Thailand Travel Insurance and Guide
Claim Settlement Ratio (OND 2018)
Network Hospitals across 500 cities
From verdant valleys and isolated tropical islands to glamorous coastlines and cities, Thailand is a wanderer’s dream. The South East Asian country has become an enigma for backpackers and luxury travellers alike not just because of the attractions but also because of its modern tourist infrastructure and safe, friendly reputation. Thailand travel will be a memorable, life-changing experience if you keep some basic tips in mind. Some love to come here to mingle with world travellers from all over the world, converging in the cafes and shacks of the seaside destinations. There are those who enjoy the spectacular shopping experiences – Asia on a platter – like many describe the cities here. Wildlife enthusiasts and adventure junkies will also have their fill here while those who like to soak in history and culture will never want their trip to end. Check out this summarized Thailand travel guide which will ensure that you will get the best out of the Land of Smiles!
Thailand is planning to add to add a mandatory insurance fee for foreign visitors and tourists in the year 2019. The government has identified this as an important prerequisite for travelling across the country and there are plans to set up insurance vending machines for people who land at the country’s airports. This is a step welcomed by all as travel insurance has many benefits while also being available at a very affordable cost.
Think of a scenario when you get afflicted by a disease while you are travelling and need some professional medical care. The doctor’s bill might just take up your entire travel budget and more – with a tiny fee, you can rest assured knowing that your vacation is safe from such unwanted expenses. International Travel insurance also protects you from losses caused by airline cancellations, loss of your own documents or luggage and even personal liabilities. In fact, apart from this basic coverage, travellers can opt for more customized plans.
Thailand is one of the most tourist-friendly countries in the world. They even have a separate helpline for tourists and the infrastructure and facilities when you are on the road are comparable to many developed countries. At the same time, these Thailand travel tips are essential.
The best way to have fun in Thailand is with cash. Outside the malls and cosmopolitan social hubs, the real fun lies in the streets and smaller establishments tucked away from commercial centres. Do not deny yourself an authentic experience by being over-reliant on the plastic. Just like any tourist hub, there will be unscrupulous individuals trying to scam gullible travellers – ensure you are using an ATM that is not out of the way (card readers can be hidden in the equipment) and above all, keep up your guard and stick to the plan.
Thailand is quite tropical. This is the kind of weather that allows germs to thrive so avoid being too experimental with the street food – go to places which have been vouched for in reviews – and keep basics like insect repellant creams in the bag. And yes – this is where your travel insurance is very important.
Another aspect of Thailand that catches many visitors by surprise is the change in terrain. This can lead to uncomfortable situations where you land up in the central highlands with just a few tees and a sarong. Carry some cool weather clothing with you – at least one reliable piece. It is not just the mountains where Thailand gets a little nippy – they love turning up their air-conditioning here in their public transport and restaurants. Make sure you pack at least two or three pairs of shoes. A lot of attractions in Thailand require visitors to take off their shoes so a pair of loafers or easy-to-release Crocs will be the most ideal. At the same time, you would want something more sophisticated for that downtown fancy restaurant or a swanky, high-end discotheque. When in Bangkok, be free to explore their omnipresent 7/11s – stores where you can pick up your beverages and other provisions at cheaper rates than the bars and restaurants.
No Thailand travel advice will be complete without a few words on the language and cultural differences. The Thai people are friendly – they may not all know English outside the main towns and cities so be prepared for a bit of gesturing. It will all be fine – just don’t lose your patience. Thailand is a deeply religious place and they love their royal family. Keep these things in mind when you strike up conversations. Enjoy your parties but ensure that you empathize with the people and respect the local culture.
You will need a giant tome to cover the possible experiences in Thailand in detail so we’ll just brush over the highlights.
Bangkok’s Grand Palace is a treasure trove of history. It is a great place to start your trip for it serves as an introduction to this delightfully diverse and rich culture. The Emerald Buddha is one of the iconic landmarks here but also keep an eye on the glorious architectural nuances of the complex.
Thailand was also a bloody stage during the Second World War and a visit to the museum close to the famous bridge of River Kwai in Kanchanaburi will give you a throwback glimpse of the action. Exhibits here include old rail cars and vehicles that belonged to the Japanese and Allied forces.
The Golden Triangle is a beautiful hinterland paradise, a landscape defined by the confluence of the Mekong and acts as the meeting point of three nations. This region has a bloody history – known as a major opium producer for generations but it is slowly reinventing itself as a perfect spot to experience multiple South East Asian cultures. The bazaars are a major attraction here and you can save on precious souvenirs, which would cost much more in the boutiques and stalls of Bangkok.
If you want an elephant experience in the deep forests of Thailand, do your research first. Wildlife is being mistreated and exploited for ‘exotic’ tourism so avoid any establishment that promises animal tricks. You would rather enjoy a relaxed afternoon with rehabilitating elephants in a rescue centre. Watching elephants do elephant their own things is the best way to hang out with these gentle giants.
