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Thailand Currency to Use & Guided Trip Cost

How much does it cost to go to Thailand?

If you are the backpackers, you can find plenty of articles out there guiding you to spend $25-30 per day. 

Some of the advices includes sleeping inside a room with fan only, traveling by train and local public bus, and eating at the street food stalls.

With a little bit more (about $40-50/day), you can have some good meals, travel by air for some long distance, and sleep at an air-conditioned room.

Well, we believe you learned enough to save your pocket, and we do not intend to help you … save more than that.

Within this guide, we will help you reveal the cost of some important services of your trip to Thailand, especially for a pleasant guided trip cost, including your accommodation, meals, activities, or transportation.

Before breaking down your Thailand vacation cost, we will first guide you through the national currency of Thailand; hence, you will first have general idea of the money you can spend in the country.

Let's check it out.

Thailand National Currency

Thai Baht is the official currency of the Kingdom of Thailand. It is divided into 100 satang. The Baht is rated as one of the strongest currencies in Southeast Asia. The Bank of Thailand issues the currency.

There are 1 baht, 2 baht, 5 baht, and 10 baht coins and 20 baht, 50 baht, 100 baht, 500 bath, and 1,000 baht notes. You may also occasionally see a 10 baht note, although those are no longer printed.

Baht are further broken down into satang, and there are 100 satang per baht. These days, there are only 25 satang and 50 satang coins. Satang are rarely used anymore for most transactions.

The most common coin in Thailand is the 10 baht, and the most common note is the 100 baht. 

You can see below the exchange rate with some popular currencies at the time of this article. 

Australian - A$1 THB26 New Zealand - NZ$1 THB24
Canada - C$1 THB25 South Korea - W1000 THB30
China - Y10 THB50 UK - £1 THB44
Euro - €1 THB37 US - US$1 THB31
Japan - ¥100 THB32    

 

Of course, these indicative exchange rates are constantly changing, and it is wise to update them before departure.
You can check with XE.com or Google Exchange to have the idea of the latest exchange rate

Can you use foreign currencies in Thailand?

Thai Baht is the only legal currency in Thailand, and it's not usually possible to spend other currencies. ... A tourist site that accepts payments in U.S. dollars, for example, will likely have extremely poor exchange rates and you'll end up paying much more that you would have if purchased with THB.

Where can you have your money exchanged in Thailand?

It is advisable to just come to the official exchange counters of the verified Thai bank to exchange your money.

Below are some tips to have the best exchange rate.

Exchange your cash when you get to Thailand

In general, the exchange rates available for THB will be better in Thailand than at home. Exchange services in Thailand tend to claim ‘zero commission’ - but make sure you can see the exchange rate being offered. Usually, when services advertise a service without commission or fees, their profit is wrapped up in the poor exchange rate they offer.

Avoid airport and hotel money exchange services

There are currency exchange desks in international airports and hotels which makes changing cash on arrival seem easy. However, exchange rates in these places are notoriously poor, so make sure you’re comfortable with the offer before you commit. If necessary, exchange only a small amount and seek a better deal in town.

Alternatively, there will be ATMs available which allow you to withdraw some Baht to tide you over.

Bring only clean, undamaged banknotes to exchange

A note of warning - currency exchange desks may refuse to change banknotes which are in any way damaged or defaced. Make sure that whatever cash you bring is crisp and clean.

Using traveller's checks in Thailand

American Express Traveller’s Checks can be exchanged in banks and currency exchange offices in Thailand, but you might struggle with any other type of Traveller’s Checks. You can’t usually pay directly with the checks, and exchanging them comes with a fixed fee per check. Because of this, it's usually best to get the checks in relatively large denominations to minimise fees.

Even doing this, you might find that exchange rates aren’t very competitive - plus, you’ll only have a limited choice of places willing to make the exchange.

For greater ease, many travellers now prefer to use ATMs and credit or debit cards to finance their trip.

