Located in Southeast Asia, Thailand covers a total area of approximately 513,000 square kilometers (198,000 square miles) and is the 50th largest country in the world and the 12th largest in Asia!
The north of the country borders Myanmar and Laos. The northernmost point is Amphoe Mae Sai, Chiang Rai Province, with tourist attractions like Mae Sai Market, Golden Triangle, Wat Phra That Doi Wao, and Wat Thampla (locally known as Money Temple).
The south of the country is next to Malaysia and the Gulf of Thailand. The southernmost point is Amphoe Betong, Yala Province, which contains tourist attractions like La-ong Rung Waterfall (Rainbow Waterfall), Chaloem Phrakiat Waterfall (I-yer Khem Waterfall), Bala-Hala Forest, the sea of fog at Microwave Mountain, and Betong Hot Spring.
The east of the country borders Cambodia and Laos. The easternmost point is Amphoe Si Mueang Mai, Ubon Ratchathani Province, with tourist attractions like Sai Rung Waterfall (Rainbow Waterfall), Kaeng Chu Kan, and Hin Huai Soob Stone Yard.
The west of the country is next to Myanmar and the Andaman Sea. The westernmost point is Amphoe Mae Sariang, Mae Hong Son Province, with tourist attractions like Wat Phra That Chom Thong, Wat Phra That Chom Chaeng, Wat Phra That Chom Kitti, Salawin National Park, Bua Tong Field at Doi Mae Ho, and Mae Sawan Noi Waterfall.
Thailand is divided into six regions: North, Northeast, Central, South, East, and West.
The North is the country’s highlands. Vast mountain ranges dominate the landscape and are the source of many rivers. Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s tallest peak, is famous among tourists during the cool season for the Mae Kha Ning (frost flower) phenomenon as well as a sea of fog, nature trails, waterfalls, and botanical scenes.
The Northeast features some of the beautiful northern highlands but also gorgeous plateaus. Hom Mali Rice (Thai Jasmine Rice) is grown here and exported all over the world. The Mekong River is a very prominent river that runs through the area. Popular places along the Mekong River include Amphoe Chiang Khan of Loei Province, Tha Sadet Market in Nong Khai Province, Indochina Market in Mukdahan Province, and Sam Pan Bok Grand Canyon in Ubon Ratchathani Province.
Central Thailand is mainly plains and is a huge area of rice farming and agriculture. The Chao Phraya River is very important to Thailand’s history. Interesting places to visit are ancient historical temples, Bang Pa-in Royal Palace and Bang Sai Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Center in Ayutthaya Province, and Koh Kret in Nonthaburi Province. And if you like shopping, there are plenty of local markets in Bangkok for you to explore such as Wang Lang Market, Tha Phra Chan Market, Saphan Phut (Memorial Bridge) Night Market, and Asiatique Night Market. There are also Chao Phraya boat tours from Bangkok to Ayutthaya every day.
The South contains many beautiful beaches and islands in the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea. Well-known tourist destinations are Phuket Province, Koh Samui, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lipe, and Koh Tao.
Eastern Thailand is half mountain, half ocean. Although there aren’t many provinces here, it still has a lot of amazing sights and stunning locations to visit just like the rest of Thailand such as Koh Samed, Koh Chang, Koh Mak, Koh Lan, Koh Si Chang, Bang Saen Beach, Pattaya, Jomtien Beach, Laem Mae Phim Beach, and Mae Ram Phueng Beach.
The West is mountainous with many woodlands, waterfalls, and dams, which is why there are a number of national parks in the area. Due to its geographical variation, there is a lot of incredible Thai nature to see in this western region. Tourist attractions include Thong Pha Phum National Park, Srinakharin Dam, Vajiralongkorn Dam, Sai Yok Noi Waterfall, Sai Yok Yai Waterfall, Erawan Waterfall, Mon Bridge, Mueang Sing Historical Park, Three Pagodas Pass, Wat Wang Wiwekaram, Underwater City, The Bridge of the River Kwai, Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, and World War II Museum and Art Gallery.
Thailand has three seasons: wet, cool, and hot. Depending on where and when you travel Thailand, it is always good to check the weather before visiting as some areas are better in certain seasons.
A passport is an important official document that serves as an identity card when you visit a foreign country. For Thailand visa, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a new visa policy of Thailand, in which the fee for a visa on arrival is increased from 1,000 THB to 2,000 THB since 27 September 2016 onwards.
