What to wear
Light, loose cotton clothing is best. Nylon should be avoided. Sweaters are needed during the cool season evenings or if visiting mountainous areas or national parks. Jackets and ties are required in a few restaurants and nightclubs. Neat clothing is required for entering temples or palaces.
Always take your shoes off before entering a temple building and leave them outside. Dress respectfully - do not, for example, wear shorts, open shirts or revealing clothes. On entry it is polite to show respect to the Buddha and monks by placing palms of hands together, as if praying and bowing. Sitting is usually on the floor so sit in a way so your feet point away from the Buddha and the monks. Ideally sit with your legs tucked under you to one side. You should never try to shake hands with or touch a monk. If you offer food or a gift to a monk, he will offer you a cloth on which to place the offering. Never touch a Buddha image in a temple. Always ask permission before taking photographs.
GMT + 7 hours (BST + 6 hours)
Most offices open from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, except on public holidays. General banking hours are Monday to Friday 9.30 am to 3.30 pm. Many stores open 12 hours a day, seven days a week.
There are 100 satangs in 1 baht. (B=baht) Notes are issued in denominations of B1000 (grey), B500 (purple), B100 (red), B50 (blue), B20 (green), and B10 (brown). There are 10, 5 and 1 baht coins, and 50 and 25 satang coins. Most foreign currencies and traveller cheques are easily changed at banks, hotels or money-changers. All major credit cards are widely accepted throughout the Kingdom.
The electric system is 220 Volt AC (50 cycles). There are many plugs and sockets in use. Travellers with shavers, tape recorders and other appliances should carry a plug-adapter kit.
Official visa information is available on website www.thaiconsul-uk.com
Tipping is not a usual practice in
although it is becoming more common. Most hotels and restaurants add a 10%
service charge to their bill. Taxi drivers do not require a tip, but the
gesture is appreciated. Thailand
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 humour. With patience and a broad smile, you will not only get a better price, you will also enjoy shopping as an art.
Thai is a tonal language belonging to the group of Ka-Tai languages. The five tones are monotone, low, falling, high, and rising. This can be a rather complicated language for the visitor; however, English is quite widely understood, particularly in
where it is almost the major commercial language. Bangkok
Do's and Don'ts
Thai people have a deep, traditional reverence for their Royal Family, and a visitor should be careful to show respect for the King, the Queen and other members of the Royal Family.
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.
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
Advice to Visitors
If you intend staying in
for more than 30 days it
is recommended that you register your presence with your respective embassy as
soon as possible. Persons wishing to register with the British Embassy in Thailand can do so Bangkok
through the internet – www.britishembassy.gov.uk/thailand
You are advised to use only authorised transportation services for transfer from airport to other areas.
If, on arrival in
you need help with accommodation you are advised to consult the Thai Hotel
Association counter at the airport. Thailand
Beware of unauthorised persons who offer to show you around.
Visitors are advised to use hotel taxi services wherever possible.
Observe all normal precautions as regards personal safety and the safety of your belongings.
Avoid walking alone in quiet or deserted areas.
Ensure that all valuables including passport and airline tickets are properly protected from loss.
Do not get involved with drugs - the penalty for drug offences is very severe in
If you plan to visit a bar or night club make sure you are aware of the rules otherwise you could find the experience very expensive.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time to visit
During the cool season between November and March
What vaccinations do I need before coming to
There are no required vaccinations, unless you are coming from a Yellow Fever area in which case a certificate may
be required. Please check the latest regulations with your local health office.
Do I need a visa ?
You are advised to check with the Royal Thai Consulate on website www.thaiconsul.co.uk or telephone 01482 581668.
What are the Thai Customs regulations ?
Prohibited items: All kinds of narcotics, obscene literature, obscene pictures or obscene articles.
Firearms: Firearms and ammunition can be imported only with a permit obtainable from the Police Department of the
local Thai Registration Office.
Personal effects: A reasonable amount of clothing and toiletries for personal use may be brought in free of duty.
Cameras: One still-camera or one movie camera can be brought in without duty. Five rolls of still-camera film or three
rolls of 8 or 16 mm movie-camera film may be brought in free of duty.
Tobacco: Cigarettes must not exceed 200 in quantity or cigars/smoking tobacco must not exceed 250 gms in weight.
Alcoholic beverages: One litre each of wine or spirits may be brought in free of duty.
Household effects: A reasonable amount of used household effects, accompanied by the owner on change of
domicile are also free of duty.
Plants: Certain species of fruits, vegetables and plants are prohibited. Please contact the Agricultural Regulatory
, Tel : +66 2579 1581
or +66 2579 3576. Bangkok
Animals: Permission for entry of animals coming in by air or sea can be obtained on application to the Department
of Livestock Development,
, Tel: +66 2251 5136
or +66 2252 6944. Vaccination certificates are Bangkok
The Tourism Authority of Thailand receives over 1,000 complaints a year about fake jewelry purchases. To avoid being a statistic, you must stay alert to the warning signs of a swindler at work. Heeding our warning could help you stave off unpleasant surprises and make your vacation what it should be - full of sparkle.
The following are valuable pointers for your protection :
Be wary of any encounter that ends up requiring your presence in a gem shop. Most probably it is a scam.
Buying gems or jewelry to resell at double or triple the purchase price is an impossible proposition under any
circumstances. Buy jewelry only for personal satisfaction for your own use or for loved ones.
Make price comparisons in various shops before deciding to buy. Never be in a hurry.
Never mail sapphires or other precious stones. Carry valuable items with you.
Do not believe special (jewelry) sales of any kind. Reputable dealers hardly ever offer sales and never send
touts to lure tourists to their stores.
There are no promotions, shows or special sales on jewelry authorised by the Thai government or any official
agencies at any time of the year.
The Thai government does not own, operate, subsidise or authorise any jewelry stores.
As far as you can, take time to verify all claims. Words, promises, personal guarantees, unchecked documents,
unauthorised verbal or written statements, casual references, encounters and the like do not constitute
verification. Remember, you are your own best protection. All Thai embassies, consulates or any delegations
abroad are neither bound nor responsible for refunding goods that are bought in
. When in doubt Thailand
about a gem shop, check it with: -
Tourist Assistance Centre
Tourism Authority of
Tel: +66 2694 1222 extensions 1090 to 1094