Planning a holiday to Thailand? These handy tips will help you prepare better for your next international trip. With Thailand offering visa on arrival for shorter trips, one can also apply for visa if they plan on staying for longer.
Get your visa
*There are two kinds of visa if you are travelling to Thailand. Indian passport holders who are visiting Thailand for tourism and plan to stay no more than 15 days in the country can avail the visa on Arrival service from and of the 32 designated channels of Immigration checkpoints including Phuket International Airport. Depending on the passenger traffic, the process can take anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour.
*If you’re in Thailand for longer than the 30 days that Visa on Arrival allows, you can also apply for visa at any of the Royal Thai Embassy.
*You can get a regular Visa from the Royal Thai Consulate-General which is in four cities – New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata. Your passport will come back to you in three working days after your application is fully complete.
*It’s a good idea to keep a checklist of the documents to be submitted before applying for the visa.
*Keep checking the official websites of visa information for any changes in the rules and fees.
*Visitors who enter the Kingdom with Visa on Arrival generally cannot file an application for extension of stay except in special cases such as illness which prevents them from travelling, etc. They can submit an application at the Office of Immigration Bureau, Thailand or at website.
*The applicant must possess means of living expenses — 10,000 Baht per person and 20,000 Baht per family accordingly.
*Your debit card will not work in Thailand unless you have activated international banking from your bank in India. So before you fly to Thailand, ensure it is activated.
*Note that Thailand Banks charge 200 Baht per international transaction when you withdraw money from an ATM which is about Rs 400.
*Carry most of your dollars in 50$ or 100$ denominations as they give you the best exchange rate. Lesser the denomination, poor is the exchange rate.
*Always pre-book your baggage which is 15 kgs minimum for all passengers. This helps save money depending on the baggage weight.
*Bangkok offers a comprehensive service to explore the city. Interlinked metro services can help you travel conveniently. The express trains from the Airport will take you to the middle of the Bangkok city and then you can take exchange trains.
*All service providers provide for Tourist SIM card which is operational or extendable to the duration of your stay. They are prepaid cards and are rechargeable. How much does it cost? Starts at 299 Baht which is less than Rs 600 for seven days. However, it is a good idea to check out their plans online before you leave India.
*Avoid buying Forex at the International Airport (Departure).
*When heading back from any destination country, don’t take back the small denominations and coins.
*Once the Thailand SIM is inserted, ensure you do not allow WhatsApp to update your Thai phone number. This makes it convenient to call India via WhatsApp Audio or Video calls over the 4G network.
*Avoid currency exchange at the Airport. You will get a poor conversion rate. You can convert your currency in Baht at any other exchange counters in the city.