Preparing to Travel to Thailand

Most people find the thought of travel daunting, not for fear of a new environment, but a dread of the unknown costs. From past traveling experiences, I’ve learnt some simple ways to budget on a trip. Here, I’ve come up with tips to save on money, and recommendations to ease your travel. With this information, you’ll get an idea of transport, food and living costs while you travel.

Preparing for the Journey

Thailand Visa

Most people travelling to Thailand require a visa. The application process is easy, and usually takes only 3 days to obtain the visa. If applying for a Tourist Visa, one is required to go to the nearest Thai embassy with the following:

  • An itinerary which includes return flight + hotel bookings.
  • A Guarantee Letter from your school/workplace (with stamp).
  • 2 passport-sized photos.
  • A bank statement.
  • 230RMB.

Don’t omit the guarantee letter, or the stamp that comes along with it.

To confirm all requirements, check out the Thai embassy website for more and updated information.

Before Arriving

Before you arrive in Thailand, here are a few things you should do:

  • Buy an 8/10 day sim card
  • If flying from China, buy a SIM card on taobao for only 35rmb, and collect it at your airport of departure.
  • A SIM card may come in handy, especially if you’re anticipating walking around the city to explore. Otherwise, download an offline (Google Maps, Maps.me) map for the city you will be visiting.
  • Download Grab app onto your phone
  • Grab is a popular app in 8 South East Asian countries, including Thailand. It’s a version of Didi/Uber + Waimai, which allows you to call for transport, purchase food, as well as deliver parcels. You can also find cheap deals and food promos for each city you visit on the app. In addition, Grab is very easy to navigate since it has an English option.
  • Union Pay bank card holders can access money at any ATM in Thailand as long as it has the Union Pay logo. So it’s good to keep some money in your bank/Alipay/Wechat.

Once you have all these in check, you’ve taken care half the trouble. The rest is just experience waiting to happen. I’ve put together travel tips for some cities in Thailand, so whether you’re traveling to Chiang Mai, Pai, or Phuket, I’m pretty sure they’ll come in handy. Take some time to check them out to get an idea of the transport and living costs.

Happy tripping!

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