Thailand Travel Tips
If you're looking for a more exotic and cultural traveling experience, Thailand may be a great fit for you. Whether you want to experience new culinary tastes, or hike a beautiful waterfall after taking a ride on an elephant, Thailand is full of unique opportunities for the adventurous traveler. However, as with any international destination, there are a few tips that can help make your trip smoother and more rewarding.
Depending on where you are located in Thailand, there are different methods available for travel. The most common forms of transportation are taxi, bus, train and bicycle. In many cities your best travel option is just renting a bicycle. Be sure that you also get a bike lock, as your bike will be stolen if it is left unsecured. Train service is mostly limited between Bangkok and the North East, West and South larger towns surrounding it. When traveling by taxi, you can watch the meter to be sure you are being charged the correct amount. Many place in Thailand you can just walk, which is usually a better option during rush hour times anyways.
Duties and Customs
When bringing items into Thailand you will be limited to a camera and five rolls of film, a video camera and three tapes, no more than 200 cigarettes and no more than one liter of wine. Pornography is not allowed in or out of the country, as well as firearms and drugs. When leaving the country, the only thing you will really need to worry about is if you bought any art or statue that portrays Buddha. You will need to pay for a fine arts permit if you do so.
Health and Wellness
Hospitals are available throughout Thailand, with the most advanced being centered in Thailand, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen and Hat Yai. When buying prescription medications, keep in mind that most pharmacies in Thailand sell much more concentrated forms of the drugs. This means that you need to carefully watch your dosage as to not overdose or experience other health problems due to your medication. If you are unsure where to go, talk to the local embassy for information on credible hospitals and health clinics to be treated at.
Passports and Visas
For travelers from both the United States and Canada, you are automatically able to stay up to 30 days in Thailand without applying for a visa. However, a passport will be required. Your passport must have at least six months worth of time left on it before it expires as well. Passports can be replaced at the local embassy if they are lost or stolen.
Religion and religious icons are held very sacred throughout Thailand. Certain areas such as temple and some shrines do not allow the wearing of shoes. Buddhist monks are a common sight depending on where you are traveling in Thailand. It is important to know that they are forbidden to be touched by or to touch a woman. They also cannot accept anything directly from a woman. So if you are wanting a picture opportunity, it is better to respect them and let them be without approaching them. Statues and iconography of Buddha are also considered sacred. Do not climb on, or in any other way disrespect these images. In some cases you may not even be able to take a picture of them.
Must See Locations
When visiting Thailand, the following destinations are absolute must see opportunities when planning out your itinerary. These destinations include: The Ancient City monuments, Mae Fah Luang Art and Cultural Park, Koh Tao, Sukhothai Historical Park, The Thai Elephant Conservation Center and the Ayuthaya Historical Park.
Chris Sherwood is a professional journalist who specializes in health and fitness, diseases, medical and health research, and drug and alcohol effects research. Sherwood works in healthcare administration, specifically with wound care, medical billing and insurance.