Thailand visa requirements  |  United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Thailand Visa Requirements for British Citizens.

Updated 1 month ago at Sat, Jun 01, 2024
Visas  |  Requirements  |  Demographics  |  Crime  |  Food  |  Culture  |  Fundamentals  |  Relationships  |  Visa Extension


  Visa Duration

60 Day Visa Exemption is available for British citizens

30 days Extension

15 Day Visa on Arrival is NOT available for British citizens

15 days
no Extension

Tourist Visa is Available for United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

60 days
30 days Extension

Destination Thailand Visa is Available for United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

6 months
6 months Extension

Retirement Visa is Available for United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

1 year
1 year Extension

Retirement Visa 10 Year is Available for United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

5 year
5 year Extension

Education Visa is Available for United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

varied Extension

Business/Work Visa is Available for United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

1 year
1 year Extension

Marriage Visa is Available for United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

1 year
1 year Extension

Family Visa is Available for United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

3 Months - 1 Year
varied Extension

Privilege/Elite Visa is Available for United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

5/10/20 years
varied Extension

LTR Visa is Available for United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

5 years
5 years Extension




The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) has a population of approximately 67 million people. In contrast, Thailand has a population of around 70 million people, making the two countries relatively similar in terms of population size.

Size of Country

The UK covers an area of about 243,610 square kilometers, whereas Thailand is significantly larger, encompassing approximately 513,120 square kilometers.


The UK is ethnically diverse with a significant portion of its population identifying as White British, alongside sizeable communities of South Asian, Black, and other ethnic groups. Thailand, on the other hand, is predominantly ethnically Thai, with small minorities including Chinese, Malay, and various hill tribes.


In the UK, Christianity is the largest religion, although there is a growing number of people identifying as non-religious or following other faiths such as Islam, Hinduism, and Sikhism. Thailand is predominantly Buddhist, with about 95% of the population adhering to Theravada Buddhism. There are also small communities of Muslims, Christians, and Hindus.


The UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is significantly higher than that of Thailand. As of recent data, the UK’s GDP stands at around $2.83 trillion USD, making it one of the world’s largest economies. Thailand’s GDP is approximately $543 billion USD, reflecting its status as a middle-income country.

Population Age Brackets

In the UK, the population is relatively older with a median age of around 40 years. The age distribution shows a significant proportion of the population in the older age brackets (65+ years). Thailand has a younger median age of approximately 38 years but is also experiencing an aging population trend.

Men vs Women

The gender distribution in both countries is fairly balanced. In the UK, women slightly outnumber men with about 51% female and 49% male. Similarly, in Thailand, women also slightly outnumber men, making up about 51% of the population.

Source of Popular Types of Income

In the UK, the economy is highly diversified with major income sources including finance, manufacturing, services, and technology. London is a global financial hub. In Thailand, the economy relies heavily on agriculture, tourism, manufacturing (especially automotive and electronics), and services. Tourism plays a particularly crucial role in Thailand’s economy.


Violent Crime

Thailand generally experiences lower levels of violent crime compared to many Western countries, including the United Kingdom. Violent crime against tourists is relatively rare, but it is not unheard of. Areas with high tourist traffic such as Bangkok, Pattaya, and Phuket may see occasional incidents, so it’s wise to stay vigilant. Avoid confrontations and be cautious in nightlife areas where alcohol consumption can lead to aggressive behavior.

Casual Crime

Petty crimes such as pickpocketing, bag snatching, and minor theft are more common, particularly in crowded areas like markets, public transportation hubs, and tourist attractions. Always keep an eye on your belongings and avoid displaying expensive items like jewelry or electronics. Use hotel safes for valuables whenever possible.

Crimes of Passion

Crimes of passion, often related to romantic relationships or domestic disputes, do occur but are less likely to affect tourists. These crimes are typically localized and involve individuals who know each other. Travelers should exercise caution in their personal relationships and avoid becoming involved in conflicts.

Safety for Solo Women Travellers

Thailand is generally considered safe for solo female travelers, but it’s important to take standard precautions. Dress modestly, especially when visiting temples or rural areas. Avoid secluded places after dark and be wary of overly friendly strangers. Use reputable transportation options like registered taxis or ride-sharing services.

Walking around at Night

Walking around at night in well-lit and populated areas is generally safe in Thailand. However, avoid poorly lit or deserted areas, particularly in unfamiliar neighborhoods. Stick to main streets and be cautious around nightlife districts where alcohol-related incidents can occur. Always inform someone of your whereabouts if you plan to explore at night.


