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Thailand Travel Information, Tips and More

 

Visa

Visas for Thailand are not required by all nationals for touristic stays of up to 30 days (if entering via an international airport) or 15 days (if entering by land from a neighboring country), provided they hold valid passports and confirmed airline tickets to leave Thailand within the time allowed by their visa, except:

Nationals of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Malta who may apply for visas on arrival for stays of up to 15 days.

Money:  

Thailand's currency is called the Thai baht (THB). International access ATMs can be found across the country. You will be expected to use Thai baht for all cash purchases. Credit cards are widely accepted, though small businesses and vendors at market may not accept them.

It's around THB 30 to US $1 (think 1/3)

Note also that almost all Thai banks now charge a 150 Baht (3.90 USD) fee for using a foreign ATM card..

Time:

Thailand Standard Time (TST) or Thailand Time (THT) is a standard time used in Thailand. It is 7 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and 12 hours ahead of EST / 15 hours ahead of PST

Electric Plugs

Electricity in Thailand is 220 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. If you travel to Thailand with a device that does not accept 220 Volts at 50 Hertz, you will need a voltage converter. Outlets in Thailand generally accept 2 types of plug: Flat Blade Plug & two round pins...If your appliances plug has a different shape, you may need a plug adapter.

Weather

Thailand has three "seasons." The Thais refer to them as the "cool," "hot" and "rainy" seasons. A more accurate description would be "hot," "really HOT" and "really hot AND wet."

The "cool" season from October/November through to March is the prime tourist season. The hot season in Thailand runs from March through June, with April and May the hottest months of the year. The cool season is from November thru February and stills feel hot to most tourists,

The monsoon season usually is accompanied by heavy rain.. This season may start as early as April or May, although it officially begins in June and runs as late as October, when the temperatures begin to cool slightly... Carry an umbrella or raincoat, and you can still enjoy a great vacation in the Thai rainy season.

Mobile Phones

Nowadays it’s relatively easy to use your own mobile phone in Thailand, however, the costs of both making and receiving phone calls can be high. Please check with your carrier for availability and rates.

Calling Thailand from the United States

US to Thailand international dialing format: 011 + 66 + ???? ????
•011 - US exit code; must be dialed first for all international calls made from the USA or Canada

  • 66 - Country Code for Thailand
  • phone number - 8 digits

Internet Service

Is available throughout Thailand.  All the hotels have internet access (there may be a fee)

Water

Do not drink from the taps. Always use bottled water.
Ice is always made with clean water and is safe.

Customs and Etiquette

Temples: Dress appropriately – cover your shoulders and legs at least to the knee. Remove your shoes and hat before entering temple buildings.
Buddha: Images of Buddha are highly regarded in Thailand. Purchasing statues and getting Buddhist tattoos (if you are not Buddhist) is disrespectful, and sometimes even illegal.
Royalty: The Thai royal family is also very respected and public criticism of them is illegal. The national anthem is played on the radio at 08:00 and 18:00 and before movies in the cinema, where you will be expected to stand for it.
Feet: Gesturing with your feet is considered very rude.

Tipping

Not necessary, but always appreciated.

Shopping

Thailand is one of the best places in Asia for shopping and you will have lots of choices with the huge, glitzy shopping malls, department stores, small shops and bustling street markets. Both Bangkok and Chiang Mai have excellent night markets (Chiang Mai Market just steps from our hotel)

Good buys include Thai silks and cottons, leather goods, batiks, silver and gold, pottery with celandine green glaze, precious and semiprecious stones (in particular rubies and sapphires are indigenous to Thailand), pearls, dolls, masks, painted umbrellas, lacquer ware, pewter ware, bamboo and wood artifacts and bronze ware.

Tailor-made clothes are also good value and can be made in a matter of days, yet the standard is very high. (The mall right next door to the Sheraton has a nice selection of tailors)

Duty free shops are located throughout the country and items can be purchased there and delivered to the airport in time for the departure flight. Value Added Tax ( 7% ) can be refunded on goods bought in shops labeled 'VAT Refund for Tourists', where there is a minimum transaction of ฿2,000 including VAT.

Local Foods

Thai cuisine is distinctive and a favorite of many people around the world. Places to eat traditional Thai food are plentiful and although prices can vary wildly, the quality is generally very good. Thai dishes can sometimes be quite spicy and when a dish is described as “hot” it will be. Thai food is meant to be shared, and all courses will generally arrive together. The cuisine is characterized by a balance of strong flavors, most notably, lime juice, fish sauce, lemongrass, chili and fresh coriander, and is usually accompanied by rice and/or noodles

BeWare: Although the food sold at roadside stalls can be cheap and often very good, meat and chicken should be thoroughly cooked, and be cautious with salads which may have been washed in contaminated water.

Destinations

Bangkok began as a small trading centre and port community on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River some 200 years ago. Now it is Thailand’s capital, a large city known for ornate shrines and vibrant street life. The boat-filled Chao Phraya River feeds its network of canals, flowing past the royal district, home to opulent Grand Palace and its sacred Wat Phra Kaew Temple. Nearby is Wat Pho Temple with an enormous reclining Buddha and, on the opposite shore, Wat Arun Temple with its steep steps and Khmer-style spire.

Damnoen Saduak is the most popular floating market in Thailand, great for photo opportunities, food, and for giving you an insight into a bygone way of life. The Floating Market is routinely crowded with hundreds of vendors and purchasers floating in their small rowing boats selling and buying agricultural products and local food, which are mostly brought from their own nearby orchards. Therefore, it is a great place for tourists to see this old style and traditional way of selling and buying goods

Phuket is one of the southern provinces (changwat) of Thailand. It consists of the island of Phuket, the country's largest island, and another 32 smaller islands off its coast. It is a rainforested, mountainous island in the Andaman Sea and has some of Thailand’s most popular beaches. Phuket Town is the capital of Phuket Province and Thalang Road is lined with colorful 19th-century shophouses and Sino-Portuguese buildings.

Phuket Walking Street located in Old Town is also-known-as Lardyai (talaad yai), which means ‘big market’ in southern Thai dialect. Thalang is a 1/4 mile long commercial and cosmopolitan street which hosts a mix of Baba (Chinese migrants settled in Phuket at the beginning of the 20th century during the tin mining era), Thai Muslim and Indian shops. Phuket Walking Street allows visitors to discover some typical southern Thai culinary specialties as well as local handicraft and gift stalls.

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