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Information to prepare your trip in Thailand

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What do you need to know to organize your trip in Thailand ?

Thailand is a holiday destination increasingly popular with more than 27 million visitors in 2014. It has everything a traveler is looking for: warm weather, beautiful beaches and paradise islands, nice monuments and temples, magnificent sceneries, good living, relaxation (massage, yoga...), low prices... and above all it is a very welcoming country.

Visa and passport

To go to Thailand, there are obviously visa formalities which are greatly simplified if your stay is for tourist purpose (see formalities and visa for Thailand) and reduced to add a stamp on your passport if you stay 30 days tops (it depends on the country you come from). You must of course have a valid passport.
The best time to visit Thailand is from November to April, the rest of the year the rains are much more frequent (see climate and weather in Thailand).
The best way to find cheap flight tickets to go to Thailand is to visit price comparison websites.

The country

Concerning Thailand itself, we can summarize by saying that North includes most of the historical and cultural sites and is more authentic than the South, who is more touristy. So to discover Thailand, its history, culture, lifestyle and traditions, prefer go to the North and especially Ayutthaya, Sukhothai and Chiang Mai, the northern capital. The South is more recommended for its beaches and islands for a relaxing journey but you will often be among a lot of other tourists even if there are still spots where tourists do not go a lot yet. The North-east of the country is called Isan and is probably the part of Thailand that has kept its authenticity the most. There are not many travelers coming there but there are some amazing Khmer temples in Isan. The country also has numerous national parks with lush nature and flora. The most visited one is undoubtedly Khao Yai Park in Nakhon Ratchasima province.

Accommodations and transportation

Once there, you will have to find accommodation. The offer is prolific and you won't have a lot of trouble finding a room even you didn't book your accommodation in advance. However, it is recommended for your peace of mind to book at least the first night you spend in Thailand and even those you plan to spend in the very popular tourist destinations such as Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Pattaya or Koh Samui, especially during the December-February period (the site Agoda often offers the best deals).
To move from city to city, there are several options. Taking a plane is the fastest and the most expensive one and only available for certain destinations (see travel by plane in Thailand). The train also does not serve all cities in the country. It is the cheapest transportation in Thailand but also the slowest one (see to travel by train in Thailand). And finally, the bus, the most practical option. It goes faster than the train and by bus you can almost go everywhere (see travel by bus in Thailand). It remains the boat or ferry to go to the islands (see boats to go to the islands of Thailand). Formulas combining bus and ferry exist.

Travel budget in Thailand

The budget for a trip in Thailand can be very reasonable because the cost of living in Thailand is low. You can organize great luxury holidays for the price of a 2 stars room in Europ or go on backpacker mode and spend only a few dollars par day for room and food. This is one of the benefits of Thailand. On this website, we give you many addresses and phone numbers of cheap hotels and guesthouses. Cheap does not mean seedy hotel in Thailand. The price/quality ratio is excellent. Average room with basic confort (double room with air conditioning and private bathroom with shower), count between 400 and 1200 euros, the most popular destinations being more expensive than the other ones (mainly in Southern Thailand). You can obviously find cheaper or more expensive, it depends on the location and level of comfort you are seeking for (rooms with fan and/or with shared bathroom are cheaper of course). In general, for the same level of comfort, the room rates are higher in the South than in the North. (See list of hotels and guesthouses in Thailand).

Food in Thailand

For food in tourist areas you will find everything (thai food, pizza, fast foods, German, Norwegian, Swedish, Indian, Japanese, French restaurants...) but try Thai food, it is one of the tastiest cuisine of the world. If you do not like spicy food you will have to precise it otherwise you will have some disappointments but with practice, you will begin to know the dishes that are not or just little spicy. The famous Pad Thai, for instance, are not spicy. To eat for cheap, there are many small restaurants and street stalls or night markets. They often offer delicious food for really low prices. About money with a Visa or Mastercard card, you can withdraw money without any problem at the numerous ATM (there are usually a cost of 200 baht per withdrawal whatever the withdrawal's amount is).

Other information

Prostitution in Thailand, if it exists, we will not deny it, it is only really visible in some places or neighborhoods easy to identify and avoid. So for family vacation, you can choose Thailand with no worry. That is all we will say about prostitution in Thailand. If it is your motivation for going to Thailand, you will find numerous websites about it.