Passport holders of the following 18 countries and one special economic zone (Taiwan) are granted a visa on arrival entry to the Kingdom of Thailand.
1. Andorra (Principality of Andorra)
2. Bulgaria (Republic of Bulgaria)
3. Bhutan (Kingdom of Bhutan)
4. China (People’s Republic of China)
5. Cyprus (Republic of Cyprus)
6. Ethiopia (Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia)
7. India (Republic of India)
8. Kazakhstan (Republic of Kazakhstan)
9. Latvia (Republic of Latvia)
10. Lithuania (Republic of Lithuania)
11. Maldives (Republic of Maldives)
12. Malta (Republic of Malta)
13. Mauritius (Republic of Mauritius)
15. San Marino (Republic of San Marino)
16. Saudi Arabia (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)
19. Uzbekistan (Republic of Uzbekistan)
For more Thailand visa information, visit www.thaiembassy.com
Thailand customs allows visitors to enter Thailand with personal effects, the value of which does not exceed 80,000 Baht, without paying import fees as long as: 1) the items are specifically for personal or professional use; 2) the amount of goods are reasonable; and 3) the items are not subject to restriction or prohibition.
There are restrictions on the amounts of alcohol and tobacco products; only the following amounts may be transported into Thailand under duty free regulations:
Prohibited and Restricted Goods. The Thailand Customs Department is responsible for stemming the illegal transport of illicit drugs into and out of Thailand. Consequently, Thailand Customs officials do occasionally ask to search passengers’ bags. If you have nothing to declare, simply walk through the Green Channel, stopping only if asked to do so by a customs agent.
If you have goods to declare, you should hand a customs form to the Thailand Customs Department agent at the Red Channel marked “goods to declare”.
It should be noted that plants and animals, as well as products made from such, may be subject to restrictions and quarantine.
Agricultural Restrictions and Quarantine
If you wish to bring in or take out plants or plant products it is advisable to contact the Plant Quarantine Office for current restrictions and regulations.
Import of plants or plant products: 66(0)2-134-0716 to 7
Export of plants or plant products: 66(0)2-134-0501
Pets If you wish to bring in or take out animals or animal products it is advisable to contact the Animal Quarantine Office for current restrictions and regulations.
Import of animal or animal products: 66(0)2-134-0636 to 7
Export of animal or animal products: 66(0)2-134-7031 to 2
International departure taxes are now included in the cost of air tickets when they are purchased from an airline or travel agent. There are no official domestic departure taxes, although privately owned and operated airports, such as Koh Samui Airport, has levied a small domestic “departure tax” in the past and may still do so depending on their current policies.
Bangkok is always among the world’s top tourist destinations. The city is a true tourist paradise, proved by the growing number of travelers coming each year.
Besides the city itself, Bangkok is also surrounded by many interesting provinces worth visiting.
The north of Bangkok borders Nonthaburi and Pathum Thani Provinces, with tourist attractions like Koh Kret and Lotus Museum.
The east of the city is next to Chachoengsao, a small province which is full of interesting places and activities. Tourists can pay homage to Luang Pho Sothon Buddha Image at Wat Sothon Wararam Worawihan, watch flying foxes or fruit bats at Wat Pho, see the golden church at Wat Paknam Jolo, and pray to the giant reclining Ganesh statue at Wat Saman Rattanaram. There are also old markets for you to visit and shop such as Ban Mai Market, Nakhon Nuang Khet Market, and Khlong Suan Market.
The south of the city borders Samut Prakan Province and the Gulf of Thailand, with tourist attractions like Bang Pu, Ancient City, and Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo.
The west of the city is next to Samut Sakhon and Nakhon Pathom Provinces. Tourist attractions include Don Kai Dee Benjarong Village, Phra Pathom Chedi, Sanam Chandra Palace, Don Wai Floating Market, Sampran Riverside, and Thai Human Imagery Museum.
Things to do in Bangkok
There are a great variety of tourist places in Bangkok, mostly historical attractions and temples with elaborate architecture and art. Famous temples are Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Wat Phu Khao Thong, Wat Ratchanadda, Wat Traimit, Wat Benchamabophit, Wat Bowon, and Wat Sutat.
There are also palaces, museums, parks, and a big array of shopping places, from luxury malls to flea and street markets like Chatuchak Weekend Market, Sampeng Market, and Pahurat Textile Market.
