Language:

Thai

Passport and Visas:

•   You need a full EU 10-year passport. We recommend that the expiry date is at least six months after your arrival back in the UK.
•   You only need a visa if you’re staying longer than 30 days (29 nights), and you can get one from the Thai Embassy.

Events & Festivals:

January
Bor Sang Umbrella Festival
Head to 'Umbrella Village' to celebrate its famous parasols, with competitions, exhibitions and stalls.

February
Chiang Mai Flower Festival
Watch incredible parades showcasing flower sculptures of animals and temples.

April
Songkran in Chiang Mai
Celebrate the Thai New Year with the customary water throwing - expect to get wet!

May
Chiang Mai Challenge Adventure Race
Watch as athletes cycle, run, kayak and swim around Chiang Mai's beautiful landscape.

November
Loi Krathong (Yi Peng)
On the 12th lunar month's full moon, lit-up floats snake down to the river and floating lanterns are released into the night.

Transfers and getting around:

Take a three-wheeled tuk tuk or bicycle rickshaw - but negotiate the fare before getting in.

Good to know:

Dialling code
+66 53

Religion
Theravada Buddhism. Minority religions include Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism.

Etiquette
• Thais revere their royal family, so never express disregard for it.
• Outward expressions of anger are regarded as crude and boorish.
• Each Buddha image - large or small, ruined or not - is considered sacred. Never climb onto one to take a photograph or do anything that might show lack of respect.
• Public displays of affection between couples are frowned upon. Westernised Thai couples may hold hands but that’s as far as it goes in polite society.
• It is considered rude to point your foot at a person or object.
• Never pat a Thai on the head – they see it as the highest part of the body, both literally and figuratively.

Tipping:

Tip porters and hotel staff if you’re happy with their service. If a service charge isn’t added to your restaurant bill, tip 10-15%.