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Tips for traveling to Thailand; visa, vaccines, climate, transport, security...

Are you thinking of traveling to Thailand? If it is your first trip to the country, you may have doubts about whether you need a visa, travel insurance, security in the country... In this post I will tell you everything you need to know to prepare your trip to Thailand; Visas to enter Thailand, vaccinations and preventions, travel insurance, citizen security, transportation, currency, currency exchange, perfect credit cards for travel, haggling, traveling with babies and children, and weather. When is it best to travel?



TRAVEL TO THAILAND


VISA TO TRAVEL TO THAILAND


To enter Thailand you need to have a valid passport, valid for at least 6 months, from the date of entry into the country. The same is required for travel from Thailand to neighboring countries (Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia). Visas: Visas are not required from Spanish citizens for tourist stays of no more than 30 days, following some requirements. Although there are several visa options and I explain them below in detail:


1. “Thailand visa” if you are going to stay less than 30 days


This visa is what is called "Visa Exemption", or what is the same, that you can stay up to 30 days in Thailand, whether you enter by air or by land, without having to obtain a tourist visa. And all this for free. The requirements that you must meet are:


Passport valid for 6 months

Immigration form that they distribute on the plane well completed, or that they will give you at a border post if you enter by land

Ticket to leave the country (up to 30 days later if you enter by air/land)


Notes: On some occasions that I have traveled to Thailand they have not asked me for the information of the exit ticket, on others they have. It does not have to be an exit ticket from Thailand itself. It may be that they are thinking of crossing a neighboring country by land, Myanmar, Laos... or even taking a flight to another nearby country to complete your trip. As long as, if they ask you for this information, you have all the detailed tickets, it is enough.

What they do not want is to see that you only go with a single entry ticket, without knowing what you are going to do next.


Countries that have this visa option “visa exemption” last update March 2022:


Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Laos, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Monaco, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, South, Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States and Vietnam.

2. Simple tourist visa for 60 days (or a little more)


If what you want is to spend more time in Thailand, and your trip will exceed 30 days, it is already necessary to obtain a Thailand visa to stay for a maximum of 60 days. If you manage it from Spain you need:


  • Passport valid for 6 months

  • Visa application form

  • 2 ID photos size 4x5cm

  • Photocopy of round trip ticket, or round trip to a third country on dates within the maximum validity period of the visa.

  • Taxes (€35 for tourist)

  • Citizens with legal residence in Spain but with non-Spanish nationality must also provide a photocopy of their residence card (NIE) certified by the police or the Notary, to guarantee the authenticity of said photocopy. If you do not have legal residence in Spain, you CANNOT apply for a tourist visa at this consulate.

  • Citizens with legal residence in Andorra, but of a different nationality, must provide a photocopy of the Andorran residence card certified by the police or by a Notary who guarantees the authenticity of said photocopy.

  • If you cannot present the documentation in person at the embassy, ​​you can send the documentation by MRW with the "Delivery and Collection" service. In this case, if you meet the requirements for obtaining the visa, MRW will collect it within the indicated period. When payment of the fee is required in cash, MRW can arrange it with the courier upon delivery of the documentation.

  • For any visa of this type you can request it at the Thai embassy in Spain (or request information at the embassy in your country)

  • You can manage the visa online. The best option is on this official website and you avoid having to go to the embassy or send the documentation. I always use this platform for any trip, and have never had any problems. They are also very fast, even for my visa to Vietnam, a visa that usually takes longer than other countries in Southeast Asia, I got it in 3 days.



3. Multiple entry tourist visa


The multiple entry tourist visa to the country may be used during the 6 months following its issuance, with the maximum stay allowed in Thailand being 60 uninterrupted days for each entry. The price is €150 and it is obtained in the same way as the previous one, you must manage the request, fill out the form and add photos etc...

If you are thinking of touring several countries in Southeast Asia and Thailand will be your base or the country that you visit the most, it is a good option.


4. Visa extension once you are in Thailand


If we want to extend our visa without leaving Thailand, we can do it at the Immigration Office. They exist in the main provincial capitals.


Information of the Bangkok office:

The Govenment Complex Commemorating His Majesty, B Building, Floor 2 (South Zone) Chaengwattana Road (Soi 7), Laksi, Bangkok 10210


With the 60-day tourist visa, it can be extended for another 30 days.

With the 30-day visa waiver processed on arrival by air or land, extensions are typically up to 30 days.

If you leave Thailand with an expired visa, you will be fined at the airport or at the immigration office. The fine is THB500 per day up to a maximum of THB20,000.



