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Thailand has become an extremely popular tourist destination, especially for the adventurous and young at heart, due to its pristine, idyllic beaches with clear turquoise seas and white, pure sands. Local markets and a vibrant nightlife add color and excitement to bustling cities. Because of its turbulent history, there are several ruins, forgotten temples, and deserted cities scattered across Thailand.

Expensive international hotels and resorts that are high on the luxury quotient are a result of Thailandís booming tourist economy. You can, however, also opt for the rustic beauty of beaches and islands, where cheap and comfortable accommodations are readily available.

U.S. passport holders are not required to get a visa issued for a visit that is thirty days or less (an extension of up to ten days is possible on request). However, you need to obtain a visa for a travel period longer than thirty days. Passport and visa requirements can change on short notice. It would be wise for you to check your entry requirements with your embassy or consulate before proceeding on your journey.

The Thai unit of currency is the Baht (THB). One hundred Satangs make one Baht. You can exchange currency at the airport itself upon arrival or at your hotel or the bureaux de change. Banks function Monday to Friday. ATMs are available in most cities and resorts. Most large hotels and stores accept travelersí checks, but banks give a better rate. You can also use major credit cards easily at hotels and larger businesses.

Shuttle buses provide free service between the terminals at international airports. Airport buses offer services to several hotels. Taxis are available outside all terminals, and you would be advised to take licensed, metered taxis. Agree on the price in advance in case the meter does not work, and remember that you will have to pay the toll prices. Car rental companies offer their services. Facilities like banks, a post office, restaurants, and bars are easy to locate.

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