as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, Thailand
is rich in fascinating destinations and cultures and
can be explored throughout the year.
Come now and enjoy what so many others have discovered
as the land of smiles. Wondrous
sites and sounds and memories to treasure for a lifetime.
1st Time Visitor Information
Climate: We enjoy a
tropical climate with 3 distinct seasons - hot from March through
from October through February. The average annual temperature
is 28°C (83°F), ranging
from 30°C in April to 25°C in December (Bangkok area.)
See yearly averages for humidity,
sunshine hours and temperature in Chiang Mai here.
To Wear: Light, loose clothing is best. We recommend
trekking-wear from North Face or anything with Coolmax or Lycra.
A sweater or light jacket
are needed during the evenings or the cool season
(especially on a motorbike or while visiting mountainous
areas, hill tribes and national parks.) Neat clothes
are required for entering temples or palaces; something to cover
legs and shoulders. In many places you'll need to remove your
shoes. Although open-toed shoes (especially Tevas) are best
for all of Thailand, a slip-on sandal (or shoe) is best for
going in and out of lots of temples, shops or homes.
Local Time: GMT +7 hours.
Business Hours: Most offices
open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, except on public holidays.
General banking hours are Monday
to Friday 9.30am to 3.30pm. Many stores open 12 hours a day,
seven days a week.
Currency: US$1 = 41 Thai Baht
(B or Bt or Bht) Notes
are issued in denominations of
(gray), B500 (purple/pink), B100 (red/pink),
B50 (blue), B20 (green), and B10 (brown). There are 10, 5 and 1
baht silver colored coins. There are 100 satang in a baht, but
these gold colored 50 and 25 coins are useless for transactions.
If you have a choice,
the free candy offered instead.
Note: the further you get away from civilization, the more
smaller Thai baht notes you should carry. Use 7-11's, restaurants
and large stores to change your larger bills, so you don't take
all the change from a small vendor on the street or have to send
your taxi driver running for change on a busy street.
Changing Money and ATM's: Most
foreign currencies and traveler checks are easily changed at banks,
Money changes are open until late in all tourist areas. Larger
denominations bills/checks receive a higher return. Airports,
banks and money changers all give a similar rate. If your pinching
shop around for best rates and never change money in a large hotel.
Major ATM networks are represented in all major cities.
Credit Cards: Major credit cards
are widely accepted throughout the kingdom. We recommend their
a the more known and established organizations. If your in a
one-stop shop/hotel/car rental pay cash.
Electricity: The electric system is 220 Volt AC
(50 cycles). There are many plugs and sockets in use. Travelers
with shavers, tape recorders and other appliances should carry
a plug-adapter kit.
Visas: Visitors to Thailand who
hold valid passports or traveling documents issued by any country
included in an officially issued
list of eligible countries are permitted one-month visa-free visits.
If planning a longer stay, a Tourist Visa valid for 60 days must
be obtained from a Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate abroad. Visa
extensions can be applied for at the Immigration Department in
Bangkok. For more information online, go here http://www.mfa.go.th/web/12.php.
is not a usual practice in Thailand although it is becoming more
common. The larger the city and the more tourist, the more a tip
may be expected. If someone extends a special service, 10 or 20
baht will sometimes get you
Most larger hotels and restaurants add a 10% service charge to
Thai's general leave whatever change is in their pocket with the
restaurant bill irregardless of the amount of the check. Tips
are commonly pooled (for waiters, cooks, cashier) so rewarding
an individual with a tip may not get you the results you are expecting.
prices are the norm in department stores, but at most other places
bargaining is to be expected.
can obtain a final figure of between 10-40% lower than the
original asking price. Much depends on your skills, the
mood and vicinity to tourist areas. Thais appreciate
good manners and a sense of humor. With patience, eye contact and
a broad smile, you will
better price, you will also enjoy shopping as an art.
Vaccinations: No vaccinations are needed for coming to Thailand.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) report of SARS as
of April 3, 2003, Thailand has no local transmission in-country.
Thailand is considered NOT an AFFECTED AREA and is safe from
Language: Thai (though English is widely understood in most major
Phones: local calls from public
pay-phones are inexpensive at 1 or 2 baht. International phones
are marked with special colors
on public booths. You can pick up pre-paid calling cards for local
or international calls at 7-11 and other shops.
Convenience of a Mobile: You
can pick up a mobile phone for $50 (disposable by western standards)
and use pre-paid calling-cards
you'll be staying for more than
weeks. Mobiles work on a SIMM card that is specific to the area
Post: the Thai postal service
is reliable (register each shipment for 25 baht)
reasonable for shipments abroad than DHL, FEDEX, UPS and TNT. EMS
is available and delivers in about 1 week. AIR mail is delivered
in about 1 to 3 weeks. ECO-AIR or SAL is delivered in 3 to 6 weeks.
Surface shipments are also available but take several months.
Country Name: Thailand (Prathet Thai, meaning "land
of the free")
Capital: Bangkok (Krung Thep, meaning " city of angels")
Geography: Lies in the heart of Southeast Asia, roughly equidistant
between India and China.
1) Myanmar - west and north,
2) Lao P.D.R. - north and northeast,
3) Cambodia - southeast and
4) Malaysia - south.
Area: 514,000 sq. km.
Typography: Thailand is divided into four distinct areas:
1) the mountainous North,
2) the fertile Central Plains,
3) the semi-arid plateau of the Northeast, and
4) the many beautiful tropical beaches & offshore islands of the Southern
People: 60.2 million (6 million in Bangkok alone).Thai (80%), Chinese
(10%), Malay (3%), and the rest are minorities (Mons, Khmers, hilltribes).
Ethnic Thais form the majority, though the area has historically
been a migratory crossroads, and has thus produced a degree of
ethnic diversity. Integration is such, however, that culturally
and socially there is enormous unity.
Language: Thai (though English is widely understood in most major
Religion: Buddhism (95%), Muslim (4%), others (1%)
Government: Democratic Constitutional Monarchy
Head of State: H.R.H. King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX of the Chakri
Prime Minister: Thaksin Shinawatra
Administration: 76 provinces, each subdivided into amphoe (district),
tambon (sub-disrict) and muban (village)
National Flag: The red, white, and blue stripes symbolize the nation,
Buddhism, and the monarchy, respectively.