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Thailand Travel Information: Travel Tips

How to Act as Foreigner
  • Thailand is Buddhist country where Buddha images are held sacred.
  • Sacrilegious Acts are punishable by imprisonment even if committed by foreign visitors.
  • Thai people hold their King and Queen and the Royal Family in great reverence, and so wonít tolerate foreigners talking about them in disrespect.
  • Generally Thai women are conservative. So donít touch them without their consent.
  • Dress properly when entering a Buddhist temple. Mini skirts and shorts are not allowed. Take your shoes off before going inside the hall of worship. Ladies must not on any account touch a Buddhist monk, give things direct to him or receive things direct from him.
  • Intimacies between man and woman should not be shown in public. Sunbathing in the nude is prohibited.
  • Call Thais their first names: use the title ďKhunĒ for adults.
  • Thai people smile to express gladness and happiness, to thank for small services, to return the wai (a way of greeting) of children and inferior persons, and event to excuse small inconveniences.
  • Donít touch a personís head, nor ruffle his hair. The head is the noblest part of the body. A sincere apology should be offered immediately if you touch someoneís head unintentionally.
  • Avoid placing your feet on the table while sitting. Never use your foot to point things out or to touch any part of the body of anyone, which is considered rude.
  • Entering a Thai house, youíre expected to remove your shoes.


Currency
  • Foreign visitors may freely bring in foreign currencies or other types of foreign exchange. Cheque or drafts brought in must be sold to a bank within 15 days of arrival. Upon leaving Thailand, they may freely take out all foreign exchange they have brought in. For residents, unlimited amounts of foreign notes and coins may be taken out for travelling expenses. The amount of draft or Cheque is subject to the approval of the issuing bank.
  • Foreign visitors may bring in and unlimited amount for Thai currency. For travelers leaving Thailand, both Thais and foreign, the maximum amount permitted to take out without prior authorization is 50,000 Baht per person or, of they are going to one of Thailandís neighboring countries, 500,000 Baht per person.
  • The basic monetary unit in Thailand is the Baht. A Baht is divided into 100 satang. The following coins and notes are currently in use:

Coins: 25 and 50 satang; 1, 5 and 10 Baht.

Bank notes: 10(brown), 20(green), 50(blue), 100(red), 500(purple) and 1,000(grey) Baht.

  • Major foreign currencies can be exchanged for Thai Baht with banks and authorized moneychangers. Major credit cards are also widely accepted in tourist centers.


Customs Regulation
  • Exports of Buddha images (except small ones carried on person), antiques and genuine works of art require export license from the Fine Arts Department. The shop you deal with can provide such service for you.
  • Foreign tourists are allowed to take out gold ornaments free. But import and export of gold other than jewelry are subject to licensing; by the Ministry of Finance.
  • It is prohibited by law to bring any of the following items into Thailand:
    1. Narcotics (e.g., marijuana, hemp, opium, cocaine, morphine, heroin)
    2. Obscene literature or pictures
    3. Firearms or ammunition Ė unless a permit has been obtained from the Police Department or the local Registration office.
    4. Piranha and certain species of fruits, vegetables and plants. (Contact the Agricultural Regulatory Division, Bangkhen, and Bangkok for details.)
  • One still camera with 5 rolls of unused film, one movie camera with 3 rolls of unused film and used household effects may be brought in free of duty.

 

Dining
  • Most Thai food is already cut into small pieces before serving or made soft enough to be cut with spoon or fork;í thus, a knife is unnecessary.
  • Saltshakers are rarely found on Thai dinner tables, so add a little caramel-color fish-sauce (called nam-pla in Thai) instead, if you find your food not salty enough.
  • English is spoken in large restaurants in tourist provinces; and most establishments have menus in Thai and English, except street-side food stalls and some small restaurant.
  • Beckon waiters with a wave of a hand. Donít clap, snap fingers or hiss.
  • Normally, a tip of 10-20 Baht or 5-10% of the bill should be left when dining in a middle or high-class restaurant.


Shopping
  • Bargaining is an art long practiced in Asian countries including Thailand. So feel free to ask for a proper discount when shopping in places where prices are not marked.
  • Be careful in dealing with sidewalk vendors who may not offer genuine goods at fair prices.
  • Receipts should be obtained for the goods you buy. For jewelry you must get a certificate for guarantee as well.
  • Some shops can offer a money-back guarantee but you should clearly determine all conditions with the shopkeeper beforehand.

 

Thai Visa
  • Nationals from 56 countries can now stay in Thailand for up to 30 days with our an entry visa, according to a new regulation adopted by the Immigration Division in early February 1995. For visitors from 76 others countries, visas valid for 15 days may be obtained on arrival at any of the four airports at Don Muang (Bangkok), Chiang Mai, Phuket and Hat Yai.
  • Categories of visas in Thailand are transiting, Visitor Transit, Tourist, Non-Quota immigrant.
  • Holders of Transit, Visitor Transit and Tourist visas are not allowed to work in Thailand.
  • A tourist who wants to overstay his visa must apply to the Immigration Division of the Police Department with the following:
  1. The duplicate copy of his or her passport
  2. One photograph
  3. The medical certificate (only in case of being sick)

 

Miscellany
  • Clothing- Thin cotton is the best. A jacket or pullover may be necessary in the cool season, especially when you are in mountainous areas in the North or Northeast.
  • Electricity Ė 220 v 50 cycles throughout the country.
  • Measurement of area Ė Thailand has its own system of area measurement. The basic units are square wa (=4sq.m.) and rai (=400sq.wa or 1,600 sq.m. or 0.16 hectare).

DONíT take any food, drinks, or candies offered by a stranger or a taxi driver.

DONíT accept any complimentary tour offered by a stranger. Reliable tourist information and safe tours should be provided by a tour agency that has a travel license.

 

 

 

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