You should make photocopies of your passport and birth certificate.
You could make copies of your international drivers license, vaccination
and Insurance papers. Keep the copies in a different place than your
You could also list of serial numbers of your travelers checks, air
tickets, emergency phone, fax numbers and e-mails for your home and
family. Write down the contact information for your embassy or consul.
Here is a list
Credit cards, travelers checks, US Dollars in good condition and Euros
are accepted in Thailand.
Banks and Currency Exchanges: Bank currency exchanges
in Chiang Mai are open seven days a week, 8 am to 8 pm(20.00) or later,
as are most shops and attractions! Actual banks are open 8.30 am to
3.30 pm Monday to Friday.
Safeguarding your documents
Thievery is not a huge problem in Thailand, but does exist. Common
sense safeguards, like you would use at home, is usually all you need
to follow. A very popular place to leave them is hanging off the back
of a chair. Look before you leave.
Seal your valuables in a number of smaller envelopes. Use tape in
addition to sealing the envelope with the envelope’s glue. It
is nearly impossible to break this seal. This system is fairly foolproof.
If you are traveling with a partner, keep your own travelers checks.
Don’t put all of them together.
In the Arrivals Hall of Don Muang International Airport there is a
TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) which offers tourist information
and a Thai Hotel Federation office for hotels. The standard, choice
and quality of Hotels are first / world class and great value for
money. 'Taxi Meter' taxis into the city cost about B300+ per car,
24 hours a day. The Airport Bus costs B70 per person 5 am-11pm.
info on the Suvarnabumi
International Airport. Be aware that there
are many "black taxis", meaning illegal taxis. You will
likely be approached by various people as you exit the main terminal
asking if you want a taxi. They are mostly operating illegally AND
they are more expensive in many cases than the commissioned operators.
Go to a proper taxi stand instead.
Clothing: This is your holiday so you should travel
as comfortably as possible. Quality clothing may be bought cheaply.
Bring a few changes of clothes and buy more on arrival. It is important
in Thailand to be conservative in your dress and manner. The Thais
are an extremely modest people and are very pleased when you respect
their customs. Only in tourist areas are short-sleeved t- shirts and
long shorts (not tight cycling shorts) just about acceptable. Ladies
should wear a bra. Have one outfit that looks smart in case you are
invited to someone’s home.
Swim wear: Topless or nude sunbathing or swimming
is absolutely not acceptable. A one piece swimsuit for ladies would
be considered more polite and in the countryside the visitor should
swim fully clothed. Please respect our Thai customs!
Solo women travelers should have no problems; apply the same code
of commonsense as at home. It is easy to travel alone and can be more
rewarding as you will probably meet more local people!
Toilets in Thailand are western style and squat style. Water is supplied
rather than toilet paper as it is more hygienic. If you want to use
paper, do not throw it into the toilet, but into the waste basket
provided otherwise you will block the plumbing. Take care of your
valuables and ensure that they don't fall down the toilet!! Don't
forget your valuables in the toilet.
Toiletries: It is possible to buy toiletries and
other western items in Thailand so buy them when you get here, they
cost the same as at home. Insect repellent should be bought on arrival.
linen: Most Guest Houses do not supply top sheets so bring
a sheet bag for your own comfort.
Speak slowly and clearly so that you can be understood. Learn to speak
some Thai, buy a phrase book which has Thai script, and bring a smile
to someone’s face.
Your feet: Never point your foot. Never pick up anything
with your toes. Never walk over food. Don’t forget to take your
shoes off in a Thai house or in a temple. The head is the highest
part of the body, so resist the temptation to tousle a person’s
hair, do not point with your feet at a Buddha image. In a temple sit
with your feet pointing away from the Buddha, do not sit cross-legged.
Do not stand over a monk and ladies must not touch a monk or pass
anything to him directly.
In the big cities such as Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai, Western
customs are well-known and widely accepted. In rural areas and upcountry,
traditional customs and social behavior are still used. Here are a
few customs to keep in mind.
Thais greet each other with a ‘wai’, a prayer-like,
palms-together gesture, not a handshake. Generally, a younger person
‘wais’ an elder or senior person, who will then return
the gesture. Even though most Thais are familiar with the Western
handshake, a ‘wai’ is always appreciated.
Thais regard the head as the highest part of the body, literally and
figuratively. Don’t touch Thais on the head, even playfully.
If you accidentally touch someone’s head, offer an apology immediately.
Similarly, the foot is considered the lowest part of the body. Don’t
use your feet to point at either people or objects. Don’t touch
anyone with your feet. Don’t rest your feet on tables or chairs.
Don’t step over people – always walk around or politely
ask them to move. When sitting on the floor, try to tuck your feet
underneath and to the side so they’re not pointing at anyone.
When handing objects to people, use both hands or the right hand only.
Do not slide or toss objects across the room. Get up and pass them
in person, no matter how inconvenient this may seem.
Public displays of affection are frowned upon. Some Thai couples may
be seen holding hands, but this is the extent of public affection
in polite society. Kissing in public is not acceptable behavior.
In Thai society, losing your temper or even speaking loudly is a sign
of poor breeding. Keeping or saving ‘face’ is
of paramount importance. Never raise your voice or show anger, it
will get you nowhere. Keeping cool, hiding your emotions and smiling
is far more productive.
