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Thailand Tourist Visa Policy

Though a popular destination among tourists all over the world, one of the most asked questions is still: Do you need a tourist visa to go to Thailand?

The answer is Yes! But it is very easy as the country wants to attract more and more tourist to develop the tourism industry.

The next question you should ask is whether you can have visa free (Visa exemption), visa on arrival, e-Visa, or visa at the embassy? Which one is the most convenient way for your case?

Let's check out  below!

Thailand visa policy

For most of the tourist, it is very easy to apply for Thailand Visa. Thailand currently offers visa-free travel to nationals of 64 countries and territories. The Thai government maintains bilateral agreements on visa waivers with some of these countries. 

Nationals of 18 countries can obtain a visa on arrival. With the introduction of e-Visa on arrival on 21 November 2018, these nationalities can apply for e-Visa on arrival before boarding the flight to Thailand.

This will help them avoid the long-queue at the airport.

First of all, please check the below Visa map for the general idea of Thailand visa policy for tourists.

Thailand Visa exemption for tourists (normal passports)

The visa exemption rule allows tourists from 64 countries to enter Thailand without a visa. They are granted to stay a maximum of 90 days if they are entering Thailand via an international airport or entering through a land border checkpoint from neighboring countries.

Under the new provisions of the VISA EXEMPTION RULE and BILATERAL AGREEMENT effective May 28, 2019, passport holders of 64 countries are entitled to enter Thailand under this rule provided that they meet the following criteria:

  1. The visit is strictly for tourism purposes.
  2. They must have a confirmed return ticket to show that they are flying out of Thailand within 30 days of entry, as appropriate. Open tickets do not qualify. Traveling over land out of Thailand by train, bus, etc to Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia (including en route to Singapore), Myanmar, etc may be accepted as proof of exiting Thailand.
    You may be asked to show your flight ticket on entering Thailand. If you do not possess a flight ticket to show you will be exiting Thailand within 30 days of entry you will be most likely refused entry.
  3. It will also be necessary to prove that you have funds of at least 10,000 THB per person during your stay in Thailand.

A fee may be levied on persons entering Thailand under the VISA EXEMPTION RULE especially when entering through a land border in Southern Thailand.

90 days (5 nations)

The governments of the following countries have concluded bilateral visa waiver agreements with Thailand. Holders of normal passports from these countries are allowed to travel to Thailand without a visa for 90 days.

Argentina Brazil
Chile South Korea
Peru  

30 days waivers (6 nations)

Holders of normal passports issued by these countries which have bilateral agreements on visa waivers with Thailand are allowed to stay up to 30 days.

Hong Kong (1) Laos
Macao Mongolia
Russia (*) Vietnam

* — also eligible for visa on arrival. 
1 - for Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Passport only.

30 days exemption (50 nations)

Holders of normal passports of the following countries are granted visa-free travel to Thailand for a period of up to 30 days. The exemption is granted at most twice in a calendar year when entering overland or via a sea border but there is no limitation when entering by air.

Andorra Hungary Mauritius South Africa
Australia Iceland Monaco Spain
Austria Indonesia (1) Netherlands Switzerland
Bahrain Ireland New Zealand Turkey
Belgium Israel Norway Ukraine
Brunei (1) Italy Oman United Arab Emirates
Canada Japan Philippines United Kingdom (2)
Czech Republic Kuwait Poland United States
Denmark Latvia Portugal  
Estonia Liechtenstein Qatar  
Finland Lithuania San Marino  
France Luxembourg Singapore (1)  
Germany Malaysia (1) Slovakia  
Greece Maldives Slovenia  

1 — Brunei, Indonesian, Malaysian, and Singaporean nationals do not have a limitation on the number of visa exempt entries. 

2 — for British citizens and British Nationals (Overseas) only.

Most of the visa-exempt nationalities listed above may apply to extend their stay for another 30 days since 29 August 2014

14 days (2 nations)

Under bilateral agreements, holders of normal passports of the following 2 countries can stay without a visa for a maximum of 14 days

  1. Cambodia
  2. Myanmar (for air arrivals only)

Thailand visa on arrival

The VISA ON ARRIVAL scheme seems to be the easiest way to travel in Thailand if your passport is not available for the Visa exemption scheme.

