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Thailand

Visa Requirements:

Visa on arrival

Languages Spoken:

Thai

Currency Used:

Thai Bath

General Information

Thailand, officially the Kingdom of Thailand and formerly known as Siam, is a country at the center of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. With a total area of approximately 513,000 km2 (198,000 sq mi), Thailand is the world's 50th-largest country. It is the 20th-most-populous country in the world, with around 69 million people.

Thailand is a constitutional monarchy and has switched between parliamentary democracy and military junta for decades, the latest coup being in May 2014 by the National Council for Peace and Order. Its capital and most populous city is Bangkok. It is bordered to the north by Myanmar and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern extremity of Myanmar. Its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast, and Indonesia and India on the Andaman Sea to the southwest.

The Thai economy is the world's 20th largest by GDP at PPP and the 27th largest by nominal GDP. It became a newly industrialized country and a major exporter in the 1990s. Manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism are leading sectors of the economy. It is considered a middle power in the region and around the world.

Tourism makes up about 6% of the economy. Thailand was the most visited country in Southeast Asia in 2013, according to the World Tourism Organisation. Estimates of tourism receipts directly contributing to the Thai GDP of 12 trillion baht range from 9 percent (1 trillion baht) (2013) to 16 percent.[75] When including the indirect effects of tourism, it is said to account for 20.2 percent (2.4 trillion baht) of Thailand's GDP.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) uses the slogan "Amazing Thailand" to promote Thailand internationally. In 2015, this was supplemented by a "Discover Thainess" campaign.

Asian tourists primarily visit Thailand for Bangkok and the historical, natural, and cultural sights in its vicinity. Western tourists not only visit Bangkok and surroundings, but in addition many travel to the southern beaches and islands. The north is the chief destination for trekking and adventure travel with its diverse ethnic minority groups and forested mountains. The region hosting the fewest tourists is Isan in the northeast

Thailand

Places To Go

The Kingdom of Thailand is a country of a million smiles and extremely popular direction of South-East Asia, where tourists can find all recreational options. If you want a classical holiday in a modern resort – Thailand is exactly what you need. If you dream of a vibrant nightlife – Thailand is a perfect spot. If you dream of tropical remote beaches far away from civilization – it can also be found in Thailand. The main problem is to choose the right resort, as all of them are so attractive and magnificent that you can have some difficulties in picking up. Above all, the absence of visa formalities greatly simplifies trip preparations

Bangkok

Thailand’s capital, is a large city known for ornate shrines and vibrant street life ,nightlife, restaurants, markets, and shopping centers. The boat-filled Chao Phraya River feeds its network of canals, flowing past the Rattanakosin royal district, home to opulent Grand Palace and its sacred Wat Phra Kaew Temple. Nearby is Wat Pho Temple with an enormous reclining Buddha and, on the opposite shore, Wat Arun Temple with its steep steps and Khmer-style spire.

Chiang Mai

A city in mountainous northern Thailand. Founded in 1296, it was capital of the independent Lanna Kingdom until 1558. Its Old City area still retains vestiges of walls and moats from its history as a cultural and religious center. It’s also home to hundreds of elaborate Buddhist temples, including 14th-century Wat Phra Singh and 15th-century Wat Chedi Luang, adorned with carved serpents.

Pattaya

A city on Thailand’s eastern Gulf coast known for its beaches. A quiet fishing village as recently as the 1960s, it’s now lined with resort hotels, high-rise condos, shopping malls, cabaret bars and 24-hour clubs. Nearby, hillside Wat Phra Yai Temple features an 18m-tall golden Buddha. The area also features several designer golf courses, some with views of Pattaya Bay.

The Phi Phi Islands

An island group in Thailand, between the large island of Phuket and the west Strait of Malacca coast of the mainland. The islands are administratively part of Krabi province. Ko Phi Phi Don is the largest island of the group, and is the most populated island of the group, although the beaches of the second largest island, Ko Phi Phi Lee, are visited by many people as well. The Islands are reachable by speedboats or Long-tail boats most often from Krabi Town or from various piers in Phuket Province.

Ko Tao

An island in Thailand. Restaurants, nightspots and dive shops cluster in Mae Haad Beach and near Sai Ri Beach. Villas dot palm-fringed beaches such as Chalok Baan Kao Bay, on the south coast. In the northwest, Koh Nang Yuan is a group of islets with hilltop views. Ko Tao is known for its tropical coral reefs, with species including whale sharks and rays. Hawksbill and green turtles gather here to breed.

