Good buys: Thai silk and tailor-made clothing, leather goods, jewellery and cheap designer-looking labels. Local dishes: Thai cuisine is typically aromatic and spicy, seasoned with heaps of garlic, chillies and a mixture of lime juice, lemon grass and fresh coriander. Traditional dishes include hot and sour fish ragout, green and red curries, and various soups and noodle dishes. There is also an incredible variety of fruit available, fresh or juiced.
Sugar-cane juice and rice whisky are favourite local tipples. Funny fact: The official name for the city of Bangkok Thailand is ‘Krung thep mahanakhon bovorn ratanakosin mahintharayutthaya mahadilok pop noparatratchathani burirom udomratchanivetma hasathan amornpiman avatarnsa thit sakkathattiyavisnukarmprasit. Or ‘Krung thep’ for short, meaning City of Angels. Good reading: Alex Garland’s much talked about novel, The Beach, which depicts a young backpacker’s search for the perfect beach. Visas: Most visitors can stay for 30 days without a visa. Thailand Visa issued to a national of Iran.
Visitors to Thailand must obtain a visa from one of the Thai diplomatic missions unless they come from a visa-exempt country or a country whose citizens are eligible to obtain visas on arrival. Thailand currently offers visa-free travel to nationals of 57 countries. The Thai government maintains bilateral agreements on visa waivers with some of these countries. Nationals of 21 countries can obtain a visa on arrival. As of May 2014, visa runs are no longer allowed, meaning that if foreigners wish to re-enter Thailand after their visa-free or visa on arrival period has expired they have to obtain a visa in advance.
The governments of the following countries have concluded bilateral visa waiver agreements with Thailand. Holders of normal passports from these countries are allowed to travel to Thailand without a visa for 90 days. Holders of normal passports issued by these countries which have bilateral agreements on visa waivers with Thailand are allowed to stay up to 30 days. Holders of normal passports of the following countries are granted visa-free travel to Thailand for a period of up to 30 days.