Thailand Visa on arrival requirement

  1. The visit is strictly for tourism purposes.
  2. The passport must be genuine and should be valid for at least 30 days.
  3. You must have a valid address in Thailand whether a hotel or apartment that can be verified.
  4. You must have a confirmed return ticket to show that they are flying out of Thailand within 15 days of entry, as appropriate. Open tickets do not qualify. Travelling overland out of Thailand by train, bus, etc to Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia (including en route to Singapore), Myanmar, etc is not accepted as proof of exiting Thailand.
    You may be asked to show your flight ticket on entering Thailand. If you do not possess a flight ticket to show that you will be exiting Thailand within 15 days of entry you will be most likely refused entry.
  5. It will also be necessary to prove that you have funds of at least 10,000 THB per person and 20,000 THB per family during your stay in Thailand.
  6. A fee of 2,000 THB is payable upon entry and is subject to change without notice. It must be paid in cash and Thai currency only.

Who can apply for Thailand Visa on arrival?

Nationals from the following countries may apply for a visa on arrival which allows them to stay for up to 15 days at major entry points whether by air or by land. Visa on arrival may not be extended 

In November 2018 Government spokesman Puttipong Punnakanta announced that starting December 1, 2018, visitors from these 18 countries will have their visa-on-arrival fee waived for 60 days, in an effort to bolster tourism numbers. This was later extended until 31 October 2019.

Bhutan Fiji Mexico Taiwan
Bulgaria Georgia Nauru Uzbekistan
China India Papua New Guinea Vanuatu
Cyprus Kazakhstan Romania  
Ethiopia Malta Saudi Arabia  

Where to get Thailand Visa on arrival?

You can get the Thailand Visa on arrival at 1 of the 48 immigration checkpoints listed below in “Thailand immigration checkpoint section

Thailand e-Visa on arrival

The visa on arrival rule seems easy to get your visa to Thailand. But there is the issue of long queuing at the airport to wait for your turn.

In order to speed up the visa approval process, the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand has implemented a Thailand eVisa on arrival online. 

What is Thailand e-Visa on arrival?

The Thailand Online Visa is an electronic travel authorization which is intended to allow citizens of eligible countries to enter Thailand mainly for tourism purposes.

By allowing eligible citizens to apply online for a visa before traveling the new process vastly simplifies the procedures to enter Thailand. The approved eVisa for Thailand will then be sent directly to the applicant by email.

This electronic visa is known by different names, Thailand eVisa, Thailand visa online or Thailand eVOA (Thailand electronic visa on arrival).

Here are the snapshots of Thailand e-VOA for your reference:

  • The Thailand eVisa on arrival is the original visa on arrival that allows travelers entry to Thailand.
  • The eVOA, electronic visa on arrival, can be obtained 100 percent online through a simple application form.
  • It is necessary to obtain the visa online before arrival in Thailand.
  • This eVisa for Thailand is available to citizens of 18 countries (the same list of countries eligible for normal Visa on arrival above)
  • Once approved, the valid eVisa is sent to the applicant’s email.
  • The eVOA serves to travel to Thailand for tourism purposes.
  • The Thailand online visa on arrival grants holders a stay of up to 15 days.
  • Travelers can apply for the Thai online visa between 30 days prior to their trip to up to 24 hours before their expected arrival in Thailand.
  • There is an additional payment for the application which is being waived until the 31st of October, 2019. After this date, a fee of 2,000 Baht (US $61) may be required upon arrival.

Thailand e-Visa on arrival requirement

To be eligible, travelers must meet the below requirement:

  • Must be from one of the 18 eligible countries.
  • A passport valid for at least thirty (30) days upon the entry 
  • Arrive by plane at one of the international airports in Thailand. 

Of course, you will need a debit/credit card to pay the fee and an email to receive the electronic visa

Once there, they can pass quickly through immigration control using the dedicated fast line for e-Visa on arrival holders. Check the 13 Thailand International Airports below.

Who can apply for e-Visa on arrival?

