Tourism / Transport
Long restricted to tourism to the beaches of its peninsula, Thailand wishes to develop cultural trips and attract tourists to the Northern provinces, rich in archaeological remains.
Among the monuments of the provinces, one can name:
• The three towers temple. The Prang Sam Yot ofLopburi is a fine example of Khmer art of the twelfth century.
• The Palace of Ayutthaya. The royal palace of Bang Pa-In, restored in the nineteenth century by Rama IV, was his vacation home.
• The Sanctuary of Chiangmai. Built in 1345, Wat Phra Sing housed the ashes of the great King Kham Fu.
• The Prasat Hin Phima. The Khmer temple was built in the late eleventh century.
Visa / No visa
Visa Exemption and Bilateral Agreement (Last updated: May 26, 2017) Passport Holders who can enter Thailand without a Visa The VISA EXEMPTION RULE allows tourists from 55 countries1 to enter Thailand without a visa. They are granted to stay a maximum of 30 days if they are entering Thailand via an international airport or entering through a land border checkpoint from neighboring countries. Under the new provisions of the VISA EXEMPTION RULE and BILATERAL AGREEMENT effective December 31, 2016, passport holders of 55 countries are entitled to enter Thailand under this rule provided that they meet the following criteria:
The visit is strictly for tourism purposes. They must have a confirmed return ticket to show that they are flying out of Thailand within 30 days of entry, as appropriate. Open tickets do not qualify. Traveling over land out of Thailand by train, bus, etc to Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia (including en route to Singapore), Myanmar, etc may be accepted as proof of exiting Thailand. You may be asked to show your flight ticket on entering Thailand. If you do not possess a flight ticket to show you will be exiting Thailand within 30 days of entry you will be most likely refused entry. It will also be necessary to prove that you have funds of at least 10,000 THB per person during your stay in Thailand. A fee may be levied on persons entering Thailand under the VISA EXEMPTION RULE especially when entering through a land border in Southern Thailand.
155 Countries allowed to enter Thailand under the VISA EXEMPTION RULE:
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Slovak Republic
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States
Transport in Thailand is varied, without a means of transportation that especially predominates. Buses are heavily used for long distance journeys and Bangkok, while motorcycles supplant bicycles in cities. Road transport is the main means of transporting goods into the country. The rail network has long existed but the lines are slow, although it is expected to deploy high-speed lines in several regions of Thailand. The domestic airline system has recently experienced gain of popularity, thanks to the arrival of low-cost airlines. In big cities, there is a public service of motorbikes-taxis. In Bangkok, the number of taxis in circulation is impressive. Since opening the Skytrain of Bangkok in 1999, the number of daily passengers exceeded 800,000 and more additional lines are under construction. The car, whose rapid growth has contributed to congestion Bangkok traffic over the past two decades, has gained popularity, especially with tourists, expatriates, the upper class and a growing part of the middle class. The motorway network is being built gradually. Most navigable rivers welcome boats or offer transportation services. Finally, there are more private means of transportation, such as the tuk-tuk or travel by elephant in rural areas.
Thai rail network is managed by the national company State Railway of Thailand (SRT) in Thai การ รถไฟ แห่ง ประเทศไทย. This network includes over 4,000 km of track.
Hua Lamphong Train Station, in the centre of Bangkok, is the starting point of the train lines leaving towards all the country. The four main lines are the northern network, which extends to Chiang Mai, the north-eastern network, which extends to Ubon Ratchathani and the Lao border, the eastern network, who is going to Aranyaprathet on the Cambodian border, and the southern network, which extends to the Malaysian border. Thonburi train station is the starting point to Kanchanaburi and the famous bridge.
The prestigious train, the Eastern & Oriental Express, runs regularly between Bangkok and Singapore and between Bangkok and Chiang Mai each semester.
Bangkok is the only city in the country equipped with a metro (since 1999 for its aerial part and since 2004 for its underground part) and a tourist bus service.
The Thai road network comprises about 64,600 km of roads.
Expressways link all of Thailand. They are often crossed by pedestrian crossings, spaced approximately 250 m in urban areas. They have no insertion or deceleration lanes but have a central separation, except in Bangkok where there are many ways to turn around. Many two-lane roads were converted into four channels with central separation, increasing greatly safety and speed.
The highway system is restricted (145 km) but the Thai government plans massive investments to extend it.
The bus is a major means of transportation for people and goods, and the most popular for long-distance journeys. There are luxurious buses for tours, while the city bus or second class are often old and covered in paint and advertisements.
The main airport in Thailand is Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, with over 47 million passengers in 2011. Next are the international airports of Phuket, Chiang Mai and Don Mueang (Bangkok). The national airline is Thai Airways International
In addition to the national airline, Thailand has several low-cost airlines or traditional:
• Thai Airways International, the national airline of Thailand. It is considered one of the best airlines in the world. It is present in almost every continent with more than 100 aircraft, including six A380. It has a low cost subsidiary Thai Smile who will look forward to take care of its home network.
• Bangkok Airways, a private company. Its network is highly developed in Thailand, with for example more than 15 daily flights between Bangkok and Koh Samui. It owns three airports in Thailand (including Koh Samui). It provides domestic and international flights (Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur ...). This company has a good reputation and is code-shared with many other airlines (Air France, KLM, Etihad, Japan Airlines ...).
• Orient Thai, international and domestic private low cost company. It has a rather bad reputation for the safety of its flights.
• Phuket Airlines, mainly domestic low cost private company. Very little present on the network, it is on the EU blacklist.
• Nok Air, a subsidiary of Thai Airways low cost. It does not have much competition with Thai Smile, since it is mainly on international medium haul.
• Thai Air Asia, a subsidiary of Air Asia, starts on the Thai market. It is a low cost airline flying to secondary airports to allow customers to pay less for flights.
Many Rivers are navigable in the country, forming a network of 3999 km. In Bangkok, the Chao Phraya is a major artery of communication on which sail ferries, water taxis or traditional long-tails boats propelled by a motor truck.
Ferries connect hundreds of islands to the mainland, and also circulate on navigable rivers. There are many international ferries.