VACCINES NEEDED TO TRAVEL TO THAILAND


To travel to any country, you should always check with the international vaccination center. They will specify if there is any compulsory vaccination required.

In this case, at present, it is not necessary to be vaccinated to travel to Thailand, but there are some recommended vaccines and they are the following:


  • Typhoid fever: Ideal to avoid the risk of contracting this disease associated with poor hygienic conditions in relation to the preparation and handling of food, with the control of the quality of drinking water and with those places where the disposal of wastewater is not possible. controls. There is also a very useful and simpler pill option for children. The pills are: VIVOTIF and although the pharmacy has never asked me for a prescription, you should consult your doctor first.

  • Hepatitis A and B: a good way to keep these diseases at bay. Booster doses should be given a few years later.

  • Japanese encephalitis. Transmitted by the bite of Culex mosquitoes that abound in the rice fields of Asia, there is a risk of suffering from it in travelers who are going to spend periods of more than a month in these areas.

  • Rage. Indicated for long-stay travelers (more than 4 weeks) in risk areas and those who are going to be in contact with animals. If you are bitten by a potentially rabid animal (dog, bat, horse, etc.), you should receive two more doses.

  • Tetanus-Diphtheria: A good option to avoid complications after a cut or wound.

  • Cholera: Recommended for travelers to endemic areas, particularly those who are going to carry out health activities or travel in very basic living conditions.

  • Malaria: Malaria prophylaxis is recommended. Prophylaxis is not 100% effective, but it is recommended, especially if you are going to travel to rural areas, jungle areas and close to the border of Laos or Myanmar (Golden Triangle), I will tell you now.

  • Dengue: Although there is no vaccine, we name it so that you take into account the use of repellent and the use of a mosquito net. It is advisable to stay in hotels with air conditioning, since they do not like the cold. In the hours before dawn, dawn, dusk and at night it is advisable to wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. In the case of dengue there is no vaccine. Only preventions, to avoid bites. The best repellents are those that contain DEET at 40-50%, or IR 35/35 or icaridin, such as Relec extra strong, Halley or Autan active, every 6-8 hours. We used the first one and we have to say that we did not suffer a bite. For children under 2 years of age, this type of repellent is contraindicated. And for children between 2 and 11 years old, the maximum number of applications they recommend is 2 per day. It is also useful to wear mosquito repellent bracelets (they are sold in pharmacies) and they are more for children. Although they are a bit annoying, they are effective and you can carry them hanging in your backpack or leave them on the nightstand when you go to sleep.



MALARIA IN THAILAND


Although the country is in the control phase of the disease, 8% of the population lives in areas of high transmission. There is risk throughout the year in rural areas and forest areas on the border of Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. So if you are going to travel to the Golden Triangle, take a cruise on the Mekong River or stay in these areas, it is important that you take this into account.

There is also very limited risk to rural and forested areas in Phang Nga and Phuket districts.

There is no risk in the cities or in the main tourist centers; Bangkok, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Pai, Phang Nga, Pattaya, Koh Phangan, Koh Samui, Phuket Island, Krabi Province (Koh Phi Phi, Koh Yao Noi, Koh Yao Yai and Ko Lanta) or in Pattaya.


ESSENTIAL TRAVEL INSURANCE TO TRAVEL TO THAILAND


YES ALWAYS. In any destination, any trip, no matter how short or long. Accidents happen, we get sick and we are very far from our new country. Health in Peru, although it is much better than neighboring countries, you can get a consultation for gastroenteritis (something common) or for treatment against altitude sickness, very expensive.


A travel insurance will not only include medical consultations, emergency care, hospitalization, extra accommodation in case you have to stay longer in the country due to quarantine, illness... return flight in case of being urgent, etc... but it also includes lost luggage , transport delays, theft, theft...


Both insurances include a lot, read everything that each package includes and select the option that best suits your type of trip.




CITIZEN SECURITY


In Thailand there is no citizen insecurity, as can happen in European cities, the United States, South America or other areas. You will have the peace of mind to walk anywhere, at any time. You do have to be careful with your personal belongings, and it is more so for the other travelers who sometimes have long hands, than for the locals. As in any country in the world, you always have to be cautious, but rest assured that Thailand is a safe country.


TRANSPORT IN THAILAND


Thailand is very big, to move around the country you can use planes, trains, buses, minivans, taxis...


For long distances, if you can avoid the train or the bus and take a plane, do it! Internal flights through Thailand are not usually very expensive, you will save time and are a thousand times more comfortable.