There are 18 countries eligible for e-Visa on arrival, the same list of nationalities eligible for normal Visa on arrival

Bhutan Fiji Mexico Taiwan
Bulgaria Georgia Nauru Uzbekistan
China India Papua New Guinea Vanuatu
Cyprus Kazakhstan Romania  
Ethiopia Malta Saudi Arabia  

How to apply for e-Visa on arrival?

Just follow these 3 simple steps to apply for E-Visa on arrival

Step 1: Provide the Application details and upload the necessary Documents

The first step will require you to sign in (sign up if you do not have the account yet). Then, provide all the requested information and upload the necessary documents. 

Here are the documents needed:

  1. Passport cover page (Sample here)
  2. Passport bio page (Sample here)
  3. Departure and Return Airline tickets (round trip for no longer than 15 days)
  4. Confirmed booking of stay – Hotel stay
  5. Photograph size 4x6 cm. (Sample here)

During the application, you may also be required to provide additional documents like birth certificate for minors. These documents should be uploaded online. In case you need to provide additional documents, you need to do it at least 3 days prior to arrival for regular visa and at least within 24 hours of arrival for express visa.

Important notes:

  • In this step, you will have to select the country as per the passport that you hold. If you have dual nationality, you must select the nationality of the passport that you will use for your travel.
  • The passport that you use for the application must be the same as the one you will use while travelling to Thailand. If different, then your E-VOA will be invalid.
  • Your passport should be valid for at least 30 days from your date of arrival to Thailand. The passport should have at least 1 blank page for stamping by the Thai Immigration Officer
  • The only travel document that can be used in the E-VOA application process is your regular passport. Other travel documents are not acceptable for E-VOA application.
  • Each traveler must obtain an individual E-VOA, including infants and children. The E-VOA applications can be created either for a single individual or for a family (minimum of 2 and maximum of 10 applicants).
  • During your E-VOA application, make sure that the information provided by you matches exactly with the information on your passport, otherwise your E-VOA will be invalid, and you will not be eligible for a refund. Once the E-VOA is processed, the information provided cannot be changed.
  • The E-VOA application has no connection with Thailand Embassies or Consulate General. Please note that in order to have a seamless process for your Thailand E-VOA application, you will need a stable working internet connection. In the event of your connection being unstable, an error message will be prompted for security reasons.

Step 2: Pay the fee online

After providing all the required information, you have to make the fee payment through the Payment gateway. You can pay the fees using a MasterCard, Visa and Union Pay credit/debit card or WeChat or Alipay. It is not necessary for the card to be under your name. Make sure that your card has “3D Secure System” and is enabled to make international transactions.

The official e-VOA fee is being waived until 31 October 2019. After this date, a fee of 2,000 Baht (US $61) may be required upon arrival. 

If you apply through an e-visa agent, the services charged will be around THB600/person for normal visa process; for the express 24-hour service, the services charge is around THB2,500/person

Step 3: Download the E-VOA receipt

If the fee payment is successful, and your application is processed with a pre-approved E-VOA code, you will receive a .pdf file with the decision. You could download and print your E-VOA for your reference. We also recommend that you keep a copy of the .pdf file in your mobile phone. 

Processing time:

  • The processing time of the E-VOA is usually between 24 – 72 hours. If your application has exceeded five business days, please contact your e-visa agency
  • If you have opted for express visa service, the E-VOA will be processed within 24 hours.

Express-Visa Service: You can also apply for an express service, to get your E-VOA even faster. By paying an additional fee, you can get your E-VOA decision within 24 hours to help you travel at short notice to Thailand.

At the Airport

As soon as you arrive in Thailand with the pre-approved E-VOA, follow the steps mentioned below: 

  • Go to the Visa on Arrival area in the immigration area and enter the dedicated E-VOA lane
  • Present your passport to the officer
  • Get the final immigration approval and enter Thailand

48 Thailand immigration checkpoints

For the normal Visa on arrival, you can apply at any of the below 48 Immigration checkpoints. But for the E-VOA, you can only apply at the International Airports only.

