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Exploring Thailand

Travel Essentials

We are pleased to offer you some useful tips and practical information on travelling in Thailand; everything from visas and currency to dress codes and tipping can be found below. Once you book your holiday you will get the Fleewinter guide for Thailand, with all of our top tips and favourite finds in it.

Ensure you visit your GP six weeks before travel for general advice on travel risks, vaccinations and malaria. Make sure you take out comprehensive travel insurance with a good accident policy and that you know your blood group. For more information visit &
We also advise you to bring anti diarrhea medicines, because Thai food can give you an upset stomach and it is important not to get dehydrated.
The food in Thailand is usually safe but make sure your fruits and raw vegetables are washed and peeled.
If you drink water, make sure it is bottled water. Never drink tap water.
Ice cubes are safe in Thailand.

Passport holders from 41 countries (including UK, US, Australia and most European citizens) are not required to obtain a visa when entering Thailand for tourism purposes and will be permitted to stay in Thailand for a period of 30 days on each visit. Two week visas are given to those entering Thailand at any of the land border crossings! Some nationalities might need a visa in advance to enter Thailand overland.
Technically, visitors entering Thailand under the Tourist Visa Exemption category must provide proof of adequate finances for the duration of stay in Thailand at the port of entry (i.e., traveller’s cheques or cash equivalent to 10,000 Baht per person and 20,000 Baht per family).
Foreigners entering Thailand by any means under the Tourist Visa Exemption category are required at the port of entry to have proof of onward travel (confirmed air, train, bus or boat tickets) to leave Thailand within 30 days of the arrival date (otherwise a tourist visa must be obtained).


Fleewinter arranges holidays in some of the most exotic and exciting destinations in the world however not all of them have the infra-structure or facilities you might be used to at home. For this reason we believe it is vitally important that all our clients take out travel insurance for peace of mind or in case things do go wrong. It also ensures that if you have to cancel your trip unavoidably, you don’t lose everything.

Our tips are:
1. Buy from a brand you trust (a large company, your bank, etc).
2. Make sure your policy covers independent travel if you booked your flights and accommodation separately.
3. Get the insurance quickly after booking to ensure cancellation is covered.
4. Bear in mind that it is almost impossible to cover for certain situation such costs incurred due to delayed or cancelled return flights (but airlines are now liable to pay compensation in many cases).

The national and official language of Thailand is Thai (more precisely Siamese or Central Thai). Thai is the native language of the Thai people and the Thai Chinese, which is Thailand’s most dominant ethnic group. The language is a member of the Tai group of the Tai-Kadai language family. More than half of Thai words are borrowed from Old Khmer, Sanskrit and Pali. Thai is a tonal and analytic language with a complex orthography and relational markers. The language is mutually intelligible with Lao.

Thailand’s currency is the baht. 1 sterling pound is approximately 45 baht. Bills are available in the following denominations: 20, 50, 100, 500, & 1000. It is recommended to carry cash bahts when traveling to more remote areas.
ATM Networks: Apart from most major banks throughout the country, major chains like 7-11 and all Department Stores have automated-teller machines as well. In general you can get cash with your debit card at any Bangkok Bank, Thai Farmers Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, or Bank of Ayudhya, provided your card is hooked into the MasterCard/Cirrus or Visa/PLUS network.
Banks: Most hotels will change foreign currency, but banks and moneychangers offer better rates. Official banking hours are Monday to Friday 8:30am to 3:30pm. Major cities have foreign-exchange banks and moneychangers, which are open daily until as late as 10pm for exchange.

Telephone, Telex & Fax: Major hotels in Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and the provincial capitals have international direct-dial (IDD), long-distance service, and in-house fax transmission. Keep in mind that all hotels charge a surcharge on local and long-distance calls.
Postal Services: The postal services in Thailand are well organized and cheap. It takes approximately a week for airmail letters to reach the USA or Europe or America. Express mail services are widely available.
Phone: For making local phone calls use a Mobile phone card, much cheaper than using your own mobile phone. Another possibility is buying a local SIM card.
Internet: Most hotels and restaurants in all tourist destinations have Wifi.

