ThailandTravel hints



Best time to dive in Thailand
(Last updated August 2013)

The best time to visit and dive Thailand is from November to March. Thailand's climate is ruled by monsoons that produce three seasons in Northern, North Eastern, Eastern & Central Thailand, and two seasons in Southern Thailand. The three season zone, which extends roughly from Thailand's northernmost reaches to Phetchaburi province on the Southern Peninsula, experiences a 'dry and wet monsoon' climate, with the dumping rains & winds of the south-west monsoon arriving between May and July and lasting into November on the West Coast.

This is followed by a dry period from November to May. Hence most of Southern Thailand has only two seasons, a wet and dry, with small temperature differences between the two. The West Coast experiences dry season, November to May, whilst the East Coast has dry season March to November.

The hot part of the dry season reaches its hottest along the north-east plain, and temperatures easily soar to 39°C (102°F) in the daytime, dropping only a few degrees at night. The temperature can drop to 13°C (55°F) at night during the cool season in Chiang Mai. Average air temperature outside the hotter months are around 28°C (82°F).
Visa & Passport requirements
A valid passport for at least 6 months beyond the intended period of stay and a ticket for return or onward travel is required for your trip to Thailand. Entry visas are granted on arrival for a stay of up to 30 days for nationals of the USA, Canada, United Kingdom and most Western European countries.
NOTE: As visa requirements can change at any time, we recommend you confirm visa requirements prior to your departure.
Health
As with all travels you should make sure that your usual immunisations such as polio, tetanus, etc. are current.

Malaria prophylaxis is not necessary for the cities or main tourist destinations, including Bangkok and Phuket. Prophylaxis is recommended for travel to rural areas, especially the forested areas bordering Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar (Burma).

Thypoid vaccine is recommended for all travellers who may eat or drink outside major restaurants and hotels.

The standard of medical facilities in Thailand varies. Whilst private hospitals with international standard facilities can be found in major cities, services in in rural regions can be very limited. Decompression chambers are located near popular dive sites in Koh Tao, Koh Samui, Phuket, Pattaya and Bangkok.

Medical kit suggestions
- Analgesic
- Insect repellent
- Anti-seasick medicine
- Sun tan lotion
- Sunburn Cream
- Band aids (some large ones)
- Ear Drops- alcohol / vinegar base. Daily use will prevent outer ear infections.
- Antibiotic ointment for coral cuts. See your physician.
Currency
The Thai currency is the Baht.

Incidental charges can be paid by Visa, Mastercard or cash local currency with most dive resorts and liveaboards. Operators in more remote locations may only accept cash. Some permit fees may only be paid in cash. For credit card payments, service charges will apply.
Departure taxes
All departure taxes from Thailand are included in your international flight ticket.
Local time
Local time is GMT +7. Thailand has one timezone and does not observe daylight saving time.
Language
The official language of Thailand is Thai. In most tourist spots, English is also spoken.
Electricity
Voltage in Thailand is 220V, alternating at 50 cycles per second. If you travel to Thailand with a device that does not accept 220 Volts at 50 Hertz, you will need a voltage converter.
Certification requirements & dive gear hire
Please remember to bring your certification card with you. All certified divers must present their certification cards in order to dive.

Liveaboard dive operations in Thailand offer the possibility to hire dive equipment at extra cost. Tanks, weights and air fills are included in all cruise packages.

Please note that Thailand has INT tank fittings. If you have DIN fittings on your regulator, make sure you bring an adaptor.
Dive insurance
All dive operators promoted by Diversion Dive Travel adhere to very high standards for safety and equipment. A current Diver Evacuation & Accident cover is recommended for all diving arrangements in the South East Asia region. For a nominal yearly membership fee, the DIVERS ALERT NETWORK (DAN) provides year-round diver evacuation and accident cover. For more details on membership and insurance options, please contact your regional DAN office according to your area of residence:

North America: www.diversalertnetwork.org/
Europe: www.daneurope.org/
South-East Asia/Australia/Pacific: www.danasiapacific.org/
General travel insurance
In view of the heavy cancellation penalties applied to cancelled travel arrangements, Diversion Dive Travel strongly suggest you consider taking out suitable travel insurance at the time of booking. Travel insurance policies are designed to cover losses such as cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances, sudden illness or serious injury whilst abroad, and lost, stolen or damaged baggage and personal items.

Travel Insurance for Australian Residents:
www.diversiondivetravel.com.au/travelinsurance.html
Clothing suggestions
Casual & comfortable clothing including a light jacket is recommended, as evenings can get cool and liveaboards usually keep their air-conditioning high in all indoor areas. Please keep sun protection in mind and be advised to respect local customs by not wearing swimsuits, short shorts, or other inappropriate clothing in towns, villages or public places.
Tipping
This is a very personal decision, tips are your ways of expressing satisfaction. On boats it is customary to give the tip to the Skipper and ask it be distributed amongst the crew. In resorts you leave the tip with the manager as they usually run Christmas Clubs and other community collections.
Safety
Thailand is a fascinating country. Like any other place in the world it has its downsides as well. The travel advisories of some countries do warn to take extra caution if you travel to Thailand due to the political unrest that has occurred at recent times. As a rule of thumb, you are very safe in your resorts, on your dive boats, in hotels and with your tour guide. Use normal caution around airports and in bigger cities, avoid being out at night alone, especially in bigger towns. No problems in resorts or villages.
Links to more information
The following information is supplied by the foreign affairs section of the relevant country or the tourism authority of the destination. Please check the links for up to date information on visa and safety requirements, embassy and consular contacts, general information:

Australian travel advisory for Thailand
UK travel advisory for Thailand
US travel advisory for Thailand
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