Bangkok nightlife is another highlight that has attracted many of tourists from all over the world.
FOOD & DRINK
Bangkok is one of the premier cities for world-class cuisine. In addition to thousands of outstanding Thai restaurants from five-star to street stall, Bangkok features the entire spectrum of international cuisines, a byproduct of its cosmopolitan population. Expatriate Japanese, Indian, German, Italian, French, Lebanese, and people of nearly every other nationality have established authentic eateries throughout the city. Upscale food courts in many shopping plazas provide visitors with a wide selection of outstanding restaurants, and most hotels feature at least one Thai and one international dining establishment. An incipient food-tourism industry has even appeared on the scene; a testament to the outstanding variety and quality of cuisine available in Thailand’s capital city.
Khao San Road:
As one of the epicenters of tourist activity in Bangkok, Khao San Road features a great selection of food, from Thai street food to authentic Middle Eastern and western cuisine. While entrees in Thai restaurants along Khao San Road are hardly authentic -they tend to prepare their food with far less chili than most Thai restaurants do- menus are all in English and the prices are only moderately higher than in everyday Thai restaurants. On the street however, it’s possible to buy common Thai street food, such as fresh fruit, phad thai noodles, spring rolls, and various meats on a stick, all for under $1 US. For novices to Thai cuisine who are fearful for their stomachs, there are also chain branches of American fast food outlets Burger King, McDonalds and Subway, and for those with more refined palettes there are restaurants along nearby Phra Athit Road that serve authentic Thai cuisine to a predominately Thai student crowd.
The Silom business district around Sala Daeng BTS station may be better known to visitors for the Patpong red-light district and its popular night market. However, Silom features an outstanding collection of Thai and international restaurants, both upscale and casual. In addition to many fine dining restaurants and moderately priced cafes, there are also many international chain restaurants and some of Bangkok’s best street-food dining venues, both on Silom and its side streets, particularly Soi Convent and Soi Sala Daeng.
Yaowarat, Bangkok's Chinatown, is a one of the top dining neighborhoods in Bangkok, with a range of dining options from some of the cheapest food stalls, including fresh fruit vendors and roasted chestnuts stands, to some of the most expensive Chinese restaurants in the city. Along Yaowarat Road and the mazes of side streets leading away from it you will find dim sum, seafood, and many other Chinese eateries, particularly Cantonese dining establishments. In nearby Pahurat, just west of Chinatown, there is a large, long-established Indian community that sells Indian cuisine at a number of authentic restaurants.
In addition to dozens of restaurants of every variety in the Siam Paragon, Siam Discovery, and Siam Center shopping malls, the streets of Siam Square contain numerous restaurants serving authentic Thai, Chinese, Italian, and even American food at the city’s only Hard Rock Café.
With arguably the highest percentage of hotels in the city it’s hardly surprising that Sukhumvit Road is a literal smorgasbord of dining options. Beginning around Sukhumvit Soi 3 there are many Arab, Middle Eastern, and African restaurants, as well as a number of British and Irish Pubs. Sukhumvit 11 alone features Spanish, Indian, Australian, Italian, German, Mexican, Thai, and even fusion cuisine at the popular Bed Supperclub. Up near Sukhumvit Soi Asoke there are many Korean restaurants, and around Sukhumvit 24 and the Emporium Department store there are many authentic Japanese eateries. After hours, Sukhumvit Road becomes a street-food paradise with vendors lined up along the sidewalk between Sukhumvit 3 and 21, where all variety of Thai food is served until the early morning hours.
Both along and upon the Chao Phraya River there are a host of upscale restaurants and authentic Thai restaurants. With some of the most spectacular sunset views in the city, restaurants along the river’s edge range from swanky hotel cafes and outdoor, rooftop dining rooms, to rustic riverside Thai restaurants and seafood specialists with live music. For additional romance, a dinner cruise aboard an old, teak, rice barge or a larger, more festive boat with live music are both popular experiences for enjoying both the river of kings and some outstanding Thai cuisine.
Information courtesy of the Tourism Authority of Thailand
For more information, visit https://www.tourismthailand.org/
Department of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce
563 Nonthaburi Rd., Bangkasor, Muang, Nonthaburi 11000
Phone +66 2547 4123
FAX: +66 2547 4802