We just got back from a lovely trip to Thailand and want to share our experience as it might be helpful to you. This year it was not an easy decision to make, as there was very little information available on what was going on because of the covid-19. We mostly feared that we would only be able to use hotel facilities and the rest would be closed.
As we enjoy small local markets, restaurants, and massage salons, without it for us the destination would not be the same. But the trip turned out to be very pleasant. Not all shops were open and some of them were set for sale – sad post-pandemic reality – but in general, there still was a very good variety of choices.
Fewer tourists compared to what it used to be. But on the other hand, we felt very safe on a scooter as the traffic was relatively light. If you are a solo traveler, no worries, you will still find company.
You still can do land tours, diving and surfing classes in small groups, wash an elephant (it is such great news that they do not ride them anymore following an animal welfare program), watch turtles, have a bamboo rafting tour (children friendly experience). So there surely are plenty of things to do despite some covid-19 restrictions.
Worth mentioning, there is a high vaccination rate in Thailand, and people are obliged to wear masks not only inside, but also in the streets. And they do follow the rules. At any entrance to the local food market, shop, or restaurant you’ll find a laser that measures your temperature and hand disinfectant. We had to wear masks on the grounds of the hotel also in open areas, but not next to the swimming pool or seaside.
DEPARTURE to Thailand. What do you need to prepare?
You can check the current rules for your specific country here.
You need to apply online for a Thai pass – a free-of-charge QR code that grants you entrance to Thailand. You can do it a month before your trip. It takes at most 7 days to receive it on your email, typically only 2-3 days of processing.
You can apply for a Thai pass here.
Make sure to attach to your application ALL of the following documents:
- Copy of a first passport page
- Vaccination Certificate or Card
- Covid-19 Health Insurance Certificate
Your covid-19 insurance must be a one-pager, expressly stating your name, that it covers up to 50,000 USD medical expenses including covid-19 and it must cover your whole stay in Thailand. You can buy one, which is recommended by Thai authorities here.
We bought Danish insurance as it offered a better deal. Right after buying I contacted the insurance company and asked for a one-pager certificate suitable for a Thai Pass. They sent to each of us a separate certificate on the email the same day.
4. Confirmed ASQ hotel booking or Confirmed SHA+ hotel booking (our confirmation from Booking.com worked fine)
5. Pre-booked RT PCR test for all members of the trip
RT PCR test you can book and pay direct here. This prepaid test also includes a covid-19 antigen test for self-test. You will get it upon arrival in Thailand.
6. Flight Booking/ticket
If you have already applied for a Thai Pass by yourself and you need to check the status here.
IMPORTANT! For a smooth and fast experience upon arrival at the airport, have all these documents plus the Thai Pass QR code printed out in hand in a separate folder for each traveler.
UPON ARRIVAL. At the Phuket airport, we really felt like everything was well organized. At each point, there was a polite staff that gave us clear instructions on what to do.
- At first the authorities checked our Thai passes. We had a folder of printed documents for each person, kids included, and therefore it went extremely fast.
- Second line led to a general passport check
- Then we took our luggage
- And right after on the territory of the airport you’ll have your RT PCR test taken. No worries you will not miss it as the staff will guide you. This is also where they will give you an antigen test kit for self-use in a hand. You will have to take it a week after arrival. We did it in our hotel room and afterward took it to the reception. The receptionist took a photo of it and that was all.
- After the RT PCR test we hit the parking lot where a lady with a microphone called for our taxi driver.
All in all, it took us only about 30 min from landing to meeting our driver as everything was so well organized and smooth.
Your taxi has to be SHA certified. And it will take you directly to the hotel – no stops are allowed on the way. Then you’ll have to stay in your room until the covid-19 test results come. In our case we got them 4h after testing, so that was quite fast.
So, have no doubts, Thailand is waiting for you. It feels safe and you will surely have a wonderful time.