You can check the below maps to have the overview of 48 immigration checkpoints of Thailand

13 International Airports

Chiang Mai International Airport (in Chiang Mai) Samui Airport (in Koh Samui)
Chiang Rai International Airport (in Chiang Rai) Sukhothai Airport (in Sukhothai)
Don Mueang International Airport (in Bangkok) Surat Thani Airport (in Surat Thani)
Hat Yai International Airport (in Songkhla) Suvarnabhumi Airport (in Bangkok)
Hua Hin Airport (in Hua Hin) Trang Airport (in Trang)
Krabi International Airport (in Krabi) U-Tapao International Airport (in Rayong)
Phuket International Airport (in Phuket)  

35 Land and harbor checkpoints

Aranyaprathet Immigration Checkpoint Nong Khai Immigration Checkpoint
Ban Prakop Immigration Checkpoint Padang Besar Immigration Checkpoint
Bangkok Harbour Immigration Checkpoint Chonburi Immigration Checkpoint
Betong Immigration Checkpoint Chongmek Immigration Checkpoint
Bueng Kan Immigration Checkpoint Sa-Ngam (Phu Sing) Land Border Checkpoint
Buketa Immigration Checkpoint Phuket Immigration Checkpoint
Chiang Khong Immigration Checkpoint Banpuggard Immigration Checkpoint
Chiang Saen Immigration Checkpoint Padang Besar (Sadao) Immigration Checkpoint
Kanchanaburi Land Border Checkpoint Samui Immigration Checkpoint
Khlong Yai Immigration Checkpoint Samut Prakan Immigration Checkpoint
Khuan Don Immigration Checkpoint Satun Immigration Checkpoint
Ko Lipe Marine Port Checkpoint Si Racha Immigration Checkpoint
Krabi Immigration Checkpoint Songkhla Harbour Immigration Checkpoint
Mae Sai Immigration Checkpoint Su-ngai Kolok Immigration Checkpoint
Map Ta Phut Immigration Checkpoint Tak Immigration Checkpoint
Mukdahan Immigration Checkpoint Tak Bai Immigration Checkpoint
Nakhon Phanom Immigration Checkpoint Tha Li Immigration Checkpoint
Huaikon Immigration Checkpoint (Nan)  

Applying for Visa at Royal Thai Embassies or honorable consulates abroad

For the persons who are not eligible to enter Thailand under the VISA ON ARRIVAL and VISA EXEMPTION RULE are advised to obtain visas with the Royal Thai Embassy prior to their visit.

Who need to apply for Visa at the embassy?

If you cannot find the name of your countries under the Visa on arrival and Visa exemption rule, then you need to apply for Thailand visa at the nearest Thailand embassy abroad.

Here are the requirements

This type of visa is issued to applicants who wish to enter the Kingdom for the following purposes :

  • to enter the Kingdom for tourism purposes (category "TR")
  • to seek a medical treatment in the Kingdom. (category "MT")

Documents required

  • Passport or travel document with validity not less than 6 months
  • Visa application form completely filled out
  • Recent two photographs (passport size 3.5 cm. x 4.5 cm.) with a white background, taken within the past six months
  • Original bank statement of the applicant or a print out with official stamp of the bank showing a balance of at least 1,000 USD per person or 2,000 USD per family in equivalent during the past six months. (Please note that foreigners entering Thailand might be requested at the port of entry to prove their adequate finances during the stay in Thailand, i.e. cash, traveler cheque)
  • Agents are eligible to apply on behalf of some travelers (Burundi, Comoros, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda). The identity card or passport and its copy as well as letter of consent from the travelers to act on their behalf are required to present. Consular officers reserve the rights to request for an interview.
  • The nationalities of Uganda and Seychelles living in their home countries are advised to apply Tourist and Transit visa at Royal Thai Honorary Consulate in Kampala and Victoria respectively.
  • Evidence of travel from Thailand (air ticket paid in full)
  • Evidence of adequate finance (20,000 Baht per person and 40,000 Baht per family)
  • Letter from the hospital in Thailand, medical history, medical certificates (Category “MT”)
  • Letter of employment (if applicable)
  • Consular officers reserve the rights to request additional documents as deemed necessary
  • Hotel booking
  • Student ID card if a student
  • Copy of biodata page of passport.

