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Medical Services
All tourism destinations and provincial capitals have hospitals and clinics staffed by well-trained doctors and nurse. In the case of an emergency, an ambulance can be summoned from any private hospital.

Vaccinations
As in most other countries, visitors do not require vaccinations unless coming from or passing through a designated contaminated area.

Foreign Embassies and Consulates in Thailand
Most major embassies and consulates can be found within the city of Bangkok. So if you need to replace a lost passport. Click here for a list of embassies and consulates.

International and Domestic Travel
Flying is the most convenient mode of transportation for most visitors traveling to Thailand. Domestic flights are also easy and convenient, cutting down on journey time.

A number of domestic carriers service a majority of large provincial cities dotting generously across the country. Travel to neighboring countries is cheaper when booked within Thailand. Train services connect Bangkok to all regions of the country at reasonable prices. A regular rail service also runs between Bangkok and Singapore via Malaysia. Long distance coaches, both air-conditioned and open-aired, connect all major cities.

At the local level, diverse forms of transportation are provided: provincial buses, city buses, songthaews, tuk-tuks, rickshaws, boats, and even rental cars.

International Travel
By Air: With Bangkok serving as the international travel hub of SE Asia, the capital serves as the landing port for numerous international airlines, most with direct flights from their destinations. Some chartered and regional flights may land at one of the other international airports within Thailand, consisting of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Hat Yai, Phuket, and Ubon Ratchatani. The country's national airline is Thai Airways. Airport departure taxes for international departures costs 700 baht/person. The check-in counters open 2 hours and close half an hour prior departure time.

Domestic Travel
Domestic travel during public holidays and on weekends, particularly to popular destinations, should be booked well in advance for all modes of transportation. Booking is particularly difficult during the Songkran Holiday and New Year's Holiday.

By Air: Local carriers Thai Airways (TG) and Bangkok Airways (PG) fly to most major provincial airports beyond 250 km distance from Bangkok. Thai Airways' 2 most popular routes are Chiang Mai and Phuket. Services to Koh Samui and Sukhothai are only provided by Bangkok Airways. Other smaller local carriers include Angel Air (mainly servicing Phuket) and PB Air which flies to fewer destinations. Air Andaman services is limited to the Southern cities only.

Another carrier is SGA scenic airline of Thailand which flies to Hua Hin everyday, and also provides air charter service in the region.

The domestic terminal is located at the southern end of the Bangkok International Airport. Normally, check-ins for domestic flight is one hour prior to departure time and closes half an hour before flight time. Departure tax has already been added to your ticket fare.

Reservation / Ticket
Bangkok Airways Tel. (662) 265-5555
Nok Air Tel. (662) 900-9955
PB Air Tel. (662) 261-0220-5
SGA Tel. (662) 664-6099
Thai Airways Tel. (662) 628-2000

Tickets can be purchased through travel agencies (cheaper for international flights, same for domestic flights) or by booking with the airlines themselves, either via phone, internet, or e-ticketing kiosks (Thai Airways only).

Buses: Inter-city bus services offer a fast means of transport to all corners of the country. Air-conditioned buses service many provincial areas and bookings for both regular and tour coaches (private companies) can be made through major hotels and travel agents, or at the following bus terminals:

Northern Bus Terminal:
Kampaengphet 2 Rd, Bangkok
Tel: 0-2936-2852-66 ext. 614 0-2936-3670

The government bus company, called Bor Kor Sor (BKS), provides the cheapest mode for getting around Thailand. Being frequent and reliable, no advance booking is necessary. Both air-conditioned ones and open-aired ones stop almost everywhere along their route, with the latter being the cheapest and slowest.

Trains: The State Railway of Thailand runs an efficient rail service linking Bangkok (Hua Lam Phong is the central train station) to the rest of the country at very reasonable prices for express, fast and ordinary trains. Limited western and southern routes out of Bangkok also operate from the Thon Buri Station, traveling to destinations as far as Kanchanaburi province in the west and Chumporn province in southern Thailand.

On express trains, sleepers are available in three classes: first and second class (air-conditioned), and second class (non air-conditioned, but with fans).

Advance tickets are available at all principal stations or the Bangkok Railway Advance Booking Office at Tel : 0-2220-4444

Do's and Don't in Thailand
The Monarchy: Thai people have a deep, traditional reverence for the Royal Family, and a visitor should be careful to show respect for the King, the Queen and the Royal Children.