Ko Samui

Thailand’s second largest island, lies in the Gulf of Thailand off the east coast of the Kra Isthmus. It's known for its palm-fringed beaches, coconut groves and dense, mountainous rainforest, plus luxury resorts and posh spas. The landmark 12m-tall golden Big Buddha statue at Wat Phra Yai Temple is located on a tiny island connected to Ko Samui by a causeway.

Phuket City

Located on Phuket Island, is the capital of Thailand’s Phuket Province. In the Old Town, Thalang Road is lined with colorful 19th-century shophouses and Sino-Portuguese buildings. Built in 1903 by a wealthy tin merchant, Baan Chinpracha mansion has Italian floor tiles, shuttered windows and antique furniture. Set in a 1930s manor, the Thai Hua Museum has exhibits on Phuket’s culture and history.

Ao Nang

A resort town in southern Thailand's Krabi Province. It's known for a long Andaman coast beachfront and access to dive sites off the nearby islands in its bay. It's also a center for long-tail boat tours to the beaches of limestone islands such as Ko Hong, Ko Poda and Ko Gai (Chicken Island). Other boats make trips to Railay Beach, a well-known destination for rock climbers.

Thailand

Climate

Thailand's climate is influenced by monsoon winds that have a seasonal character (the southwest and northeast monsoon). The southwest monsoon, which starts from May until October is characterized by movement of warm, moist air from the Indian Ocean to Thailand, causing abundant rain over most of the country. The northeast monsoon, starting from October until February brings cold and dry air from China over most of Thailand. In southern Thailand, the northeast monsoon brings mild weather and abundant rainfall on the eastern coast of that region. Most of Thailand has a "tropical wet and dry or savanna climate" type (Köppen's Tropical savanna climate). The south and the eastern tip of the east have a tropical monsoon climate.

Thailand is divided into three seasons:
The first is the rainy or southwest monsoon season (mid–May to mid–October) which prevails over most of the country.[This season is characterized by abundant rain with August and September being the wettest period of the year.This can occasionally lead to floods. In addition to rainfall caused by the southwest monsoon, the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and tropical cyclones also contribute to producing heavy rainfall during the rainy season.Nonetheless, dry spells commonly occur for 1 to 2 weeks from June to early July. This is due to the northward movement of the Intertropical Convergence Zone to southern China. Winter or the northeast monsoon starts from mid–October until mid–February. Most of Thailand experiences dry weather during this season with mild temperatures. The exception is the southern parts of Thailand where it receives abundant rainfall, particularly during October to November. Summer or the pre–monsoon season runs from mid–February until mid–May and is characterized by warmer weather.

Due to its inland nature and latitude, the north, northeast, central and eastern parts of Thailand experience a long period of warm weather.[47]:3 During the hottest time of the year (March to May), temperatures usually reach up to 40 °C (104 °F) or more with the exception of coastal areas where sea breezes moderate afternoon temperatures.In contrast, outbreaks of cold air from China can bring colder temperatures; in some cases (particularly the north and northeast) close to or below 0 °C (32 °F). Southern Thailand is characterized by mild weather year-round with less diurnal and seasonal variations in temperatures due to maritime influences.

Most of the country receives a mean annual rainfall of 1,200 to 1,600 mm (47 to 63 in). However, certain areas on the windward sides of mountains such as Ranong province in the west coast of southern Thailand and eastern parts of Trat Province receive more than 4,500 mm (180 in) of rainfall per year. The driest areas are on the leeward side in the central valleys and northernmost portion of south Thailand where mean annual rainfall is less than 1,200 mm (47 in). Most of Thailand (north, northeast, central and east) is characterized by dry weather during the northeast monsoon and abundant rainfall during the southwest monsoon. In the southern parts of Thailand, abundant rainfall occurs in both the northeast and southwest monsoon seasons with a peak in September for the western coast and a peak in November–January on the eastern coast.

Thailand

Safety Tips

Thailand is the 91st safest country in the world, based on the safest and most dangerous countries ranking. Thailand is supposed to be the least dangerous country in the Southeast of Asia; however, an overall crime rate is quite high, but it mostly confined to the dangerous areas in the South, near the border with Malaysia and urban areas like Bangkok and Pattaya.

