Preparing for your Trip to Thailand: A Few Things You Must Know

Thailand is one of the most adventurous places to visit in the world.  I mean, can you even imagine visiting a place that borders Vietnam, has a reigning King and is governed by a military junta?  That’s what you get, and then some, when Thailand is your destination.

But, if you are going to Thailand, there are some very important things you must be aware of.  First off, you will need a photo passport.  A passport is good for up to six months.  You will need a visa if you are going to study or work or if you plan to visit longer than six months.

To obtain a passport, you have to go to an official passport location.  Often times the Post Office issues them but only at specific locations and sometimes only during certain hours so it is best to check before you go.  You can also usually find an official passport office that does nothing but issue passports.  You will need to have a photo taken while you are there and submit such documents as your birth certificate, a valid ID like a driver’s license and a Social-Security card.  You will receive your passport in the mail and it will most likely take several weeks so be sure to apply with plenty of time to spare.

Another thing worth noting is if you happen to travel through any yellow-fever infected land before entering Thailand, you will probably have to show a certificate proving that you have been vaccinated for the disease.  There are at least 45 infected areas that are listed online.

If you are acquiring a passport from a country besides the United States, be sure to check the length of stay allowed for that particular country.  While the stay is 30 days for the U.S., Canada and a number of countries, it is only 15 days when going through some countries.  Nationals of Croatia must actually put in for a visa in advance.

If you are traveling with a child, be aware that if the child’s other parent is not traveling with you, you will need a letter of consent and it will need to be notarized.  If you are traveling with a child who is not in your legal custody, you will need a notarized letter of consent from both parents as does a child who is travelling alone.

And if you are travelling with a pet, please note that you are only allowed to bring two and you can only bring animals such as dogs, cats, birds and others that are classified as domestic.  You must be able to show a health certificate for each animal and prove the country that the animal is from.  Don’t be surprised if your pet is quarantined at some point along the journey just to be sure he or she is in good health and has met the requirements.

Once you are in Thailand, don’t forget, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”  Although it may seem odd, being from a different culture, you must always respect the King.  In addition, the laws are much different in Thailand and it will serve you well to follow any and all laws as the punishments for crime can be quite harsh.

As long as you are prepared and do sufficient homework for your trip, you are sure to have the time of your life in the fascinating land of the Thai.