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Thailand Info : Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Do I need a visa to enter Thailand?
2. Do I need vaccines or any shots before going to Thailand?
3. What is the climate like?
4. When is the best time to visit Thailand?
5. What is the voltage of electricity? Do I need to take a converter?
6. Do’s and Don’ts
7. What is the currency of Thailand?
8. During what hours are banks open in Thailand?
9. Can I use credit cards/ATM cards in Thailand?
10. What is the Exchange Rate for the US Dollar? The Canadian Dollar?
11. Where are the US and Canadian embassies?

1. Do I need a visa to enter Thailand?

U.S. and Canadian citizens may enter and stay in Thailand without a visa for a maximum stay of 30 days for the purpose of tourism only. For more information, please visit:

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The Royal Thai Embassy, Washington DC
1024 Wisconsin Ave., N.W., Washington D.C. 20007, Tel: (202) 944-3600, Fax: (202) 944-3611
Official website

The Royal Thai Consulate-General, New York
351 East 52nd St., New York, NY. 10022, Tel: (212) 754-1770, (212) 754-1896, Fax: (212) 754-1907
Official website

The Royal Thai Consulate-General, Chicago
700 North Rush St., Chicago, IL 60611, Tel: (312) 664-3129, Fax: (312) 664-3230
Official website

The Royal Thai Consulate-General, Los Angeles
611 N.Larchmont Blvd., 2nd Floor , Los Angeles , CA 90004, Tel: (323) 962-9574, Fax: (323) 962-2128
Official website

CANADA
The Royal Thai Embassy, Ottawa
180 Island Park Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1Y 0A2, Tel: (613) 722-4444, Fax: (613) 722-6624
Official website

The Royal Thai Consulate-General, Toronto
17 Isabella st. Unit 100, Toronto, ON M4Y 1M7, Tel: (416) 850-0110, Fax: (416) 850-1431
Official website

The Royal Thai Consulate-General, Vancouver
1040 Burrard St., Vancouver, BC V6Z 2R9, Tel: (604) 687-1143, Fax: (604) 687-4434
Official website

2. Do I need vaccines or any shots before going to Thailand?

You do not need vaccines or any shots before going to Thailand.

3. What is the climate like?

There are three seasons in Thailand

Summer Season runs essentially from March through to June, with temperatures between 91° F and 118° F in the day, while not falling below 80° F at night.

Rainy Season runs from July through to November. Temperatures range from 89° F during the day to 60° F at night.

Cool Season runs from November through to February with temperatures at 90° F during the day, to a bearable 60° F at night, although in the North, it could be as low as 54° F.

During the months of July to November, we recommend that you pack a light waterproof jacket and a pair of closed shoes.

For an up-to-date weather report, please go to the Thai Meterological Department’s website

4. When is the best time to visit Thailand?

Thailand’s rainy season arrives around July and lasts into November. These months can be unpredictably sticky. This is followed by a dry, cool period from November to mid-February, followed by relatively much higher temperatures from March to June.

By far the best time to visit is from February to March when the weather is kind and the beaches are at their finest.

The peak seasons are August, November, December, February and March, with secondary peak months in January and July.

It is not difficult to avoid crowds, even during peak months, if you simply steer clear of some of the most popular destinations (e.g., Chiang Mai, Phuket, etc.).

If your main objective is to avoid crowds and to take advantage of discounted rooms and low-season rates, you should consider traveling during the least crowded months (April, May, June, September and October).

5. What is the voltage of electricity? Do I need to take a converter?

The electricity in Thailand is 220 volts, 50 cycles per second.

Most outlets in Thailand have two prongs, missing the third earth prong at the bottom. However, the newest offices and condominium dwellings usually offer the third prong due to increased awareness of the importance of grounding for both safety and equipment damage reasons.

6. Do’s and Don’ts

Thai people are extremely polite and their behavior is controlled by etiquette and also influenced by Buddhism. Thai society is non-confrontational, and so avoids confrontations at all costs.

Never loose your patience or show your anger no matter how frustrating or desperate the situation because it is considered a weakness in the Thai society. It is important to cultivate and art of diplomacy when traveling in Asia. Conflicts can be easily resolved with a smile.

Appropriate clothing is also important. Thais like to dress smartly and neatly. Do not wear revealing clothing such as shorts, low cut dresses, or bathing suits as they are considered improper attire in Thailand. Keep in mind that this type of clothing is only acceptable in the beach. It is advisable to wear long skirts or long trousers when entering a temple.

Women should not touch Monks. If a woman wants to hand something to the monks, she must do so indirectly by placing the item within the monks reach. Remove shoes when entering houses and temples. Public display of affection between sexes is frowned upon.

Avoid touching people. The head is the highest part of the body, so avoid touching it. The feet are the least sacred, so avoid pointing it at anyone, as it is extremely insulting to do so. Thais usually do not shake hands.

