What should tourists generally not do?

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Current

The spread of COVID-19 continues to lead to restrictions in international air and travel traffic and impairment of public life.
From unnecessary, tourist tripsto Thailandis currently due to ongoing entry restrictions advised against.

Epidemiological situation

The number of COVID-19 cases is low in an international comparison.

The Thai Tourism Authority and the World Health Organization (WHO) provide up-to-date and detailed figures.

entry

Entry to Thailand is basically possible for all German citizens. A special permit, the so-called Certificate of Entry (COE), is required for entry, which must be applied for online via the website of the responsible Thai diplomatic mission abroad. In addition, proof of a negative PCR test is required upon entry, which must not be older than 72 hours upon departure, as well as health insurance with coverage of at least USD 100,000, which also covers treatments for COVID-19. Travelers can obtain further information on entry regulations, in particular on the requirement of a visa, from the responsible Thai diplomatic mission abroad. A strict quarantine in a state-approved isolation facility (usually a hotel) and several COVID-19 tests are mandatory for all immigrants upon arrival and at their own expense.

Since May 1, 2021, the quarantine period for all immigrants has been 14 days again. When calculating the quarantine time, the day of arrival when entering Thailand after 6 p.m. and the day of departure are not included. The Thai embassy provides further information on entry and quarantine regulations.

The Thai Embassy in Berlin publishes a list of approved quarantine hotels. The booking must be proven before the start of the journey. If the PCR test is positive, further isolation and, if necessary, treatment takes place in a hospital. Hospitalization and treatment are chargeable. A continuation of the quarantine in the booked quarantine hotel is then not possible. The German embassy has no influence on the measures taken in accordance with national infection protection regulations.

All travelers are obliged to register using the tracking app "Thailand Plus" before entering the country. Registration is based on the data in the Certificate of Entry. Further information can be found on the website of the Thai Consulate General in Frankfurt.

Transit and onward travel

Transit is possible via Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport under strict conditions. Transit passengers must present the following documents:

  • Fit to fly certificate
  • Proof of a negative PCR test, which must not be older than 72 hours upon departure in the country of origin.
  • Proof of health insurance with coverage of at least USD 100,000 that also covers treatments for COVID-19.

The transit time must not exceed 12 hours. The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand provides additional information.

The land borders with neighboring countries are still closed to passenger traffic.

Travel connections

Air traffic was resumed with few restrictions. A return journey from Bangkok to Germany is possible without restriction with the offers of commercial airlines, possibly with multi-stops.

Restrictions in the country

The Thai government has declared a state of emergency. In particular, restrictions on freedom of movement and travel, freedom of assembly and freedom of expression must be expected. Travelers must submit to government measures (surveillance and quarantine measures, complete control of their movements, etc.) with regard to the fight against COVID-19. Violations of the Emergency Ordinance are strictly punished by the Thai authorities and are subject to imprisonment and fines. In the individual provinces there are often regulations that go beyond the measures taken nationwide.

The government has introduced a traffic light system (red / orange / yellow / green) for the provinces, depending on the number of cases, which provides for specific measures to contain the infections for each category.

Since the provincial governors have far-reaching decision-making powers, the specific measures can vary greatly from region to region.

Domestic travel (flight, train or rental car) is currently possible with restrictions. Depending on the incidence of infection and the course of the trip, quarantine measures or the obligation to submit a negative COVID-19 test are possible when traveling across provincial borders. The website of the Thai Tourism Authority offers information on the infection situation in Thailand, restrictions in the individual provinces and information on traveling in the country. Further information can be obtained by calling the Thai Tourism Authority on 1672 or the Tourist Police on 1155. Due to the lack of foreign tourists, the tourist infrastructure is only available to a limited extent. National parks are partially closed.

Hygiene rules

Wearing mouth and nose protection outside of your own home is mandatory everywhere, including on public transport and buildings. This obligation also applies when driving in your own car if there are at least two people in the vehicle. When entering buildings and public transport, the temperature is also measured. Further measures, such as downloading a tracing app or the obligation to provide contact details, are possible.

