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THAILAND: What to consider before to get there – PART 1

You are about to get your ticket, you have Thailand on sight, you’ve seen pictures, every single youtube video possible, but still many doubts, overthinking everything because you’re expecting to not miss anything. You don’t want anyone to take advantage of you for being a little numb by the jetlag and not knowing how it works. What you want most it to be as expedite as possible to get soon where you are going to be staying, shower and sleep something before start your adventure.

I’ve being there, I know how it is, believe me!!! Do I need a Visa? How much do I have to pay? How can I move? I don’t have the language How can I manage? Data service? That’s why I want to share with you a few tips I believe would be very helpful, base on my trial and error of thousands of stories and from other travelers I’ve being sharing many of this adventures on the Southeast. So here’s the most frequent questions I got for those who want to come to this fascinating land, fill by contrast and exotic moments.

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DO I NEED A VISA?

For most of hispanics speakers countries is not necessary, but you still have to confirm with your embassy, if is possible to call or email them, many times the embassy website are not update it. In my case, as a Chilean we just have to arrive to the airport with our passport and then they gave us the stamp for 90 days. When you are about to arrive by plain/bus/ferry they’re going to give you a little paper, ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE. Do not loose them! because if you do, is just gonna make your process a lot slower than already is. Consider if you come via Bangkok you’ll be coming on one of the most visited cities in the world.

VACCINES

Chileans no need vaccines, but I understand those from Brasil and Argentina they do. Anyways if you have the money, and a big concern about your health is not bad if you wanna do it. I didn’t.

TRAVEL ENSURANCE

They don’t ask for it, is not a requirement to get in, but if you wanna do it is not a bad idea also. Is totally up to you.

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MONEY EXCHANGE

You can change your money hopefully American dollars to Thai Baht. At the airport there’s many places to do it, what I like best is Super Rich because they have the best rates anywhere. Or maybe you can do it in some hotels and travel agencies.

DATA PLAN

In Chile my phone company asure me my phone was in conditions to put any Simcard abroad specially in those countries I wanted to visit. It turned out was the opposite. That’s why you have to make sure your phone is unblocked. The repair stores they’re more accurate about this kind of information.

If your mobil is able to do it so you can buy a Simbard in the same airpot, they install it for you. The best companies are AIS and True Move (I use that one) many of this data plan can be recharge on the famous 7 Eleven stores or in the same phone company. There’s no one better than the other one, just find what suits you best according to the use that you have, but in terms of speed, there’s nothing better like home.

At the end what I did was to acquire a very economic cellphone and use it as a HOTSPOT with my usual phone.

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TRANSPORTATION FROM THE AIRPORT TO HOTEL/HOSTEL/AIRBNB/WHATEVER

They are a variety of options to leave the airport. From taking the bus to limousine service If you want to feel like a rockstar. You can also use Uber/Grab (Grab is a very good app, very good service and cheap, is the one I use the most to move around the city)

The option I think is best is to go to Information Desk or anyone who looks “official” this: TAXI-TICKET – is easier for for them to understand because most of them have a very basic English, and with that is more than enough to understand and give you the instructions to get to the authorized taxi (24hrs)

This is how it works:

  • You arrive at the place where people line up to take the taxi in order of arrival.
  • They pass you a ticket when you indicate where you are going.

  • When it’s your turn, follow the driver and get in the taxi.

  • Possibly the taxi driver asks again where you are going. You know is not bad having the location on your map and if is possible to have the address in Tai (that would be an ideal)

  • The value of the trip has a airport fee an average of 50bht.

  • Highway is the highway, which depending on where you go the driver will ask you if you want to take it or not, so the service must add toll costs between 50 and 70bht, maybe a little more depending on where.

  • The airport to the city can take an average of an hour or two depending on traffic, if you arrive without traffic it can take about 30 minutes.

  • Is not necessary to tip the driver, but it don’t hurt if you really think he deserve it. 20 bht is not a bad number unless it has really been a big help, there you can add a little more like 50 if you like.

If you ended not using this service, and you take a taxi outside the airport (that not requires a ticket) you run the risk that they over charge you, you need to ask them to use the taximeter, if they don’t, go for another taxi, with this you’ll be avoiding to be scam by them.

ATM

You can change the language to English in them. Depending on your bank, withdrawing money is limited by approximately $300 USD per day (in Thai Baht of course) or so. So it’s good to bring cash or use credit cards for some cases.

I really hope this information serves you. Any questions or suggestions you know how to contact me.

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