Thailand is divided into four distinct areas : the mountainous
North, the fertile Central Plains, the semi-arid plateau of the
Northeast, and the peninsula South, distinguished by its many
beautiful tropical beaches and offshore islands.
Temporary visitors who are exempted from applying for an entry visa
must be of the nationality of and holding a valid passport or travelling
documents issued by :
Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Mexico,
Bahrain, Brunei, Hong
Kong,Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kuwait,
Malaysia, Myanmar, Oman, Philippines,
of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore,
Turkey, United Arab Emirates
Australia, Fiji, New
Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Western
Djibouti, Egypt, Kenya,
Mauritania, Morocco, Senegal, South
Africa, Tunisia, Yemen.
Austria, Belgium, Denmark,
Finland, France, Germany, Greece,
Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,
Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovene,
Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, U.K.
Persons meeting the above conditions are exempted
from a visa and are permitted to remain in the Kingdom for a period
not exceeding 30 days, except for the nationals of the Republic
of Korea, Brazil, and Peru who are permitted to stay in Thailand
for a maximum of 90 days from the day of entry.
Note : Please check
the period of stay stamped in your passport upon entry into the
For more details contact the Immigration Division,
Soi Suan Phlu, Sathon Tai Rd., Bangkok 10120
Tel : (662) 287-3101 - 10
Fax : (662) 287-1740
Bangkok is Thailand's major gateway. Most visitors arrive through
Bangkok's Don Muang International Airport which is connected by
daily flights to Europe, North America, Asia and Australia aboard
the world's major airlines. Spanning an area of 6.21 sq.kms, Bangkok
International Airport is Thailand's most important gateway and
has annually welcomed over 25 million passengers from 81 scheduled
airlines. It operates on a 24-hour basis.
Regular rail services link Singapore and Bangkok. Intermediary
stops include Kuala Lumpur, Butterworth and major southern Thai
Overland entrance to Thailand is restricted to three road crossings
on the Thai-Malaysian border in Songkhla,Yala and Narathiwat.
For more information on public transportation, please click
While Thailand is tropical, and therefore hot and humid, there
are regional temperature variations. Bangkok's seasons are divided
as follows: Hot: March to mid-June: 27-35 C (80-95F); Rainy: June
to October: 24-32 C (75-90 F); Cool: Nov. to Feb: 18-32 C (65-90
F), but lower humidity.
Clothes should be light and loose; natural fibres or blends are
best. Sunglasses are essential; light hats are advisable. Shorts
are taboo for men and women at temples and mosques. Shoes must be
removed upon entering temple buildings, so slip-ons are best.
Thai, the country's official language, is spoken by nearly all
its people. English language fluency is limited to city residents;
even fewer speak Asian or European languages. Hotel personnel
speak English and travel agency guides are fluent in several languages.
The Thai baht is divided into 100 satangs. Paper currency includes
a 1,000 (grey), 500 (purple), 100 (red), 50 (blue), and 20 (green)
baht note. Ten-baht coins are brass disks in a silver ring, five-baht
coins are silver with copper rims. One-baht coins are silver.
The 50 and 25 satangs coins are brass. The baht is rated around
45 baht/dollar. Newspapers list daily exchange rates. There is
no currency black market. Most establishments accept traveller
cheques but not personal cheques.
Only banks in the major cities can handle currency
transfers. In cities and resorts, banks operate currency exchange
kiosks accepting two dozen currencies at rates set each day by
the government's Bank of Thailand.
The dates found on many old buildings accord to the birthdate of the Buddha in 543 B.C. To calculate the Roman date, subtract 543 from the Thai date i.e. B.E. 2477 - 543 = A.D. 1934.
GMT + 7 hours.
Business hours are from 8 or 8:30
a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Some businesses are
open Saturdays 8:30-12. Government offices are open 8:30-4:30,
Monday through Friday. Banks open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Mondays through Fridays. Money-changing kiosks open 8:30-8 daily.
Post offices hours are 8:30-4 p.m.. The General Post Office on
New Road between Suriwong and Siphya Roads opens M-F, 8:30-4:30;
Sat, 8:30-12:30. Department stores are open 10-9, seven days a
week. Shops, restaurants, and pharmacies open at 8:30 or 9 a.m.;
most close at 10 p.m.
There are 100 satangs in 1 baht. (B=baht) Notes are issued in
denominations of B1000 (gray), B500 (purple), B100 (red), B50
(blue), B20 (green), and B10 (brown). There are 10, 5 and 1 baht
coin, and 50 and 25 satang. Most foreign currencies and traveller
cheques are easily changed at banks, hotels or moneychangers.
All major credit cards are widely accepted throughout the kingdom.
American Express, Diner's Club, Mastercard,
and Visa are widely accepted in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and
major up-country towns. Expect a 3-5% surcharge. Credit cards
can also be used in the ATMs of major Bangkok banks to receive
an equivalent amount in baht.
Electrical outlets are rated at
220 volts, 50 cycles, and accept flat-pronged plugs. More
details of electrical adapter plugs.
Post offices provide mailing, packing, shipping, and telephone
services. In Bangkok, place long-distance calls from the General
Post Office in the Nava Building on Soi Braisanee, just north
of the GPO, or from the Telephone Organisation of Thailand's office
on Ploenchit Road. Both are open 24 hours a day. Most large hotels
have telephones, telegrams, mail, telex, and FAX facilities. First-class
hotel rooms have IDD phones.
Are first-class hotels, doctors are on call for medical emergencies.
For more serious cases, ambulances convey you to hospitals equal
to those in major Western cities, with Intensive Care Units fully
equipped to handle any emergency. Many doctors have been trained
in Western hospitals but locally-trained doctors are also first-rate
and usually speak English.
In Bangkok, the police emergency number is 191.
There are also Tourist Police assigned to assist travellers. Find
them at the Tourist
Assistance Centre at the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)
headquarters, at 372 Bamrungmuang Rd. (Tel: 226-0060, 226-0072,
Ext. 311-317), and on the corner of Rama 4 and Silom roads.
Most Tourist Policemen speak English.
Tourism Authority of Thailand domestic branches provide details
of tours and services in that area.