For Minor Child:

  • A birth certificate (original and a copy /or a notarised copy)
  • A letter of consent from a parent who will not be traveling or from both of the parents if both are not traveling (original and a copy /or a notarised copy)

Validity of Visa

The validity of a visa is 3 months or 6 months. 

Period of stay

Upon arrival, travellers with this type of visa will be permitted to stay in Thailand for a period of not exceeding 60 days.

Extention of stay

Those who wish to stay longer or may wish to change their type of visa must file an application for permission at the Office of Immigration Bureau located on Soi Suan Plu, off South Sathorn Road, Bangkok 10120 , Tel 02 287-3101-10 or at http://www.immigration.go.th The extension of stay as well as the change of certain type of visa is solely at the discretion of the Immigration officer.. 

Travellers coming to Thailand with Tourist visa (category "MT") are permitted to stay in the Kingdom for a period not exceeding 60 days. Extension of stay for an additional 30 days also can be requested from the Office of Immigration Bureau.

Additional requirements

Nationals of certain countries are required to apply for a visa only at the Thai Embassy or Consulate-General in their home/residence country or at the designated Thai Embassy. Therefore, travelers are advised to contact the nearest Thai Embassy or Consulate-General to find out where they may apply for a visa to Thailand before departure. 

Here you can find the Visa application form

Transit passengers

Passengers transiting at an airport in the Kingdom with a view to catching a scheduled connecting flight within 12 hours of their arrival without the intention of clearing immigration procedure, do not require a visa.

They must however be inspected by the competent authorities upon arrival and must stay only in designated areas of the airport until their departure.

All passengers transiting at an airport in the Kingdom for more than 12 hours must obtain a transit visa prior to their arrival.

Citizens of Pakistan are required to obtain a visa when transiting through Thailand at all times

Below is the information about transit Visa in case you need it.

Transit Visa

This type of visa may be issued to applicants who wish to enter the Kingdom for the following purposes:

  • To travel in transit through the Kingdom in order to proceed to a third country (category “TS”) and the transiting time at an airport exceeds 12 hours
  • To participate in sports activities (category “S”)
  • To perform duty as person in charge, or crew member of a conveyance coming to a port, station or area in the Kingdom (category “C”)

Documents required:

  • Passport or travel document in lieu of passport with validity of not less than 6 months
  • Visa application form duly filled in
  • One (4x5 cm) photograph of the applicant
  • Proof of means of transportation (for example confirmed air ticket paid in full)
  • Evidence of adequate means of subsistence, i.e.10,000 Baht per person and 20,000 Baht per family
  • Documents substantiating the indicated purpose of visit (for example, visa of a third country in the passport or travel document or letter of invitation stating the applicant’s participation in sports activities in the Kingdom)

Additional documents may be required as deemed necessary

Fee: 25 Euros per entry

Validity of Visa

The validity of visa, as indicated on the visa page (“Enter before …”), is the length of time during which the holder of the visa is entitled to present himself/herself at a Thai immigration checkpoint with a view to entering into the Kingdom of Thailand. It does not indicate the length of time the holder of the visa may stay in the Kingdom.

The validity of a single-entry Transit Visa is 3 months from date of issuance and that of a two-entry, three-entry or four-entry Transit Visa may be 3 or 6 months from date of issuance.

Period of Stay

The period of stay in the Kingdom of Thailand is not to be confused with the validity of the visa. While the latter is indicated on the visa page, the period of stay (or each stay for a two-entry, three-entry or four-entry Transit Visa) will be determined upon arrival at a Thai immigration checkpoint by the immigration officer (“Admitted Until …” stamped on passport page).

Holders of a Transit Visa may be granted entry and permitted to stay in the Kingdom at the discretion of the immigration officer for a period not exceeding 30 days.

Re-entry permit

If you have an extension of stay or simple permit to stay (of a tourist or non-immigrant visa), but would like to travel outside Thailand for a short period then you will need to apply for a Re-Entry permit.

