No place on this planet offers the same combination of scuba diving, religious shrines, and sun-kissed white-sand beaches as Thailand. On ‘The Land of Smiles’, cultural experiences are abundant, creating a fascinating cocktail of Asian influences and natural panoramas that besides being on every guide book offers a unique experience to every traveler.
There’s a juxtaposition of energy, the glamorous nightlife and serene boat rides, the adrenaline pumping paragliding ride and soul-touching prayers in monasteries. There’s a hypnotic element and it makes you explore an entirely new culture, ask questions, and fall in love with Thai cuisines that you have never tasted before. Thailand is many things, and it is something different for everyone. But what remains constant is the fact that this destination is never to be missed.
Read below for a detailed post-Covid travel guide to Thailand for your post-pandemic travel planning.
Thailand Travel Advisory During Covid-19
After partially lifting a three-month ban on international tourism, Thailand is finally resuming its international tourism by allowing travelers from all countries to further boost tourism. Tourists, especially international visitors form a key component of Thailand’s economy and after closing their borders during the outbreak, it is for the first time that it is observing some normalcy in the travel sector. Besides announcing the reopening, the country is also giving special extended visas. As the latest developments and guidelines are more important than ever, here is what you need to know before planning your journey:
- Thailand is open for international travel including India and all major restrictions have been lifted to boost its economy after lockdown.
- Travelers will have to undergo a PCR test and mandatory quarantine-on-arrival in one of the government-approved hotels.
- The cost of any Covid-19 PCR testing upon arrival will be borne by the traveler.
- Thailand has already reopened its borders for visitors with work permits, residents, or those with family staying there.
- The Tourism Authority of Thailand recently declared that travelers from all countries can visit and apply for new ‘tourist visas’ lasting up to 60 days.
- This new scheme mandates that international visitors can stay for up to 60 days. But, they will be required to self-isolate for 14 days at an ‘alternative state quarantine’ hotel on arrival.
- Those travelers who intend to stay for a longer period can apply for a ‘special tourist visa’, also available to those coming from ‘low-risk’ countries like China, Australia, and Vietnam. This visa allows a tourist to stay for up to 90 days, which can be extended twice, which means a maximum of nine months.
- Keep in mind that if you are traveling to the country, you will need to provide a negative test report done not more than 72 hours before arrival, along with a second test once you land.
- In case a traveler tests positive, they will have to stay in quarantine for 14 days in a state hospital.
- International travelers must carry travel and medical insurances that will cover COVID-19 for at least the length of your stay.
Best Time To Visit
The best and the most popular time when tourists swarm the country of Thailand is during the cool and dry season between April and November when the temperatures range from 29°C to 34°C. Besides this period being the ideal time, Thailand is known to be an all-year destination as many parts of the country can offer different experiences based on the time of year and none of them should be missed.
How To Reach
The state of Thailand has removed all travel restrictions on domestic and international travelers including the country of India. Masks are still mandatory and social distancing in public places is encouraged to avoid any community transmission. Here are the best ways to reach Thailand for your upcoming trip:
- Travelers can take a flight to the Suvarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok Airport), Don Mueang International Airport, Phuket International Airport, Chiang Mai International Airport, Mae Fah Luang – Chiang Rai International Airport, and Hat Yai International Airport.
- Air travel is the easiest way to reach Thailand from India and any other way to reach including the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway is not encouraged due to lack of information on its Covid-19 protocols.
There are only a handful of places where the part of getting around is as fun as exploring a new destination, and Thailand is one of them. The contemporary modes of transportation like subway, taxi, ferry, bus, and train are most convenient for international travelers but if you want to travel like a local, we highly recommend hopping on a tuk-tuk and ride around the city hollering Thai greetings with a smile.
Suggested Read: 24 Exotic Places To Visit In Thailand For Honeymoon In 2021
Places To Visit In Thailand During Covid
There’s a wealth of adventure and sightseeing activities to be found in the many cities in Thailand. Just a quick drive to Phuket delivers a delightful scene of 19th-century shophouses and is a vibrant culinary hotspot for endless indulgence. Just a little further away is Koi Samui, where beaches—especially the nightlife on the shores—are celebrated for their very edgy and unwinding vibe. And less than two hours from Koi Samui is Bangkok, where visitors can lose themselves in the energy of a metropolis or explore the downtown for some rare finds. Besides these popular cities, do yourself a favor and get off the beaten path with a trip to Krabi, Ko Tao, and Phang Nga Bay.
Things To Do In Thailand During Covid
After shutting down their tourism for months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Thailand has pushed the reset button, rewriting its tourism narrative to resume travel in a new and better way. The new world of Thailand tourism embodies safety and precautions for arriving tourists as well as a fastidious approach towards green tourism, encouraging travelers to explore the natural landscapes the country honors and a plea to help conserve them for future generations. Most people identify Thailand with scuba diving and romantic honeymoon destinations but there’s much more to explore and a promise that it will only leave you wanting more.
If you are planning a trip in the upcoming months or maybe in the next year, here’s a list of some of the best things to do in Thailand:
- Enjoy an ethical elephant experience
- Meet the hill tribes of northern Thailand
- Go off-the-beaten-track in Chiang Mai
- Visit The Grand Palace, Bangkok
- Explore the UNESCO Heritage site of Khao Yai National Park
If you are looking to book a hotel or Airbnb during your travels in the state of Thailand, make sure you get your room in advance and fill out the mandatory documentation like any contact tracing forms or checks you may require. All hotels are now following the government advisory for reopening which includes a deep sanitization process during and after every guest, limited capacity of beds, closure of community areas like pools and gyms, and contact tracing. This post-Covid travel guide to Thailand aims to update you on the latest guidelines and advisory before you book your stay.
