Thailand – Facts and Travel tips

Entering Thailand
All foreigners will need a passport valid for at least six months from date of departure and citizens of some countries will need a tourist visa to enter Thailand. For more information contact the Thai Consulate in your country.

General Information
Thai people have a deep, traditional reverence for the Royal Family, anda visitor should be careful to show respect for the King, the Queen and the Royal Children.

Each Buddha image, large or small, ruined or not, is regarded as a sacred object. Buddhist monks are forbidden to touch or be touched by a woman, or to accept anything from the hand of one. If a woman has to give anything to a monk, she first hands it to a man, who then presents it.

Thais don’t normally shake hands when they greet one another, but instead press the palms together in a prayer-like gesture called a wai. Generally a younger person wais an elder, who returns it.

Money and Cards 
1 euro = 42,75 Baht (THB) 1 US$ = 29,91 Baht (THB) (per 08/2011)

Credit cards and debit cards are a safe and convenient way to manage your funds. Established names are best; Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa will all get you cash from ATMs all over Thailand. Cards can be cancelled if stolen, and the wholesale exchange rates are better than those of checks and cash. Thai banks honor all internationally recognized travelers’ checks such as American Express and Thomas Cook
Expect to pay 7% VAT on all goods and services.

Restaurants often put a 10% service charge on meal bills, in which case a tip 
is not necessary.
Some say that if there is no service charge, 10% of the bill is an appropriate tip, but this can be expensive if your bill is quite high already. Many Thai people just leave the loose change.
Twenty baht is usual for hotel porters, while you may feel that the maid who has cleaned your hotel room all week deserves substantially more
You can pay the exact amount of a taxi fare, but it is now common to round it up to the nearest 5 baht. You should always tip a private excursion driver; around 100 baht for a day’s driving is fine.

Packing tips
Pack light. Clothing for 4-5 days is sufficient, as inexpensive laundry services are widely available in tourist areas. Light cotton long-sleeved shirt and trouser are recommended for most areas during day time but some areas in the mountains, especially during early mornings and evenings, can be cooler. During December-January, early mornings in the mountains of the north can be very cold so a sweater or jumper is useful. Solid walking shoes are necessary as well as leech-proof socks which may be needed in some areas, particularly during the rainy season. Apart from a hat, a folded umbrella (dull colour) can be very useful either to protect you from bright sunshine or from rain. Insect repellent and torch are also advised. A torch is also very useful in many occasions

Using cameras and laptops in Thailand
Thailand Electricity is 220V/50Hz.
For all electrical equitpment you should also bring along the electrical wire with a two-pin plug. Electrical sockets in Thailand are generally designed for this type of plug.

We strongly advice you to go to a travel clinic in time, where specialists can inform you about what vaccinations are necessary or advisable

More information

Travelling Together as friends