Southeast Asia Natural Adventures

nature travel, wildlife tours, adventure travel and general travel to Thailand, Indonesia and Southeast Asia


General Information for Thailand Travel


Immigration and Customs
Luggage and Packing
Local Customs
Calling Home
Medical Matters
Random Thoughts and Tips

Packing List



A passport, current for six months beyond your return date, is required for travel to Thailand. It is recommended that all travelers have their own passport. If you are traveling with a minor, you will need written authorization from both parents for him/her to leave the country. US and citizens of the following countries do not require a visa to visit Thailand under normal tourist plans of thirty days or less. Travelers of other nationalities should contact a Consulate at:

Los Angeles Chicago New York
Royal Thai Consulate Royal Thai Consulate Royal Thai Consulate
611 N. Larchmont Blvd, Suite 1101 700 N. Rush St. 351 E. 52nd St.
Los Angeles, CA 9000 Chicago, IL 60611 New York, NY 10022
(323) 962-9574 (312) 664-3129 (212) 754-1770

or a Visa Service for their requirements.

Visa Exempt Countries:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, United- Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Vanuatu, Western Samoa and Yemen

Visitors to Thailand are permitted to bring in typical amounts of duty-free cigarettes, alcohol, electronics etc – more details about this and other entry regulations can be obtained at


First and foremost – pack light! Most people take far more than they need. If you’re an experienced traveler, you’ve probably met someone whose luggage went missing, so they had to buy things for their trip at their destination. Invariably they buy very little, but have as great a vacation as everyone else. There’s a lesson there! One suggestion is to take fewer, older clothes, then along the way buy souvenir t-shirts etc to wear. You can give the older clothes away to the country’s equivalent of Goodwill, which gives you three benefits – less packing going, less packing coming home, and a nice gesture as well. Most everywhere you stay has laundry facilities, usually send-out. Just using this once on the trip can saves a week’s worth of clothes. The key to light packing is layering and multi-use. Two normal shirts = one thicker shirt; the outer one will be available for later use without washing. This idea is especially useful as you are likely combining cooler elevated areas with tropical, such as the Hill Country and Bangkok. If you expect to be on the water – rafting, boating or visiting the reefs, remember wet cotton will make you colder, not warmer – so have a synthetic material top for warmth. Take a small ziplock bag of detergent with you – this can also be used for your smalls in the hotel room. Please ensure that valuables, medicines, etc are in your carry-on, not your checked luggage. We suggest packing about a week before you leave, and a few days later carry your bags around the house, upstairs and down. Then look at what you can remove, do so, and re-pack - the maxim to follow is “when in doubt, leave it out.” If it’s heavy to handle at home, it will be even more so while traveling, especially with the addition of souvenirs. In some remote areas or smaller accommodations luggage service may not be available, so you may be toting your bags yourself to your room. You will also need to be handling them yourselves at airports, so please be sure that you have packed appropriately. It’s often said to bring a change of clothes in your carry-on in case your luggage is lost. While this can be useful, you can also save the space and just buy a few cheap things once there if necessary.

Depending on your itinerary you may need a towel for the beach. As these are bulky, buy one there – either to bring home as a souvenir, or a cheapie to leave there.

On flights to Thailand each person (including children) is allowed 2 checked pieces, not to exceed 70lb each; the maximum size per piece is 62” (length+height+width), with a total of 102” for both. We can think of no reason why you would need anything approaching this limit! For carry-on luggage the allowance is one piece of maximum dimension 45”, plus a personal item such as a purse, camera bag etc. This limit of one main carry-on includes Business and First Class due to US security concerns. However, regardless of size, weight limit for carry-ons is 15lb per piece; airlines are strict in enforcing all limits. Please be aware that on some smaller aircraft space may be limited, and larger carry-ons may need to be checked; there may not be room at all for a maximum size bag on a full flight. It is suggested that you try to restrict your bags to Thai domestic sizes, a maximum of 32lbs.

Don’t put your home address or phone number on your outside luggage tags; use a work one. You don’t want to alert anyone that your house will be empty for some time. Put your work phone number and address inside each of your bags, as well. If they are lost, and the outside tag is missing, the airlines can still track you.


Many airlines have frequent flyer partnerships with other airlines, and your ticket may allow you to gain miles. Please check with your ff program to determine coverage, as alliances change. If we are ticketing your travel we will include your ff number in your air record if requested; but please retain all boarding pass stubs in case mileage is not credited – we or our partners are not responsible for accreditation. If you lose your boarding pass stubs and need ticket copies to establish mileage there will be a fee charged. Seat requests will be made by us for you, but cannot be guaranteed as it is under the control of the airlines and may be changed without notice.


Thailand operate on 220VAC 50Hz, and unfortunately different plugs may be used. The best option is the multi-shape variable plug available from many travel outlets. Many small appliances, such as chargers, can operate at 220/240V or 120V – check for a switch on the unit, move it to 220/240 and tape it in place before you leave. It won’t hurt if you forget to switch it back when you return, but you will smoke it if you do so on arrival, when you’ll be tired. If there’s no switch, read the instructions to see if it auto-senses voltage. If it has neither, then you’ll need an inverter as well as the correct adaptor. Many complete kits come with this. For many travelers the only appliance they wish to take is a hair dryer, but remember that a small hair dryer can be purchased in Thailand very cheaply, often cheaper than an adaptor kit here, and many hotels either have them in the room, or one can be borrowed from reception. World Electric Guide has details on electrical voltage and plug design for Thailand around the world.

Thailand travel infomation continued >>>