Language:

Thai. English is widely spoken at beach resorts.

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:

March
Turtle Release Fair
Make your way to Thai Muang Beach to see baby turtles set into the sea.

November
‘Amazing Phang-Nga’ Festival
Head to Khao Lak Centre for the high season opening ceremony, with competitions, watersports, entertainment and shows.

Beaches:

•   Nang Thong Beach is perfect for long walks along the sand.
•   Owtang Beach is less developed than its neighbours, a haven of peace and relaxation.
•   Lam Kaen Beach is the southernmost beach of the Khao Lak region, where the jungle reaches up to the fine sand.

Sports:

Watersports
Go diving and try watersports such as catamaran sailing, kayaking and windsurfing.

Land sports
Your resort might offer tennis, beach volleyball and badminton. Tee off at one of the nearby golf courses and trek in Khao Lak National Park.

Excursions:

Visit the Similan Islands, Surin Islands and the historic town of Takuapa.

Eating / Drinking:

Food
•   Most hotels offer American, English and continental breakfasts, and you may find western-style fast food outlets, snack bars and ice cream parlours.
•   Thai cuisine is a spicy mix of noodles, curries, sweet-and-sour dishes, slow- and fast-cooked ingredients, exotic spices and condiments.

Drink
•   Don’t drink the tap water or ice – stick to bottled mineral water or purified water in hotels.

Shopping:

In La On Village, eat at a host of international eateries and browse the endless tailors. Visit Bang Niang’s market for clothes, fruit and vegetables, silk and souvenirs.

Good to know:

Dialling code
+66 76

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.

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%.