Thailand Travel Tips Viva Holidays live a life of travel

Travellers Information and Tips

Climate, Currency & Public Holidays

Passports, Visas & Insurance

Tipping, Etiquettes, Health & Cost

Electricity, Language, Water & Clothing

Transfers & Getting Around
Do's & Don'ts
Shopping & Dinning
Contacts & Important Information
More Thailand holidays & Travel Resources

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Thailand enjoys a tropical climate and is a great holiday destination year round. The weather is generally dry between March and May with cooler temperatures between November and February. Between June and October higher rainfall is expected. 

Thailand's currency is the Thai Baht. Notes are issued in denominations of between 10 and 1000 Baht. Money changers are available and you can exchange Australian dollars at the airport, major banks and hotels.

Public Holidays 2014

1 January New Year's Day
14 February Magha Puja
6 April Chakri Memorial Day
13 - 16 April  Songkran Festival (traditional Thai New Year)
1 May Labour Day
5 May Coronation Day
12 August HM Queen's Birthday
23 October Chulalongkorn Memorial Day
5 December HM King's Birthday
10 December Constitution Day
31 December New Year's Eve

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Departure Taxes
Associated charges and taxes applicable from Australia are prepaid prior to your departure and shown on your airline ticket. Please check details with your travel consultant.

Passports, Visas & Insurance
Australian passport holders do not require a Thailand holiday visa for stays of less than 30 days and holding a return or onward air ticket. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months. If unsure,please check the passport and visa requirements with your travel consultant or the appropriate embassy/consular office before you travel. We strongly recommend that you purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy with your holiday booking.

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Tipping & Etiquette
Tipping is not customary. However, a token of appreciation is always welcome. The Thai culture is very strong and cultural elements should be respected. When visiting any religious buildings or compound, for both men and women, dress conservatively and avoid wearing short skirts or shorts above the knee. Singlets or sleeveless blouses or shirts are not recommended. Remember to remove your shoes before entering a temple. Thai culture is unique, so take some time to learn and appreciate about the varying customs and requirements.

Vaccinations may be required but it is important to discuss your travel plans with a qualified doctor. Wear a hat, thing long sleeve cotton shirt and adequate sunscreen if you're heading to the islands and beaches. Insect repellent is recommended for travel in rural areas. You might also find it uselful to carry a first aid kit with the basic essentials you might need for diarrhoea, fever etc.

Cost of a...

Pad Thai or similar in food court 60 Baht (A$2.50)
Main meal in restaurant 150 - 300 Baht (A$6.00 - A$12.00)
Bottled water from a store 15 Baht (A$0.60)
Singha Beer in a hotel / bar 150 Baht (A$6.00)


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Thailand uses a 2-pronged slim style plug electrical outlet. If you're brining your own electrical appliances from home you'll need an adapter. The electrical voltage is 220 volts 50 Hz which is compatible with appliances from home.

Thai is the official language and one could say English is the unofficial second language. As tourist and business visitors from around the world have travelled to Thailand, English has naturally become the common linguistic "currency" even while many of those visitors learned how to speak Thai. Major tourists centres including cities and the islands have many people who can speak both Thai and English well.

Regularly drinking water from sealed bottles is recommended to prevent dehydration. Good quality bottled mineral water is available in various convenience stores and they don't cost much. Avoid drinking water from a tap.

Pack for the tropics with plenty of cotton clothes and a light sweater if travelling up into the hills in Northern Thailand. Thais are particular about covering up, with the exception in and around beaches, so dress should not bee too revealing. The emphasis is on casual clothing which is cool and comfortable. Bring a good pair of walking shoes and raincoat is advisable during the rainy season from June to October. Don't pack too much as you can shop for clothes to supplement your wardrobe easily and cheaply. 

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Transfers & Getting Around
The Thailand transportation infrastructure is modern and well-organised. Exploring the country is a very straightforward experience. Whether your preference is by air, rail, bus, road, or water, most modes of transport cater to foreign visitors and have frequent departures. It's also easy to move about the country or explore sights around particular region. The inland cities and coastal resorts are well connected to each other, so when you travel in Thailand you can spend a few days in Bangkok, followed by a few more at the beach and visit the cultural and historic heritage of Chiang Mai or Ayutthaya.

  • Bangkok: The city is approximately 30 kilometres from both the international airport and domestic airports. There are two major airports serving Bangkok - Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) and Don Muang Airport (DMK). The journey from the airports to Bangkok takes around 1 hour and can vary dramatically due to weather and traffic conditions. The Bangkok Mass Transit System or the BTS Skytrain is a convenient and cheap way to get around the city.
  • Phuket: Phuket International Airport (HKT) is serviced by both international and domestic flights and located at the northern end of the island. Transfer times will vary depending on your resort location but do allow at least 1 hour for a transfer. 
  • Krabi: Krabi International Airport (KBV) is serviced by both international and domestic flights and located about 30 kilometres from Ao Nang Beach Area, the journey takes about 30 minutes. Times and duration vary depending on the resorts' location.
  • Koh Phi Phi: The transfer to Koh Phi Phi Island is by ferry from Phuket taking approximately 1.5 hours. On arrival, transfer to a long-tailed boat to your resort. Express ferries depart form Siray Island Pier, Phuket, at 8.30am. Return ferries leave Koh Phi Phi Don at 3.00pm.