Using credit cards and debit cards in Thailand

Carry some cash on you - even if you have a card

All major credit and debit cards are accepted in large businesses, hotels and restaurants in Thailand. However, you might find that smaller stores and cafes don’t take cards, so carry some cash on you at all times.

Tell your home bank before you head out to Thailand

Because some financial institutions will be suspicious of sudden card use in Thailand, you need to tell your bank you're going there before your trip. Otherwise, you might find your card is blocked by anti fraud software - causing great inconvenience.

Always choose to be charged in THB - the local currency

One thing to watch out for if you're spending on card abroad, is something called DCC (Dynamic Currency Conversion). What is does is that DCC allows you to see the cost of the transaction in your home currency rather than in THB.

Though it sounds much simpler, it’s not a great idea. DCC leaves you exposed to the foreign bank’s hidden fees. Because the Thai bank has no incentive to make you happy - with DCC they give you a poor exchange rate and an additional fee. It’s best to decline this ‘service’ and opt for your home bank’s more favorable rate by being charged in THB.

ATMs in Thailand

ATMs are plentiful in Thailand. Cash is the preferred method of payment for most Thai people, so using an ATM to make withdrawals can be a convenient option for travellers.

To find an ATM near you, use one of these locator tools.

Check with your home bank to see about their foreign fees, and if they have any Thai partners

If you use an ATM abroad  you can assume that you'll be charged by both your home bank and the ATM operator. Ask your local bank before you leave what their fees are and if they have any arrangements with Thai banks to allow you to get access to services more cheaply. If they don’t, you can expect that an ATM in Thailand will add a fee of 150-180 Baht for each withdrawal (around 4 British Pounds or 5 U.S. dollars).

Decline offers to be charged in your home currency

Due to DCC (described in the previous section), you might be asked if you’d like to be charged for the ATM withdrawal in your home currency. The answer should always be no. In order to get the best deal, always select to be charged in local currency.

Banks in Thailand

Thailand has a good banking network, with their largest banking groups also operating beyond Thailand’s borders. The largest bank is Bangkok bank, which covers the whole Southeast Asia region and has offices in London and New York. After that you’ll find the Krung Thai Bank (which is more than half state-owned) and Thailand’s oldest bank, the Siam Commercial Bank.

You may also ask your home bank if they work in partnership with any Thai banks. If they do, you might be able to use ATMs in their network for free (or at least reduced fees).

Major retail banks in Thailand

International banks operating in Thailand

Thailand Money Tips

  1. Do not carry money in your back pockets. It is considered offensive to sit on the notes having the king's face on them.
  2. Stepping on notes and coins deliberately is highly offensive.
  3. Do not deface or throw away the currency notes in anger or so.
  4. Tipping in Thailand is not compulsory. However, if you liked the service and want to tip the staff, then anything between 5-20 THB is appreciated.
  5. It is advisable to change the currency in Thailand only. The exchange offers in any other country are not as good as in Thailand.
  6. Avoid paying in high-denomination bills. Very few vendors will willingly change your THB1000, so make sure you're carrying smaller bills when going shopping.

So, after learning all about Thailand national currency, it is now time to learn about the even hotter topic: how much does your Thailand vacation cost?

Stay tune, it is right next below.

How much money do you need to visit Thailand?

Finding the best prices and spending less in Thailand is ultimately up to you. Patronizing upscale restaurants and hotels that cater only to tourists will obviously cost more, as will doing more activities (e.g., scuba diving, taking tours, etc) and paying entrance fees to tourist places.

All jet ski rentals aside, many long-term travelers brave enough to track daily expenses in an honest fashion typically discover an ugly truth: they spent more on partying and socializing than activities, transportation, and food!

Many people tend to socialize — and ultimately drink more — while on vacation. Thailand is infamous for providing enough nightlife opportunities to send daily expenses soaring past your original estimates. Eating can be cheap and delicious, but those drinks add up.