Be careful of touts and taxis who try to take you to buy gems and
silk of low quality at inflated prices. When traveling by taxi, be
clear about where you want to go, some taxis get a commission so they
may try to persuade you to go to a place other than your original
Thailand is a very modern and efficient country, we know you will
be very pleasantly surprised at the ease with which you can travel
and generally enjoy your holiday, this is one of the fastest developing
country in South East Asia. Health and dental care is excellent and
inexpensive. You will find first class spotlessly clean hospitals
with internationally trained doctors, new sterile needles are standard,
all medicines are available and patients are treated to exceptional
care and attention!
on health matter in Southeast Asia, see the Center
for Disease Control web site and this UK-based
on Dengue Fever, see this WHO
mind that these “authorities” said that there would be
as many deaths from disease after the tsunami than dies due to the
tsunami. That didn’t happen at all. The Thai government, NGOs,
locals and expats provided mountains of water bottles, tons of food
and shelter within hours of the disaster.
is rare in southern Thailand, but it does exist. Dengue Fever is a
minor threat. Common sense goes a long way here. Put bug repellent
on during the twilight hours. The accommodations that PaddleAsia uses
all offer either mosquito netting or screened windows.
let us know if there are any other tips you would like us to include
in this page which you would have found useful traveling in Thailand.
and teachers, the International
Student Identity Card. This is a very affordable
coming from the UK, check out this adventure
a doubt, one of the most dangerous things you could possibly do in
Thailand is rent a motorcycle.
Traffic laws are loosely enforced
and locals regularly run red lights and turn without looking first.
a foreigner if you have an accident it's most likely your fault, not
always of course, but most likely.
agencies all say that they have insurance for the car, but in reality
not all of them do. If you have an accident with a local, it's your
fault. You will likely have to pay for the repairs on your vehicle
and on the other person's as well.
Thai Royal Family
The King and Queen of Thailand are revered for their great wisdom
and for being 'in touch' with their subjects. Most of the projects
in Thailand that help the poor and to protect Nature are initiated
by the Royal Family.
No disrespect should be shown them, so, for example, if you drop a
coin, do not step on it. It has the King’s face on one side.
Negative remarks about the monarchy are considered lese majeste. This
is a crime which carries severe punishment in Thailand.
The National Anthem is usually played at 8:00 AM, 6:00 PM daily and
before cinema movies, theatre performances or sports events. You should
stand respectfully and stop doing whatever you were doing when you
hear the National Anthem. Just watch what the locals do and copy them.
Some places don’t stop what they’re doing.
It’s best not to insult the Buddhist religion or any other religion
in any way. It is a criminal offence to insult Buddhism in Thailand.
This means you should conduct yourself properly in temples or any
location containing religious images.
All Buddha images, large or small, are considered sacred. Don’t
climb atop or pose for photos in front of images of the Buddha!
Always dress neatly in temples – shorts and sleeveless shirts
are considered inappropriate. Even if no one tells you that you can’t
enter a temple because of your dress, you should take care not to
enter if you are not dressed like the Thais you see entering the temple.
You should not wear shoes inside a temple. It is acceptable to wear
shoes in the temple compound.
Monks are forbidden to touch or be touched by a woman. A woman wishing
to present something to a monk or novice should first place it on
a piece of cloth. This can then be retrieved by the monk.
In a Muslim mosque, men should wear hats and women should be well-covered
with slacks or a long skirt, a long-sleeved blouse buttoned to the
neck, and a head-scarf.
Basically, watch what the locals are doing and imitate them.
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.
and voltage converters for any international plug type are available
at hardware stores and most department stores.
Police - 191
Crime - 195
Fire - 199
Traffic Control Center - 197
Highway Police -1193
Tourist Police - 1699
Tourist Service Center - 1155
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration Hotline - 1555
Missing Persons Bureau - 02 282 1815
Medical Evacuation & Ambulance Service - 02 255 1133
useful addresses and telephone numbers
Soi Suanphlu, Sathorn Tai Road, Bangkok 10120
Tel. +66 2 287 3101
Chakkapong Road, Bangkok 10200
Tel. +66 2 282 9899
National Museum Division
Na Prathat Road
Tel. +66 2 226 1661
Tourist Information Counter
372 Bamrung Muang Road, Bangkok 10100
Tel. +66 2 226 0060, 226 0072
Tourist Assistance Center
Ratchadamnoen Nok Road, Bangkok
Tel. +66 2 281 5051
Unico House, Soi Lang Suan, Ploenchit Road, Bangkok
Tel. 1699 or +66 2 652 1721
Bangkok International Airport
Phahonyothin Road, Bangkok
Tel. +66 2 535 1111
Bangkok Domestic Airport
Phahonyothin Road, Bangkok
Tel. +66 2 535 2081
Thai Airways International
89 Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, Bangkok
Tel. +66 2 513 0121
Bangkok Railway Station (Hua Lamphong)
Rama IV Road, Bangkok 10500
Tel. +66 2 223 7010, 223 7020
Northern & Northeastern Bus Terminal
Phahonyothin Road, Bangkok
Tel. +66 2 272 0299
Southern Bus Terminal
Boromrat Chonnani Road, Bangkok 10700
Tel. +66 2 435 1199, 434 5558
Eastern Bus Terminal
Sukhumvit Road (Ekamai), Bangkok 10110
Tel. +66 2 391 2504, 392 2521