Travelling to Thailand

General information

Currency: Thai Bath (THB). One USD is about 33 THB. One EUR is about 40 THB. One JPY is about 0.30 THB (September 2017).

ATMs are found almost everywhere. You can also change foreign currencies in many bank branches. You may change money at tourist destinations, but the exchange rate is not good.

Tip: Make sure you have small bank notes (100 or less) and coins with you, because taxi drivers and vendors don’t have much exchange money. ATMs have 1000, 500 and 100 bank notes. So you can for example withdraw 9,900 bath instead of 10,000.

Tipping: It is normal to give 20 THB for small services. Some restaurants include 10 % tip in the bill. To put it into perspective; minimum wage is 300 THB for people with basic education. Minimum salary for persons with a Bachelor degree is 15,000 THB per month.

Value Added Tax: 7 %.

This socket is very common in Thailand and accommodates plugs type A, B, C and F.

Electrical power: 220 Volts at 50 Hertz. Sockets are for type A, B, C and F plugs, which are mainly used in Japan, Philippines, Taiwan, North America, most countries in Latin America and Europe, and some countries in Africa. Old sockets can only accommodate Type A and B plugs.

Public holidays in Thailand: Click HERE.

Free wi-fi is available in most hotels, bars and restaurants.

Sim cards: You can purchase sim cards from major providers at the airports. At Suvarnabhumi airports are they located near exit 4 and exit 7.

Emergency number: 1155. This is the Tourist Police and have English speaking operator.


Visa

Tourism is important for Thailand, and it is relatively easy to travel to and stay in the Land of Smiles. Foreign citizens who wish to enter the Kingdom of Thailand is required to obtain a visa from a Royal Thai Embassy Tourism accounts for 17 % of Thailand’s GDP or a Royal Thai Consulate-General before they travel. Nationals of certain countries do not require visa if they are nationals of countries which are exempted from visa requirements when entering Thailand for tourism purposes, or they are nationals of countries which hold bilateral agreements with Thailand on the exemption of visa requirements. Read more HERE.

Link to full visa information from Ministry of Foreign Affairs HERE.

Foreigners aged 50 years or older can apply for Non-immigrant “O-A” (Long Stay). It known as “Retirement visa” and is valid for 1 year. The main requirement is that you have 800,000 THB in a Thai bank account for last three months, or that you can document a monthly income of at least 65,000 THB, or a combination of those.

Foreigners are advised to carry their passports at all time. An alternative is to have a photocopy of the photo page, the last entry and the Departure card (TM.6) and keep the passport in a safe in the hotel.

Special notes:

  1. The validity of visa and the duration of stay are not the same. When a visa is valid for 3 months, it means that you must use the visa within 3 months from the date of issue.
  2. When you stay in Thailand on a single-entry visa and intend to leave Thailand for a period, you must apply for re-entry permit before you leave Thailand. This can be done at the Immigration Office or at the Immigration at any international airport.
  3. When you stay in Thailand on a long-term visa, you will have to report to the Immigration Office once every 90 days.
  4. Overstay results in a fee of 500 THB per day. Overstay for more than 90 days results in a re-entry ban from one year and up to ten years.

Arriving Thailand

You will have to fill an Arrival & Departure card (TM.6) before entering immigration. The card is given to the passengers on inbound flights. You must enter your passport number, flight number and the address where you will spend the first night. So keep a pen, your passport, boarding card and hotel booking within reach when you are seated. The departure slip must be kept together with your passport and delivered to immigration at departure.

You are allowed to bring one carton with cigarettes and one bottle of spirits (wine or stronger) into Thailand. And please don’t even think about drugs. Thailand has zero tolerance for drug smugling, even in the smallest quantities. “Bangkok Hilton” is not a place you want to spend the next years of your life.