First of all, we will see what will affect your spending during you trip.

What will affect your Thailand trip cost?

When you travel

Traveling during the high season in Thailand will cost a little more as people are less willing to negotiate. Hotels and guesthouses stay full enough that they don't need to offer discounts and specials.

Traveling during the low season in Thailand (roughly June to October) may require ducking in from afternoon thunderstorms — the monsoon season keeps scenery green — but you can find more discounts.

Traveling immediately before or after major festivals and holidays in Thailand such as Songkran and Chinese New Year will cause flights and hotels to be more expensive.

Check out Thailand weather guide and best time to visit here

Where you stay / visit

Plain and simple, the islands cost more. You've got to pay to play in the sun. Plan to spend slightly more while in the islands on food, basics, and accommodation.

Totally worth it! Islands cost more for a reason: everything must be brought to the island from the mainland either by boat or plane. Rent for businesses is invariably more expensive near the sea, so they have to increase prices to make ends meet.

Chiang Mai and destinations in Northern Thailand such as Pai are relatively less expensive than Bangkok and the islands. If you're on a shoestring budget, you'll get more for your money in Chiang Mai and northern destinations in Thailand.

Location affects price down to the local level. You'll often find better prices depending on the neighborhood in which you are staying. "Local" neighborhoods with less services for tourists are usually the cheapest.

You'll nearly always find better prices in Thai neighborhoods farther away from tourist areas but being a foreign visitor matters. The subject is hotly debated and controversial. Dual pricing in Thailand is common. Farang (foreigners) are often expected to pay higher prices. Tourists may be considered "rich."

By default, the Sukhumvit area in Bangkok is the most expensive; Silom is considered pricey as well. Meanwhile, the Khao San Road and Soi Rambuttri neighborhood — once famous as a hub for backpackers — in the Banglamphu area of Bangkok can be cheaper. Although some of the old "weirdness" still exists near Khao San Road, many of the surrounding streets are now lined with chic and boutique guesthouses.

A small bottle of beer in the more expensive Silom or Sukhumvit areas of Bangkok will cost 90 – 180 baht, while you can find a large bottle in the Khao San Road area for 60 – 80 baht during happy hours or 90 baht during regular hours. Which of the top three Thai beers you choose also matters.

Unless prices are fixed (e.g., inside of minimarts) you can often negotiate for a better deal. Fair, friendly haggling is a part of Thai culture, but do it correctly. You should not try to negotiate for consumables such as water, snacks, and street food.

Number of participants

The more people to join your trip, the less money you need to spend per day per person.  This is because you can share the minivan and guide with your co-travelers.

Thailand trip cost detail

Here is a list of common expenses for your trip in Thailand along with the potential impact on your budget:

  • Food: low
  • Bottled water: low
  • Laundry service: low
  • Accommodation: medium-high
  • Ground transportation: low
  • Domestic flights to different regions: medium-high
  • Shopping: medium
  • Alcohol and socializing: high
  • Tours and activities: high
  • Entrance fees (foreigners often pay more than double): medium
  • ATM fees (as much as 200 baht per transaction): high
  • Unexpected scams: low
  • Motorbike/scooter rentals: low

Before breaking the expense into more detail, we will first look at the infographic below to have the general idea of what you need per day in Thailand

Accommodation

The cost of your accommodation depends largely upon how much luxury you expect. Remember, with such an exciting country waiting outside, you'll probably only be at the hotel to sleep!

Avoiding the large Western hotel chains and staying in local, independently owned places will nearly always save money. Cute boutique options abound throughout popular places to travel in Thailand.

Moving around frequently adds to the cost of your trip. If you intend to stay in a place for a week or longer, try negotiating for a better nightly rate. You may get a better deal - particularly during the slow season.

