Thailand a country we have visited so often and love so much we keep returning year after year.
It has so much to offer, a rich culture, excellent food, you can get lost in the mountains of the North, and the crystal clear waters of the South are excellent for exploring what lies beneath. With over 1000’s islands it is a beach lovers paradise. As Thailand has two seasons, “the wet” May to October and “the dry” November to April, which is the best time to visit.
So what area of Thailand is right for you, if you want to party, there is Koh Samui, Phuket or Phi Phi, and so many other blogs cover the backpacker trails, as we tend to enjoy the quieter areas and island hopping, so we will cover Krabi and the Andaman Sea Islands here.
Getting to Thailand, there are lots of airlines that fly to Thailand, and both Krabi and Phuket in the South are international airports, however our days of long haul economy travel are over, so we fly Thai which have great times as you leave the UK at 21.30 arriving in Bangkok at 16.00. With business there are no queues at check-in, fast track security, airport lounge, premium boarding, great choice of food, wine and movies onboard, but the best of all is the bed so you can have a decent sleep and get to Bangkok reasonably refreshed. Fast track through passport control, we stay at the Nova Airport Hotel, then travel onwards the next day, certainly not the cheapest option but the most relaxing. The return flight leaves Bangkok around 01.00 getting you into Heathrow just after 07.00. UK citizens don’t require a visa to enter, you are allowed 30 days as a tourist, just need to fill in a landing card “you should be giving one on the flight” if not you can pick one up at the visa on arrival counter” then present your landing card at the passport desk along with your passport.
Currency is the Thai Baht approximately 38 Baht to the Pound, there is an abundance of ATM,s and currency exchange booths in most areas but if you are going off the beaten track or visiting some of the smaller islands make sure you have enough cash in your wallet. Credit cards are accepted in the major hotels and restaurants but cash is king in the smaller family run establishments.
Thailand is quite a safe country, but the same as the UK, petty theft, mainly pick-pockets does occur, be vigilant and keep your valuables safe and out of site. If you are unlucky and have been the victim of theft, contact the Thai tourist police they have a 24 hour hotline 1155. By far the biggest safety concern is road traffic accidents, the question to ask yourself is “would you ride a scooter in the UK without a helmet, would you take your children on the back of a scooter in the UK without a helmet” then why would you do it in Thailand.
Thailand’s medical services are truly world class if you use the international hospitals, but they are pricy so make sure you have good travel insurance. For minor ailments we found the local pharmacy to be very helpful, even in the remotest areas, they are very knowledgeable and speak good English.
Wi-Fi is common in most hotels and restaurants, and local SIM cards can be bought at the airport or local convenience stores.
Traveling within Thailand is very easy, it is well served with domestic airlines, taxi’s, songthaews, “ a pick up truck with bench seats in the back” tuk tuk’s,
and the islands easily accessible via ferries and speedboats during the dry season, the service is less frequent out of season. If you are arriving peak season, I would recommend you book your internal flights and speedboat tickets in advance. Tiger-line Ferries service the islands in the Andaman Sea, and there website has all the routes and times.