Thailand

The Land of Smiles

Vegan Travel in Thailand

“Southeast Asia” and “Thailand” are one of the first additions to anyone’s bucket lists. As a culturally rich, historically significant and outright beautiful corner of the world, travellers have been flocking to the countries of Southeast Asia for years. Thailand is definitely one of the most popular, and not just because Bangkok is the main international hub for the region! With so much to see and not knowing where to start, our tour of Thailand is the perfect introduction into such a wonderful region.

Quick Facts

Capital City: Bangkok
Currency: Thai Baht (THB)
Language: Thai
Timezone: GMT +6/7
Most popular time: Winter (October to March)
Population: 65+ million
Governement: Constitutional Monarchy
Religion: Mainly Buddhist majority (>90%)

Thailand Information

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Thailand FAQ's

In this section, you will find answers to the some of the more frequently asked questions when planning a trip to Thailand.

In short, yes! Thailand is one of the most visited countries in the world. In general Thailand is safe for all travellers and the majority of local people are kind and welcoming. As with anywhere, it is good practice to be cautious in big cities and crowded areas and always keep your valuables in a bag with a zip, carrying it on your front. Petty theft is common in any major city and Thailand is no exception.

Yes! Veganism is booming in Thailand and there are more and more options becoming available all of the time. There is a deep understanding of veganism within Thai culture and they even have a 9 day vegan period every September/October (depending on the lunar calendar).

How do you say ”I’m vegan” in Thai?

When ordering food in Thailand you can simply say ”Chan gin jay” (for women) or ”Pom gin jay” (for men) which literally translates as ”I eat vegan”. Food stalls and even supermarkets and convenience stores often label their vegan products with a yellow sticker containing the word เจ (pronounced Jay = Vegan) in red text (looks a bit like the number 17).

Things to watch out for…

The addition of tofu instead of meat, for example, is obvious to all when ordering food but what we need to be careful of is how they cook the food. The use of fish sauce instead of salt is very common in Thailand. Eating at vegan establishments and asking your Group Leader to help will overcome issues like this.

Thailand is one of the most gay friendly countries in Asia, and has a thriving LGBTQ+ scene, particularly in the main cities.

Gay travellers have been welcomed in Thailand for years and years. Thai people, although a conservative nation, are very open and you are unlikely to encounter hostility or homophobia. This is partly credited to Buddhist attitudes towards tolerance and acceptance and partly due to a general wish to avoid confrontation.

Take care

Thailand has a high HIV/AIDS infection rate, so if you are engaging in sexual activity make sure to use safe sex practices.

Is homosexuality legal or illegal?

Homosexual activity for both men and women is legal in Thailand. However, as with many countries, the law for it’s own citizens still has a long way to go. Same-sex marriage ceremonies take place but are not yet recognised by law.

Please note the following information is pre Covid-19 information and we are awaiting updates.

The first thing to know is that visa information and requirements can change at short notice and you should always check the most up to date information before you travel with your own Embassy or Governments travel advice.

Certain passport holders arriving by air can enter Thailand for 30 days without a visa – this is known as a visa exemption. This applies to American, Australian, British, Canadian, New Zealand and many EU passport holders. It is paramount that you bring documents that prove your onward travel and that you are leaving Thailand within the visa exemption allocation, otherwise you may not be allowed in. All nationalities require at least 6 months validity on their passports.

Travel health advice may vary slightly according to your country of origin. In the UK, travellers are recommended to stay up-to-date with routine vaccinations (including but not limited to) MMR (measles-mumps-rubella), and diphtheria-tetanus-polio vaccine.

Most travellers are recommended to have tetanus, typhoid and hepatitis A vaccinations for visits to Thailand. Some travellers may be recommended to have vaccinations for hepatitis B, Japanese Encephalitis, rabies, and tuberculosis. You may need proof of having had a yellow fever vaccine if you’re arriving from or have recently travelled to a country with a risk of yellow fever.

Take precautions to avoid mosquito bites, especially at dusk when they are most active, as there are some mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue present in Thailand which cannot be prevented by vaccines. If you do develop flu-like symptoms while travelling Thailand, visit a doctor who may refer you for a blood test if they suspect Dengue Fever.