You'll find backpacker guesthouses in Thailand for $10 a night (320 baht) and less, as well as five-star accommodation where the sky is the limit and staff are willing to do anything to please guests.

If your trip is short and you don't mind spending more on accommodation, you'll be able to enjoy much higher levels of luxury for cheaper prices than you would find in hotels at home.

The price we indicate below will give you the general idea of the budget you should spend for your accommodation.

Please note that, during Chinese New Year or Songkran, some big festivals, and school holidays, prices increase significantly. Don’t be surprised!

  • Budget Hotel (2 star): $30-40/room/night. This option will be a family-run hotel offering basic services such as clean room and standard breakfast with bread, jam, and a drink.
  • Standard 3 star: $60-80/room/night. The charming hotels with good location, thoughtful services, and better breakfast menu to choose from. Some hotels will offer a buffet breakfast, and a cool swimming pool.
  • Superior 4 star: $100-120/room/night. You can find some international hotel chain with this budget. The accommodation with charm, good location, and international standard services.
  • Deluxe 5 star: $150-200/room/night. Top-notch services that you can expect. You can have a suit room, beautiful view, and high-end hotel amenities.

Activities

As you are looking for a guide tour, we do not separate the budget into too many items such as transportation, a bottle of water, or a bus ticket. 

We will just separate into 4 mains activities:

  • City tour: $45-50/person/day. This will be the tour inside the big city or surrounding to visit the temples, museums, or history buildings. Those will include Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Surat Thani, Lampang, or Hua Hin.
  • Province trip: $60-80/person/day. The long-distance trip outside of the main cities with a private car and an escorting guide. You need to pay higher to cover the accommodation for the guide & driver, especially for the distance that you go.
  • Cooking Class: $35-$50/person/day. This normally includes a market tour, joining cooking class, and a meal (lunch or dinner). The price is much higher if you are looking for a private class. 
  • Snorkeling and Scuba diving: $30-35/person for 20-30 minutes. This is very popular activities when you visit the beach destinations in Thailand such as Phi Phi Island, Koh Tao, Phuket, or Koh Samui.

Getting around in Thailand

You'll find no shortage of offers for transportation from taxi and tuk-tuk drivers. Hailing a taxi on the street is best; always make the driver use the meter! If the driver refuses and tries to name a price, simply pass and wait on the next taxi. You'll eventually find an honest driver willing to turn on the meter.

The prices for taxis from Suvarnabhumi airport are always changing. These are literally controlled by a sort of local transportation "mafia." You're better off taking a train closer and then hailing a taxi. There are sometimes minivans running from the ground floor of the airport to Khao San Road for 150 baht.

Although riding in tuk-tuks is a fun experience, you must first negotiate a price before getting inside. In the long run, taking a sweaty, exhaust-choking tuk-tuk is rarely cheaper than going somewhere with an air-conditioned taxi. Times have changed. Taking a tuk-tuk is more about the experience than saving money.

TIP: Beware of tuk-tuk drivers who offer to be your dedicated driver for the day! This is one of the oldest scams in Thailand.

Ferries running the Chao Praya River in Bangkok can get you around the city for far cheaper than a taxi. Depending on the destination, a single ride averages 30 baht. You can also purchase an all-day ticket for 150 baht to make unlimited hops. Don't be intimidated: it's a great system for getting around Bangkok's consistent traffic!

The BTS Skytrain and MRT subway in Bangkok are cheap and modern ways to move around the city. The fare rarely exceeds 30 baht. An all-day ticket can be purchased for 150 baht.

Night buses and trains are a good way to move across Thailand; both save a day on your itinerary and double as accommodation for the night. Overnight buses from Bangkok to Chiang Mai can be booked in travel offices for 600 baht or less. Trains cost more than long-haul buses but offer a more comfortable experience.

If you don't have baggage to check, flying domestically in Thailand can be very cheap with local low-cost carriers such as Nok Air. The fees for baggage and other add-ons are what make flying cost more.