You need to obtain the re-entry permit before you travel at:

  • Thai Immigration located at Chaengwattana Road, Bangkok
  • Any other local immigration offices
  • International airports such as Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi

When applying for a re-entry permit you will need to submit the following:

  • A completed TM-8 form
  • The correct fee
  • Colored photo (4cm x 6cm)
  • Photocopy of passport (main page and latest entry stamp)

The current fees for re-entry permits are as follows:

  • 1,000 Baht for single
  • 3,800 Baht for multiple

The fees at the airport may be higher than the fees at the local immigration office.

Re-entry permits can be applied for in person or by an agent at Thai immigration office. If an agent is used, a letter of attorney is required.

The processing time at Thai Immigration offices can vary from 1 hour to half a day, so if you prefer to queue, apply before lunch so you can pick it up later the same day.

Please know that the re-entry permit does not prolong your visa or permit to stay. It is just a permit to be able to return to Thailand and use the remaining days of your permit to stay or extension of stay. Remember when arriving back into Thailand, you must note the re-entry permit number on the Immigration.

Quick info. on Customs and regulations

You do not have to fill in a customs form on arrival unless you have imported goods to declare. In that case you can get the proper form from Thai customs officials at your point of entry. The Customs Department maintains a helpful website with specific information about regulations for travellers. Thailand allows the following items to enter duty-free:

  • reasonable amount of personal effects (clothing and toiletries)
  • professional instruments
  • 200 cigarettes
  • 1L of wine or spirits

Thailand prohibits the import of the following items:

  • firearms and ammunition (unless registered in advance with the police department)
  • illegal drugs
  • pornographic media

When leaving Thailand, you must obtain an export licence for any antique reproductions or newly cast Buddha images. Submit two front-view photos of the object(s), a photocopy of your passport, the purchase receipt and the object(s) in question to the Office of the National Museum. Allow four days for the application and inspection process to be completed.
 

Mandatory Yellow fever vaccination

Nationals of the following countries or nationals arriving from the following countries require an International Certificate of Vaccination for Yellow fever in order to enter Thailand, unless they produce evidence that they do not reside in the following areas. Failure to fulfill this requirement could result in refusal of entry into Thailand. 

Angola Equatorial Guinea Panama
Argentina Ethiopia Paraguay
Benin French Guiana Peru
Bolivia Gabon Rwanda
Brazil Gambia Sao Tome and Principe
Burkina Faso Ghana Senegal
Burundi Guinea Sierra Leone
Cameroon Guinea-Bissau Somalia
Central African Republic Guyana Sudan
Chad Kenya Suriname
Colombia Liberia Tanzania
Congo Mali Togo
Côte d'Ivoire Mauritania Trinidad and Tobago
Democratic Republic of Congo Niger Uganda
Ecuador Nigeria Venezuela

NOT READY YET?

We believe you have the right to arm yourselves with as much information as possible before making any decision.

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Unique experience combined with top-notch services

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Easy excursions combined with unique experience making the long-lasting romantic memories

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The combination of fun and educational activities

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The combination of some must-see experience and the cruise tour along the mighty rivers

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Thailand BLOG ARTICLES

As some of you may have seen in the news, Thailand is gearing up for a ‘soft reopening’ to vaccinated travellers a month from now on July 1.

It is official, sort of. After months of kicking sand around debating if it will really happen, the Centre for Economic Situation Administration (CESA) has officially approved the Phuket Sandbox plan, an important step forward. The announcement, made late this afternoon, June, 4th, appears to answer the often-posed question if the sandbox plan would ever happen after the much more intense and deadly third wave of Covid-19 swept through Thailand.
Then, the island will be opening Phuket International Airport to foreign travellers as proposed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

The trial will be the first of its kind in the country, and if successful, may be rolled out across other parts of Thailand. The Thailand Authority of Tourism (TAT) has already earmarked Krabi, Pattaya, Bangkok, Buriram, Cha-am, Koh Samui, Phang-nga and Hua Hin as possible destinations to try out the scheme.

Each model will be slightly different, depending on geography, and international visitors will still have to get a visa in advance and fill out some paperwork (see details below). Nevertheless, this will come as promising news to those travellers desperate to visit Thailand!

If the Phuket Sandbox Scheme goes ahead, from June to September 2021, Thailand is expecting to receive up to 129,000 international visitors – will you be one of them? In this article, we’ll attempt to answer all of the questions you might have about the Phuket Sandbox and more!

