Population and Language
Estimated population of 60 million with some 80% belonging to a general Thai group, others include Chinese, Malay, Khymer and a small number of expatriates. Over 92% of the population speaks Thai or one of it’s regional variations.
511,770 km2 of total land area Thailand is about the size of France or Texas. Shares border with (Myanmar) Burma, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia.
Generally there are three seasons in Thailand with temperatures in the north being the coolest during winter while the South has more monsoon rain.
- Cool / Dry: Nov – Feb
- Hot: Feb – April
- Rainy: April – Oct
Visitors must hold an international passport with at least six months validity. Most visitors from ASEAN or Western countries are entitled to stay 30 days before a visa is required. Please check with your nearest Thai Embassy for the latest information. Alternatively you may try your nearest Tourist Authority of Thailand office.
200 cigarettes and 1 litre of spirits.
700 Baht (US$20) for international flights. Vending machines at airports or a booth will issue the voucher. This tax must be paid before you check in. Domestic flight departure tax is generally included in the ticket.
Thai Baht which freely floats against major currencies and is usually between 35 – 50 to the US$.
Hotels and large restaurants charge 10%, otherwise it is not compulsory. 5 – 10 % gratuity is expected.
Electricity and Water
220 V’s which is compatible with the U.K. system. Visitors from the U.S. will have to bring in adapters to run their appliances. Thailand uses two or three pronged plugs. Tap water is not safe to drink. Bottled water is easily found. Ice is best avoided in small stalls or road-side cafe’s.
Public phones cost 1 Baht per minute for a local call and up to 18 Baht per minute for internal long distance. Phone cards are widely available. Call back services and long distance calls are available at different locations as are credit card phones. You may buy a mobile phone and number at many shops across the country and top up cards are easily available.
Office and Banking Hours
Most offices open between 08:30 – 17:00 with a lunch hour between 12:00 – 13:00. Public offices and banks close at everyday at 15:30 and at weekends Post offices are open until 12:00 on Saturdays.