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FAR EAST
 
         
 
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THAILAND           Far East Enquiry Form
   
     
 
                                                           

The kingdom of Thailand, located in the heart of South East Asia, is uniquely placed as a natural gateway to the splendours of the East. Her citizens are warm and gracious and extend a cordial welcome to their homeland. It is no small reason then that Thailand is known as the ‘Land of Smiles’. This is a country of scenic diversity and ancient traditions, of peaceful temples alongside modern urban life. From Bangkok, her modern, cosmopolitan capital to the ancient capital city of Ayutthaya with its spectacular temples and bronzed preserved statues, Thailand offers the discerning traveller a taste of the exotic East.

Thailand holiday

Bangkok became the capital in 1782 and despite its high-rise buildings and luxurious hotels, is distinctly Thai. With its fusion of modern and traditional, Bangkok is home to legendary bargains for lustrous silks, bronze ware, antiques, gemstones to name a few.

The north is resplendent with wild, densely forested mountains where elephants once worked in the teak industry. Chiang Mai, an historic town founded in the 13th century, moves at a different pace to Bangkok and ornate temples rise seemingly on almost every street. Traditional native handicrafts are available in the many shops in the city with delicate embroidery and silverware on offer. 

Along the south coast, renowned white sandy beaches and the islands on both the Gulf of Thailand and the Indian Ocean offer an experience second to none. The most celebrated is Phuket, a large island in the Andaman Sea. Just a short flight from Bangkok, Phuket is famous for its string of picture-postcard beaches each with its own attractions and charms.

                                                           
Thailand holiday
 

WEATHER    Back to top

High temperatures and humidity levels are experienced throughout the year. The country is hottest between March and May, and monsoon season runs from June to October. In September and October much of the country suffers from flooding, particularly in the north, north eastern and central regions. The cool season, most favoured by visitors, runs from November to February.

Bangkok

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Rainfall (mm)

11

28

31

72

189

151

158

187

320

231

57

9

Rainfall (inches)

0.4

1.1

1.2

2.8

7.5

6.0

6.2

7.4

12.6

9.1

2.3

0.4

Min Temp (°C)

20

23

24

25

25

25

25

24

24

24

23

21

Max Temp (°C)

32

33

34

35

34

33

32

32

32

31

31

31

Min Temp (°F)

68

73

76

78

77

77

76

76

76

76

73

69

Max Temp (°F)

89

91

93

94

93

91

90

90

89

88

88

88


Chiang Mai

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Rainfall (mm)

0

10

8

36

122

112

213

193

249

94

31

13

Rainfall (inches)

0

0.4

0.3

1.4

4.8

4.4

8.4

7.6

9.8

3.7

1.2

0.5

Min Temp (°C)

13

14

17

22

23

23

23

23

23

21

19

15

Max Temp (°C)

29

32

34

36

34

32

31

31

31

31

30

28

Min Temp (°F)

55

57

63

72

73

73

73

73

73

70

66

59

Max Temp (°F)

84

90

93

97

93

90

88

88

88

88

86

82



                                                           

GOOD TO KNOW    Back to top

Approximation of what things cost?

  • Large Beer                                      THB 55 to 85
  • Bottle of wine                                   THB 800 to 2000
  • Fried Rice / Food Hall                       THB 25 to 35
  • Bottle of 950ml water                        THB 10 – 30
  • McDonalds Combo                           THB 80 to 90
  • Buffet meal                                      THB 300 – 500
  • Taxi fare                                          THB 35 per km
  • Asian meal where tourists would eat  THB 100 - 200

Sport Activities & Highlights

  • Diving
  • Snorkelling
  • Cycling
  • Rock Climbing
  • Water sports
  • Shopping
  • Thai massages
  • Thai cuisine is amongst the best in Asia

Main Regions & Cities
Bangkok           Chiang Mai

Time: GMT +7.

Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz; both flat and round two-pin plugs are used.

Money: The unit of currency is the Baht (THB), which is divided into 100 satang. Currency can be exchanged at the airport, banks, hotels and bureaux de change. Banks are open Monday to Friday. ATMs are available in most cities and tourist resorts. Travellers cheques are accepted by most large hotels and shops, but a better rate will be given at banks. Most major credit cards are accepted at hotels and larger businesses.

Currency Exchange Rates

THB 1.00 =

USD 0.03

GBP 0.01

CAD 0.03

AUD 0.04

ZAR 0.19

EUR 0.02

NZD 0.04

Note: These rates are not updated daily and should be used as a guideline only. Please go to our Currency Converter for the latest rates.

                                                           

Language: Thai is the official language, although English is widely spoken in tourist areas.

