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New Year's trip planner: Thailand

Current guidelines and Covid related requirements for travelling to Thailand, types of visas and how to celebrate New Year's in the South-East Asian country.

November 28, 2021 / 04:56 PM IST
A riverside restaurant in Thailand. As of November 9, 2021, eligible fully vaccinated travellers can visit Thailand via the repatriation flights flying from India to Thailand or via other international ports that connect to Thailand. (Image: Reuters)

A riverside restaurant in Thailand. As of November 9, 2021, eligible fully vaccinated travellers can visit Thailand via the repatriation flights flying from India to Thailand or via other international ports that connect to Thailand. (Image: Reuters)


Entry guidelines: All eligible, fully vaccinated travellers must apply for ‘Thailand Pass’, and successfully obtain an approved QR Code to apply for a visa. Effective from November 1, 2021, passengers can enter Thailand through three schemes:

Test & go: (exemption from quarantine)

Required documents:

  • Certificate of vaccination (fully vaccinated) with an approved vaccine at least 14 days before travelling.

  • Those previously infected within three months must have received one dose of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before travelling.

  • Travellers under 12 years of age, travelling with parents or guardians, are exempt from the vaccination requirement.

  • Travellers aged 12-18 will have to follow the same guidelines as adults.

  • An RT-PCR negative report issued no more than 72 hours before travelling is required.

  • A confirmed payment for a 1-night stay at SHA+, AQ, OQ, or AHQ accommodation,

  • An insurance policy with coverage of at least US$50,000.


Also read: Trip planner | Where to go for New Year's Part 3: Dubai

Living in the Blue Zone (17 Sandbox Destinations)

Required documents:

  • A Certificate of Vaccination (fully vaccinated) with an approved vaccine at least 14 days before travelling.

  • Those previously infected within three months must have received one dose of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before travelling.

  • Travellers under 18 years of age, travelling with parents or guardians, are exempt from the vaccination requirement.

  • An RT-PCR negative report issued no more than 72 hours before travelling is required.

  • A confirmed payment for SHA+ accommodation, and RT-PCR test.

  • An insurance policy with coverage no less than US$50,000.


Happy Quarantine Nationwide (Alternative Quarantine)

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Required documents:

  • A Medical Certificate with an RT-PCR lab result indicating that Covid-19 is not detected issued no more than 72 hours before travelling (except for Thai nationals).

  • Confirmed payment for AQ accommodation.

  • An insurance policy with coverage no less than US$50,000


Visa:

Types of visas:

Tourist Visa (TRV): Visa validity: 60 days; Visa fees: INR 2,500; Processing time: 15 working days; Insurance cover: USD 50,000 (should include Covid-19 treatment)

Special Tourist Visa (STV): Visa validity: 90 days; Visa fees: INR 5,000; Processing time: 15 working days; Insurance cover: USD 50,000 (should include Covid-19 treatment + OPD benefits not less than THB 40,000 or IPD benefits not less than THB 400,000).

Visa on Arrival (VOA): Visa validity: 15 days; Visa fees: THB 2,000; Insurance cover: USD 50,000 (should include Covid-19 treatment)

Also read: New Year trip planner: Maldives

Flight options

Domestic flights within Thailand:

  • Bangkok-Phuket round trip air ticket: Approximately INR 5,500

  • Bangkok-Chiangmai: INR 6,000

  • Bangkok-Samui on Bangkok Airways INR 15,000

  • Approximate cost for taxi from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Pattaya starts from INR 2,500 onwards.

Accommodation:

Book accommodation under SHA/SHA+ certified hotels. Find the list of SHA/SHA+ hotels on www.thailandsha.com

New Year Celebration Hotspots:

Countdown on the Chao Phraya River : One of the most popular ways to enjoy the New Year in Bangkok is to spend it at the Asiatique open-air mall on the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok.

Celebrate on the North Gate of Chiang Mai: The North Gate of Chiang Mai is another popular location for travellers, as it has plenty of restaurants, bars, and live music to enjoy. Many make the journey here after the releasing of the lanterns on Tha Phae Gate Road or along the Ping River. Think of it as an after-party where you can drink and party until the early hours.

Celebrations At Loy Nava: If you are looking at a romantic escapade with your partner, the Loya Nava river cruise ensures a ball. Cruising on the historic Tasaneeya Nava teakwood rice barge on the Chao Phraya River is an experience for life.

Rooftop Extravaganza at Phi Phi Island: If you are not able to make it to the street parties, try joining the revellers at a rooftop restaurant or sky bar.

Pattaya Beach Parties: Enjoy a beach party on one of the beautiful beaches in the city. Fireworks will pop all around you while you sing, dance, and drink in the New Year.

5 must-see/do/eat in Bangkok

Visit Temples in Bangkok: See the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew & Wat Arun.

Shopping: Shopping plazas and malls, the floating markets, the night bazaars, Khao San Road and Chinatown offer a wide range of products.

Try Muay Thai: Thai Boxing in Bangkok is the old style of fighting that made Thailand famous throughout the world.

Food in Bangkok: Must eats include Massaman Curry (this beef curry topped “The World’s 50 Best Foods’ (CNN Travel), Pad Kra Prao (minced chicken and served with a deep-fried egg), Som Tam (papaya salad), Pad Thai (typically made with rice noodles, chicken, beef or tofu, peanuts, a scrambled egg, and bean sprouts), Thai Green Curry.

Experience Nightlife in Bangkok: An amazing range of venues to suit every taste, from the quietest live music clubs, to some of the wildest techno dens in the world.

New attractions in Bangkok

E-GOKART Neon Track: E Gokart in Chula Soi 30, Bangkok is the first of its kind e-Gokarting circuit in Thailand. The circuit is 1290 meters long with a total of 10 corners.

Sirimahannop Tall Ship

Klong Ong Ang Canal Walking Street: This canal walk traces the course of the Klong Ong Ang canal that is 50-kilometer (31-mile) long. The canal was built by King Rama I in the 1700s.

Chao Phraya Sky Park

Rak Xa Wellness and Medical Retreat

Emergency numbers for tourists: TAT Call Center: 1672, TAT Police: 1155, Ambulance: 1669, Fire: 199, Government: 1111, Police: 191, TAT Bangkok: +66 (0) 2276 2720-1

Official website of Thailand Tourism: www.tatnews.org (check here for updates before booking flights), www.tourismthailand.org, tourismthailand.in

Also read: Trip planner | Where to go for New Year's Part 1: Seychelles
Preeti Verma Lal is a Goa-based freelance writer/photographer.
first published: Nov 27, 2021 11:27 am
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