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citiBank About Thailand

Looking to travel to Thailand? Get all the information you need to have a safe, enjoyable and unforgettable trip while there, courtesy of GoBear Malaysia. We’ll present you with things you need to keep it mind before and during your time there, especially the need to get travel insurance for Thailand.

About exotic Thailand

ยินดีต้อนรับ! (Welcome!) Thailand is unique amongst Southeast Asian (SEA) countries in that it has never been conquered or ruled by any Western power, from the time it was known as Siam to the present day. In fact, as Siam, Thailand was able to assert its own political power over various SEA countries and states during the days of Western colonialism. Today, Thailand remains a significant force in the region. Its capital is Bangkok. Thailand’s climate ranges from tropical (Southern Thailand) to temperate in the mountainous regions of the northern part, and is affected by the monsoon seasons, so do check the dates before booking your Thailand travel itinerary.

Despite its frequent coup d’états, it’s a pretty safe place, so most Malaysian travel insurance policies include Thailand in Area 1 (usually the cheapest band), but you should check your specific plan to make sure you’re covered if you decide to go. Its currency is the Thai baht (THB).

Thai languages 

Thailand’s official language is Thai, but in Southern Thailand, you will also hear Malay being spoken. English is taught in schools but not widely used outside of urban areas. Thai Chinese mostly speak Teochew. Language-wise, unless you go to remote areas, you should not have major difficulties in contacting the emergency services concierge provided by your travel insurance in Thailand.

Thai food

Thai food is very colourful and flavourful, with a balance between all the various different types of tastes (although most Malaysians would associate sourness with Thai food). Chinese influence is especially strong in central Thailand’s cuisines, while Malay influence is stronger in Southern Thailand. Dishes and sauces you may recognise as being typically Thai include tomyam, pad Thai noodles, nam pla (fish sauce) and Massaman curry. In urban areas like Bangkok, international cuisines are everywhere… but why would you go for anything besides Thai food? Thailand also has fried insects for sale, so if you think you can handle it, you can try them out in the local street markets. Food safety standards are generally quite high here, but just in case, GoBear Malaysia recommends travel insurance for Thailand.

What to buy in Thailand 

While you may not recognise many Thai brands, Thailand is still an international manufacturing hub, with many hard drives being made here. Most people will come to Thailand to buy local handicrafts and textiles, and of course, the real Red Bull, Krating Daeng, had its origins here. But Thailand also has its share of local fashion designers who’ve achieved a name for themselves, so it’s worthwhile looking at some of the boutiques here – you might be able to pick up a bargain. Inquire about VAT refunds in-store; you might be eligible depending on how much you spent and when you’re leaving.

GoBear Malaysia recommends checking whether your credit card covers lost or stolen purchases while overseas, or you can buy travel insurance for your Thailand shopping spree.

Things to do when in Thailand

Thailand is all about the outdoors, with places like Phuket Island and other resort localities being prime tourist spots. Its deep Buddhist roots mean that there are quite a number of ancient temples and other holy sites of a similar nature. Then there are the various national parks, and the famous

Bridge over the River Kwai. There are other reasons to visit Thailand, of course, like various water sports and extreme sports; GoBear Malaysia advises that in any case, you should ensure that your travel insurance for Thailand covers the activities you intend to pursue.

Thailand travel advisory & checklist

Have a hassle-free trip! International travel, even to Thailand, has its own set of issues that you should prepare for, so that you can properly enjoy your holiday overseas. Aside from travel insurance for Thailand, GoBear Malaysia recommends you consider the following:

Passport & visa requirements for Thailand

Make sure your passport has at least 6 months’ validity after the dates you intend to go; you may not be allowed to travel if your passport is too close to expiry. Thailand does not impose visa requirements on Malaysian passport holders entering as tourists for up to 30 days.

In the event that your passport or other travel documents are lost or stolen, make sure you know the emergency contact details for your travel insurance concierge in Thailand, so that you can be assisted as quickly as possible.

Electricity & water in Thailand

While Malaysia uses the Type G power socket, you will instead see Type A, Type B, Type C and Type F sockets in Thailand. This means that you will need a universal travel adapter. However, its 220V/50Hz electrical system is close enough to Malaysia’s that you can otherwise simply plug in your electrical items. If you have many items to plug in, just bring a Malaysian extension board and plug that into the travel adapter.

The tap water here is rated as safe to drink, but GoBear Malaysia recommends that you stick to bottled water from reputable brands.

Thailand’s telecommunications & Internet coverage 

The telecommunications network in Thailand covers most of the urban and suburban areas, with strong mobile network coverage throughout those areas as well as the major inter-state roads.

Mobile phones bought in Malaysia should work seamlessly with Thai pre-paid SIMs, but do check the specific frequencies your phone uses against the ones your preferred Thai telco supports. Wi-Fi is widely available everywhere you go in the cities, as is 4G LTE; in fact, Thai internet speeds can be even higher and costs cheaper than in Malaysia. The emergency number is 911 from both fixed lines and mobile phones.

Healthcare & medical facilities in Thailand

Thailand’s facilities are so good that many Westerners actually come here to get (usually non-urgent) procedures done, or what’s normally called medical tourism. As long as you are within the urban areas, you should be fine; however, GoBear Malaysia recommends travel insurance for all travellers to Thailand.

Thailand’s credit card facilities

International credit card networks that are present in Thailand include Visa, MasterCard, and American Express (to a smaller degree). UnionPay is also widely available. Credit cards are accepted by larger retailer and food outlets.

Ready to start planning your Thai travels? Stay safe and protected while overseas!

Try out GoBear Malaysia’s travel insurance comparison services for a quick, comprehensive and easy-to- use look at all the insurers and the travel insurance policies they offer for Thailand.

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