In comparison to its neighbours, Thailand has had a relatively peaceful history and has developed at a faster pace than the rest of South East Asia. However it is the country's natural charms that enchant visitors and the one that leaves the most lasting impression is the Thai people themselves. The majority of the population is Theravada Buddhists and for most Thais their religion influences every aspect of their lives from work to play. Another major influence on daily life is the guiding light of King Rama IX, who is revered and loved throughout the Kingdom. Visitors are drawn to the stunning gilded temples and exotic khlongs (canals) of Bangkok, to trekking in the jungles and tribal highlands of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai and to exploring the ancient cities of Ayutthaya and Sukhothai. Thailand's numerous national parks, such as the oldest, Khao Yai support an abundance of wildlife, from elephants and tigers to hundreds of species of birds. Camp under the stars in a luxury tent, trek through the lush forests, or raft on sparkling rivers. The Andaman is to the west of the southern peninsula and is famous for its limestone rock formations, colorful dive sites and idyllic secluded beaches. The clear, turquoise seas of the Gulf of Thailand lap the beaches to the east of the peninsula and are full of corals and fish. Thailand has some of the world's most charming, beautifully serviced hotels, and draws visitors back time and again.
There are daily flights from the main airports to Bangkok with a number of different airlines. Within Thailand domestic flights link Bangkok with the major cities and beach resorts as well as to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Some passport holders are automatically granted a 30-day tourist visa on arrival in Thailand. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months after your return from Thailand and have at least 2 blank pages.
Check before travel, check out with the Thai embassy or Consulate in your country, or ask your travel agent
regarding your passport regulations.
For information on vaccinations and health requirements, we suggest you contact your doctor at least 2 months prior to departure for advice and to arrange immunisations. Recommended vaccinations for travel to Thailand and Indochina are polio, tetanus, typhoid, meningitis and hepatitis A. We also recommend you take anti-malarial tablets, but please consult your doctor for his/her advice.
When to go
Due to its long north-south span, Thailand's climate is quite diverse but is generally tropical and humid. While temperature differences in Bangkok are slight (highs of around 38°C in April and lows of 32°C in January), it can drop down to 13°C in Chiang Mai in the winter. Northern, north-eastern and central Thailand have three seasons: when the southwest monsoon arrives in June, the rainy season lasts until November; the cool season runs from November to mid-February; and the hot season, which is quite humid, runs from March to June. The west coast and its islands take the brunt of the southwest monsoon, but the Gulf coast is also affected by the northeast monsoon between October and January. As a result, Phuket, on the west coast, is drier from November to mid February, and Koh Samui, on the Gulf of Thailand, is drier from April to October.