Here is our guide to getting around in Thailand

Restaurant

As is often the case in Asia, eating in Thailand is relatively inexpensive - assuming you enjoy Thai food. Western food nearly always costs more than Thai food in restaurants.

Street carts and simple, open-air restaurants will always be cheaper than eating at your hotel or in air-conditioned restaurants. Adding seafood or shrimp to traditional dishes increases the cost. The default meat served with nearly every meal is chicken; beef and pork are common options.

The average cost of a basic Thai meal in a restaurant is 90 – 150 baht. Seafood invariably costs more. A plate of noodles in a basic restaurant in Sukhumvit is around 100 baht. Thai portions are often smaller, so you may end up eating an extra meal or snacking during the day!

Tip: If you find yourself near the Asok BTS stop in the Sukhumvit area of Bangkok, check out the food court at the top of Terminal 21. Although the mall is home to some posh stores, local residents head to the food court to enjoy good food for street prices in the area.

During the trip with Sonasia Holiday in Thailand, we recommend you spend at least $12-19/person/meal where you can enjoy your meal at a beautiful clean restaurant with good ambiance and safe high-quality food.

Here is the meal budget that you can expect

  • Budget: $2-5/person/meal. This budget is recommended for backpackers
  • Standard: $6-10/Person/meal. This will be the option in case you want to save the cost but still want somewhere clean to eat.
  • Superior: $11-19/Person/meal. Suitable budget for our clients. The restaurant is familiar with international standard, and they cater the foods to suit with clients’ taste.
  • Deluxe: $20-30/Person/meal or more. Top restaurant with good location, beautiful decoration, good food, and excellent ambiance.

The Cost of Pad Thai in Thailand

Since many people enjoy Pad Thai noodles in Thai restaurants at home, the menu item makes a great benchmark for comparing food costs! Spoiler: the much-loved noodles are way cheaper in Thailand.

A basic meal of pad thai noodles with chicken or tofu can be found at street carts and from simple restaurants for 30 to 40 baht (around US $1), particularly outside of tourist areas. The average cost for pad thai in tourist places is around 50 baht per plate. One of the famous Thai curries can be enjoyed for 60 – 90 baht; sometimes an additional 20 baht is added for rice.

Water and Alcohol

The tap water is unsafe to drink in Thailand; hot temperatures will have you drinking far more water than you do at home.

A 1.5-liter bottle of drinking water from any of the ubiquitous 7-Eleven shops found all over Thailand costs around 15 baht (less than 50 cents). To cut down on plastic, look for free water refills in some hotels. Also, you can find water-refill machines on the street that cost only a few baht per liter.

In the islands, a fresh drinking coconut can be enjoyed for around 60 baht. A nostalgic, glass bottle of Coke costs around 15 baht.

A large bottle of Thai Chang beer can be found in restaurants around Khao San Road / Soi Rambuttri for under 90 baht. 7-Eleven price for a large bottle of beer is usually less than 60 baht. Other beers such as Singah and imports will cost at least 90 baht and up, depending on the venue.

A small bottle of Sangsom (the local Thai rum) costs around 160 baht in minimarts; there are cheaper brands (Hong Thong is one) if you're brave enough.

A night out in an establishment with band or DJ will always cost more than a night of socializing in a restaurant or somewhere quieter. Unless you're attending an organized event or special party with DJ, cover charges aren't common.

Others

  • Tipping: This is not mandatory, but we recommend you pay the tip about $5-8/person/day depending on your satisfaction of the services. 
  • Tattoo: Thailand is a famous and safe place for you to have a tattoo. The price will depend on how big and complicated your tattoo is. Our recommended tattoo that you should have is the Sak Yant Tattoo, which will cost no more than $30
  • A pack of Western-brand cigarettes costs 100 to 140 baht in Thailand, depending on the brand.
  • Using any ATM in Thailand requires paying a steep 200-baht bank fee for each transaction.
  • Laundry service is very cheap in Thailand. Coin-operated laundromats can be found in the cities.

