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Here’s all the essential information you need to make your trip a smooth and enjoyable one, from visas and embassies through to handy tips and the do’s and don’ts of Thai etiquette.

Customs
The Thai Government prohibits the import of illegal narcotics (including hemp, opium, cocaine, morphine and heroin) and obscene literature, pictures or articles. Smuggling of hard drugs such as heroin may be punishable by death. Import of firearms and ammunition must be registered in advance with the Police Department or local Registration Office.
A reasonable amount of clothing for personal use, toiletries, professional instruments, one still camera, one movie camera, five rolls of still camera film and three rolls of 8 or 16 mm movie-camera film are allowed in duty-free. Cigarettes, cigars or smoking tobacco not exceeding 250 grams in weight, or 200 cigarettes, and one liter each of wine or spirits may be brought in free of duty. For large electronic items such as personal computers, a deposit may be required which is refunded when leaving the country with the item.

Electricity
The standard electricity supply in Thailand is 220V, 50 cycles. Electricity sockets are usually of the flat or round two-pin type but there is a trend towards earthed three-pin outlets in many modern buildings.
Adapters and voltage converters for any international plug type are available at hardware stores and most department stores.

Do’s and Don’ts
The Thai people are well known for their tolerance, hospitality and cheerfulness. They will ignore the small blunders of social etiquette that you are certain to make. For the average tourist it’s very difficult to go wrong. Just smile a lot, avoid confrontation, and don’t insult the religion or monarchy of the country. Here are a few specific do’s and don’ts worth pointing out.

Health & Safety
Thailand is one of the safest countries in the region for the traveler. The risk of contracting illness or disease is minimal provided basic care is taken over food, water and sexual contacts.

Weather
Thailand lies just south of the Tropic of Cancer, within the tropical monsoon zone of Southeast Asia, and enjoy a warm mild climate throughout the year.
Roughly divided, there are three seasons: the cool season (Nov.-Feb.), the hot season (Apr-May), and the rainy season (Jun.-Oct.). Average temperatures are about 29° C, ranging in Bangkok from 35° C in April to 17° C in December. The northern region can be a bit cooler during the cool season, so visitors are advised to pack a sweater or light jacket at this time. Closer to the equator, the southern peninsula of Thailand has little seasonal variation in climate with rain almost everyday.
The best time to travel to Thailand is when the weather is cooler during mid-October to early March. It's OK to visit off-season too as the temperature is generally moderate throughout this period and there are always lots of festivals and activities all-year-round.

Credit cards
Major credit cards are accepted in most hotels, stores and restaurants. Remember that credit cards and traveler’s checks may not be accepted other than in cities and resorts.

Money
Currency
The Thai monetary unit is the baht (often seen mis-spelled as ‘bath’), which is subdivided into 100 satang. Sometimes, 25 satang is called one ‘saleng’ but this term is rapidly disappearing as the value of the baht diminishes.
Coins are used in denominations of 25 satang (brass), 50 satang (brass), 1 baht (silver), 5 baht (silver with a copper rim), and 10 baht (brass with a silver margin). Bank note denominations comprise 10 baht (brown), 20 baht (green), 50 baht (blue), 100 baht (red), 500 baht (purple) and 1,000 baht (gray). Both coins and banknotes have western and Thai numerals on them. Try not to tender 500 or 1,000 baht notes on local buses or when buying a 10 baht bowl of noodles as change probably won’t be available. All banks will change high denomination notes.

Banks
Most banks in Thailand open from 9.00 am to 3.30 pm, Monday to Friday (except national holidays). The main Thai commercial banks (Bangkok Bank, Thai Farmers Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, Krung Thai Bank) have branches throughout the country. Foreign banks also offer commercial banking services
Most banks in Thailand have a nationwide network of ATM machines that dispense Thai baht only. The ATMs usually have Thai and English language displays and will accept the cards of other Thai banks, and foreign cards that use internationally recognized electronic banking systems. Many teller machines will also accept VISA or MasterCard (the logos will be prominently displayed).

Hospitals
Both public and private hospitals are available in Thailand. Queues and waits are generally longer in the public hospitals. For travelers, medical insurance is advisable.
In Bangkok and the major towns, hospitals are clean, modern and offer a good standard of treatment and service. The doctors are generally able to speak English and many are overseas educated. Smaller towns may only have a single provincial hospital, and villages a local clinic, which cannot handle serious medical treatments.
It’s best to seek care for dental, optical and cosmetic treatments in Bangkok. Major operations should also be conducted in Bangkok, if possible. Most major hospitals in Bangkok have a 24-hour service.

Emergency Numbers
The following emergency numbers are free of charge. Please note: English-speaking operators may not be available at certain times.
Police – 191 or 195
Fire – 199
Medical Evacuation & Ambulance Service (Bangkok) Tel. +66 2 255 1133-6

  Emergency Calls  
      Police      191
     Traffic Control Center      197
     Fire      199
     Telephone Directory Assistance      1133
     Tourist Police / Tourist Service Center      1155

   Thailand Yellow Pages
     1188
     Highway Police      1193
     Crime      1195
     Water Accident      1196
     Bangkok Metropolitan Administration Hotline      1555
     Thai Airways      1566
     Bangkok Taxi Call Center      1681, 1661, +66 (0)2 424-2222
     Airport Taxi      +66 (0)2 973-3191
     Inter-province Bus Call Center      +66 (0)2 579-5599
  Useful addresses and calls  
  Immigration Office
Soi Suanphlu, Sathorn Tai Road, Bangkok 10120
Tel. +66 (0)2 287 3101
 
  Revenue Department
Chakkapong Road, Bangkok 10200
Tel. +66 (0)2 282 9899
 
  National Museum Division
Na Prathat Road
Tel. +66 (0)2 226 1661
 
  Tourist Information Counter
372 Bamrung Muang Road, Bangkok 10100
Tel. +66 (0)2 226 0060, 226 0072
 
  Tourist Assistance Center
Ratchadamnoen Nok Road, Bangkok
Tel. +66 (0)2 281 5051
 
  Tourist Police
Unico House, Soi Lang Suan, Ploenchit Road, Bangkok
Tel. 1699 or +66 (0)2 652 1721
 
  Bangkok International Airport
Phahonyothin Road, Bangkok
Tel. +66 (0)2 535 1111
 
  Bangkok Domestic Airport
Phahonyothin Road, Bangkok
Tel. +66 (0)2 535 2081
 
  Thai Airways International Plc.
89 Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, Bangkok
Tel. +66 (0)2 513 0121
 
  Bangkok Railway Station (Hua Lamphong)
Rama IV Road, Bangkok 10500
Tel. +66 (0)2 223 7010, 223 7020
 
  Northern & Northeastern Bus Terminal
Phahonyothin Road, Bangkok
Tel. +66 (0)2 272 0299
 
  Southern Bus Terminal
Boromrat Chonnani Road, Bangkok 10700
Tel. +66 (0)2 435 1199, 434 5558
 
  Eastern Bus Terminal
Sukhumvit Road (Ekamai), Bangkok 10110
Tel. +66 (0)2 391 2504, 392 2521
 
 
 
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