At an exchange rate of THB30 to the US dollar, Thailand's baht (THB) is widely used for all purchases made in cash inside the country. There are ATMs across Thailand servicing international cards and credit cards are accepted except by small businesses not yet online.
Security and the Police Force
Take much precaution when in Thailand as with any other foreign country when travelling. Although considered to be a fairly safe country, crimes such as petty theft, assault to persons and properties, etc., are still present especially in areas frequented by tourists and during late in the evening. The provinces and its far-flung rural spots located towards the south such as Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala, are particularly not recommended due to the non-stop, occurring civil disturbances. Lastly, we do not recommend taking buses, whether private or public, as they are usual targets for theft.
Unfortunately, the Thai police force does not speak English and are prone to corruption due to their dismal pay. However, tourists can seek assistance by dialling the Thai Tourist Police’s hotline, 1155, open twenty-four (24) hours daily.
Thailand is known for its healthcare system, together with Singapore. As a result, expect to pay for expensive fees unless you’re prepared enough to purchase insurance prior to travelling.
Modes of Transportation
As mentioned above, we strongly discourage taking private minibus touring services, as they are prone to theft mainly because locals know tourists are its major clients. This should pose as no hindrance in getting around Thailand since it has a complete public transportation system. One can take the public rail, low cost airline and bus networks servicing the whole of Thailand at very affordable prices.
You may obtain a visa, free of charge, with duration of 30 days if you arrive by air and 15 days if you arrive by land. However, the system involved in getting visas is quite complex so it is recommended to first drop by our Thailand visa page for more in-depth information.
English is not commonly known or spoken in Thailand, even in tourist spots and by taxi drivers, so expect difficulty in communication if you do not have basic understanding of the Thai language. Add to this the quite complex, heavily tonal and non Roman alphabet characteristic of the Thai lingo and expect your fair share of confusion even in trying to memorize the basics like greeting and counting phrases.
If you want up-to-date information on Thailand’s weather, check out our Thailand weather page. For the most part, however, Thailand has only two seasons, dry and wet, with one thing in common, hot during both times. Sometimes different kinds of weather are experienced because of two monsoon seasons cutting across the country, especially in the islands located in southern Thailand.
Alluring in its own term, Thailand serves both end of the vacationing/travelling spectrum. On one side are the first class destinations and accommodations found only in well-seasoned Samui and Phuket. While on the other side is the just tapped and recently discovered north and north eastern niches famous for its rural exoticness. For the most part, it is best to bear in mind that Thailand is getting to that development found in its better off neighbours like Singapore as its tourist and metropolitan areas are being urbanized.
More than Meets the Eye
Overall, we consider Thailand to be a very hospitable and peaceful place to visit despite the recent political upheavals and differences. Moreover, it boasts of a powerful currency as its baht can afford you luxurious accommodations. Finally, we highly recommend but with enough precaution, watching out for what is hidden from plain view, the trails not so much frequented by tourists like the old style Thailand countryside, which even today remains to be its priceless possession.