Frequently asked questions

Q. How much does it cost to live in Thailand?

Foreigners will have baseline living costs of USD $600 minimum. That's in a place like Chiang Mai, and it will cost more to live in the Thai island, Bangkok, or retiree hotspots. This figure is used as a minimum these estimates do not include the visa runs you'll need if you're on a tourist visa.

Q. Do you need to tip in Thailand?

Tipping is NOT customary in Thailand, there is absolutely NO mandatory requirement to tip anyone, but small gratuities for great service are very much appreciated.

Unlike some other parts of the world, you will never see a Thai service provider with his hand out waiting for a tip. 

When you consider that the average Thai person earns roughly $3,000 per year, then tipping in Thailand can be the difference between just scraping by and being able to live a higher quality of life.

Remember that service staff work long hours with few breaks, and they almost always manage to keep a positive demeanor about them.

If you receive delicious food or stellar service—which is so common in Thailand—then showing your appreciation with a small tip can have a big impact in the long run.

If you do tip in Thailand because of the service staff, try to give your server the money directly. If you give it to a manager or leave it on the card, your server may not receive it.

Tipping in Thailand does not have the infrastructure to dispense tips the way they are so often dispensed in tipping cultures.

Establishments in Thailand do not have a culture of counting tips and redistributing them at the end of the shift between both front and back of the house.

Here is our guide for Tipping custom in Thailand

Q. How to haggle in Thailand?

The most important thing to remember when you are dealing with shopkeepers and stallholders in Thailand is to smile. It might sound trite, but the smile is one of the most important parts of getting a good deal when you are shopping in Thailand. Smiling establishes good intent and even if you don’t end up agreeing a price or buying anything, if it’s all done with a smile nobody loses face. An aggressive, confrontational approach is not the way to bargain in Thailand.

Here is our Shopping guide in Thailand

Q. When is the cheapest time to fly to Thailand?

You'll find the cheapest flights to Thailand from May until October, which happily covers the school holidays. This does come at a price, however – the southwestern monsoon rolls in from mid-June and sticks around for the whole summer.

Q. How much does the massage in Thailand cost?

This will depend on the type of massage that you request. Massages cost between 200 baht ($7) an hour for a Thai massage to 500 baht ($18) for a Body Scrub Massage.

Q. Is Thailand safe to visit?

Thailand is generally a safe country to visit, but it's smart to exercise caution, especially when it comes to dealing with strangers (both Thai and foreigners) and travelling alone.

  • Assault of travellers is relatively rare in Thailand, but it does happen.
  • Possession of drugs can result in a year or more of prison time. Drug smuggling carries considerably higher penalties, including execution.
  • Disregard all offers of free shopping or sightseeing help from strangers. These are scams that invariably take a commission from your purchases.

Check out all the safety and precaution notices in Thailand here

NOT READY YET?

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

Check below our detailed tips & guide for every places to visit in Thailand, recommendation regarding the inclusion in each theme you prefer, and what you can do based on the time frame you have.

PLACES TO VISIT IN Thailand
Bangkok
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Chiang Mai
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Phuket
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Hua Hin
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Chiang Rai
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Koh Samui
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Thailand PLANS BY TRAVEL THEME
Must-see
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Check out all the must-see places and things to do & see

Luxury
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Unique experience combined with top-notch services

Wellness & Leisure
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Easy excursion combined with week-long beach break

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

Family
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The combination of fun and educational activities

Trek & Hike
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Explore the least visited destinations and unknown experience on foot

Unseen
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Reveal off-the-beatentrack routes, least explored destinations, and unknown tribe groups

Cycling
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Explore every corners of the destination on two wheels

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

Thailand PLANS BY TIME FRAME
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SPECIAL Thailand TIPS & TOURS

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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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