  • Make sure you comply with the AHA regulations and also follow the instructions from local authorities. High fines can be imposed if the hygiene regulations are violated.
  • Find out about the measures to contain SARS-CoV-2 at the Thai embassy. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or come into contact with an infected person, contact the Department of Disease Control or the nearest hospital.
  • Find out about the current status of the restriction measures on site.
  • Please pay close attention to the local regulations (especially the mask requirement in public transport and in public places).
  • If you are planning a transit at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, contact your airline in advance regarding the current transport regulations and find out more about the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand.
  • Register yourself on the crisis prevention list.
  • If you want to enter Thailand, please contact the responsible Thai diplomatic mission.
  • Please inquire directly with the respective airline for specific flight details.
  • When you return to Germany, note the valid entry restrictions such as registration, test and quarantine regulations, inquire about the current conditions of carriage at the relevant company or your tour operator, if necessary, and contact the health department of your place of residence or residence if you are entering from a risk area . Further information is available in our continuously updated info box on COVID-19 / Coronavirus.

security

From trips to the provinces of Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani as well as parts of Songkhla in southern Thailand is strongly discouraged.

terrorism

The global threat of terrorist attacks and kidnappings remains unchanged. In Thailand, too, attacks cannot be ruled out, even in holiday areas. Most recently, on August 2, 2019, there were smaller bomb explosions in different locations in Bangkok.

In the provinces of Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani as well as parts of Songkhla in the south of Thailand on the border with Malaysia there are regular clashes between separatist groups and security forces as well as terrorist attacks, including on targets frequented by foreigners. Emergency laws apply there. In individual districts, especially on the border with Malaysia, night curfews can also be imposed at short notice.

  • Be especially vigilant in busy locations and on special occasions.
  • Always follow the instructions of the security forces, in the case of unavoidable stays in the southern provinces, even in the case of night curfews.
  • Please note the worldwide safety information.

Domestic situation

There may be increased demonstrations and other rallies in all parts of the country. Violent clashes between demonstrators and security forces cannot be ruled out. Clashes and attacks broke out in the provinces of Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani as well as parts of Songkhla in southern Thailand on the border with Malaysia. Emergency law applies here.

Freedom of expression is restricted. Criticism of the government and the realities of the country can become criminally relevant, especially if it is expressed using electronic media.

  • Be aware of the strict lese majesty law in Thailand.

  • Find out about the local and international media.

  • Avoid demonstrations and large crowds in large areas.
  • Follow the instructions of local security guards.

crime

Thailand is seeing increasing crime. In addition to theft and fraud, violent crimes such as rape and robbery, sometimes resulting in death, occur. This applies in particular to the tourist strongholds of Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Pattaya.

At the monthly "Full Moon Party" on the island (Koh) Pha Ngan north of Koh Samui, fatal incidents such as the rape of tourists who are drugged or alcoholic have already occurred several times.

In many tourist strongholds, gangs working with corrupt police officers is not uncommon. It is assumed that tourists have rented items such as jet skis or scooters returned damaged or have committed petty offenses such as the theft of imitation watches in order to extort money. The police station on Patong Beach has become particularly noticeable.

The risk of attempted fraud involving taxi and tuk-tuk drivers is high. For example, tourists are deliberately led into shops and put under pressure to buy counterfeit or inferior products there.

In remote areas and in the border areas with Cambodia and Myanmar, attacks by armed gangs can occur. Some of the safety precautions in hotels and clubs in Thailand do not meet European standards.