Scams targeting tourists are quite prevalent in Thailand. Common scams include overcharging for taxis or tuk-tuks, gem scams, and fake tour operators. Always agree on a fare before getting into a taxi or tuk-tuk and be skeptical of deals that seem too good to be true. Use reputable tour agencies and avoid unsolicited offers from strangers.

By staying aware and taking basic precautions, travelers from the United Kingdom can enjoy a safe and memorable trip to Thailand.


Thailand offers a vibrant and diverse culinary scene that has some surprising similarities to British cuisine, particularly in the use of fresh ingredients, herbs, and spices. Both cuisines also share a love for hearty, flavorful dishes that can be enjoyed in a variety of settings, from street food stalls to high-end restaurants.

One similarity is the use of fresh herbs. In Thailand, coriander and basil are staples, much like parsley and mint in British cooking. Thai cuisine also emphasizes the balance of flavors—sweet, sour, salty, and spicy—much like the British penchant for combining sweet and savory elements, such as in a Sunday roast with mint sauce.

Travelers from the UK should definitely try Pad Thai, a stir-fried noodle dish that is both comforting and complex in flavor, much like a good plate of fish and chips. Another must-try is Tom Yum Goong, a hot and sour shrimp soup that offers a unique blend of spices and herbs, reminiscent of the layered flavors found in a well-made British stew.

For those who enjoy curries, Thailand offers a variety of options that might remind Brits of their own curry traditions. Green Curry (Gaeng Keow Wan) is made with green chilies, coconut milk, and Thai basil, offering a creamy and spicy experience similar to a rich chicken tikka masala. Massaman Curry is another excellent choice; it combines Persian influences with Thai spices and can be likened to a hearty beef stew with its tender meat and aromatic sauce.

Street food is another aspect where both cultures overlap. Just as you might enjoy fish and chips from a local chippy, in Thailand, you can savor Moo Ping (grilled pork skewers) or Som Tum (spicy papaya salad) from street vendors. These dishes offer an authentic taste of local life and are perfect for those who love casual dining experiences.

Desserts in Thailand also offer a delightful experience. Mango Sticky Rice (Khao Niew Mamuang) is a sweet treat that pairs ripe mangoes with sticky rice and coconut milk, providing a comforting end to a meal much like a traditional British pudding.

In summary, while Thai cuisine offers unique flavors and ingredients, there are enough similarities in the use of fresh herbs, balanced flavors, and hearty dishes to make British travelers feel both adventurous and at home.


Cultural Differences for UK Travellers in Thailand

Making Friends

Thai people are generally friendly and welcoming to foreigners. To make friends, it is essential to show respect and humility. A traditional Thai greeting, the “wai,” involves placing your palms together in a prayer-like fashion and bowing slightly. This gesture can go a long way in establishing rapport. Smiling frequently and showing genuine interest in Thai culture and traditions are also appreciated.

What to Do

  • Respect Elders: Always show respect to older individuals. This can be done through the wai and by addressing them with appropriate titles.
  • Dress Modestly: When visiting temples or religious sites, ensure your shoulders and knees are covered. Even in urban areas, dressing modestly is seen as respectful.
  • Remove Shoes: Take off your shoes before entering someone’s home or a temple.
  • Use Both Hands: When giving or receiving something, use both hands as a sign of respect.

What Not to Do

  • Avoid Public Displays of Affection: Kissing or hugging in public is generally frowned upon.
  • Don’t Point Feet: Pointing your feet at people or religious objects is considered very rude. When sitting, avoid showing the soles of your feet.
  • Don’t Touch Heads: The head is considered the most sacred part of the body. Avoid touching anyone’s head, even children.
  • Avoid Loud Behavior: Speaking loudly or causing a scene in public is seen as disrespectful.

Habits to Leave Behind

  • Sarcasm and Criticism: Thais value harmony and may find sarcasm or direct criticism offensive.
  • Public Drunkenness: While drinking is common, being visibly drunk in public is not socially acceptable.
  • Aggressive Behavior: Avoid confrontational behavior, as it can lead to loss of face for both parties involved.

Deportment and Respect

  • Politeness: Always be polite and use “khun” before names as a sign of respect.
  • Body Language: Keep body language subdued. Excessive gesturing can be misinterpreted.
  • Queueing: Thais are generally patient and polite in queues. Cutting in line is considered very rude.


Touching people you do not know well is generally inappropriate. Handshakes are becoming more common but are usually softer than those in the UK. Always avoid touching monks, especially if you are a woman.

Religious Places

When visiting temples, dress conservatively and behave respectfully. Photography may be restricted in certain areas. Always ask for permission before taking photos of people, especially monks.

