Thailand is the best place in the world to be a backpacker!
From enjoying the islands, beaches, sun and crazy parties in the Southern Thailand to the jungle and rice fields in Northern Thailand you are bound to meet friends from all over the world!
Do I need a visa to visit Thailand?
Many people do not need a visa, as a rough guide click here. For specific up to date information please contact your local Thai Consulate or Embassy.
Do I need vaccinations to visit Thailand?
Most people do not require vaccinations to enter Thailand. If you are from South America or Africa or are travelling from these countries you probably require a Yellow Fever Vaccination. Please contact your local Thai Consulate or Embassy for up to date imformation or visit a Travel Doctor.
What is the exchange rate/currency in Thailand?
The currency in Thailand is Thai Baht(THB). Please use XE.com for up to date exchange rates. The rates as of May 2017 were about;
- $1 USD = ฿35 THB
- $1 AUD = ฿26 THB
- £1 GBP = ฿45 THB
- €1 EUR = ฿38 THB
- R1 BRL = ฿11 THB
Are there ATMs and Currency Exchange Agents in Thailand?
Almost everywhere there are many ATMs and Currency Exchange Agents.
What is the best way to bring money to spend in Thailand?
The best way is to find a bank in your country with the cheapest overseas withdrawal fees. In Australia, Citibank offers zero fees on overseas withdrawals. If you live in a country with high bank fees and choose to bring cash, use the safe or lockers available at your hostel. Bring a lock. DO NOT leave cash in your bag while travelling on Buses, keep it with you. Most ATMs charge 220 Thai Baht per withdrawal so use withdrawals wisely.
Do I need to tip in Thailand?
No, people do not expect a tip in Thailand, if they do, they do not deserve one. Tipping culture should stay in North America.
What are the cost of Taxis and Tuk Tuks in Thailand?
We will give a rough guide;
From the Bangkok International Airport(Suvarnabhumi Airport) to Khao San Road on meter is about 300-350 Thai Baht plus about 70 Thai Baht in tolls. If fixed price, up to 450 Thai Baht including tolls.
From Khao San Road to most tourist places in Bangkok about 200 Thai Baht. 150 Thai Baht for a Tuk Tuk. Most times you will need to ask more than one Taxi or Tuk Tuk before you can agree on these prices. Organise a price before getting inside.
From your hostel near Khao San Road to the bus to Koh Tao or Koh Phangan is a short walk. No need for a taxi.
From the pier on Koh Tao to your dive school or accommodation you will pay between 100-200 baht per person.
From the pier on Koh Phangan to Haad Rin and back is about 150 Thai Baht per person, each way.
If you want to go to Guy's Bar or Eden Garden you need to catch a Long Tail Boat from Haad Rin Beach. The price varies from 300-1000 Thai Baht per person. There are Taxis, but they are very few as they drive on poorly maintained dirt tracks through the mountains. Sometimes you have no option on the way back to take a Taxi, they will charge up to 1000 Thai Baht depending on how many people want to go. If you think the boat ride was bad, the ride through the mountains is worse. Try to sit inside the Taxi!
On Koh Phi Phi there are no Taxis, you can walk everywhere in town in less than 10 minutes. If you brought big bags you can pay someone to push them in a cart for you.
From the pier in Phuket to Patong Beach you will pay about 200 Thai Baht per person in a shared minivan.
On the islands these prices are tightly controlled and organised. It is difficult/almost impossible to get a cheaper price. A Taxi on the islands can be a Minivan or a Pick-Up Truck(Ute/4x4) you will usually sit in the back of the Pick-Up Truck(Ute/4x4).
Should I bring my $3000 camera and brand new iPhone?
We recommend you bring as few valueables as possible. The fewer valueables you have the less you have to worry about. Don't bring your phone or camera with you to parties. Bring a cheap waterproof wallet or a plastic money bag when you go out at night.
What is the Flip Flop Mafia?
Bring cheap flip flops, you will loose yours.
Are Taxis safe in Thailand?
Yes, but you should take the same precautions as you would in your own country. Always have the metre running or arrange a price before getting into a taxi. Taxis are safer than Tuk Tuks and Moto Taxis. If you have problems you can take the Taxi Number and make a complaint.
Are Tuk Tuks safe in Thailand?
Generally yes, the most dangerous thing about Tuk Tuks is the crazy driving, but they are cheaper than a taxi, faster in peak hour, and are fun. Make sure your phone and wallet does not fall out. You will not get it back.
Anyone who approaches you telling you it is a special holiday or similar telling you that temples are closed or free to enter and offering you a free or cheap Tuk Tuk will put you in a Tuk Tuk that will take you to; suit shops, 'toursit information', jewelry shops etc where they get large commission. These shops are designed to rip off tourists. If you do not buy anything the Tuk Tuk driver may get angry.
Are Motorbike(Moto) Taxis safe in Thailand?
Catching Moto Taxis, especially at night can be dangerous, even if you 'know' them. Would you jump on the back of a motorbike with someone you don't know while you are alone and drunk back home? Probably not. The hostels we recommend are within safe walking distance of most night life. If you go further away the safest way to return to your hostel is by Taxi, it is always safer to stay as a group.
Are buses safe in Thailand?
There are many instances of theft from bags on buses. We recommend Lomprayah in Southern Thailand as they are the best bus company. You may pay double the price but the cost of loosing your possessions may cost you more. But even still, theft does occur. Don't leave any valuables in any bag not within your sight. Bags left under the bus are not safe. Keep valueables with you while travelling.
Is it safe to buy drugs in Thailand?
No! Never buy drugs or go anywhere with anyone who offers you drugs on the street, beach or other public area. Usually these people either work for the police or are the police. If you are lucky you will be forced to empty your bank account. If not, you will go to jail.
Some places you may find drugs readily available and being consumed. Never take these outside of those areas. No where is 100% safe to use drugs.
Never bring drugs and do drugs in your accommodation! If caught you will most likely be evicted without refund. Some accommodation will call the police, you do not want that!
What drugs are common in Thailand?
The most common are Marijuana, Mushrooms, and Pharmaceuticals, but you may find Ecstacy Pills, MDMA, Acid, and Ketimine. Cocaine is very rare and expensive. You may be given white heroin instead of Cocaine, this is very dangerous!
There are always dangers doing drugs and illegal activity in every country! Please look after yourself and those who you are with. We do not condone illegal activity.
Is it safe to rent a Scooter or Motorbike in Thailand?
We recommend that you do not rent Scooters/Motorbikes on Koh Tao or Koh Phangan. The Agency will take your passport as a deposit and if you damage the Scooter/Motorbike in any way you will pay large fees. If you do rent a Scooter/Motorbike against our advice, please use an Agency recommended by your Hostel or Dive School. Renting an older or already damaged bike is safer for you than a brand new bike that will show up any tiny scratches. Do not rely on your Hostel, Dive School, or Police to help you when you are charged a large price to fix the Scooter/Motorbike.
Legally you need to carry a Motorbike Licence from your home country and an International Driving Permit. It is up to you, not the agency to check this. If you do not have these your Travel Insurance will probably not cover you if you have an accident.
Is it safe to leave my phone, camera, and other valuables on the beach while I swim?
Like most places in the world it is always a risk, some places in Thailand are more risky than others. If in doubt, leave your valuables locked at your hostel. Enjoy the freedom of no communication.
If you go skinny dipping at night for fun or pleasure, don't leave your valuables on the beach. If you report the theft to Police, you may be the one in trouble. Lewd behaviour is against the law.