  • Only use taxis or tuk-tuks whose drivers you have spoken to yourself.
  • Prepare your trekking tours well and do them best in a tour group with a knowledgeable guide.
  • Pay attention to safety and rescue facilities on ferries and excursion boats and be careful accordingly.
  • In cases of possible extortion with the help of corrupt police officers, contact the German embassy in Bangkok immediately.
  • Keep your money, ID, driver's license, air tickets and other important documents safe.
  • Prefer cashless payments and only take the cash you need for the day and no unnecessary valuables.
  • In large crowds such as airports, train stations, buses and beaches, be vigilant and watch out for your valuables.
  • Be skeptical of unfamiliar e-mails, profit notifications, offers and requests for help from alleged acquaintances. Do not disclose any data about yourself; if necessary, make sure yourself personally or contact the police.

Nature and climate

There is a tropical climate.
In the rainy season from May to October in particular, large-scale floods and landslides often occur, which often kill people.
In the southeast of the Thai peninsula (including on Koh Samui) there are also heavy rain and isolated tropical storms from November to January.

Thailand is located in a seismically active zone in which earthquakes and seaquakes must be expected.

Travel info

Infrastructure / traffic

Traffic routes may be impaired due to measures related to COVID-19 containment, see Current.

There is a domestic air network, railways, bus services and Bangkok's high-speed rail system.

There is left-hand traffic; Particular caution is required in traffic. In Thailand, the number of fatal road accidents is very high, 70% of the victims are two-wheelers. It is compulsory for motorcyclists to wear a helmet. After traffic accidents, impulsive reactions from those involved (even armed violence) cannot be ruled out.

In the metropolitan area of ​​Bangkok, taxis with the label “Taxi Meter” are usually only billed by means of a meter. There are hardly any taximeters outside of Bangkok.

In Phuket, taxis from the eastern part of the island are not allowed to drive to the western part (to the beaches). Tuk-tuks, on the other hand, can move freely all over the island.

With tuk-tuk trips, travelers are often confronted with highly overpriced demands at the end of the day.

  • In the event of an accident, stay calm and try to avoid escalation.
  • Be especially careful when using tuk-tuks and negotiate prices before you start your journey.
  • If possible, use taxis marked “Taxi-Meter” in the city of Bangkok.
  • When traveling to Preah Vihear (Khao Phra Viharn) and the surrounding temples, please note the travel and safety information for Cambodia.

Driving license

From May 1, 2021, either an international driving license according to the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic of November 8, 1968, which is only valid in conjunction with the national German driving license, or a Thai driving license is required to drive a motor vehicle. An international driving license according to the International Agreement on Motor Vehicle Traffic of April 24, 1926 is then no longer sufficient. German national driving licenses alone are not officially recognized in Thailand.
A Thai driver's license is generally required for stays of more than three months.
The conversion of a German into a Thai driver's license can be applied for in Thailand. Binding information on how to apply can be obtained from the Department of Land Transport.

Special instructions on behavior

Thailand is a constitutional monarchy in which the king plays a central role both as head of state and as supreme guardian of religion. Criticism of the king, the royal family and the monarchy is generally considered taboo, see legal peculiarities.

  • Be sure to wear appropriate clothing when entering temples, mosques, and churches.

LGBTIQ

Thailand is known for its tolerance of the LGBTIQ community. This is especially true for the big cities. Homosexuality is not criminalized. Same-sex marriages have not yet been recognized, however, and there is no legal equality with regard to taxes, adoption, naming rights, etc.

Legal specifics

Drugs

We urgently warn against the acquisition, possession, distribution, import and export of all kinds of drugs (including marijuana, ecstasy and other amphetamines). Even the possession of small quantities of drugs leads to long prison sentences; For individual offenses, the Thai criminal law provides for the death penalty, which was carried out for the first time in June 2018 after 9 years of suspension. Taking or transporting objects for third parties without knowledge of their contents can have disastrous consequences.

Lese majesty

The Thai royal family enjoys special respect. Derogatory or critical remarks, including on the Internet or on social media, can be punished as a libel of majesty with imprisonment of up to 15 years per offense. The facts are interpreted broadly. Retweets or the sharing of critical posts about the royal family can also be included.

theft

Theft of items of little value can result in very high prison sentences. Mitigation is also not granted if the theft takes place “compulsively” (kleptomania).