Chiang Mai is the pearl of Northern Thailand – a mountainous region that is characterized by lush vegetation and some of the most exquisite traditional architecture in Asia. Expect single digit temperatures during the height of tourist season (the Northern Hemisphere winter months). The Wats or Buddhist temples here are the main attraction – if you are looking for a culture trip, Chiang Mai needs to be on the list. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and Wat Chiang Man date back to the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries respectively. Chiang Mai is also a wonderful place to learn about Thailand’s tribal cultures and the city is a great base for those who want to explore Doi Inthanon National Park. A favorite activity here is the visit to Doi Inthanon Mountain, the highest in the country at more than 2500 metres above sea level.
Thailand’s beaches are refreshing – a perfect blend of clean, pristine sands and a constant buzz of culture and other attractions. Many visit the popular beach towns of Phuket and Pattaya – convenient to get to and loaded with a large array of dining, shopping, and lodging options. Koh Samui is another favoured spot for recreation and some time off the grid. When you are at the beaches you will need to go island hopping – Koh Phi Phi and Koh Phi Don are just two of many beautiful spots on the blue Andaman.
Featuring some of the world’s best dining and shopping options, Bangkok is becoming a global city. Enjoy exploring its various streets – from the Bohemian Khao San Street to the luxurious downtown areas. The dining options are such that you will get everything from American fast food to hidden sushi bars.
Do not leave Thailand without rubbing shoulders with its exuberant and hospitable locals. The floating markets are visually stunning – a riot of colors and textures on offer as you meander through the famous waterways of Ratchaburi and Samut Songkhram. The Taling Chan Weekend Floating Market offers visitors a glimpse at old-world Bangkok.
The festivals of Thailand provide another stage for unique cultural experiences. Loi Krathong is one of the major events that happen in November while Songkran is the Lunar New Year and happens in April.
This list is not exhaustive – because there is so much more. In Thailand, it is best to keep your mind open for new things at every turn. Let the vacation be one of many surprising and idiosyncratic experiences.
Before you catch your flight, we’d advise you to catch up on some basic information about the country. Thailand currency is the baht and a dollar would get you around 31 of these. (1 Baht = 2.1 INR approx). Bangkok is the largest city in Thailand and it has two international airports. The Thailand capital is well connected to all the other major hubs by road, air, and rail. Phuket and Chiang Mai also have international airports.
If you are travelling off-season it is going to be either very hot (March to June) or you will experience a lot of rain (July to October). That doesn’t mean that you won’t have a fun trip – the crowds will be less, things will be cheaper, the national parks are in full bloom, and summer is the time for the wonderful Thai New Year or Songkran. The main season remains the winter months between November and February.
What better way to prepare yourself for the trip and get some inspiration to travel like a pro than by catching up on what the expert travel bloggers think. These blogs are also precious because they give you on-the-ground information on small details that can help you save money and enjoy the place even more. The hidden spots and the off-beat landmarks can become part of your itinerary with the right research. Here are some Thailand travel blogs you cannot miss.
Mark Wiens – Eating Thai Food is a perfect one for the culinary fans along with Bangkok Glutton while Tom Yam Thailand is almost a fully-fledged site with a lot of detailed destination info. Jamies Phuket blog is all about the coastal city while we recommend Thaizer because it updates readers on important events and developments in the country. Sirinya’s Thailand offers precious perspectives on local cultures and quiet escapades - women travellers will find the tips and stories very useful.
Shutterbugs will relish poring through the submissions on Oilinki, especially those who love nature and landscape photography. Looking for some inner peace in new, exotic destinations? The Travallure might have some Thai-flavoured cures for your tired soul.
It is easy to get carried away in a place like Thailand but as a foreigner travelling there, you should always respect the local laws and spend some time researching if you are not sure about something. In case there is a situation regarding the documentation or something else, the Indian government has a presence in Thailand via its embassy. Follow the best practices of exploring a foreign destination - do not ignore basic information on your home embassy and keep certain contacts stored in your phone or organizer.
The Indian Embassy is located in the capital Bangkok and the current ambassador is Bhagwant Singh Bishnoi. Passport services are available at the embassy. The consular section is located in Bangkok’s Soi Sukhumvit 19,
The following are the complete addresses of the embassy and the consular section along with office hours and contact information.
Ocean Tower 2, 75/120-121, Bangkok
Phone - (+66) 258 0300-6, Fax - (+66) 2258 4627, (+66) 2262 1740
Website - www.indianembassy.in.th
42nd Floor [75/32-33, 20th Floor
Soi Sukhumvit 19
Office Hours - 09.00 am - 12.00 pm and 15.00 pm - 16.30 pm
Contact – Same as the Embassy