Country Information

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About country

The Kingdom of Thailand is composed of 76 provinces and is a constitutional monarchy located in Southeast Asia. Its neighboring countries include Myanmar, Cambodia and Malaysia.  The country is currently headed by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, or King Rama IX.

There is an estimated 62 million people in Thailand majority of which are Thai (80%). There are also Thai citizens who are Chinese (10%) and Malay (3%).  There is an estimated 70 million people in the nation’s capital, Bangkok.

 The national language in the country is Thai but majority of the people understand English.  English is widely used in hotels and other commercial places and tourist destinations so foreigners won’t have a hard time communicating.

For more information on the country, you can visit: http://www.tourismthailand.org

 

Accommodation

Thailand, being a popular tourist destination, has plenty of hotels, inns and other accommodations for tourists.  You can arrange to stay in an affordable inn or choose a luxury hotel in the city of Bangkok or in other provinces in Thailand with your travel agent.

 

Airport Tax

Airport departure tax is 700 Baht and is usually incorporated into the ticket. Verify with your travel agent if the tax has been included in the ticket. If it has not been included into the ticket price then you need to pay the airport tax during check-in.

 

Arrival and Departure

Thailand has five International Airports.  These airports have efficient services that allow travelers to enter and leave Thailand conveniently. The Suvarnabhumi Airport also known as the Bangkok International Airport is located in Samut Prakan province, 30 kilometers East of Bangkok. The Chiang Mai International Airport provides direct access to the northern regions of the country. Another airport located in the northern region of the country is the Chiang Rai International Airport. Located in the South, in Songkhla Province is the Hat Yai Interntational Airport. The Phuket International Airport, located in the Phuket province is the second busiest airport in the country, Phuket being a popular tourist destination.

Currency

The national currency of Thailand is the Thai Baht. US Dollar and other currencies can be exchanged in banks and other authorized money changers.

Money Changers

Foreign currency can be changed to the Thai Baht in banks, hotels and money changers in the airport and other commercial locations in the country.  There are many money changers in the country especially in the common travel destinations such as Bangkok and Phuket.

 

Banking

There are many commercial banks in Thailand that operate Mondays to Fridays from 0830 hours to 1530 hours.  Banking in Thailand is relatively problem-free. There are just some documents that you need to present to open an International Bank Account.

  

Credit/Charge Cards

The following major credit cards are widely accepted in Thailand: American Express, Diner’s Club, Visa and MasterCard.

Food   

A complete Thai meal can be had in Thailand for less than US$ 2 . Prices of food greatly vary between the types of restaurants.  There are American fast food joints such as McDonald’s where travelers can choose to partake in familiar food.  There are also plenty of fine dining restaurants in the country that serve various cuisines from Chinese to French.

 

Drinking Water

Tourists are usually advised not to drink from tap. While the Metropolitan Water Works Authority has passed the standards set by the World Health Organization there are still provinces in the country where the quality of the water is not guaranteed. This not due to the inefficient water sourcing and processing but due to old pipes that bring water to certain regions. It is best to drink bottled water that can be easily bought from any supermarket or convenience stores.

 

Electricity

The electricity in Thailand is 220- 240 volts, 50 cycles/ sec.  Most plug receptacles in Thailand can accommodate both flat and round prongs. Local appliances usually come with just two prongs with the grounding prong missing but receptacles in hotels and most commercial places can accommodate three-prong plugs.

 

What to Wear

It is usually warm in the Thailand so light, casual clothes can be worn unless you are attending a formal meeting or event that will require you to bring more formal clothes to the country.  Shopping is cheap and convenient in Thailand so buying extra clothes as you need them shouldn’t be a problem.

 

Mobile Phones

If you have a GSM phone that is not locked to your current cellular phone service provider, then you can easily purchase a prepaid SIM and phone card from mobile phone retailers in Thailand to use while in the country.  Accepting calls is free and call rates are very cheap so it makes a lot of sense to use the local service instead of the roaming features of your service provider. 

 

Payphone Services

There are many Payphones in Thailand especially in commercial districts and in urban cities such as Bangkok.

 

Postal Services

The Thailand postal service is efficient and very affordable.  If you need to know the estimate cost of the item you are sending through Thai post, visit: http://www.thailandpost.com/search_ems_en.asp

 

Transport

Transportation in Thailand is affordable in convenient. The most common mode of transportation for long distance travel is the bus.  There are also ample taxis, vans, motorcycles for rent, and tuk-tuks. In Bangkok there are four Metro systems: Bangkok Metro, Bangkok Sky Train, BRT and the Suvarnabhumi Airport Link.

 

Visa and Entry Facilities

There are 56 countries including the United States and the United Kingdom that have struck deals with Thailand regarding a no-visa entry to Thailand for their citizens. A no-visa entry for citizens of these countries is allowed for a maximum of 30 days. Should a traveler decided to stay beyond 30 days then the appropriate visa must be obtained. Nationals of Sweden and Korea are allowed no-visa entry in Thailand for up to 90 days.  Citizens of 76 other countries are allowed no-visa entries for a maximum stay of 15-days.  This no-visa entry policy is used only for purposes of leisure travel. People who visit Thailand on a no-visa entry can not engage in gainful employment or businesses.

 

Country Code

The country code for Thailand is 66.  The following are codes for the cities:

Thailand city code:

  Bangkok 2
  Burirum 44
  Chanthaburi 39
  Chiang Mai 53
  Chiang Rai 53
  Kamphaengphet 55
  Lampang 54
  Nakhonsawan 56
  Nongkhai 42
  Pattani 73
  Phattaya 38
  Ratchaburi 32
  Saraburi 36
  Tak 55
  Ubon Ratchathani 45

 

 

Useful Telephone Numbers

The following are some of the important telephone numbers you must keep when traveling to Thailand:

 

Emergency Emergency Police Service :                      191

Police Fire Brigade:                                                    199

Crime Suppression Division:                                       195

Medical Evacuation and Ambulance Service:            (662) 255-1133/6

 

Tourist Service Center :                                              1155

Food and Drug Administration (Hotline):                  1556

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (Hotline)          1555

Telephone Service Bangkok Directory Assistance:        1133

Provincial Directory Assistance:                                 183

Traffic Control and Command Center:                     197

Telephone Service Complaint Center :                       189

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