Child sexual abuse

The sexual abuse of minors in Thailand is severely punished and prosecuted in Germany even if the act was committed in Thailand. If in doubt, one should make sure of the age of the partner. However, ID cards are often forged.

Restrictions on access to bars and nightclubs

People under the age of 20 are generally prohibited from entering bars, discos and massage parlors. There is a curfew from 10 p.m. for young people under the age of 18. Adolescents who are found in public after this time without parental accompaniment are threatened with provisional arrest.The term “public” is interpreted broadly by the authorities and includes cinemas as well as restaurants. Young people under the age of 18 are prohibited from consuming alcohol in public and will be punished. In general, it is forbidden to drink alcohol inside a moving or parked vehicle; this applies to all occupants.

Dress code

Bathing in the nude, bathing without a bikini top and sexual acts in public are prohibited and can be punished.

Photography ban

Apart from military objects, there is basically no ban on photography. When photographing people, however - as everywhere - a certain tact is required.

Drones

A violation of the registration obligation of drones threatens a prison sentence of up to five years or a fine of up to THB 100,000, -.

Criminal proceedings

Criminal proceedings in Thailand are lengthy. The possibilities of defense are limited and often do not correspond to German constitutional expectations. Long pre-trial detention, insufficient, expensive legal representation and harsh prison conditions must be expected. Any conviction for a criminal offense in Thailand (including minor offenses) leads to deportation and an unlimited re-entry ban after serving the sentence.

No smoking / e-cigarettes

Since the beginning of November 2017, smoking has been banned on some beaches in Pattaya, Bangsaen, Cha-am, Hua Hin, Phuket, Samui, Phang Nga and Songkhla. Violations of the smoking ban may result in a prison sentence of up to one year and / or a fine of up to THB 100,000.
In addition to the import ban, the sale or purchase of e-cigarettes (including IQOS) or other vaporizers is also prohibited and can be punished with a heavy fine or imprisonment of up to five years.

Home ownership

Great care is required when purchasing residential property, including time-share housing rights. In many cases, the services are not provided in the contractually guaranteed manner. In addition, contrary to the contractual agreement, it is often no longer possible to sell or exchange the rights of residence. As a rule, enforcement of one's own rights fails because the companies disappear from the market after a short period of time.

  • If necessary, notify the police, even if they do not investigate to the necessary extent in many cases. The tourist police are only responsible for disputes between tourists and Thais. The staff speak english.

Money / credit cards

The local currency is the Baht (THB). Payment with credit cards is widespread. Withdrawals with credit and bank cards are possible at many appropriately marked ATMs. However, in addition to credit cards, it is advisable to bring euros or US dollars in cash.
Beware of counterfeit money in circulation.

  • If possible, only exchange money in authorized exchange offices.

Entry and customs

Entry and transit regulations may currently differ due to measures to contain COVID-19, see Current.

Entry and import regulations for German citizens can change at short notice without the Foreign Office being informed beforehand. You can only obtain legally binding information and / or information that goes beyond this information on the entry and customs regulations for importing goods directly from the representatives of your destination country.
You can find the customs regulations for Germany on the website of the German customs and via the “Customs and Travel” app, or you can inquire about them by telephone.

Travel documents

Entry is possible for German citizens with the following documents:

  • Passport: Yes
  • Temporary passport: Yes
  • Identity card: No
  • Provisional identity card: No
  • Children's passport: Yes

Comments / minimum remaining validity:
Travel documents must be valid for at least six months at the time of entry.

Entry with travel documents that have been reported as lost is often refused in Thailand, even if these documents have been returned by domestic German authorities and the relevant note in the wanted lists has been deleted. In Thailand, this often only takes place with a considerable delay.

