The number of festivals in Thailand is immense, especially between November and February. Many festivals are related to Buddhist rituals and follow the lunar calendar so the dates vary.
April: Songkran (New Year) is celebrated in mid-April. Buddha statues are washed with perfumed water, houses are cleaned and respect is shown to monks by the sprinkling of water over the monk’s hands. The crowds are cooled with ice water. Tourists can also expect to be drenched by happy Thai folk. If you wish to remain dry on this day, it is best that you shut yourself in your hotel room!
May: The rocket festival is held in the North and North-East. Fireworks are set off in their thousands in order to bring plenty of rain. Dance processions accompanied by loud drums make their way through the streets.
November: Loy Krathong, the festival of floating lights, is one of the most beautiful festivals. It is held beside rivers and canals in the evening during full moon.
The baht is the official currency of Thailand and it comes in denominations of 1000, 500, 100, 50 and 20 baht notes. Coins come in denominations of 10, 5, 2, 1 and 0.5 and 0. 25 baht. Foreign Money can usually be changed in the larger cities. There are ATMs which issue baht in most sizeable towns and cities.
Some more upmarket hotels and restaurants accept credit cards. In banks in the bigger cities you can withdraw cash with your credit card.
Please check the world clock in order to find out the exact time difference
Don’t bring too much baggage. Thailand is a tropical country so thin, cotton clothing is advisable. A sweatshirt can be useful for the cooler evenings, especially in the winter. All you need for your feet are a good pair of walking shoes and a pair of flip flops (easy to remove before entering temples). An umbrella will come in useful too. As protection against the sun, bring a hat, sunglasses and sun cream. Other important items include swimwear, insect repellent and a long-sleeved T-shirt, toiletries, a beach towel, a first-aid kit, a (video) camera and sufficient film and batteries, a torch, a pocket-knife, an alarm clock, writing equipment, books, your passport, sufficient travellers cheques and money, all relevant travel insurance details and documents.
Touching other peoples' heads is extremely impolite in Thailand. The head is seen to house the soul and must be treated as sacred.
it is considered rude to point at somebody and pointing with your foot is an even greater sign of disrespect.
You must be both bareheaded and bare-footed in all holy sites in Thailand. If you walk round a pagoda, you must walk in a clockwise direction. If you carry your shoes in your hand, use your left hand. Another deeply offensive gesture is sitting with your feet pointing towards a Buddha statue or a monk. Photos of Buddha statues are also not appreciated by the locals.
Monks must not be touched under any circumstances, especially by women. If a woman wishes to give something to a monk, it is best to do it via a man or lay the object down in front of him. Women are also best advised not to sit next to a monk. It is extremely impolite to get in the way of a monk.
If you want to take a travel guide or map, we suggest you click on Lonely Planet.
Yes, you have the option to pre-book airport transfers (arrival only) and secondly the option to pre-book pre and post tour nights.These extra services should be added to your booking.
For some of the optional, locally booked trips it is advisable to bring a sleeping bag. You may prefer to hire one once you are in Thailand.
You are responsible for having a valid passport and visa when you travel. Please check the embassy if you need a visa for Thailand. You can check the current situation here. Make sure you inquire at least a month before departure so that you do not run into time problems. The current information is that a visa is not necessary for UK/EU citizens for stays of up to 30 days.
You don’t need to bring a mosquito net with you. Malaria is not considered a high risk throughout most of Thailand. Insect repellent and t-shirts with long sleeves are useful for avoiding bites.
The international country dialling code for Thailand is +66. The outgoing code is 001, followed by the relevant country code. City/area codes are in use, e.g. Bangkok is (0)2 and Chiang Mai is (0)53. International direct dial facilities are available throughout most of the country. Mobile phone networks cover most towns, cities and holiday resorts; operators use GSM 900, 1800 and 1900 networks. Internet cafes are available in the main towns and resorts.
If you book alone you will share your room with a fellow traveler (same sex when possible) unless you have booked a single room.
In general Thailand is a place where you can feel safe.
Theft occurs in Thailand, so keep an eye on your valuables in the same way that you would do back home. Money and important documents are best kept in a thin money belt worn under your clothes.
Please click here to check what voltage and plugs are in use in Thailand. You could also consider taking a universal electric plug adaptor.