Public Presentation of Oneself

Maintain a neat and clean appearance. Thais often judge people based on their appearance, so dressing well can earn you respect. Avoid wearing overly casual clothes like beachwear away from the beach.

Behavior on Public Transport

Public transport etiquette includes being quiet and respectful. Offer your seat to monks, elderly people, pregnant women, and those with disabilities. Avoid loud conversations or playing music without headphones.

Losing and Gaining Face

“Losing face” refers to being embarrassed or humiliated in public, which is deeply distressing in Thai culture. To avoid causing someone to lose face, avoid public criticism or confrontation. “Gaining face” involves actions that increase one’s social standing or respect among peers, such as showing kindness, humility, and respect.

By understanding and respecting these cultural nuances, travellers from the UK can enjoy a more harmonious and enriching experience in Thailand.


Bringing a Phone from the United Kingdom

Your UK phone should work in Thailand as long as it is unlocked and supports GSM networks. Thailand uses GSM 900 and 1800 frequencies, which are compatible with most UK phones. Ensure your phone is unlocked before arrival to use a local SIM card.

Internet Availability

Thailand has extensive internet coverage, including 4G LTE networks in most areas. Major cities like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket offer high-speed internet, and even rural areas have reasonable connectivity. Free Wi-Fi is commonly available in hotels, cafes, and shopping malls.

Dominant Messaging Apps

LINE is the most popular messaging app in Thailand. WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are also widely used. Download LINE before your trip to stay connected with locals and services.

Must-Download Apps Before Arrival

  1. LINE: For messaging and communication.
  2. Google Maps: For navigation.
  3. Grab: For ride-hailing and food delivery.
  4. Klook: For booking activities and tours.
  5. Airbnb: For accommodation options.


The currency in Thailand is the Thai Baht (THB). It’s advisable to carry some cash for small purchases, though credit cards are widely accepted in urban areas.


ATMs are plentiful in Thailand, but most charge a fee of around 200 THB for foreign cards. Notify your bank of your travel plans to avoid any issues with card usage abroad. ATMs dispense cash in Thai Baht.

Taxi Apps

Grab is the go-to app for hailing taxis and private cars. It’s similar to Uber and offers a reliable way to get around, especially in major cities.

Food Delivery

Food delivery is widespread in Thailand, with GrabFood and Foodpanda being the dominant players. Both apps offer a wide range of restaurant options and are easy to use.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are widely accepted in hotels, restaurants, and shopping malls. Visa and MasterCard are the most commonly accepted, while American Express is less so. Always carry some cash for smaller vendors and street markets.


Thailand offers diverse shopping experiences, from luxury malls like Siam Paragon in Bangkok to bustling markets like Chatuchak Weekend Market. Bargaining is common in markets but not in malls or stores with fixed prices.


Thailand’s train network is extensive and operated by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT). Trains are a scenic way to travel between cities, although they can be slower than buses or flights. Booking tickets in advance is recommended.

Local Buses

Local buses are an affordable way to get around cities and towns. In Bangkok, the BMTA operates an extensive network of buses. However, routes can be confusing for newcomers, so it’s advisable to use Google Maps or ask locals for guidance.


Acceptance of Men from United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Thai women generally have a positive perception of Western men, including those from the United Kingdom. They are often seen as polite, respectful, and well-mannered. However, cultural differences can play a significant role in how relationships develop, so being mindful and respectful of Thai customs and traditions is crucial.

Funny Ways to Tell Women You Are from the United Kingdom

You can use humor to break the ice by saying something like, “I’m from the land of tea, crumpets, and unpredictable weather!” or “I’m from the UK, where we queue for everything and say ‘sorry’ even when it’s not our fault.”

Which Dating Apps to Use

Popular dating apps in Thailand include Tinder, Bumble, and ThaiCupid. These platforms have a large user base and are widely accepted for finding both casual and serious relationships.

Good Opening Lines to Use with Thai Women on the Apps

  • “Hi! I noticed we both love [shared interest]. Have you found any great spots for that around here?”
  • “Hello! I’m new to Thailand. Any tips for a British guy trying to explore the best local spots?”
  • “Sawasdee krub! How’s your day going?”

Teaching Thai Women About British Culture

Introduce them to British culture by discussing popular topics like British cuisine (fish and chips, Sunday roast), iconic landmarks (Big Ben, Buckingham Palace), and famous British TV shows (Doctor Who, Sherlock). You can also share some British slang or idiomatic expressions for fun.

