Money, fish and spectacle: what questions do Russians have on vacation in Thailand

Thousands of tourists from Russia are now in Thailand and every day there are more and more of them. On vacation, travelers have many different questions – from “how to get VAT on purchases” and “how to register a drone” to “what year of production should dollars be to exchange for baht”. We studied travel chats, chose the most frequently asked questions and answered them.


On Saturday, December 10, the number of tourists arriving in Thailand will reach 10 million people. Thus, Thailand's goal of attracting 10 million foreign visitors to the country in 2022 will be achieved.

For this important event for the kingdom, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has prepared a special program “Amazing Thailand 10 Million Celebrations”.

Tourists arriving on this day at the airports of Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi, Chiang Mai, Utapao, Koh Samui, as well as arriving in Thailand through checkpoints in Sadao and Nong Khai, are waiting for bright greetings and gifts. Thus, Thailand wants to express gratitude to travelers for choosing the kingdom as a holiday destination.

Among all the passengers arriving in Thailand on December 10, one “lucky one” was chosen. They became a tourist from Saudi Arabia, who will fly to the capital's Suvarnabhumi airport. The traveler will be greeted and presented with a special gift by Royal Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

It is important to note that the volume of Russian tourist flow has also already exceeded the forecast values ​​of 250,000 tourists in 2022. Following the results of 11 months, Thailand has already received 256.5 thousand tourists from Russia. And in the first quarter of 2023, Thailand expects 377.5 thousand tourists from Russia.


Coming to Thailand, tourists begin to actively explore the country through excursions, immersion in the life of the kingdom as a whole.

At these stages, travelers have a lot of questions. As a rule, Russians turn to them in numerous tourist chats that unite lovers of the kingdom. We studied the questions and answered the most frequently asked ones.


Thailand is the perfect place to replenish your wardrobe. There you can not only buy international brands beloved by Russians, which are not yet available, but also unique items of local brands. Therefore, tourists are asking a lot of questions about the possibility of refunding tax on purchases in Thailandis not surprising.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) answers:

When purchasing goods and luxury goods in shops and shopping centers in Thailand, travelers can apply for a VAT refund – a refund of value added tax. What should be done? Find stores that have a sign that says “VAT Refund” (available in all popular malls). And start shopping. The cost of goods purchased at a time (on the same day) in each store must be at least 2000 baht (approximately 4 thousand rubles).

When buying goods, you need to present your passport and ask the sales assistant to fill out an application for a VAT refund in the form of paragraph 10 with the original tax invoices. In this case, you should definitely make sure that the passport data are correct. Purchased items must be exported from Thailand within 60 days from the date of purchase.

Tax refund in the amount of 5 to 7% will be possible at the airport. You need to have the goods (packed), a receipt, a certificate and a passport with you. Before registration, you must visit the VAT Refund office at the airport and put a stamp on all issued checks at the customs officer. This must be done, because no payment will be made without a stamp.

If the amount of payments is small, then it will be returned immediately. And if the amount exceeds 30 thousand baht (about 54 thousand rubles), then they will transfer it to the card.

There is, however, a very important and not entirely pleasant “but”: transfers are made only to cards of international payment systems. That is, the transfer will not work to Russian Visa and Mastercard cards, as well as to Mir cards. But on UnionPay from Russian banks – it must pass.


The desire to bring a drone with you to Thailand is more than natural, given the unsurpassed beauty of the kingdom. But here the question arises, how to register it officially so as not to have problems with the police?

Answers Thai Embassy in Moscow:

Before you can use a drone you bring with you, it must be registered with the National Telecommunications Committee (NBTC) or the Civil Aviation Authority (CAAT). To register, you will need a signed copy of your passport, two copies of the completed registration form, a photograph, and the serial number of the drone. If these rules are not followed, the owner of the device can be sentenced to five years in prison or a fine of up to 100 thousand baht (about 180 thousand rubles).

