Language:

Thai. English is widely spoken at beach resorts.

Passport and Visas:

• We recommend that the expiry date of your UK or Irish passport is at least six months later than your anticipated arrival date 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:

February
Makha Pucha
The spiritual aim of this day is to do good and purify one's mind, and many Buddhists go to their temple to perform merit-making activities.

May
Samui Regatta
This week-long event is a thrilling sailing race around Koh Samui.

August
Fisherman's Village Festival
This colourful five-day festival features music, dance and delicious food.

September/October
Koh Samui Music Festival
This is Thailand's largest music festival and one of the biggest in southeast Asia. Listen to music including rock, reggae and indie.

Good to know:

Dialling code
+66 77

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%.