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Do’s and Don’ts

  • The Monarchy: Thai people have a deep, traditional reverence for the Royal Family, and a visitor should be careful to show respect for the King, the Queen and the Royal Children.
  • Religion: Visitors should dress neatly in all religious shrines. They should never go topless, or in shorts or other unsuitable attire.
  • It is acceptable to wear shoes when walking around the compound of a Buddhist temple, but not inside the chapel where the principal Buddha image is kept.
  • Each Buddha image, large or small, ruined or not, is regarded as a sacred object. Never climb onto one to take a photograph or do anything which might indicate a lack of respect.
  • Buddhist monks are forbidden to touch or be touched by a woman, or to accept anything from the hand of one. If a woman has to give anything to a monk, she first hands it to a man, who then presents it.
  • Social Norms: Thais don’t normally shake hands when they greet one another, but instead press the palms together in a prayer-like gesture called a wai. Generally a younger person wais an elder, who returns it.
  • Thais regard the head as the highest part of the body, literally and figuratively. Therefore, avoid touching people on the head and try not to point your feet at people or an object. It is considered very rude.
  • Shoes should be removed when entering a private Thai home.
  • Public displays of affection between men and women are frowned upon.
  • Although almost all year round in Thailand has a hot weather, walking shirtless on the street, especially in Bangkok, is generally regarded as impolite – tank tops are acceptable.

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Shopping in Thailand is great fun. Items range from stunning art, antiques, handicrafts and jewellery, to fine textiles and clothing. It is in the local markets and shopping centres (excluding the well-known department stores, good for brand name shopping) that you’ll find the real bargains. Bargaining is accepted just about everywhere except in supermarkets, department stores and hotels.

Thai cuisine is distinctive and is a favourite of many people around the world and for many people. The food alone is a good enough reason to visit. Places to eat traditional Thai food are plentiful and although prices can vary widely, the quality is generally very good. Thai dishes can sometimes be quite spicy and when a dish is described as “hot” it will be. Although the food sold at roadside stalls can be cheap and often very good, meat and chicken should be thoroughly cooked, and be cautious with salads which may have been washed in contaminated water. Other types of food are also widely available in the cities and tourist areas with McDonalds, Pizza Hut and KFC easy to find. Also easy to find are local Thai restaurant chains offering different types of Thai and Japanese food at reasonable prices.

Useful expressions in the restaurant:

Mai Sai Prik No chilli.
Mai Aow Ped I don't want it spicy.
Mee Mai Chai Khong Phom / Di Chan (for men / women) That isn't mine.
Yang Mai Dai... (dish) I haven't received...
Kep Tang / Check Bin Krap / Kha (for men / women) The bill, please
Khem / Waan / Ped / Pruew Mak Pai  Too salty / sweet / spicy / sour.

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If you have booked transfers and tours and require emergency assistance whilst travelling, please contact our ground handler Tour East in the following Asian destinations. Tour East can be contacted for any special assistance required and can also provide any additional optional touring as required. For any other enquires you will need to contact the supplier direct or contact Qantas Holidays Australia, for further assistance. Please feel free to contact Tour East if you need any assistance for transfers or tours in this country:

Thailand - Tour East: +66 (0) 2 267 1400
Working hours: Mon-Fri 0830 - 1700 | Sat-Sun 0830 - 1700

Important Information
NOTE: This information is to be used as a guide only. Whilst we take every care to ensure that the information is correct at time of printing, we urge you to check details of your selected holiday with your travel consultant prior to booking. You should inquire about local issues and conditions at destinations prior to travel. Viva! Holidays makes no representations as to the safety, conditions or other issues that may exist at any destination. Travel advice can be obtained from various sources including local governments, local consular offices and the website of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade:

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More Thailand Holidays & Travel Resources


About Thailand: Destination guides for popular tourist spots including Bangkok, Phuket, Koh Samui, Chiang Mai, Pattaya and more.

Thailand Holiday Styles
: View our suggestions on Thailand holiday styles such as family fun, cuisine, adventure, culture and more.

Travel Tips
: Check out some of our handy travel tips and experiences. Have some tips of your own? Share them with us on Facebook!

Sightseeing Tours
: We can organise sightseeing tours and excursions in Thailand. View some of our tour highlights.

Wedding Packages
: Thailand has some of the most romantic settings for weddings. If you're looking for a unique wedding package, view our Thailand wedding suggestions.

Spa Packages
: Escape the hustle and bustle of busy working life and escape to Thailand for a spa getaway.

Golf Packages
: Golf enthusiasts will find Thailand's Golf courses world class. Many of them are situated in resorts which offer ideal settings for golfing holidays.

Thailand Holiday Deals & Offers: View our latest Thailand holiday package offers. You can call us at 1800 848 246 to book.

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