Foreigners are obliged to always have their ID with them. There are frequent ID checks, especially in the capital's entertainment districts, but also in Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai. A photocopy of the passport is sufficient, provided that the page with the Thai visa or entry stamp is also copied and carried with you.

visa

German citizens generally do not need a visa for tourist stays, which would have to be obtained before entering the country.
Travelers are required to have a visa if they cannot prove their onward or return journey by means of a flight ticket, bus or train ticket.
The permissible length of stay is determined by the immigration authorities upon entry: a stay of a maximum of 30 days is permitted for entry by air as well as by land.
A one-time extension of the visa-free stay by a further max. 30 days for exclusively tourist purposes is possible. The visa extension must be applied for at the responsible Thai Immigration Bureau before the visa-free period expires.

Entry by land and sea without a visa is limited to a maximum of 2 times per calendar year. Entry via international airports is not affected by this regulation.

Tourist visas obtained from a Thai diplomatic mission before entering the country generally entitle you to stay for a maximum of 60 days.

For more information on the individual visa types, contact the Thai immigration authorities.

Exceeding the permitted stay

Violation of the residence permit is not a trivial offense in Thailand. Travelers who exceed the permitted length of stay (“overstay”) risk arrest and detention, heavy fines and imprisonment, deportation at their own expense and a re-entry ban. For "overstay" up to a maximum of 40 days, a flat-rate fine of THB 500.00 per additional day of stay, up to a maximum of THB 20,000.00, is currently levied. If this cannot be paid, legal proceedings follow, which usually lead to the imposition of a fine or a substitute imprisonment. Fines cannot be transferred to German public funds even if they are poor. Detention is usually ordered until deportation.

Even if only the intended place of stay has to be indicated when entering the country, Thai immigration conducts surveys in cases of doubt (e.g. with some backpackers) and also requests more information or even proof of the intended accommodation.

Numerous cases of fraud have been reported in which fake visas were sold to travelers. In these cases, travelers can expect additional criminal proceedings for possession of forged documents.

  • Apply for the extension of visas only directly to the Thai immigration authorities (Bureau of Immigration), do not use the services of service providers, e.g. B. travel agencies or hotels.

Minors

Minors traveling alone must have an official declaration of consent from the legal guardian.

Import regulations

Import and export of foreign currency

The import and export of foreign currency is permitted in unlimited amounts; However, travelers must declare amounts to be imported or exported that (in total) exceed the equivalent of US $ 20,000.

The import and export of the local currency Baht is also permitted without restriction. No notification is required when importing. When exporting, amounts of THB 50,000 or THB 500,000 (only for export to Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and Vietnam) or more must be declared.

Antiques

The export of certain antiques (e.g. Buddha statues or images) is only permitted with the permission of the Fine Arts Department. Further information is available from the Thai embassy in Berlin or the Thai customs authorities.

Souvenirs

The export of certain leather products (e.g. elephant, crocodile, snake) and ivory as well as their import to Germany are subject to the Washington Convention on the Protection of Species. It is highly recommended that you do your research before purchasing.

Cigarettes

Cigarettes are only allowed to be imported into Thailand up to a maximum of 200 per person. If the maximum limit is exceeded, a fine of ten times the value of the goods can be imposed and the goods confiscated.
The import of so-called vaporizers, e.g. e-cigarettes (also IQOS), e-barakus, and accessories into Thailand is prohibited, see Special criminal law provisions.

Drones

The import of drones for private use into Thailand is generally permitted. For commissioning in Thailand, however, the drones must be registered with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) or the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT). Violation of the registration requirement for drones threatens high penalties, see Special criminal law provisions.

Medication

Information on restrictions and drug import application forms in English are available from the Narcotics Control Division of Thailand.

Pets

For entry with pets, a form from the Thai Department of Livestock Development and an official veterinary certificate are required, which must be issued a maximum of 10 days before entry. Dogs and cats must be vaccinated. For more information, please contact the Suvarnabhumi Airport Cargo Clearance Customs Office.

health

Current

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the disease COVID-19, which is triggered by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, a pandemic.