Stunning, cheap and diverse, the best way to go about Thailand is to follow your senses and take the path your heart chooses. I have presented an idea of basic traveling costs in Thailand and they have been based upon my own experiences. Hope it helps other travelers in the land of smiles.
Visa – Thailand offers visa free entry to most nationalities and Indian passport holders can avail the 14 days visa on arrival facility. The cost of this visa is 1000 baht and the process requires 2 passport sized photos, hotel/tour vouchers or proof of fund during the stay and return ticket.
Getting In – The easiest way to enter Thailand is by air. A whole lot of full service and low cost airlines caters to Thailand and Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport is a huge transit base in Asia. Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport is also an international airport along with Phuket and Chang Mai. Thai Airways is the national carrier and Cebu Pacific, Tiger Air, Air Asia, Bangkok Airways, Nok Air, Orient Thai etc connect Thailand with nearby foreign and domestic destinations. Thailand shares land border with Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Malaysia and crossing is possible at various parts across the country. For details check out the list of land border crossings It is also possible to enter Thailand by boat from the Malaysian island of Langkawi and leisure boat check ins are at Pattaya, Kraabi, Phuket, Koh Samui and Pranburi.
Getting Around – Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link provides fast and budget friendly connections to Phaya Thai station. The Airport Link station is located at the basement level of Suvarnabhumi Airport. Thailand has a lot of airlines commuting to its domestic routes and island transfers. Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, Air Asia etc are some of the most popular ones. Tuk tuks, samlors (three wheeler pedicabs), songtheaws, motorcycle taxis, vans, shared taxis, buses, BTS (above ground metro rail), MRT (underground light rail) etc make up Thailand’s huge range of easily available and cheap public transportation. There are various bus companies offering overnight rides to different parts of Thailand and their prices depend on the level of comfort (and distance to destination).
Mo Chit in Bangkok is the biggest long distance bus terminal. Thailand’s long distance buses can range from fan cooled to super luxurious double decker ones. Thailand has a few active and efficient train routes and the popular ones are Chiang Mai, Kanchanaburi, Suratthani, Lopburi, Ayuthaya etc. Bangkok’s long distance train station is Hua Lamphong and trains are divided into classes. For detailed train route of Thailand, check out Thailand is also popularly navigated on boats and the reu·a hăhng yow are quintessential Thai water transport.
Language – Thai is the official language of Thailand and English is widely spoken. There are chances of language difficulties in remote and offbeat areas.
Currency – Thailand’s official currency is Thai Baht.
Travel Tips – Explore Thailand’s fantastic gastronomical delights at its night markets and street food vendors scattered across the country. Bottled water is mandatory and since most restaurants tone down the heat for tourists, ask for spicy if you prefer your food that way. Accommodations of all budgets, style and comfort levels are found throughout Thailand and the country has some excellent liveboard options. Thailand is a backpacker’s paradise and from laundry (by weight), cheap food, volunteer programmes to pocket friendly efficient public transportation, it is one of the best budget destinations in the world.
Travel Caution – Thailand has strict anti narcotic laws and even foreigners are not exempted from punishments for possession and trafficking of drugs. Buying, selling or possessing opium, heroin, amphetamines, hallucinogenic mushrooms and marijuana are strictly forbidden in Thailand and punishments include imprisonment, fine and/or execution.
Thailand is also a scam hotbed and from precious stone, tuktuk, ping pong show, antiques etc, the list of scams is endless. Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) firmly suggests tourists to “Disregard all offers of free shopping or sightseeing help from strangers. These invariably take a commission from your purchases.” Theft is another annoyance in Thailand and it makes sense to be extra cautious of one’s own belongings. Sex tourism is one of Thailand’s infamous highlights and it is in reality illegal. There are many rampant stories of dangers revolving around this trade.
Thailand is a devout Buddhist nation and Buddha images are held sacred. Buying, carrying of Buddha images are considered sacrilege and are punishable acts (even if committed by foreign visitors). It is important to dress appropriately when visiting a temple and monks need to be treated with the highest respect. Women travelers are advised to cover their shoulders, arms and wear long skirts or trousers, when visiting temples and touching the monks by even female worshipers is not allowed. Pointing feet or showing your back towards Buddha is not appropriate and shoes need to be removed when visiting temples, homes and even some shops. Possessing the movie or prints of “Anna and the King” is not allowed and foreigners are expected to treat the royal family with respect.
Things to Do – Thailand is a proper 360 degrees travel destination and it offers something for every taste, budget and preference. While culture seekers can soak up its exquisite galleries, performing arts, temples, archaeological sites, tribal markets, quaint villages etc, nature lovers can revel in its southern beaches or northern hilly regions. The country is home to some breathtaking national parks and adventure lovers can indulge in trekking, rock climbing, sea kayaking, diving, ziplining, angling etc.
Thailand also has some very exclusive golf clubs and a substantial expats calling it home. Travelers with children can enjoy a whole range of kid friendly activities like elephant volunteer camps, amusement parks and snorkeling. Thai festivals are both unique and exotic and the most popular ones are Loy Krathon, Songkran, Surin Elepahnt Round Up, Isaan Rocket Festival, Vegetarian Festival, Monkey Banquet Festival, Chiang Mai Flower Festival etc. For detailed list of Thai festival, click here
Thailand is a great place to shop and from souvenirs, antiques, silk, gems, paintings, handicrafts to young upcoming Thai designer’s works it is one potpourri of delightful things. Street markets, weekend markets, night markets and high end malls offer excellent and wide range of shopping easy VAT refund can be accessed at Thailand’s all international airports. For more information on VAT refund, check out
Things to Carry – Sunscreen, insect repellents, easy to wash, quick drying cotton clothes, sandals. walking shoes, hats, surf boards (if applicable), scarves for covering head and shoulders at religious sites, e and paper vouchers of your hotel details, passport photocopy, a 220 volts at 50 hertz plug adapter etc.
Best Time to Visit – Throughout the year
Presenting an idea of Thailand travel cost incurred in 2014.
VIP Bus to Hua Hin from Suvarnabhumi Airport 305 baht
Medium Range Restaurant Dinner 200 baht
Beer 180 baht
I hour Thai oil Massage 300 baht
Donkey’s Rest Guest House in Hua Hin (single airconditioned room with ensuite bathroom, free wifi and breakfats during Christmas) for 7 days 6600 baht
Motorcycle taxi (short distance) 20 baht
Water bottle 20 baht
Bangkok airways flight to Chiang Mai from Suvarnabhumi (one way) 3450 baht
Airport taxi at Chiang Mai to city center/old city 120 baht
General songthaew fares 30 baht (although at night they charge double)
Khantoke dinner 520 baht (including transfer)
Trekking group tour in Chiang Mai 1000 baht
Chiang Mai Golden Triangle boat trip 1400 baht (with lunch)
Hand carved soaps 360 baht (for 4)
Ice tea 50 baht
Bunch of bananas 20 baht
RESPONSIBLE TRAVELING-BECAUSE I CARE