Before You Go
If you are visiting Thailand as a tourist, you are likely to be eligible to enter the country under the ‘Visa Exemption’ rule. If you are eligible to enter Thailand under this rule you will be granted a stay of a maximum:
30 days if you enter Thailand via an international airport (e.g. Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai etc.)
15 days if you arrive in Thailand via a land border checkpoint from a neighbouring country.
The Visa Exemption Rule for Thailand:
If you meet all of the following criteria, then you will not need to apply for a visa;
a) You are a passport holder from one of the 48 countries listed below
Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Czech Republic
Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary
Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg
Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal
Qatar, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland
Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam
b) The purpose of your visit is strictly tourism
c) You possess a passport with at least 6 months validity
d) Must be in possession of a confirmed flight ticket (e-ticket acceptable) to show you will be flying out of Thailand within 30 days or 15 days of entry, as appropriate. Open tickets do not qualify. Travelling overland out of Thailand by train, bus, etc to Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia (including en route to Singapore), Burma etc. is not accepted as proof of exiting Thailand. You may be asked to show your flight ticket on entering Thailand. If you do not possess a flight ticket to show you will be exiting Thailand within 30 or 15 days of entry you could be refused entry.
Carrying Prescribed Drugs into Thailand
Thai customs officers are aware that travellers may need to bring prescribed drugs into the country and in most case it isn’t a problem.
If you are bringing prescribed drugs into Thailand you should be able to prove that these have been prescribed by your doctor or similar qualified and registered person.
You can and should carry your medicines in your hand luggage. However, you will also need to comply with air traffic regulations, which may place restrictions on certain items (e.g. syringes).
Vaccinations & Inoculations
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations for Thailand are that no vaccinations or inoculations are necessary.
Mosquitoes are a part of life in Thailand as they are in almost any hot country. Some people seem to suffer from mosquito bites more than others, but there are some simple steps you can take to try and avoid getting bitten.
Mosquitoes tend to be most active at sunrise and dusk and are particularly attracted to people wearing aftershave, perfume or scented deodorants. Simply wearing long trousers as opposed to shorts or a skirt can greatly reduce the chances of being bitten.
Mosquitos and other insects like to be around long vegetation and water; we have deliberately taken this into account when designing Doi Nok Strawberry Resort, with our Lodges being in a walled garden of low grass, away from any streams. Air-conditioning in the Lodges also helps to deter Mosquitoes, who dislike the cooler temperatures as well as keeping us cool!
General consensus seems to be that DEET is the most effective product to prevent bites. In Thailand, every pharmacy, supermarket and local 7/11 store carry an excellent range of cheap mosquito and insect repellents, or you can buy them and bring them from home if you prefer.
With just about any insect bite, the temptation is to scratch the area affected. By doing so, this releases the histamine and can make the bite worse leading to angry red marks and blotches in the affected area. Avoid the temptation to scratch any bites and apply some Tiger Balm, which is extremely effective for insect bites. Most bites are minor irritations, but if you do suffer any abnormal swelling or bruising you should seek medical advice. Pharmacies are an excellent point of first contact in such instances.
What To Wear
The ideal clothing for Thailand is light, loose fitting clothing generally. However, selecting appropriate clothing for visiting Thailand depends on the season and your itinerary, including your intended activities. In the cool season, you may wish to have a warmer layer such a cardigan or a light jacket for the cooler evenings.
To avoid the potential dawn and dusk mosquito bites, longer sleeves and loose fitting trousers are a good idea to have with you to wear. Trousers that are loose fitting, but narrower at the ankle, or elasticated are ideal. You will also need to cover yourself appropriately if you are visiting any Temples: no shorts or short skirts for ladies and the chest and shoulders must be covered.
Loose fitting, lightweight clothing that breathes well and dries quickly is your best bet for “rainy” season garb, and a poncho and/or travel umbrella is also highly recommended gear.
Sun creams, sun hats and sunglasses are also a good idea all year around and a hat that protects against sun and rain is an even better idea depending on the season.
Take Off Your Shoes
Sandals and flip-flops are the most practical footwear for Thailand. An everyday way of showing respect is when visiting certain places, is to remove your shoes. So easily removable footwear is great for wearing in Thailand, especially if you are visiting somewhere such as someone’s home, Temples, some restaurants and shops where you will be expected to remove your footwear before entering.
Don’t, however, step on the Threshold! It is considered polite to step over the threshold of a building rather than on it. Thai people have many beliefs and one such belief is that spirits live within the door threshold. If you were to step on it, you risk upsetting the spirit and that may bring bad luck for the family who live inside the building.