Passport/Visa Note: All nationalities require valid passports; it is recommended that they are valid for six months beyond period of intended stay. Travellers entering Thailand are required to prove they have sufficient funds to cover the length of their stay, and should hold documentation for return/onward travel. Entry may be refused to travellers of 'hippy' appearance.

Health: Travellers should take medical advice at least three weeks before travelling to Thailand. Malaria is a risk outside Bangkok and the major tourist resorts and most physicians will advise immunisation against hepatitis A and typhoid fever. Yellow fever vaccination certificates are required from those travelling from infected areas. Since January 2005 there has been an increase in reported cases of dengue fever in the south, particularly the area near the border with Malaysia. There have been recent outbreaks of bird flu among poultry, and several human deaths, although the risk of travellers contracting the disease is slight; contact with live birds should be avoided, and all poultry and egg dishes well cooked. HIV is rife in the major cities and resorts and food and water-borne diseases are common; drinking bottled or sterilised water is strongly advised. Medical facilities are good in major cities, but good medical insurance is vital: without insurance, or cash/credit card, travellers will not be treated.

Thailand holiday
Thailand holiday


Tipping: Tipping is not expected, but is becoming more common. A 10% service charge is added to the bill at most hotels and restaurants. Taxi drivers are not tipped.

Safety: The vast majority of visits to Thailand are trouble-free, but travellers should be aware that there is a continuing threat to westerners from terrorism throughout South East Asia and should be particularly vigilant in public places, including tourist resorts. Visitors are advised to avoid the border areas and not camp in undesignated areas in national parks. Visitors to major cities are advised to keep an eye on their passports and credit cards and ensure they don't carry around too much money or jewellery. In Bangkok visitors should be aware of scams, often involving gems recommended by kind strangers. In tourist areas, and in particular at the Full Moon Party on Ko Phan Ngan, visitors should be careful about accepting drinks from strangers, as there have been several reported incidents of drinks being heavily drugged. Incidents of sexual assault, on women in particular, continue to occur, and female travellers should be cautious. The security situation in the southern provinces closest to the Malaysian border is unstable and travel to Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat and Songkhla is to be avoided; recent bomb explosions and fighting have killed and injured many people in public places and the government has announced a state of emergency in the area. Further attacks could take place in areas frequented by foreigners, although the Thai authorities have put additional security measures in place throughout the country, including in Bangkok. Several explosions have occurred in Bangkok since December 2005. Since the beginning of 2006 numerous political demonstrations have taken place in Bangkok and provincial towns, and more demonstrations are expected due to opposition to the Prime Minister. Since January 2005 there have been several sinking of passenger boats causing loss of life, thought to have been caused by overloading. Asian Tsunami: Services and facilities in most parts of Thailand that were affected by the tsunami on 26 December 2004 are now operating normally, but remain disrupted on the coast of Khao Lak and on Phi Phi island where many hotels, shops and houses were destroyed. Some of the larger resorts have reopened, but it is advisable for those planning to visit these areas to check with their travel agent that their accommodation is fully functional before departing. The monsoon season (September and October) brings about routine flooding in the north, north east and central regions, often causing mudslides and flash floods; visitors planning to trek in the jungle during this time should check conditions with licensed tour guides before leaving.

Customs: Public displays of affection are frowned upon. Dress is informal, although beachwear should be confined to the beach. Drugs are illegal and travellers should know that possession of even small quantities can lead to imprisonment, and that drug traffickers risk the death penalty.

Communications: The international country dialling code for Thailand is +66. The outgoing code is 001, followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 00127 for South Africa). Thailand also has city codes (Bangkok 2, Chiang Mai 53). International direct dial facilities are available throughout most of the country. Mobile phone networks cover most towns, cities and holiday resorts; operators use GSM 900, 1800 and 1900 networks. Internet cafes are available in the main towns and resorts.

Duty Free: Travellers to Thailand do not have to pay duty on the following items: 200 cigarettes, or 250g tobacco or equivalent amount of cigars; alcohol up to 1 litre; 1 camera with 5 rolls of film or 1 movie camera with 3 rolls of 8 or 16 mm film. Goods to the value of Bt10,000 per person for non-residents with transit visas and Bt20,000 per person for holders of tourist visas. Family allowances are double the individual allowances. Prohibited items include firearms and ammunition without licenses, fireworks, and drugs. Trafficking in drugs carries the maximum penalty. Restrictions apply to meat imported from any country affected by BSE or mad cow and foot-and-mouth diseases. Antiques or objects of art and religious articles may not be exported without a license.

 

                                                           
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