Home to gorgeous islands, majestic temples, historic palaces, and wildlife sanctuaries, Thailand is one of the most visited countries. The country offers unforgettable memories. But just like any other place, it is important to know about what visa you require, and what are Covid-restrictions and entry requirements.
Whether you look forward to a family trip to Thailand or want to go for research, you must be aware of the different types of visas and their documentation.
If you’re planning a trip to Thailand, our travel advice and updates will provide you with helpful information!
Thailand Entry Requirements for 2024
The following changes went into effect for all international travelers on July 1st.
- Foreigners are not required to provide proof of Covid Insurance or hotel quarantine.
- For foreign visitors entering Thailand, the Thailand Pass is also no longer mandatory.
- Vaccinated travelers are exempt from providing proof of vaccination to Thai authorities prior to arrival.
- Unvaccinated travelers (including children traveling with unvaccinated parents) must have an RT-PCR or Professional Antigen Test (Pro-ATK) completed 72 hours before departure for Thailand. Before traveling, no proof is required to be uploaded.
- Random checks will be conducted by airlines and Thai Immigration to ensure that travelers meet Covid prevention requirements (vaccination or Covid test).
- Do buy travel insurance when travelling to Thailand.
Is a Visa Required to Enter Thailand?
Visitors from Visa Exemption List countries are not required to obtain a Thai visa to visit Thailand for tourism purposes. The Thai Immigration Bureau will grant foreigners with Thailand tourist visa a 30-day stay in Thailand. Tourists in Thailand will be able to apply for a 30-day visa extension at any local immigration office.
With some of the smartest ideas and expert advice, you can travel to Thailand on a budget, letting you spend more days by stretching the dollar. So, if you want to stay longer or are travelling for a reason other than tourism, please be aware that the standard 60-day Tourist Visa, Thai Elite Visa, and other non-immigrant visas are available at Thai Embassies or Consulates worldwide. You can reach out to a Visa expert who will assist you through the process. They can help you understand the Thailand visa application process, documentation, and other requirements.
Documents Required for Traveling to Thailand
1. Thailand Visa and Passport
Besides visa-exempt countries, citizens from other nationalities do require a Thailand Visa. According to a recent development, from October 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023, visitors will be able to stay for 30 or 45 days without the need for a Thai visa.
During this time, the length of stay per visit for passport holders of the following countries/territories who enter Thailand under a tourist Visa Exemption scheme will be 45 days: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, The Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain.
During this time, passport holders from the following countries/territories will be able to apply for a VOA (Visa On Arrival): Bhutan, Bulgaria, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Uzbekistan, and Vanuatu. For these countries, the visa fee of 2,000 THB will remain unchanged.
Make sure that your passport has a 6-month validity from the date of the trip.
2. Vaccination proof or COVID test
Travelers will be able to freely visit Thailand beginning October 1, 2022. Proof of Vaccination and a pre-departure COVID test are no longer required. Travelers should check with their airlines about the travel requirements if they will be transiting to a third country before arriving in Thailand.
3. Special Tourist Visa and Tourist Visa
Foreigners may also apply to a Thai embassy or consulate for a Tourist Visa. There are two types of Thailand visit visas: the standard 60-day tourist visa, which can be extended for an additional 30 days, and the 90-day Special Tourist Visa (STV), which can be extended for 90 days twice at a local immigration office. There are some requirements for the STV, but it allows a visitor to stay in Thailand for maximum period of 9 months. The Special Tourist Visa application period is set to end in September. If you are still looking for your answer, do check out our complete guide on Thailand tourist visas.
4. Travel Insurance
During Covid, insurance has become a dirty word. One of the important Thailand travel tips is to get insurance. Seasoned travelers have long recognised the value of having comprehensive Travel Insurance when traveling abroad. Travel insurance protected travelers from unforeseen events such as:
- Emergencies in medicine
- Accidents and personal injury
- Flights that were missed or delayed
- Personal property damage
- Luggage misplaced
It was one of those things that people hoped they wouldn’t need but later regretted not having. During the Pandemic, proof of insurance was required when visiting countries such as Thailand. People eventually stopped referring to insurance as “Travel Insurance” and instead referred to it as “Covid Insurance.” It was another hoop to jump through because you had to have it.
The good news is that proof of “Covid Insurance” is no longer required to enter Thailand. However, it is advised because all of the aforementioned events are still possible, and Covid has not vanished completely.
5. Hotel Booking and Proof of Address
Before entering Thailand, a foreign visitor would fill out an Arrival Card (TM6). This requirement has been temporarily removed as part of a new Thai government initiative.
Visitor does not need to provide proof of a hotel reservation before leaving their country, but they must still provide an address when passing through Passport Control in Thailand. This address could be a hotel, a home, or a friend’s place.
Beginning July 1, travelers will no longer be required to book a SHA+ hotel and submit to an RT-PCR test upon arrival. Most hotels have removed their SHA+ quarantine packages, but the SHA+ badge is still displayed on hotels.
Following its rules is unavoidable when visiting Thailand for the first or nth time. This is a comprehensive guide to Thailand emergency numbers, local laws, and other tips.
Having local contacts in Thailand can help make your trip easier and more enriching. Here are some emergency numbers of Thailand services that you must bookmark before your next trip:
Important Contact Details
- Police – Call 191 for emergency assistance from the police or to report crimes. English speakers are available.
