Known as Siam until 1939, Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country to have not have never been colonised by a European Country. After a bloodless coup in 1932, a constitutional monarchy was formed and since 1946, King Bhumibol Adulyadej is the highly revered head of state.
Most foreigners will be granted a 30 day stay upon entry provide they arrive by air (14 days if you walk across a border checkpoint) provided you passport is valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry. If you wish a visa for a longer period these can be easily gained at a Thai consulate outside of Thailand but these usually take at least one working day.
Mosquitoes are prevalent in Thailand and so Repellent is a must as Malaria (although not recorded in Koh Lanta) and Dengue are in Thailand. Jelly fish stings and snake bites, whilst rare, do also occur.
Weights and Measures
The metric system is used throughout Thailand except for agriculturally where Thai measurements are used.
Banks, ATMs and money changing facilities can be found throughout Thailand and major credit cards are accepted in larger shops but they usually incur a surcharge of between 3 and 5%.
You will find Thai nationals very friendly and welcoming but they are also quite shy and adhere to strict customs and rituals. Whilst foreigners are not expected to follow all customs, please remember:
- To take your shoes off before entering somebody’s home
It seems that every day is a holiday in Thailand, but they have some pretty fun festivals throughout the year;
A special thanks to Mike (Manta Point) for providing us with some of its spectacular underwater images
and to Stephan from Andaman Graphics for his creativity in designing this website.