Travel Recommendations and Visas

Thailand is an amazing colorful and peaceful country.  Touristic necessities are very well organized, as Thailand is one of the most visited countries in the world. It is a very safe place for tourists.

The following websites provide plenty of tourist information about traveling in Thailand:

 

GETTING TO THAILAND

Airlines & Search EnginesTo find a cheap flight to Bangkok (BKK) (or to the neighbor island Koh Samui (USM)) check out meta flight-search-engines such as:

If you are traveling within Asia or from Australia, also check the superb offers of Air Asia and Jet Star, flying to Bangkok or to nearby Phuket:

 More on: http://en.WikiVoyage.org/wiki/Discount_airlines_in_Asia

 

Bangkok Airport

Bangkok’s main airport Suvarnabhumi is the biggest travel hub in South-East Asia. It serves more than 50 million (!) passengers per year in a safe and efficient way. The local staff is extremely helpful and polite. Take the convenient Airport Rail Link train, which brings you down-town for just 2 Euros. From the final station Payathai take a taxi or a tuk-tuk.

 Details about airport-to-city transport on:

Additional airport details on:

 

 Hotels in Bangkok

If you are not in a rush, it is worthwhile to stop over for some sightseeing & shopping in Bangkok. There are countless hotels in the Kao San Road, Silom & Sukhumvit area. Check out our big collection of recommended hotels in Bangkok via this link: https://goo.gl/C2Vm9J 

Details about airport-to-city transport on:

Additional airport details on: 

 

Close to Suvarnabhumi International Airport is the Cottage Suvarnabhumi Hotel. A good choice, if you just want to spend a comfortable transit night close to the airport. Rates: 25-45 Euros, including pool access and very cheap airport shuttle. Info & bookings via:

Payathai take a taxi or a tuk-tuk. Details about airport-to-city transport on:

Additional airport details on: 

 

GETTINGTO KOH PHANGAN

The island of Koh Phangan is located in the South-East of Thailand. It is a particularly leaned back place, featuring tropical jungles with waterfalls, beautiful beaches, coral reefs and much more. The combination of lush nature and blossoming alternative communities makes it a perfect place for transformation and growth. Traveling in Thailand generally tends to be very easy, convenient and affordable! There are several ways to travel from Bangkok to Koh Phangan. The tropical island can be reached by plane, train or bus, each followed by a 30-150 minute boat trip. We advise booking an affordable domestic flight.

 

Plane to Koh Samui

The fastest version is a domestic flight. The most convenient way to travel from Bangkok to Koh Phangan is a connecting flight to the neighbor island Koh Samui. Thai Airways www.ThaiAir.com and Bangkok Air www.BangkokAir.com/eng run several flights a day from Bangkok’s main international airport Suvarnabhumi (BKK) to Koh Samui (USM).

From there you take a ferry to Koh Phangan. There is no need to book any boat tickets beforehand, as there are frequent departures. In the arrival hall of the Koh Samui airport you can easily buy a combined taxi + boat ticket to Thong Sala, the harbor town of Koh Phangan. The helpful locals usually provide a straight forward service. Here anyhow the links to the ferry companies:

to the airport. On Koh Phangan you take a taxi from the pier in Haad Rin to Thong Sala, and then onwards.

Overviews of all ferry details are provided on pages like:

 

Traveling to Surat Thani

A more affordable option is to fly with a budget airline from the domestic airport Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK) to the nearby mainland town Surat Thani (URT). Book a flight that arrives in Surat Thani before 16:00, so you can catch the onward bus + ferry connection to Koh Phangan.

Air Asia offers a combined plane-bus-boat ticket with “Island Transfer” to Koh Phangan. If you book with Lion Air or Nok Air you can easily buy an onward ticket to Koh Phangan in the Surat Thani airport.

(Another alternative airport near Koh Phangan is Nakhon Si Thammarat (NST).)

 

Getting here on Bus

Bus and train tickets prices are similar to plane tickets so we suggest taking a flight. We do not recommend taking the regular tourist “VIP busses”, which are arranged by travel agents in Bangkok. A better yet very exhausting alternative is taking a government night bus from the Southern Bus Terminal (= Sai Tai Mai), that brings you directly to Koh Phangan. The departure is around 19:00. Be at the southern bus terminal at 16:00 to secure a seat.

 

Getting here on Train

There are around 10 train connections per day on the Southern Route of Thai Railways from Bangkok to Surat Thani. Online booking is not possible, but timetables and prices are published here:

You can book your train tickets in Bangkok with a travel agent, or directly at the main train station called Hua Lamphong.   If you arrive with the train, book the ferry ticket with a travel agent near the Surat Thani train station.

 

 VISAS

Citizens of the United States, Australia, and most European countries receive a convenient 30-day visa on arrival at the airport passport control. These 30 days can easily be extended by 30 to 60 days in a nearby immigration office. Residents of the countries covered by this “Visa Exemption Rule” can generally enter Thailand without obtaining a visa beforehand. So when coming to Thailand by plane, you will be given this 30-day visa on arrival at the airport passport control. (If entering over land from a neighboring country, you might only get a 15-day visa.) It is advisable to carry a print-out of the return / onward ticket! Immigration requires a minimum of 6 months passport validity – so please check the expiry date in advance! Here the list of countries who receive a Visa on Arrival / Visa Exemption Rule:

A possible downside of this option is that you might need to proof to your airline upon boarding that your flight out of Thailand is within 30 days. This is why we actually recommend you to get a visa beforehand. It is easy and affordable to receive a long-term tourist visa from any Thai embassy or consulate. (Best if you ask for a 60 days tourist visa. There are also single, double, triple or multiple entry visas, which give you up to 9-15 months in Thailand. This could be done in your home country before you start traveling, or in any other country, even after your arrival in Thailand, via a “visa run” to the neighboring Malaysia, Laos, or Cambodia. Note by: Do not get your tourist visa too long in advance, as there is a “Enter before” date on it. Around 2-3 weeks in advance might be suitable.)

All this might sound a bit complicated on the first view, but it is actually very simple and straight forward.

Please feel free to contact us for recommendations.

Due to frequent changes of visa regulations most websites are not up to date, but you may anyhow

review the information on: