You are responsible for yourself when travelling
The decision to travel and also travel safety and security are always at the responsibility of the traveller. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs gives advice on travel safety and security issues and provides related services. The travel advice notice of the Ministry gives basic information on the overall security situation and local circumstances that may affect travel safety and security. The freedom of movement being a constitutional right in Finland, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs cannot prohibit anyone to travel even in the event that martial law has been declared in the destination country or it has been hit by an earthquake or the hurricane season. Note, however, that travel restrictions and bans may be imposed by the destination country authorities.
Take a moment to read this advice before you travel to Thailand. More details can be found in our travel advice notice (in Finnish).
- In the event of a crisis, follow the instructions of the local authorities and your tour guide. Follow the local media and check the updates of the Embassy of Finland in social media.
- Well before you travel, make sure that your passport is valid for a minimum of six months after your trip. Also check that it is in good condition. Take a photocopy of your passport and/or scan it as an attachment to an e-mail that you send to your own mailbox. Keep your passport and other valuables in a safety box. It is not advisable to leave a passport as a security guarantee when renting a vehicle, for instance.
- Take out a comprehensive travel insurance before you travel and check its terms and conditions with your insurance company. The health services provided by private hospitals and clinics in Thailand are of a high standard, but costly. Note that treatment will not necessarily be started before the hospital receives a confirmation from your insurance company or an advance payment. A repatriation flight from Thailand to Finland may cost as much as EUR 100,000.
- Natural disasters and occasional unrest are not uncommon in Thailand. We therefore recommend that you submit a travel notification before leaving. In the notification, you supply your personal data and the contact information valid during the trip in case of emergencies and crisis situations. You can provide this information online or with a text message. We recommend that you also leave your contact information, travel itinerary and the details of your travel insurance and passport with a contact person in Finland. It is better to save the details of this emergency contact in your mobile phone, mailbox or wallet under the name of ICE (In Case of Emergency).
- Holders of a Finnish passport need not acquire a visa prior to their trip to Thailand. If the conditions for entry are fulfilled, you will receive, upon arrival, an entry stamp on your passport stating how long you are allowed to stay in Thailand. Check what has been marked on the visa stamp. Always make sure that your passport is valid and that you have a visa or a permission to stay in Thailand. For more information on Thai visas and other residence permits, please contact the Royal Thai Embassy in Helsinki, tel. (09) 612 2640, or the Thai Immigration Bureau.
Remember to bring the medication you need on the trip, with the relevant package leaflets in English and, if needed, also the prescriptions. It is possible to check with the Thai Embassy in Helsinki if bringing your medication into Thailand is allowed and whether you need to apply for a special permission or notify the Thai authorities in advance. Check your vaccinations well ahead of your trip. Mosquito-borne dengue fever and malaria are endemic in Thailand. Take care to protect yourself against mosquitoes. Travellers’ health risks may also be related to sex, so be prepared and carry reliable and suitable condoms. There are an estimated half a million HIV-positive people in Thailand.
- Road traffic is the biggest security risk also in Thailand. The country has left-hand traffic, with an unpredictable driving culture that differs from the Finnish one. Care should always be taken. Traffic accidents are particularly common in Thailand during the Songkran festival and the new year celebrations. So fasten your seat-belt and wear a helmet – just as you would in Finland.
- Write down the numbers of your credit cards and the phone numbers for reporting lost or stolen cards. Don’t keep all your money and credit cards in the same place. Credit cards are a common payment method in Thailand, and there are plenty of ATMs available.
- “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” In other words, observe the local rules, regulations and customs and behave like a responsible tourist. Remember that criticising the royal family and committing drug crimes can result in long prison sentences.
- Thailand’s climate takes its toll on the human body. All too often travellers’ health risks are related to the use of alcohol. Remember to drink non-alcoholic beverages in sufficient amounts, stay in the shadow at noon and apply sunscreen with a high sun protection factor.
Petty thefts and tourist scams take place in tourist destinations and the capital city. If scammers approach you with their stories, remember that “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”