Travel to Krabi

Practicalities

Want advice on what to pack for your very first trip to Krabi or planning an extended stay and want to know which visa is most suitable? We’ve done the hard work for you – you’ll find everything you need to know in our handy guide below!

Before You Go!

Visa and Entry Requirements

British citizens holding a UK passport can enter Thailand for a maximum of 30 days without a visa. Although the 30 days cannot be extended in principle, it is worth knowing that if you visit neighbouring countries Burma or Laos, you can obtain a fresh, 30 day permit upon re-entering Thailand. If you plan a longer trip, it makes much more sense to apply for a tourist visa. This entitles you to remain in the country for up to 60 days, with a possibility to extend (for a small fee and at the discretion of the Thai Immigration Official) by an extra 30 days. This can be arranged at your local Thai Immigration Office – in Krabi this can be found in the provincial capital of Krabi Town.

You can also apply for a multiple-entry visa if you require extra flexibility in your travel schedule.

Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to overstay your visa without obtaining an official extension. You may be subject to a fine or, if you have overstayed your visit by more than a month, you may even be detained. And remember to keep your British passport on your person at all times, as failure to produce it when required can result in arrest.

For more information on Thai visa and entry requirements, visit the official Thai Embassy and Consulate website at http://www.thaiembassy.org.

Vaccinations

The British Embassy has a useful site containing all the latest travel advice for Thailand, including information on vaccination requirements. You will find it at:http://ukinthailand.fco.gov.uk/en/. You can also verify current vaccination requirements with your own doctor – it’s sensible to do this as early as possible as some jabs need to be administered as much as three months in advance.

Travel Insurance

If your budget will allow, it is advisable to take out a fully comprehensive travel insurance policy. If you cannot stretch to this, make sure that you have personal liability and medical cover at an absolute minimum. Krabi has some excellent private health care facilities, but they don’t come cheap and payment is commonly requested in advance of treatment.

Don’t forget to ensure that your travel insurance policy covers any adventure activities that you plan to enjoy in Krabi. Krabi has some of the best rock climbing and scuba diving sites in the world and it would be a shame to miss out, simply because you don’t have adequate cover!

Money

The Thai currency is the Thai Baht – one pound sterling is roughly equivalent to 54 Thai Baht*. You will find that your money goes a long way in Krabi and in fact Thailand in general, as the cost of living is much cheaper than in the UK, just one of the many benefits of travel in the country.

You will find ATM machines and currency exchange facilities upon arrival at Krabi International Airport and in most large towns and tourist resorts. Many hotels also provide 24 hour exchange services, so obtaining local currency is never a problem.

Krabi banks open from 9.30am – 3.30pm, Monday to Friday.

* As of Jan 2014 – check now

What to Pack

We suggest packing light – the tropical climate makes Krabi decidedly hot and quite often humid, so heavy clothes such as jeans and woolly jumpers should be left in the UK where they belong! Beachwear is the clothing of choice in Krabi, so pack swim wear, flip flops and sunglasses. Do bring at least one light sweater or sweatshirt for the evenings though, as temperatures can drop at night, particularly down on the beach. And if you plan to visit local Krabi temples, include one set of more conservative clothing that will cover arms and legs and maintain the requisite level of respect. Other essential suitcase items for a perfect Krabi holiday include, a high factor suntan lotion so that you can enjoy the beautiful weather safely, mosquito repellent, Imodium (especially if you are not used to fiery Thai food!), an umbrella if you are visiting during monsoon season and a money belt to keep your Thai currency safe. Although crime levels are exceptionally low in Krabi, pickpockets are known to operate in some of the major tourist resorts such as Ao Nang and, just as at home, it is wise not to flaunt your cash and valuables.

Many Krabi hotels and resorts now offer free wi-fi as standard, so if you can’t quite leave the office behind or literally can’t survive without Facebook, you can always bring your laptop and other gadgets along. As Thailand uses the type C outlet (two pins with a round head, used in most of Europe, African and Asia), UK and US plugs require an adaptor. The standard voltage in Thailand is 220V, with a frequency of 50Hz so most laptops won’t need a converter. If you are unsure you can always check with the manufacturer prior to travel.

Do verify that your Krabi accommodation benefits from a safe before cramming expensive IT equipment, mobile phones and valuable cameras in your case though and make sure that you leave sufficient room for fun items such as your snorkel and any Krabi souvenirs you intend to purchase.

Upon Arrival!

Thai culture

Part of the attraction of visiting Krabi is that you will have the opportunity to embrace an entirely different culture. Whilst the Krabi population is extraordinarily welcoming and incredibly forgiving, it is important that you make an effort to respect their culture and at least try to avoid causing offence!

With this in mind there are a few things that you should be aware of:

  • Open conflict or angry confrontation should always be avoided.
  • Public displays of physical affection between couples should also be avoided.
  • It is customary to remove your shoes prior to entering a Thai home or temple.
  • Monks are forbidden physical contact with women, so women should try and avoid the possibility of even accidental contact.
  • It is a criminal offence to make defamatory comments about the Royal Family.

Staying Safe

Krabi is an exceptionally safe holiday destination, providing you apply some common sense! The standard of healthcare and hospital facilities is very high and pharmacies are usually well stocked in Krabi. You can always find an English speaking doctor if required and in a genuine medical emergency you can contact the British Embassy for assistance or ask your travel insurer for advice. Aids is prevalent in Thailand, so you should take normal precautions to prevent infection whilst holidaying in Krabi.

The standard of hygiene in Krabi, and indeed throughout Thailand, is also excellent, so eating out is not a problem. Don’t be afraid of trying some of the tempting dishes on offer from the Krabi food stalls either – if it’s freshly cooked in front of you and served piping hot, you should be able to enjoy it quite safely. If you suffer from a sensitive stomach though, do introduce the delicious, yet spicy Thai diet gradually and avoid eating too much fresh fruit until your stomach has become accustomed. Drinking plenty of water and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption is also important in preventing dehydration in such a hot climate, but always refrain from drinking tap water and stick to the bottled variety instead. It is important to limit your exposure to the Krabi sun too, especially between 11.00am and 3.00pm, when it is hottest. As already advised, bring a high factor sun cream and plenty of after sun to prevent skin damage caused by exposure to the sun.

The crime rate in Krabi is relatively low, but you must still be careful when travelling alone at night or in isolated areas. You are most likely to be a risk from pick pocketing, which is common in busy tourist areas, so always watch out for your personal belongings and don’t flash your cash. Be cautious if someone appears to be making an unusual effort to befriend you as, although the Krabi people are generally very friendly and outgoing, a number of con-artists also operate in Krabi and they won’t think twice about relieving you of your hard earned money.

The Thai authorities regard any kind of drug activity as a serious crime and drug possession or trafficking can lead to imprisonment, or even worse, the death penalty! Avoid all contact with drugs and bear in mind that it is illegal to import more than 200 cigarettes per person and you will prevent an uncomfortable brush with the law.

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