We recommend that you speak to your GP or local travel health expert for country specific, professional medical advice, ideally 4 to 6 weeks before you travel. It is also recommended to check the World Health Organisation website when planning your holiday to Thailand.

Absolutely. Everyone travelling on our group tours are required to have travel insurance cover. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

Most of the people in major cities will have some form of English, especially if they are selling to tourists or work in the hospitality and tourism sectors. However if you visit more rural areas in Thailand, you will come across people who don’t speak English at all.

It is courteous and fun to know some simple words – even if it is just hello (”sawadee kaa” for women, ”sawadee krap” for men) and thank you (”kop kun kaa” for women, ”kop kun krap” for men).

Unfortunately it’s not safe for visitors to drink the tap water in Thailand due to the risk of illness from water borne diseases, bugs and parasites.

Bottled water is widely available in shops, hotels and restaurants and is very low in cost. Many hotels will also provide free bottled water in the rooms. Be cautious when buying bottled water off locals selling it on the street or near attractions, and make sure the cap is sealed. The use of ice can be more tricky, however most restaurants and cafes buy ice from companies and so it is safe to drink. If you are unsure, always ask for your soft drink without ice. Brushing your teeth in the water is a personal choice – while it is fine for the most part if you have a sensitive stomach you should stick with bottled water.

Small or local establishments usually only accept cash. For example; small cafes/restaurants, markets, services such as taxis and attractions with small entrance fees will only operate with cash.

Most hotels and shopping centres accept credit cards. American Express is accepted in larger hotel chains and occasionally other establishments but it is recommended to travel with a universal credit card such as Visa or Mastercard.

ATMs are widely available in all towns and cities across Thailand and most (though not all) should accept international debit and credit cards such as Visa or Mastercard. For more information see ‘ATMs & Currency Exchange’ in the ‘Thailand Holiday Information’ section.

Tipping is not uncommon, but it is not customary in Thailand. It is not a common habit of the locals however with the rise of tourism brings the expectations that international tourists tip. It is appreciated by local guides, and should be considered at restaurants if you have received excellent service. Smaller establishments, taxis, hotels and markets do not expect tips and will not bat an eyelid if you give the exact money, however again it is always appreciated if you enjoyed the service.

Massage and Spas are generally the only place where tips are almost expected, even by locals, as the services are usually cheap and the staff work for very little.

Thailand uses 220 volts at 50hz with either a round 2-pin, flat 2-pin or round 3-pin. A universal travel adaptor is the best thing to carry however you can pick up adaptors in airports or most convenience stores.

Free WI-FI is available in all our hotels. Free public Wi-FI is common in many cafes and restaurants and this is usually advertised at the entrance. It is fairly common to pop into a cafe for a coffee just to use the WI-FI.

Mobile data is fairly quick in the towns and cities however this can be very costly so check your payment plan before switching on data roaming. A good option is to purchase a cheap local SIM card and pay as you go.

Top 10 Places to visit in Thailand

A Brief History of Thailand

Thailand has a long and fascinating history, dating back to around the 6th century. The earliest inhabitants focussed on agriculture, with rice cultivation being the most prominent source of food. In the 13th century several smaller states formed to create the Kingdom of Sukhothai, now known as Ancient Sukhothai. This was considered the first Kingdom of Thailand. By the 15th century, Sukhothai was in decline and was soon replaced by Ayutthaya which continued to grow and became very powerful during the 14th and 15th centuries, even defeating the Kingdom of Angkor and ultimately causing its decline. During this time the country was known as Siam, with influences from the Khmer and Malay cultures.

By the 19th and 20th centuries European colonial powers arrived, vying for the colonies of Southeast Asia. Thailand successfully managed to remain the only country not to fall under colonial rule at this time.

Siam officially became Thailand in 1939, after reforms which transformed the country from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. Over the last few decades Thailand has seen political powers shift, often because of revolutions or coups. King Bhumibol Adulyadej was crowned Head of State in 1946 and was the longest reigning monarch in the world until his passing. When he died in 2016, Thailand entered a year long period of mourning. The current king of Thailand is his son, King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

Links to more Thailand pages...

Links to more Thailand pages...

Thai Food & Drink

Best Thai Beaches

Bangkok City Guide

Chiang Mai City Guide

Festivals & Holidays

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