As the tourism hub of Southeast Asia, Thailand is a vacation hot spot with white sand beaches, lush mountain jungles and a strong cultural heritage marked by intricate temples and historical landmarks. Known as the "Land of Smiles," friendly locals await arriving tourists with open arms and open minds. In addition to breathtaking sights and kind residents, Thailand's affordability and close proximity make this an ideal retreat for travelling Aussies.
Recent headlines reporting on political turmoil, physical attacks and other crimes are deterring safety-conscious travellers from visiting this beautiful destination. But overall, Thailand is a safe nation to visit. All it takes is a few precautions to embark on a carefree adventure to this gem. Being mindful of the country's cultural etiquette, understanding areas to avoid and securing the proper travel insurance are all important to ensuring a positive travel experience. Read on to learn more about travelling to the exotic and historic Kingdom of Thailand.
Etiquette & Customs: As one of Southeast Asia's most popular tourist destinations, locals are accustomed to and tolerant of foreigners traipsing across their beaches, visiting their sacred temples and climbing their tallest peaks. To show respect and appreciation for their customs, read below for tips on cultural etiquette.
Ecotourism: Conservation volunteers are highly welcome to help propel Thailand's ecological improvement efforts. Programs like the Thai Elephant Conservation Project give visitors an opportunity to do good while enjoying Thailand's incredible culture and surroundings.
Transportation: Bus, train, taxi, samlor: You name it, Thailand has it. Getting around the country is easy, affordable and a cultural experience in itself. Read on to learn more about getting around in Thailand.
Temperature & Weather: Like most tropical locales, Thailand’s climate is often warm, with a mean annual temperature of 28 degrees celsius, and humid. For travellers seeking to enjoy hotter temps, March to May is the time to go. Cool and comfortable months are from November through February while June through October mark Thailand’s rainy season.
As with travel to any foreign country, staying on top of travel advisories and reading up on safety information is crucial to worry-free travels. It is a requirement under Thai law to carry photo identification at all times: a driver’s licence or a photocopy of the biodata page from a passport would be adequate identification. Arm yourself against loss or theft of identification with proper travel insurance and ensure safe travels by avoiding these high-risk regions:
Because Thai and Cambodian troops are deployed in these areas and have on occasion engaged each other in armed conflict, the Thai government has warned tourists not to travel to these specific areas. Visit the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website to stay on top of travel advisories.
Tourists can opt for taxi, train, bus or hire a car and driver. But adventure-seeking travellers can choose to do as the locals do and try one of these unconventional modes of transport:
Samlor: The Thai equivalent of a Pedicab. Take this three-wheeled carriage ride to get around small neighborhoods or villages. Samlor drivers will gladly pedal you to your next nearby destination.
Songthaew: Not a fan of buses? Hop on a Songthaew. These converted pickup trucks will gladly take you from town to town for a negotiated price. They come around more frequently than buses, so you can get more sightseeing done instead of waiting for the bus.
Tuk-Tuk: An upgraded Samlor, this three-wheeled motorized rickshaw is Thailand's trademark (albeit a Japanese import). For in-city travel, make this your go-to mode of travel.
It doesn't take much to show your appreciation for the hospitality of the Thai people. By following these tips you’ll not only avoid offending Thailand natives, but also won’t stand out as a tourist:
Thailand is a nation of rich cultural history, friendly locals, beautiful beaches and architectural wonders. As a must-see adventure-packed hotspot, visitors will love the mix of cultural flare and scenic tourist attractions. Whether you're laying low and relaxing beach-side, immersing in Buddhist culture by visiting ruins and temples or venturing off the beaten path to discover the great outdoors, don't embark on your journey without travel insurance. Get a quote today to secure your peace-of-mind while visiting the Kingdom of Thailand.
Annual rainfall and average temperatures representative of statistics gathered from World Bank for the host country or a continental sample; temperatures and rainfall gathered from a 20-year period between 1980 and 1999. Clock time does not take into account DST for other countries.