- Tourist Police – Dial 1155 for tourist-related issues or help. English assistance is provided.
- Medical emergency – For ambulances, dial 1669. Chulalongkorn, Bumrungrad, Bangkok Hospitals have English speakers.
- Australian Embassy – Contact +66 2 344 6300 for assistance.
- British Embassy – Call +66 2 305 8333 in emergencies.
- US Embassy – Dial +66 2 205 4000 if you need help.
- Canadian Embassy – Reach them at +662 646 4300.
- Tourist Helpline – Call 1672 for 24/7 travel advice in English.
- Traffic Police – Dial 1197 for roadside assistance or accident reporting.
- Crime Stoppers – Call 1599 anonymously to report crimes.
- Women’s Help Line – 1300 for assistance related to abuse and trafficking.
Have these emergency numbers handy in your phone. Save the details of your embassy. Stay vigilant and seek help from the appropriate authorities if issues arise during your travels.
Hiring a reputable local travel agency to help with your Thailand trip planning takes the hassle out of logistics. They can suggest customized itineraries, book transportation and hotels, and provide travel guides. This ensures you experience the best attractions without wasting time and money.
Hiring a personal guide aware about local culture is a great way to gain insider knowledge. A guide can explain customs, share hidden gems, handle logistics, and ensure you have safe and meaningful interactions with locals.
Taking a basic Thai language lesson before your trip from a teacher familiar with commonly used travel phrases will help you better connect and navigate independently. Learn the most common used words for travel needs.
Immersive programs like homestays with local families allow for cultural exchange. This provides a perspective into authentic Thai daily life and customs. Local hosts can also share travel tips.
Getting advice from expats living in Thailand can provide helpful on-the-ground travel insights and recommendations that guidebooks miss. Ask experienced expat friends to point out worthwhile destinations or events.
Local Laws of Thailand
While spending time in Thailand, you should always respect the customs and laws of the country. Let’s explore them in detail.
- Strict laws: Drug trafficking has severe penalties, including the death penalty. Avoid political protests or making disparaging remarks about the royal family – charges of lese majeste can result in long prison terms.
- Dress respectfully: At temples, palaces, and other religious sites, dress conservatively, covering shoulders and knees. Remove shoes before entering sacred spaces. Ask before taking photos of Buddha images.
- No smoking in public: Smoking is banned in many public areas like beaches. Lighting up can lead to on-the-spot fines.
- Avoid beach parties: Raves like full moon parties are risky. Police often make drug busts. Avoid drugs and irresponsible beach drinking.
- No littering: Thailand has strict littering laws. Trashing cigarette butts, throwing trash on beaches etc., can lead to steep fines. Make sure to keep Thailand clean.
Health & Safety Tips to Keep in Mind
Following the best health and safety practices will let you travel in Thailand with greater peace of mind:
- See a doctor for any required vaccinations and medications before your trip. Have insurance covering emergencies.
- Exercise caution on roads. Thailand has high rates of traffic accidents and fatalities. Avoid drinking and driving as it is is strictly prohibited.
- Avoid tap water and consume bottled water only. Check if the food is thoroughly cooked. Always peel fruits and eat hot cooked meals to prevent food poisoning.
- Don’t trek alone off the beaten path. There are occasional reports of attacks on solo hikers in remote regions. Use authorized guides.
- Avoid bug bites to steer clear of dengue and malaria. Wear repellent and long sleeves outdoors. Check safe sleeping areas for mosquitos.
- Stay vigilant in crowded areas like markets due to frequent pickpocketing cases. Use hotel safes for valuables and avoid bringing expensive jewelry.
Dos and Don’ts in Thailand
Behaving appropriately in Thailand is important for positive interactions and avoiding cultural miscues. Here are some essential dos and don’ts:
- Greet people by saying ‘sawasdee ka/krap’ with a slight bow.
- Remove shoes before entering homes and temple grounds.
- Dress modestly, covering elbows and knees at sacred sites.
- Always use your right hand for passing, eating, and shaking hands.
- Don’t touch someone’s head as it is considered rude.
- Avoid public displays of affection like kissing or hugging.
- Don’t prop your feet up with soles pointed at others.
- Don’t step on money; it bears the king’s image.
- Never deface or throw away images of Buddha.
Other Tips to Keep in Mind
- Respect queues and wait for your turn patiently without cutting in line.
- Carry toilet paper, as some restrooms may not be well stocked.
- Pack medications you may need. Local pharmacies may not have your prescription brands.
- Download the local Grab app for booking affordable rides quickly.
- Always carry a physical map as a backup – don’t rely entirely on phones.
- Bring universal outlets to use electronics and charge devices conveniently.
By being aware of visa policies, laws, safety essentials, etiquette, and other travel considerations – you can avoid hassles and have the best trip possible in amazing Thailand!
Foreign requirements and restrictions for Thailand Travel may differ slightly depending on the country and traveller. For example, documents for a girls’ trip to Thailand is different from a traveller who is going for business purpose. Before making any plans or reservations, we recommend contacting your local Thai embassy or consulate.
Before making any plans or reservations, we recommend contacting your local Thai embassy or consulate.