Religion: Visitors should dress neatly in all religious shrines. They should never go topless, or in shorts, hot pants or other unsuitable attire. It is acceptable to wear shoes when walking around the compound of a Buddhist temple, but not inside the chapel where the principal Buddha image is kept.

Each Buddha image, large or small, ruined or not, is regarded as a sacred object. Never climb onto one to take a photograph or do anything which might indicate a lack of respect. Buddhist monks are forbidden to touch or be touched by a woman, or to accept anything from the hand of one. If a woman has to give anything to a monk, she first hands it to a man, who then presents it.

Social Norms
Thais don't normally shake hands when they greet one another, but instead press the palms together in a prayer-like gesture called a wai. Generally a younger person wais an elder, who returns it.

Thais regard the head as the highest part of the body, literally and figuratively. Therefore, avoid touching people on the head and try not to point your feet at people or an object. It is considered very rude. Shoes should be removed when entering a private Thai home.

Public displays of affection between men and women are frowned upon.

Special Advice

  • Beware of unauthorised people who offer their services as guides. For all tourist information, contact the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Tel : 1672. For information about Bangkok, contact the Bangkok Metropolitan Tourist Bureau, Tel : 0 2225 7612-4.
  • Observe all normal precautions as regards to personal safety, as well as the safety fof your belongings. Walking alone on quiet streets or deserted areas is not recommended. Be sure that all your valuables-money, jewellery, and airline tickets are properly protected from loss. Visitors needing assistance relating to safety, unethical practices, or other matters, please call the Tourist Police at Tel: 1155.
  • Drop your garbage into a waste container. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is strictly enforcing the law in an effort to keep the city clean and healthy. The fine will be imposed on a person who spits, discards cigarette stubs, or drops rubbish in public areas.
  • Do not get yourself involved with drugs. Penalties for drug offences are very severe in Thailand.
  • Do not support any manner of wild animal abuse. Never purchase any products or souvenirs made from wild animals including reptiles like snakes, monitor lizards, and also turtle shell and ivory. Avoid patronizing local restaurants that serve wild animal delicacies. It is against the law to slaughter wildlife for food in Thailand.

Currency and Currency exchange
The Thai unit of currency is the baht 1 baht is divided into 100 satang. Note are in denominations of 1,000 (brown), 500 (purple), 100 (red), 50 (blue), 20 (green) and 10 (brown) baht. Coins consist of 25 satang, 50 satang, 1 baht, 5 baht and 10 baht.

Major currency bills and travellers cheques are cashed easily at hotels, tourist shops, all provincial banks, shopping centres and money changers. Travellers cheques are best changed in banks (you will need your passport). Rates of exchange at banks or authorized money changers are better than those at hotels and department stores.

Any amount of foreign currency may be brought into the country. Visitors may take foreign currency out of Thailand, but no more than the amount stated in the customs declaration made on arrival. Travellers leaving Thailand may take out no more than 50,000 baht per person in Thai currency.

Currency Notes
Paper baht comes in denominations of 10 (brown), 20 (green), 50 (blue), 100 (red), 500 (purple) and 1000 (beige).

Currency Coins
There are 100 satang in one baht; coins include 25-satang and 50-satang pieces and baht in denominations of 1, 2, 5 and 10. Thai baht is in denominations of:

Thai baht is in denominations of:



1000 baht front


1000 baht back

500 baht front

500 baht back

100 baht front

100 baht back

50 baht front

50 baht back

20 baht front

20 baht back

10 baht front

10 baht back


Credit Cards
Credit cards are widely accepted. For lost cards:
American Express Tel : (662) 273 5100 or (662) 273 0022
Diners Club Tel : (662) 238 2920 or (662) 238 2680
Master Card Tel : (662) 256 7326-7
Visa Tel : (662) 256 7326-7

Tipping
Tipping is not a usual practice in Thailand although it is becoming more common. Most hotels and restaurants add a 10% service charge to the bill. Taxi drivers do not require a tip, but the gesture is appreciated and 10-20 baht is acceptable for porters.

Bargaining
Fixed prices are the norm in department stores, but at most other places bargaining is to be expected. Generally, you can obtain a final figure of between 10-40% lower than the original asking price. Much depends on your skills and the shopkeeper's mood. But remember, Thais appreciate good manners and a sense of humor. With patience and a broad smile, you will not only get a better price, you will also enjoy shopping as an art.

V.A.T. Refunds
Visitors entering the Kingdom on a tourist visa are entitled to refund of the 7% V.A.T. on goods purchased at registered retail outlets.

Source: Tourism Thailand

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