drinking water directly from the tap unless it is bottled or purified.
Thailand 9th Edition, by Lonely Planet Publications. Available from the travel section of any decent bookstore in the USA, Canada, Europe and Australia or you can buy it online at http://www.lonelyplanet.com
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