Terrorism

Thailand is often making the headlines for terrorist attacks, but most of them have occurred in the Southern regions of the country because of the clashes with different religious groups. We recommend being vigilant while visiting Thailand at all times and follow the high safety cautions.

Crime

Violent crimes against tourists are rare. Although, murders, assaults, and rapes may occur. Be aware of drink and food-spiking in the bars and try not to be separated from your traveling comrades. In terms of violent crimes, they are mostly common in Phuket, Pattaya, Bangkok and tourist areas in the Southern Thailand.

Sexual Harassment

It is worth mentioning sexual harassments; they are most likely to occur at clubs and beach parties like the “Full moon party” on the Island of Phangan. Our main recommendation is to be aware of your surroundings and to travel with your trusted friends.

Stay in touch with your family members from time to time in order to report your location. Crimes such as pick-pocketing, bag-snatching and frauds with credit cards are common. It’s worth to be especially vigilant while walking in overcrowded markets, buses and train stations.

Petit Crime

In Thailand common a way of pickpocketing, when thieves cut bags with a razor and remove valuables imperceptibly. Across Thailand, thieves also operate on a long distance bus and train routes. Below we compiled the most common schemes of scams in Thailand: A scam that involves the rental of motorbikes and jet skis are common. There have been numerous situations reported of renters that have been charged for damage

Most entertainment venues operate honestly; however, some, notably in the red light district, try to overcharge tourists for drinks. Additionally, there are known cases of drugging people in order to rob them. Even casual acquaintances you meet in the bar or overnight train may be dangerous.

There are scams exist with fake police officers. After the conspirator seduces the tourist to participate in something illegal, the “fake police officer” turns out and threatens to arrest unless he or she pays a bribe.

Do not participate in any illegal activity that would put you in an unsafe position. Mainly this kind of scam is common in Bangkok, Phuket, and Pattaya.

Risk Ratings

OVERALL RISK: HIGH
Thailand is a safe country on average – some parts are very safe, others are very dangerous. It is ranked 91st out of 162 on the ranking of the safest and most dangerous cities.

PICKPOCKETS RISK: MEDIUM
As a frequently visited tourist destination with more than 24 million visits yearly, it’s not surprising that pick-pocketing and bag-snatching are common in Thai. Excessive vigilance in all public place is recommended.

MUGGING RISK: MEDIUM
Thailand is a place where an occurrence of kidnappings is low, but it’s likely, especially in the National Parks in the area close to Myanmar (Burma) border where bandit groups operate. Mugging is rare, but it’s possible, notably in the remote neighborhoods and outskirts of the big urban areas.

SCAMS RISK: HIGH
There are lots of scammers, fake police officers, and tuk-tuk drivers trying to take advantage of tourists, particularly in Bangkok and Pattaya. Be aware of a scam that involves the rental of motorbikes and jet skis, as well as the occasional overcharge for drinks in clubs and bars. There are known situations of people being drugged in bars and clubs in order to rob them. There is an equal high probability of credit card scams in Thailand as anywhere else in the world. Criminals steal credit card credentials and pin codes at some ATMs.

TRANSPORT, TAXIS RISK: HIGH
In Thailand, tourists may encounter road conditions that are completely different from those they are used to. Traffic accidents occur very often in Thailand, especially those involving motorcycles. Risks while using the services of Tuk-tuks are high because, generally, you will be 100% ripped off. Public transport is a place with a high density of pickpockets. We recommend being vigilant and look after your wallet when using public transportation -mainly while getting on. Across Thailand, thieves also operate on a long distance bus and train routes. There are high chances of food and drink spiking; thus, we recommend always keeping an eye on your drinks and never accept food or drinks from strangers.

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: HIGH
Severe storms can occur in Thailand. Earthquakes are common and there are numerous tsunamis. For getting the latest meteorological information, you can visit Thailand Meteorological Department website.

TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM
The far south regions of Thailand, such as Yala, Pattani, and Songkhla have frequently experienced violence in the form of small bomb attacks and shootings. All governments and SafeAround recommends refraining from visiting this area of the country. The situation in Thailand’s main cities has been assessed as a medium-threat location for terrorist activity.

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
While Thailand is generally safe for women, constant prudence is highly recommended.