The ‘Wai’ is the usual greeting. The hands are placed together and raised upwards towards the face while the head is lowered with a slight bow. The height to which the hands are held depends on the status of the people involved.

In case of monks, higher dignitaries, and elderly, hands are raised to the bridge of the nose, while with equals only as far from the chest. Young people and inferiors are not Wai’d but a slight nod is acceptable.

Do not blow your nose or lick your fingers while eating. The right hand must be used when picking up food eaten with fingers. When entering a foreign culture for the first time, it is highly likely to make a mistake. If you do so, just smile or ‘Wai’ and you will be forgiven.

7. What is the currency of Thailand?

The currency of Thailand is the BAHT

Currency Notes: Paper baht comes in denominations of 10 (brown), 20 (green), 50 (blue), 100 (red), 500 (purple) and 1000 (beige).

Currency Coins: There are 100 satang in one baht; coins include 25-satang and 50-satang pieces and baht in denominations of 1, 2, 5 and 10.

8. During what hours are banks open in Thailand?

Business hours are generally as follows:

Commercial Banks
Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday (9:30am-3:30pm, except bank holidays)

Currency Exchange Service
Hours of Operation: 7 Days (8:30am-10:00pm)

Authorized Money Changers in hotels
Hours of Operation: 24 hour service

9. Can I use credit cards/ATM cards in Thailand?

It may be best to avoid bringing too much money into Thailand, or even carrying it on you while traveling around the Country. You can get Thai baht from the ATM machines using your major credit card. They are located just about everywhere, from shopping malls to small towns and villages. The exchange rate is automatic and roughly as good as you would find anywhere in the world.

MasterCard and Visa are most commonly accepted, but other kinds of major credit cards are accepted as well. Some carry a sizeable surcharge per withdrawal, e.g., $1, so check with your credit card company beforehand if this is a concern.

There are also Currency Exchange outlets, particularly in tourist areas. These are especially useful if you forget your PIN number or if you can’t find a working ATM near you which will accept your particular card for some reason.

You should always keep a small amount of cash on you at all times because not all venders accept credit cards. Moreover ATM machines often crash late at night and are not reset until the morning. Just in case your credit cards are stolen or lost, it also proves prudent to have a small amount of cash on hand. While Thailand is a relatively safe country, theft can happen anywhere in the world.

Not all ATM machines take every kind of card. Many will not take Visa or MasterCard, or will take one but not the other. You have to look for the credit card logos on the ATM signs. Withdrawal options also exist for credit card groups such as Plus and Cirrus. If you look around, you will usually find a machine with your insignia on it. ATM machines offer both Thai and English language options.

You may be better off paying cash than using a credit card. While it is technically against the law for the Thai vendor to pass onto you the fee that the credit card company charges them (approximately 2.25% to 3.5%, depending upon card type), it is quite common for them to do so, and it is usually not negotiable — you either pay the surcharge or do not use your credit card. They often want to charge 4 or 5% instead of the 2.25% to 3.5%.

You should also be aware that many vendors use a third party to bill your credit card. Thus, your credit card number may not be safe. Any time your credit card number goes down on paper, you could possibly be at risk.

If you lose your credit card or have other problems, you can reach credit card companies in Bangkok on the following numbers.

MasterCard
Unit 2903, 29th Floor, Empire Tower, 195 South Sathorn Rd., Bangkok, 10120 Thailand, Tel: (662) 670-4088

Visa
You can call Visa Global Customer Assistance at 001-800-441-3485.

American Express
S.P. Building, 388 Phaholyothin Road, Samsennai, Phayathai, Bangkok 10400, Thailand, Tel: (662) 273-5544

10. What is the Exchange Rate for the US Dollar? The Canadian Dollar?

1 U.S. Dollar fluctuates around 33 Thai Baht, while 1 CAD Dollar is about 31 Thai Baht, although it also varies with time and the market. For more information on exchange rates, please visit: www.bot.or.th

11. Where are the US and Canadian embassies?

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Embassy of the United States, Bangkok, Thailand
120/22 Wireless Road, Bangkok 10500,Thailand
Tel: (662) 205-4000, Fax: (662) 205-4131
Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday (7:00am-4:00pm, except national holidays)
Official website

U.S. Consulate General, Chiang Mai, Thailand
387 Wichayanond Road, Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand
Tel: (6653) 107-700, Fax: (6653) 252-633
Hours of Operation: Please check the official website

CANADA
Embassy of Canada, Bangkok, Thailand
15th Floor, Abdulrahim Place, 990 Rama IV Road, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand
Tel: (662) 636-0540, Fax: (662) 636-0566
Hours of Operation: Monday – Thursday (7:30am-4:15pm), Friday (7:30am-1:00pm)
Official website

Source. Tourism Authority of Thailand

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