What you need to know?:
• There must be at least six months on your passport and one empty page.
• Visas are required but from the UK a 30 day visa free permit is issued during the flight.
• On arrival you must have your photograph taken and show customs you have a return ticket or a visa.
• You are not allowed to take in to Thailand, endangered species (dead or alive or specimens or part of), counterfeit goods,
pornographic material or recreational drugs including Viagra.
• Restricted items are food, cigarettes (200), alcohol, radio equipment, antiquities and weapons.
• Failing to declare penalties are fixed at 4 times the goods value and confiscation or up to 10 years imprisonment, and drug
smuggling carries minimum mandatory terms up to the death penalty.
What you will need?:
Not as daft as it might sound.
• A folding holdall is a must if you will be shopping. You want one small enough to fit into your suitcase and not so big
that it doesn't pass as hand luggage when you have filled it.
• Mosquito killer, I find the electronic ones best and just leave it on in your hotel room all the time.
• Electrical adapters, Thailand is the US style sockets.
• Duracells, because the ones in Thailand are crap.
• Toothpaste, because Thai yahsefan is not like ours.
• Sunscreen, because you need it as soon as you arrive.
• A hat
• An old mobile phone that is unlocked so you can put a Thai sim in it. Thai mobile networks are cheap but the
phones are expensive.
• A printout of some useful phrases.
You probably do not need?:
• Innoculations. Unless you are planning a months survival in the jungle in which case you need Malaria, Yellow Fever, Tetanus,
Diphtheria and Hepatitis A (Typhoid). If you had them in the last ten years you only require a booster.
• Rabies should be taken seriously and if you are bitten, even by a healthy animal, you must seek immediate medical advice.
• Extra clothing just in case. Nor a raincoat, jumper, suit and tie...
2010 Holiday Packages:
Virgin Airlines are offering two weeks in Pattaya for £945. 13 nights at the
Centara Grande Mirage all inclusive with direct flights on one of the world's best airlines. All
their other deals are also worth checking out. They also use Thai Airways which is one of the world's worst
Collection is far and away the best package tour operator and offer two weeks in Pattaya for £659.
13 nights at the
Centara Grande Mirage with a 90 minute stop at Abu Dhabi on Etihad Airways who are an excellent airline.
I prefer the
Sunshine Garden which is only £559. They also use Air China which is the world's worst
Use Opodo to look for the
latest deals. They are also an easy way to book but charge you £30 for using visa and don't offer any other
payment method. Current best deals are
Jet Airways, with a stop at Mumbai, for £473 return in
October or Eva
Airways (stunningly good airline) direct for £619 and BA for £646.
If you look for a flight 5 or 6 weeks before your departure you will get a much better rate.
Flight have seats for £325 for March and
Cheap Ticket are offering
Oman Air for £380 for Spring and October.
Airlines to avoid:
Trans Aero quote you one price and then add tax and airport tax after you book without telling you.
Aeroflot are a clueless Russian airline docrinated from communism.
Air China who wouldn't give me a cup of coffee, had no in flight entertainment, and I had to see a doctor
on arrival for food poisoning.
Gulf Air who are ok but don't measure up to all the other middle-east airlines.
Alitalia because they will go bust again and they have yet to re-imburse those who lost their money in 2009.
Thai Air whose food is dire, entertainment is nil, and in flight service is bad.
Air France for being French. Actually they're a terrible service as well.
Airlines that are very good:
Etihad for doing everything right and whose economy class is better than BA's club class.
Qatar who are nothing special but probably because you can't find anything wrong with them.
Emirates whose fleet could do with updating but the service is good.
Eva Air for giving me everything I asked for and whose entertainment included 7 new release movies.
Oman Air for being better than everyone else.
Government buses are regular and reliable but slow and uncomfortable. Aircon buses are very good and cheap.
Ayutthaya, Chao Phrom Market, Thanon Naresuan
Bangkok north, Mo Chit
Bangkok south, Ekkamai
Pattaya north, North Road
Pattaya south, terminates on South Pattaya Road in Jomtien