Dressing and Personal Hygiene

Dress smartly but comfortably. Casual wear is acceptable, but ensure it’s neat and clean. Personal hygiene is very important; make sure you are well-groomed, use deodorant, and maintain a fresh appearance.

Examples of Red Flags You Should Watch For

  • Excessive requests for money or financial support.
  • Reluctance to meet in person after prolonged chatting.
  • Inconsistent or evasive answers about personal life.
  • Overly dramatic life stories that seem implausible.

Examples of Scams on Dating Apps

  • Fake Profiles: Scammers create fake profiles to lure you into sending money or personal information.
  • Sob Stories: Claims of sudden emergencies requiring financial help.
  • Catfishing: Using someone else’s photos and pretending to be them.

Major Differences in Dating Between United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Thailand

In Thailand, dating can be more conservative. Public displays of affection are less common, and family approval is often significant. Relationships may progress at a slower pace compared to the UK.

Major Differences Between Thai Women and British Women

Thai women may place a higher emphasis on traditional gender roles and family values. They might also be more reserved initially compared to British women. Understanding these cultural nuances can help in building a respectful relationship.

Popular First Date Activities

  • Visiting a local market or night bazaar.
  • Exploring temples or historical sites.
  • Enjoying a meal at a Thai restaurant.
  • Taking a stroll in a park or by the river.

Red Light Districts

Bangkok’s red-light districts include Patpong, Nana Plaza, and Soi Cowboy. While these areas are famous for their nightlife, they are not indicative of typical dating experiences in Thailand.

Prostitution on Dating Apps

Be cautious as some profiles may be linked to prostitution. Signs include overly provocative photos, direct offers for paid companionship, or profiles that seem too good to be true.

10 Places to Meet Thai Women Outside of Dating Apps

  1. Cafés: Popular spots like Starbucks or local coffee shops.
  2. Universities: Attending public events or lectures.
  3. Shopping Malls: CentralWorld, Siam Paragon, etc.
  4. Parks: Lumpini Park, Chatuchak Park.
  5. Night Markets: Asiatique the Riverfront, Rot Fai Market.
  6. Language Exchange Events: Great for meeting locals interested in English.
  7. Fitness Centers: Gyms or yoga studios.
  8. Cultural Festivals: Songkran, Loy Krathong.
  9. Cooking Classes: Learn Thai cuisine together.
  10. Volunteer Activities: Join local community service projects.

By understanding these aspects, British men can navigate dating in Thailand more effectively while respecting cultural differences and building meaningful relationships.


Practical Guide: Extending a Thai Tourist Visa or Visa Exemption for British Passport Holders

Extending your stay in Thailand as a British passport holder is a straightforward process if you follow the correct steps. Here is a practical guide to help you through the extension process:

1. Determine Your Eligibility

Ensure you are eligible for an extension:

  • You must hold a valid Thai tourist visa or be in Thailand under the visa exemption scheme.
  • Extensions are typically granted for up to 30 days.

2. Gather Required Documents

Prepare the following documents:

  • Passport: Must be valid for at least 6 months and have at least one blank page.
  • TM.7 Form: Completed application form for visa extension. This form can be downloaded online or obtained at the immigration office.
  • Passport-Sized Photos: Two recent photos (4x6 cm).
  • Photocopies of Passport Pages: Include the photo page, visa page, and the latest entry stamp.
  • Extension Fee: 1,900 Thai Baht (subject to change).

3. Visit the Immigration Office

Locate the nearest immigration office. Major offices include:

  • Bangkok Immigration Office
  • Chiang Mai Immigration Office
  • Phuket Immigration Office
  • Pattaya Immigration Office

4. Submit Your Application

At the immigration office:

  • Queue for Service: Get a queue number upon arrival.
  • Submit Documents: Present your documents and completed TM.7 form to the immigration officer.
  • Pay the Fee: Pay the 1,900 Thai Baht fee. Ensure you get a receipt.

5. Wait for Processing

Processing times can vary but usually take a few hours. You may be asked to wait or return later in the day to collect your passport.

6. Collect Your Passport

Once your extension is approved:

  • Check the New Stamp: Ensure the new stamp reflects the correct extended date.
  • Verify Details: Double-check all details for accuracy.

Additional Tips:

  • Plan Ahead: Visit the immigration office at least a week before your current visa or exemption period expires.
  • Dress Appropriately: Immigration offices may have dress codes; avoid wearing shorts, sleeveless tops, or flip-flops.
  • Stay Informed: Regulations and fees can change, so it’s wise to check the latest information on the Thai Immigration Bureau’s website or consult with your local embassy.

By following these steps, you can efficiently extend your stay in Thailand and continue enjoying your travels without interruption.

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