Tourists who have already registered drones say that the registration process is completely simple. You need to go to the NBTC office with a passport and a drone. Draw up documents and pay a fee of 214 baht (about 400 rubles). You can start using the device in 15 minutes after completing all the documents.

Important: do not allow your drone to fly where it may cause damage to life, property or disturb the peace of others, fly over crowded places of people, fly in the control zones of manned aircraft. You can’t send a drone to shoot other people’s private lives.

For detailed information on drones, the Thai Embassy in Moscow recommends looking here.


At the top of monetary issues are dollars, rubles and cards. The first one sounds like “what year of issue should dollars be in order to exchange them at a favorable rate.”

You can exchange dollars with a year of issue no younger than 1996. If old-style banknotes – before 2006 – they will be accepted, but at a reduced rate. As practice shows, dollars of 2009 and 2013 are also accepted at a low rate. But it all depends on the exchanger. But the dollars of 2017 and 2019 are accepted at the established rate.

But there is also a nuance here: banknotes must be clean, not wrinkled, without stains and inscriptions. If this is not the case, then banknotes will not be accepted, and if they can be exchanged for baht somewhere, then at a very low rate.

The second most popular money issue concerns the exchange of rubles for baht. Yes, it is possible – both in exchange offices in Phuket and Pattaya.

The exchange rate, of course, cannot be called profitable, but it is growing. in favor of the ruble. If at the beginning of summer 2022 the rate was 0.39 baht to the ruble, then in early November it was already 0.411 baht to the ruble. The current exchange rate is now 0.420 baht to the ruble. That is, when exchanging 1 thousand rubles, now you can get 420 Thai baht.

Let's move on to the cards. The only card issued in Russia that will work in Thailand is UnionPay. In chats, Russians write that they can pay for it in stores, shopping centers without any problems, and also withdraw cash baht. The maximum amount for one withdrawal is 30 thousand baht (about 54 thousand rubles), the daily limit is 250-300 thousand baht.


Question connections are easily resolved. The options are different. You can enable roaming. At MTS, for example, such a service costs 450 rubles per day. There is a much more profitable option – to buy mobile Internet with e-SIM technology and pay about 30 rubles. per day.

In fairness, while this technology is not supported by all phones: owners of the iPhone and a number of flagship models of Samsung, Huawei and some other brands have such an advantage. But if there is such an opportunity, it is better to purchase an e-SIM=Internet package here. It is 6-8 times cheaper than roaming.

For those whose phone does not support such a function, judging by the reviews of tourists, the option of buying a Thai SIM card is also popular, especially for those who came “for a longer time” or even for the winter. As a rule, such tourists opt for the True Move H operator, which has favorable rates. You can buy a SIM card at the airport upon arrival, in shops, shopping centers.


Thailand is always good for lovers of delicious food. Here and street food, and star restaurants, and Pad Thai, and various Tom Yum soups, and curries with a mountain of rice. But today we are talking about fish. Tourists ask a lot of questions about seafood, or rather about the markets where you can buy them.

Russians living in Thailand recommend the Mae Somchit Kata Fresh Market in Phuket. There are fish, and vegetables, and fruits, and sauces, and authenticity, and the opportunity to plunge into Thai life.

In Pattaya, for fish, you should definitely go to the Naklua Fish Market in the Naklua area, in close proximity from the pier. There is an inexpensive Wat Boon Food Market. It is worth exploring the Nong Mon market, where delicious squid, shrimp and other seafood are available. And, of course, you need to go to the floating market.


Tourists are also concerned about the issue of drinking alcohol on the beaches. There is no strict ban on the consumption of alcohol in public places in Thailand, with some exceptions.

But, in fact, it's better not to risk it. As Russians living in Thailand say, if tourists drink on the beaches, it is better to pack the bottles in paper bags. There are times when the police make comments, but mostly this does not happen.

Alexandra Polyanskaya

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