Here is a list of measures that the state of Thailand has implemented on the hotel industry for safe and secure travel:
- Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) is mandated by The Ministry of Public Health’s Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) which is a two-week isolation period at a government-approved hotel before you start your travels within Thailand.
- To make reservations for the ASQ package, it is best to contact hotels directly.
- The Thai authorities will need to issue a Certificate of Entry (COE) for which you need to show an ASQ booking. If you have reservations with normal hotels, it won’t be authorized.
- Thailand has approved golf-quarantine for foreigners which means international travelers can opt for a pre-booked stay that includes a golf course instead of choosing the local state quarantine option.
- The ASQ package does not include consultation costs with doctors and any other treatments at the hospital other than the COVID-19 tests during Quarantine.
- Any package may be changed without prior notice so make sure you are in touch with the management for any updates.
If you are planning to travel in the upcoming months and want to book an Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) hotel, make sure that they are offering these facilities in the package for a safe and secure stay:
- COVID-19 screening tests available on the property and up to 2 times included in the package.
- Single occupancy for at least 15 nights.
- Full board meals including breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Medical staff on site for temperature checks, health evaluations, and COVID -19 screening.
- Medical reports and COVID-19-free certificate upon departure.
- Transfers to the hospital if required.
- In case passengers test positive for COVID-19 during their stay at the hotel, mandatory protocols in place in line with government advisory.
Please note that this is a non-exhaustive list of amenities and some hotels may not offer all of them. It is advised to check with your accommodation provider.
The hospitality industry in Thailand is reopening but the safety of the travelers and staff remains a key priority. While some of the big-league restaurants are back to normal functioning with a limited capacity, many of the food outlets have moved to delivery-only or takeaway facilities. Food franchises are also operational and open for customers with social distance seating and disposable cutlery to avoid any transmission. Here are some of the guidelines issued for the restaurants in Thailand:
- Street-food in local markets is open and offers a limited number of items on the menu.
- Restaurants and bars are open for dining-in while maintaining social distancing and following sanitizing procedures advised by the government.
What To Pack
If you are planning a trip to Thailand soon, you will need to pack a few extra items in your backpack considering the ongoing pandemic. The most important thing during your travel is to minimize the risk of becoming unwell as well as keeping others around you safe. Here’s Travel Triangle’s comprehensive list of things to pack:
- Comfortable cotton clothing for sightseeing and beachwear.
- A pack of disposable face masks or 2-3 reusable face masks.
- Sanitizer for personal and a solution for outdoor/surface use.
- A personal PPE kit that will include a face shield, sanitizer sachets, and a pair of disposable gloves for flight, train, or any kind of commute.
- Book your travel and accommodation in advance.
- Talk with your hotel/Airbnb about their sanitizing facilities and the Covid-19 related precautions they are taking.
- Download the Arogya Setu app on your mobile phone.
- Try to get tested before your travel and keep the Covid-19 negative certificate handy during your commute.
- Find the latest information about containment zones in Thailand as non-essential travel is not allowed in any of the zones.
Covid-19 Prerequisites And Consequences In Thailand
- It is mandatory to get tested for Covid-19 in your home country and carry the test certificate before your departure.
- Visa on arrival is currently not available for post-Covid travelers and a required permit or travel visa must be obtained before traveling to Thailand.
- The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) advises travelers to greet via a Wai (a Thai greeting) from a distance of 1-2 meters.
Further Travel Tips
- Travelers must wear a mask at all times when in public places or during their commute. Most places such as restaurants and shopping centers can detain your entry or charge you a fine for not following this guideline.
- Make sure you carry your sanitizer and some disinfectant wipes if you are planning to participate in adventurous activities.
- People over the age of 65 or children under the age of 10 are advised not to undertake non-essential travel.
Thailand is not just about white-sand beaches and cultural attractions; there are floating markets, full-moon parties, and once-in-a-lifetime observations like the Loi Krathong Festival too. It is a melting pot of Asian traditions, awe-inspiring caves, and natural reserves that attract travelers from all around the world. There is a serenity in the bustle, a calm that makes you curl up with a good book on your deck and stare at the endless horizon. There is also undefined energy that makes you stay up and explore the nightlife in Phuket or plan a spontaneous scuba-diving adventure to explore the coral life beneath. The best part, and the reason which makes it a travelers favorite, is the balance, the opportunity to find your true adventure. Bookmark this post-Covid travel guide to Thailand for the latest updates on this destination. Looking for something more? Let us help you explore more with our customized itineraries for a trip to Thailand.
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Please Note: Any information published by TravelTriangle in any form of content is not intended to be a substitute for any kind of medical advice, and one must not take any action before consulting a professional medical expert of their own choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to visit Thailand for non-essential travel in the upcoming months?
Yes, it is safe to travel to the state of Thailand if traveling in a small group while following the health and safety guidelines provided by the health department. The CDC has classified Thailand as one the safest destinations as there are only 4,000 confirmed cases and less than 100 deaths, the country has been successful in managing the curve.
Is it mandatory to self-isolate upon arrival in Thailand?
Yes, every passenger who enters the border must undergo a 14-days quarantine at their place of residence or hotel. It is a precautionary measure taken by the government to avoid community transmission for incoming travelers.
Can I travel to Thailand for a short-stay and avoid the mandatory quarantine?
According to the current guidelines, short-stay visas are not being issued at the moment and it is thus not possible to avoid the mandatory quarantine. The minimum duration of the general visa is 60 days which can be extended to 90 days with the special visa.
Can I get a visa on arrival in Thailand?
Due to the ongoing pandemic situation, the visa on arrival facility is currently not available for tourists. If you are planning to travel to Thailand, contact the nearest embassy or consulate, and apply for a visa in your home country.