THAILAND

Fun Facts From Globus Tours

  • Thailand is one of the most visited countries in southeast Asia.
  • Thailand is the only country in southeast Asia that has never been under European power.
  • Boxing is the national sport in Thailand.

With experiences that tantalize all five senses and activities appealing to a wide variety of travel styles, Thailand is the perfect destination to witness an exciting blend of natural, cultural, historical and urban delights. Few places have the gorgeous beaches of Phuket, the wild enthusiasm of Bangkok, the 40,000- year-old history, and the natural appeal of the mountainous rural areas all packed into one country. Distinct surroundings remind visitors of Thailand’s rich Siamese influence, while the progressive civilization in the capital city propels it into modern age and the tribes’ people in the north near Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai still preserve their ancient traditions.

VISAS, PASSPORTS, AND OTHER ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

You are responsible for obtaining and paying for all entry documents (visas, etc.) and for meeting all health requirements (inoculations, etc.) as required by the laws, regulations, or orders of the countries you will visit. We cannot accept liability if you are refused entry onto any transport or into any country for failure to carry correct documentation.

A visa for your visit to Thailand is not necessary for US citizens. If you hold a passport from another country, check with your local consulate about requirements for travel to Thailand.

All passengers traveling internationally are required to have a passport. Most countries require that the passport be valid for at least six (6) months beyond the conclusion of your trip, so please check the expiration date carefully. It is also recommended you have a minimum of three blank pages in your passport when traveling, as many countries require blank pages. Please carry proper identification (your passport) on you and do not leave it in your suitcase or hotel room. Most countries have laws that require you to carry your passport with you at all times.

COUNTRY CODES

The country code for Thailand is 66. When calling to Thailand from overseas, dial your international access code (011 from the US/Canada), followed by the country code, area code, and phone number. Phone numbers in Thailand are 8-9 digits in length. Dialing from the US/Canada: 011 66 # ### ####.

CURRENCY

In Thailand the local currency is the Thai Baht. 1 Thai Baht = 100 satang

        • Banknote denominations: 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000
        • Coin denominations: 25, 50, 1, 2, 5, 10

As a general guideline, bring a variety of payment means, particularly in the event that you have difficulties with your preferred method of payment.

Cash
ATMs are the most convenient way to obtain money in Thailand as they are readily available throughout the country. Money exchange services are also available at the airport on arrival and at some hotels.

For the most current exchange rates, please go to our website at Globusjourneys.com/Currency.

Credit Cards
Credit cards are accepted in Thailand and you should have no problem using them in larger shops and restaurants in metropolitan cites. Visa and MasterCard are most accepted. Smaller shops most likely will ask you to pay in cash or have a minimum amount required to use a credit card. If you use a credit card for your purchase, you will be debited in the local currency, and your bank will establish the rate of exchange on the debit. Traveler’s checks Although a secure means of carrying money, traveler’s checks unfortunately are becoming very hard to use. Due to this we recommend you plan on using cash and credit cards only.

Bank Hours:
Mon. – Fri., 8:30 am – 3;30 pm
Sat. – Sun. – Closed

BUDGETING AND SHOPPING

The following budget guidelines are just approximate values or starting values for meals and are per person. Actual prices will vary widely by restaurant and city within a country but below are some averages as provided by our experienced personnel.

        • The approximate cost of a soft drink/mineral water/coffee is 60-70 Baht.
        • An average lunch consisting of a salad or sandwich and a soda or water starts at approximately 150-200 Baht.
        • Dinner at a mid-range restaurant with dessert and a non-alcoholic beverage starts at approximately 750-800 Baht.

Shopping
Prices are as marked in department stores, though in markets it is customary to barter. Start negotiating with an offer at one-third or half the vendor’s initial price.

Please be warned that if you buy items on tour to be shipped to your home, customs import charges are hardly ever included in the price. Sales tax or GST (Goods & Services Tax) is normally already included on price tags; GST refunds, if applicable, are processed at the departing airport from the relevant country.

TIPPING

Tipping is not common among the locals in Thailand. Some restaurants will add a service charge to the bill and this is considered the tip. If you wish to tip in Thailand, we recommend rounding up the bill to make it an easy amount to pay. This applies to restaurants as well as taxi service. Tipping hotel staff is not necessary or common.

ELECTRICITY AND ELECTRICAL OUTLETS

Voltage for outlets is 220V. North American voltage is generally 110V. Some, but not all, hotels feature multi-region outlets that accept different types of plugs. Due to this, for dual voltage electronics, we still recommend you bring an adapter. If you have single voltage electronics (110V) a converter is also required. Bathroom outlets are usually for razors only. The outlets look like:

TEMPERATURES

Thailand has generally warm to hot temperatures year round and, as with any tropical destination, rain is possible even on the sunniest days. In the far north near Chiang Mai & Chiang Rai it can be cool in the evenings from December to February. To help you plan, below are average low and high temperatures.

To convert to Celsius, subtract 30, then divide by 2. While not exact, this simple formula will give a close estimation.

FOOD SPECIALTIES

Thai cuisine is well known for is spiciness and use of fresh ingredients. The food is a blend of several traditions in Southeast Asia. Popular dishes include: Tom Yum Goong – soup with shrimp, lemongrass, lime leaves, and several other vegetables. It can be ordered with coconut milk as well; Panang Gai – Chicken in a red curry paste with coconut cream; Nam Tok Moo – Grilled pork with green onions, chili, and mint in a fish sauce.

 

Drinking Water
Tap water is generally not safe to drink throughout Thailand. For sightseeing and excursions, bottled water may be included; otherwise we recommend you bring bottled water with you from your hotel. Bottled water is also common in restaurants.

CUSTOMS AND CULTURE

      • Try not to point with your feet.
      • In the company of monks or elders, never cross your legs.
      • Do not touch people on the head or upper body.
      • When beckoning someone to come over do not flap your hand in the standard Western ‘come here’ motion; instead turn the hand round so that your palm flaps down towards yourself.
      • Do not shake hands with monks or nuns as people in general rarely shake hands; rather smile and nod away
      • Ladies should never sit down next to a monk
      • Shorts and skirts should be longish (below the knee) for both sexes and it is okay to expose arms when visiting temples. Shoes generally need to be removed.
      • Smoking is common in Asia so locals tend to be less sensitive to issues regarding smoking around others and often ignore “non-smoking” signs.

FEW WORDS OF THE LOCAL LANGUAGE

Thai:

Good morning/day:Sa wut dee ton chaow, Good evening: Sa wut dee ton yen, Hi:Sa wut dee, Please: Daa prod, Thank you: Kop Koon, You’re welcome: Yin dee, Yes: Chai, No: Mai chai, Do you speak English? Koon poot pa sa ungrit dai mai?, I don’t understand: Mai khao jai, How much? Tao rai?, 1: Neung, 2: Song, 3: Sam, 4: See, 5:Ha, 6: Hok, 7: Jed, 8: Pad, 9: Khaow, 10: Sib, Where is…? Tee nai…?, Telephone: Tro ra sub, Bathroom: houng-num, Tea: Cha, Coffee: Ka faa, Bottled water: Nam deum (carbonated=soda, non-carbonated=nam plao), Cheers! Yin dee!, Have a nice day! Chok dee!

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE COUNTRY INFORMATION

Additional country-specific information for US citizens can be found on the US Government’s website www.travel.state.gov. Here, you can find the most up-to-date information about destination descriptions, passports/visas, safety and security, transportation, travel local laws, alerts/warnings, vaccinations, and more. For citizens of other nations, we recommend you consult your local consulate for travel information, regulations, and requirements.