Bangkok’s bustling capital began as a small trading centre at Chao Phraya River 200 years ago. Today, the city is well known for its great shopping possibilities, diverse nightlife and endless dining options. But, visitors can still find hints of its illustrious past and dazzling temples, glamorous palaces, and colourful markets.
The Ayutthaya Historical Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site just a 2-hour drive from Bangkok. More
Chiang Mai
During a visit to Thailand’s picturesque North, you will discover Thailand’s spiritual side. Life is a lot slower and more traditional here. We love the green hills and serene landscape of Chiang Mai, its rich heritage, the countless trekking possibilities and the possibilities to see wildlife up close. More
Chiang Rai and the Golden Triangle
A three-hours drive from Chiang Mai leads to Chiang Rai and the legendary Golden Triangle, where the mighty Mekong and Ruak rivers meet and where Thailand borders Laos and Myanmar. This mystical area with its scenic charme is dotted with remote villages populated by the Hmong, Shan, Yao, Karen, Lahu and Lisu ethnic groups. Here, guests will find an abundance of possibilities to get in touch with local communities. More
Koh Kood (aka. Koh Kut)
Ko Kood (also known as Koh Kut) in the Gulf of Thailand is the country’s fourth largest island. However, it is only little developed and still relatively untouched. We love this island not only because of its tropical rainforests, breathtaking waterfalls and empty white beaches, but also because of the fantastic hotel options we have found here. More
Koh Samui
Ko Samui is one of the most visited islands in Thailand, and with good reason: The country’s third largest island is in our opinion one of the best places for an active beach holiday in Thailand. Although busy in parts, it is still possible to find real solitude if you know where to look. More
The UNESCO World Heritage site Sukhothai was the capital of the Thai Empire for approximately 140 years. As of 2014, 193 temples have been excavated and partly reconstructed.

Koh Phangan
Despite its reputation as a party place, most visitors coming to Koh Phangan are not interested in Hat Rin’s party scene but looking for beautiful beaches, turquoise waters and strolls through the national park with its diverse flora and fauna. We love this hippie-at-heart island and have found beautiful boutique hotels and luxurious resorts for you. More
Khao Sok National Park
Get close to nature at the Khao Sok National Park – one of the oldest evergreen rainforests in the world. Conveniently situated on the mainland between Phuket, Krabi, Khao Lak and Koh Samui, a stop at this nature reserve can easily be combined with a trip to one of Thailand’s amazing beaches. Visitors will find rare flora & fauna, huge limestone mountains, deep valleys, breathtaking lakes, exciting caves and wild animals.

Hua Hin
Hua Hin, situated only some 160 km from the bustling metropolis of Bangkok, is a delightful mix of city and sea with long beaches, colourful markets and a great infrastructure. If you are looking for a palm-fringed hideaway, Hua Hin is probably not the place for you. But, this friendly beach town is a great spot if you are looking for some fun beach days and you don’t have the time (and money) to go all the way down South to the islands. More
Despite its reputation as party headquarter, Phuket has some gorgeous corners and fantastic beaches on offer. In fact, we found some of Thailand’s most innovative hotels and luxury resorts on this island.

Khao Lak
Khao Lak is located an hour’s drive north of Phuket on the Andaman Coast. In contrast to Phuket the area is peaceful with a backdrop of jungle covered mountains and kilometre long beaches. More
Koh Lipe
With its sandy white beach and turquoise waters, Koh Lipe might be the island paradise you have been looking for. It takes a little longer to get there but the ferry ride is oh so worth it: Gorgeous salt-white sand crescents, jungled hills, fabulous dive sites and lovely bars with a hippie vibe. This island is one of our favourites. More
With its own airport Krabi is now easily accessible from Bangkok and thus no longer just the haunt of intrepid backpackers. The main beach resort Ao Nang is a little developed for our tastes, but hidden in a small peninsula nearby sits Railay Beach. Accessible only by boat due to high limestone cliffs which cut off the mainland, Railay attracts rock climbers from around the world, but is just as popular for its beautiful beach. Our favourite beach in Krabi is the Tup Kaek Beach with its quiet surroundings, stunning sunsets and fabulous hotel options. More
Kanchanaburi is a couple of hours North West of Bangkok. It is best known for its part in the Second World War when thousands of allied POWs and Asian workers lost their lives during forced construction of the Thai-Burma Railways. Kanchanaburi is a fascinating and moving place, but it is also great for hiking, bamboo rafting and home to a number of tribes. More
Pai is a peaceful town of laidback charm and simple character. Visitors will find unspoilt forest, thundering waterfalls, huge limestone caves and traditional mountain villages.
Isaan is located in the northeastern region of Thailand, close to the borders to Cambodia and Laos. If you want to learn more about Thai traditions and the daily way of life in a beautiful rural area, this is the right place for you. More

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