Thailand Travel Guides

Cultural

The traditional Thai greeting gesture is called a wai (hands placed together in a prayer position at the chest, chin or forehead). There are various levels of wais, the best is to just imitate the wai that is being given to you, or place your hands at your chest. Most Thais are not accustomed to shaking hands, but more are adopting this western approach when meeting foreigners.

Generally speaking, Thais are a modest and polite culture. Though you may see some foreign women sun-bathing without their tops on, it is offensive to the Thais and looked down upon.

When visiting a Buddhist temple, dress modestly. Shoulders and thighs should be covered. It is a good idea to carry a sarong with you in case your day of sightseeing finds you at a temple.

Currency

Thailand’s currency is Baht. Bills come in denominations of 1000, 500, 100, 50 and 20. Coins are 10, 5, 1 and tiny satangs. Satangs are quarter fractions of 1 and are not widely used.

Most international currencies and Travellers Cheques can be exchanged at banks or local moneychangers. Major credit cards are accepted in major establishments as well as at moneychangers. You can get a cash advance on your credit card at most banks and transfer funds into the country, the latter usually taking a few working days. Western Union outlets are relatively common and easy to access.

There are many ATM’s throughout the country, usually with optional displays in English. International ATM cards with the Cirrus symbol link may be used at most ATM’s, although there may be a hefty transaction fee.Visit this website for further information about Thailand Currency

Health

Thailand is a relatively safe and healthy country. However, a few precautions may make your trip more enjoyable.

Probably the most common health risk is sunburn. Thailand is close to the equator, which means the rays of the sun are strong and can burn skin quickly and easily. Everyone wants to return home with a holiday tan, however, use caution, sunscreen and begin your tanning process slowly to build up a base. Be sure to drink plenty of water too.

Never drink tap water. Most restaurants serve safe bottled water, except for some very rural stalls which may boil their drinking water first. Ice is safe to use.

It is advisable when travelling to any foreign destination that you check with your local hospital as to what inoculations or medications you may need for your trip. Thailand does not require any pre-arrival vaccinations, unless you are coming from Africa, then a yellow fever vaccination is usually required.

Malaria and Dengue fever exist in Thailand, but are not common in most tourist areas. Particular precautions should be taken in remote areas or areas near the northern borders. Aside from any disease they may carry, mosquitoes can be bothersome so wear repellent and/or long sleeves and trousers when going outside at night.

Pharmacies in Thailand are pretty well-stocked. However, if you require any specific medication, it’s a good idea to bring an adequate supply with you. Alternatively, you may find your same medication in Thailand at a fraction of the price, so you could stock up before returning home!

Language

The Thai language is the main and official language in Thailand although there are several regional dialects as well. Chinese, Lao, Malay and Mon-Khmer are also languages spoken in Thailand. English is becoming more current in government activity and commerce as it has become compulsory as a second language in secondary school and universities.

Visa and Passports

Entry into Thailand requires a passport valid for at least six months from the date of entry. If your passport will expire while in Thailand, be sure to obtain a new one before arriving or you may be refused entry.

Tourist Visas are available by applying at any Thai Embassy or Consulate before travelling. Some countries are able to obtain a visa upon arrival valid for a 30 day stay in the Kingdom. As visa regulations can always change, it is wise to check with the nearest Thai Embassy in your home country.