The pandemic hit the Thai people and the country’s economy hard. Since early 2020, people throughout this incredible country have struggled financially. Many business owners that relied on international tourism were unable to keep their heads above water during these challenging times.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom for the “Land of Smiles”. Today, Thailand’s government is doing everything it can to encourage tourists to visit their country in 2022. A lot of changes have been made, so if you are planning a trip to this unique Southeast Asian country this year, you’ll want to keep reading!
- Thai Pass is no longer in operation
Until now, only fully vaccinated tourists were allowed to enter Thailand without having to go into hotel quarantine. On July 1st, 2020, the government decided to get rid of the Thai Pass scheme (application tourists had to fill out online to prove they had been vaccinated against Covid-19 and proof of travel insurance) to gain entry to the country. Many found the Thai Pass frustrating and complicated, so it wasn’t surprising tourists were reluctant to travel to the country.
Now that the Thai Pass is gone, you should have no problems entering the country by land, boat, or plane.
- Visa on arrival
Before the pandemic, travelers entering the country were issued a visa on arrival. If you were traveling by land, you were issued a 15-day visa and a 30-day visa if you were traveling by air for free. However, the government decided to charge tourists 300 baht to enter the country from May 2022. You can pay for the visa in a variety of different currencies.
Currently, there are government officials trying to get rid of this entry fee to help promote tourism, at least until the end of the year.
Keep in mind – you will have to bring also return ticket to get visa. Many people who go on one-way ticket use the service of dummy ticket to thailand.
- You won’t see that many Chinese and Russian tourists
If you have visited Thailand in the past, you’ve probably seen lots of Chinese tour groups wandering around the country’s most popular cities, or Russians hanging out on Thailand’s amazing beaches. A lot of Thai businesses were reliant on these tourists for income, but due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, and strict travel restrictions in China, don’t be surprised if you don’t see Chinese or Russian tourists.
The Thai tourism board has invested heavily in promoting their country in India. Over recent years, more Indian nationals have been visiting the “Land of Smiles” than ever before. Thailand is hoping that the number of Indian tourists coming to visit Thailand increases in 2022.
- New cannabis laws
Until now, those caught in possession of cannabis in Thailand often faced years behind bars and were forced to pay hefty fines. Surprisingly, the government legalized the use of marijuana for both recreational and medicinal purposes in June 2022.
There are dispensers in most cities selling top-quality cannabis, not just to local people but to tourists too. If you decide to smoke cannabis while visiting Thailand, keep in mind that smoking in public is not only frowned upon but it’s against the law. If you consume this controversial herb in private, you won’t be bothered.
Shoppers love Bangkok but don’t expect to see the same stalls operating on popular streets like Khao San Road. The Thai government made it illegal for street vendors to sell products on the street. If you were hoping to pick up some travel gear while visiting the country’s capital, you should visit local markets on the outskirts instead.
Unfortunately, a lot of the products sold in Thai stores are of low quality. If you want to invest in top-notch travel gear before you enter the country, consider shopping online. Popular marketplaces like Amazon, or online travel stores like Cortazu will have all the products you will need for your trip.
- Budget-friendly accommodation
There are more than ten thousand hotels in Thailand. Most of these hotels were empty since the pandemic began, so their owners and employees are desperate to see tourists return. Due to the lack of tourists, you’ll have no problem finding accommodation at a five-star resort for less than $100. Those on a tight budget should be able to find a room or a dorm for less than $20 in most cities and towns.
However, because the price of fuel has increased across the globe, expect to be charged a little extra for long-haul flights traveling to Thailand. There are lots of budget-friendly airlines selling domestic flights in the country, but flying from Europe or America to Thailand will cost you a pretty penny.
Thailand is a unique country with over 65 million people. It’s full of culture, tasty food, nice local people, and amazing beaches. If you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the western world, a trip to Thailand in 2022 might do the trick!