Disclaimer – Information regarding the Phuket Sandbox Program is changing literally every day and is dependent on the COVID-19 situation across Thailand. While we update this article regularly to the best of our ability, we cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions.

Learn more about our travel guide for Phuket island here

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Also known as the Nine Emperor Gods Festival or the Kin Jay Festival, the Phuket Vegetarian Festival is an annual event celebrated primarily by the Chinese community in Thailand and throughout Southeast Asia.

Running for nine days, the vegetarian festival in Phuket is considered by many to be the most extreme and bizarre of festivals in Thailand. The Phuket Vegetarian Festival could be Thailand's answer to the Tamil festival of Thaipusam celebrated in neighboring Malaysia. Devotees not only adopt a special diet for the holiday, a select few participants prove their devotion by practicing self-mutilation.

Some of the feats performed include piercing cheeks with swords, walking on nails or hot coals, and climbing ladders made of knife blades! Most participants miraculously heal up without needing stitches or medical care.

WARNING! The content and the images are not recommended for the faint of heart! Consider before continuing.

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Buddhist Lent Day (Thailand Wan Khao Phansa, Laos Boun Khao Phansa) is the start of the three-month period during the rainy season when monks are required to remain in a particular place such as a monastery or temple grounds. Here, they will meditate, pray, study, and teach other young monks. In the past, monks were not even allowed to leave the temple, but today, most monks just refrain from traveling during this period. You will still see them out during the day.

It is said that monks started remaining immobile in a temple during this time because they wanted to avoid killing insects and harming farmland. Apparently, traveling monks were crossing through fields, thus destroying the crops of villagers and farmers. After catching wind of this, Buddha decided that in order to avoid damaging crops, hurting insects, or harming themselves during the rainy season, monks should remain in their temples during these three months.

Tired of reading, listen to our podcast below:

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The Hmong New Year celebration is a cultural tradition that takes place annually in select areas where large Hmong communities exist and in a modified form where smaller communities come together. During the New Year's celebration, Hmong dress in traditional clothing and enjoy Hmong traditional foods, dance, music, bull fights, and other forms of entertainment. Hmong New Year celebrations have Hmong ethnic traditions and culture and may also serve to educate those who have an interest in Hmong tradition. Hmong New Year celebrations frequently occur in November and December (traditionally at the end of the harvest season when all work is done), serving as a Thanksgiving holiday for the Hmong people.

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Thailand never fails to amaze its thousands of visitors with the most vibrant festivals that are sure to delight them by offering glimpses into the heritage and traditions of the country. Each month offers an exciting opportunity to be a part of these festivals. From kids to adults and old-aged people, locals have the time of their lives during these festivities. Considered to be one of the best ways to relish a memorable time in what is already known as an incredible country, these festivals in Thailand are the most popular ones to be a part of.

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Magha Puja (also written as Makha Bucha Day) is the third most important Buddhist festival, celebrated on the full moon day of the third lunar month in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Sri Lanka and on the full moon day of Tabaung in Myanmar. It celebrates a gathering that was held between the Buddha and 1,250 of his first disciples, which, according to tradition, preceded the custom of periodic recitation of discipline by monks.

On the day, Buddhists celebrate the creation of an ideal and exemplary community, which is why it is sometimes called Saṅgha Day, the Saṅgha referring to the Buddhist community, and for some Buddhist schools this is specifically the monastic community. In Thailand, the Pāli term Māgha-pūraṇamī is also used for the celebration, meaning 'to honor on the full moon of the third lunar month'.

Finally, some authors referred to the day as the Buddhist All Saints Day. 

In pre-modern times, Magha Puja has been celebrated by some Southeast Asian communities. But it became widely popular in the modern period, when it was instituted in Thailand by King Rama IV in the mid-19th century. From Thailand, it spread to other South and Southeast Asian countries. Presently, it is a public holiday in some of these countries.

It is an occasion when Buddhists go to the temple to perform merit-making activities, such as alms giving, meditation and listening to teachings. It has been proposed in Thailand as a more spiritual alternative to the celebration of Valentine's Day.

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