To explain a little better how to move according to which place in Thailand I differentiate it in zones;

THE BEST WEBSITE TO HIRE YOUR LOCAL TRANSPORT, WHETHER FLIGHTS, BUSES, TRAINS... IS 12GO.ASIA From this link you can find all the offers. In addition, it is very easy to book in your language, payment and guaranteed reservation and with the reservation on the mobile there is no need to print or carry papers with you. I always use it.


How to get around northern Thailand:


Personally, the best option is by rental car. You will have the freedom to go to all the cities and areas of the north on your own. Rentals are usually around 17 euros per day. Quite cheap, if we take into account the distances and the costs of buses and taxis.



How to get around central Thailand:


Bangkok is crazy. A lot of traffic, they drive like crazy and here it is convenient to avoid renting a car, motorcycle... I'll tell you how to get around Bangkok, the different ways to do it, tips etc... in the post:



How to get around South Thailand:


In Phuket or Krabi, the traffic is much more relaxed. It is possible and convenient to get around by rental car or motorcycle. Here the cost of taxis is higher and they take advantage of the fact that they are much more tourist areas.





MONEY AND CREDIT/DEBIT CARDS IN THAILAND


As in all destinations, I recommend you arrive in Thailand with little money changed. Carry cash in euros or US dollars and in Thailand you can change what you need day by day. The worst change is the one at the airport!


The Currency in Thailand in the Thai Bath. More or less 1 EURO = 35 BATHS.


Almost all accommodations manage currency exchange. You can also exchange money at banks or currency exchange offices.


The best option is not to carry too much cash and travel with debit or credit cards. A debit card that I especially like for traveling is the N26 card. It is thinking for travelers. You will be able to withdraw money in the local currency, you will be able to withdraw money from almost all ATMs in the world without commissions and endless advantages. It also includes travel insurance. (It's not too complex, but it has many advantages.)

Also... it's TOTALLY FREE to open an account, and get the standard card. They do not charge interest or opening or maintenance commissions.... Don't you have it? You can get your free card from this link, register, get your account and start planning your next trip.


What I like the most about the N26 is that it works completely from an APP. Do you want to put the money in different folders? OK Do you want to have the money blocked and only 20 euros available? OK Do you want to deactivate it and activate it when you feel like it? OK... among a thousand other things.


You only need to waste a few minutes registering and add 20 euros, so that your account is activated and you are ready for your next trip.




BEST TIME TO TRAVEL TO THAILAND

The climate in Thailand could be differentiated into 3 seasons: The cool, the hot and the rainy.


Cool season:

The months of November, December, January and February. (The ideal time to travel to Thailand).


Hot season:

The months of March, April and the first fortnight of May. (There are areas where temperatures can be tremendous, reaching 40º in some areas and with a lot of humidity). Coastal areas are much cooler.


Rainy season:

From the second half of May to the end of October. That does not mean that it rains every day, 24 hours a day.


I have traveled to Thailand on different occasions and at different times. When to travel to Thailand? Any time is good, as long as you find a cheap flight and have vacations, hehe. Traveling is traveling, rain, snow or be very hot. You have to enjoy it!


TRAVEL TO THAILAND WITH CHILDREN

It's the question I get asked the most. I don't know how some don't get tired of asking me, And are you going to take the children there? Well yes… I love to travel, I am passionate about it and I want to enjoy and show my children the world.


Thailand, like all the countries of Southeast Asia, is an ideal country to travel with children. You will have a thousand different things to do; temples, parks, beaches, excursions, all kinds of activities...

As we have already talked about security, Thailand is very safe, you can travel to Thailand with children either on a backpack trip, or on a more planned or resort trip.

In the big cities there are shopping centers with recreational playgrounds. Great! After a day visiting temples, your son will love you again as the most, if you take him one of these places. These are the typical chiquiparks but huge. You will find them in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and in some other cities.

Throughout the country there are national parks, there are activities with contact with nature, sanctuaries and elephant orphanages... great places to combine a cultural trip with more playful activities for the little ones.


INTERNET IN THAILAND


Although in Thailand you can have access to free Wi-Fi in museums, attractions, hotels and the vast majority of restaurants, it is convenient that you hire a SIM card to have data and internet access. It will be very useful for making last minute reservations, being able to hire an uber, locate yourself with google maps or stay connected with your friends and family.


In the post how to have internet in Thailand I explain all the options you have.




PLAN YOUR TRIP STEP BY STEP



I hope you enjoy your trip to Thailand very much and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.


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A hug and see you soon!


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