A passport valid up to 6 months beyond your travel date and certain nationalities are required to obtain a tourist visa for entry into Thailand. Most visitors may stay for 30 days without a visa.
The Thai currency is the Baht. The US dollar
is readily acceptable for exchange. Travelers checks and credit
cards (including VISA, Mastercard, and American Express) are accepted in major hotels,
restaurants, and shops in the urban areas. ATMs, which accept Visa and other credit cards,
are available in major cities. Use the currency
converter to help you quickly calculate your exchange amount.
The best overall time for visiting most of Thailand is between
November and February when it rains least and is not too hot. The south is best visited
from March to May and the north is best from mid-November to February.
Monthly Maximum Temperatures (F°)
Before you go, check out the 5-day forecast for Bangkok or Phuket.
No vaccinations are officially required to visit Thailand. However, the Center for Disease Control (CDC)
recommends that visitors have uptodate inoculations for polio, meningitis, hepatitis A&B,
tuberculosis, TABT (typhoid, paratyphoid A&B and tetanus), cholera, malaria, and Japanese
encephalitis. In addition, we suggest you contact your personal physician or clinic specializing in
international travel. Of course, travelers should bring any prescription medications (in the original
containers) currently required. Travelers should pack a small medical kit which includes sunscreen, insect
repellent, diarrhea medication, ibuprofen or aspirin and antibacterial ointments. For those who wear
eyeglasses, it is recommended that an extra pair be taken, as the quality of local replacement services
varies. It is strongly suggested that you have a dental check-up before departure. Medical care facilities
are available but are limited and can be expensive for emergency care. For more information, visit the CDC web site.
The basic Thai diet is comprised of rice, fish, and vegetables,
flavored with garlic, black pepper and nam pla, or fish sauce. The Thais have also
assimilated Portuguese, Indian, Japanese, and Chinese elements into their dishes to create
some of the most exotic foods in the world. All fruits and vegetables should be cooked or
peeled. Drinking tap water or ice is NOT recommended. Bottled water is available (remember
to check the seal).
MAJOR HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS
Most festivals are associated with Buddhist or Brahman rituals and
are based on the lunar calendar. There are festivals almost every month celebrated in
different regions of the country. Public holidays observed are the New Year (Jan. 1); Thai
New Year or "Songkran" (mid-April); Queens birthday (August 12); and the
Kings birthday (December 5). The Rocket Festival (May) in Yasothon and Loy Krathong
(November) in Sukhothai are two major festivals.
GMT +7 hours or +12 hours for EST (subtract 1 hour for daylight savings).
Visit the US State Department website for the most current
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