SOME FACTS ON THAILAND:
Thailand, officially known as the Kingdom of Thailand, covers an area of 514,000 square kilometers. It is similar in size to France and has a population of about 60 million. Approximately 95 percent of Thai citizens are Buddhists. The remainder of the populace is comprised of Muslims, Christians and Hindus.
Geographically, Thailand is divided into four main regions: the Central Plains, the North, the Northeast and the South. The majority of the population lives in the fertile Central Plains, where the capital city of Bangkok is located. The Northern region, dominated by Chiang Mai (Thailand's second largest city), is an area of mountains and fertile valleys.
In contrast to the Central and the North regions, the Northeast has harsh climatic conditions and is the least fertile region of Thailand. The South is famous for its fine beaches and idyllic limestone islands.
Thailand proudly proclaims that it has never been colonized. One positive aspect of this fact is that the country has retained its unique culture, traditions and language. With a long, rich heritage and abundant natural resources, Thailand is without doubt one of the most exotic countries in Asia.
Thailand enjoys a tropical climate with three distinct seasons: Hot Season : March to May Rainy Season : June to October Cool Season : November to February The average annual temperature is about 28° C. The northern region can be a bit cold during the cool season. Be sure to bring along a sweater or a light jacket if you intend to visit this region around that time of the year. During the rainy season, downpours hardly last more than a couple of hours. PASSPORTS & VISAS: Many nationalities, including the citizens of Australia, Canada, South Africa, the USA and most European countries, do not need a visa for stays of up to 30 days. A valid passport, return ticket or onward travel arrangement needs to be presented upon request at your arrival in Thailand. These requirements are subject to change. Please check with the embassy or consulate in your home country before departure.
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Importation of all kinds of narcotics (opium, heroin, cocaine, etc.) and pornographic media are strictly prohibited. Firearms and ammunition can be imported only after a permit has been obtained from the local police department. A reasonable amount of clothing for personal use, toiletries and professional instruments can be brought in free of duty. In addition, 200 cigarettes or smoking materials in total of 250 grams, one liter of wine or spirits, one video camera, five rolls of still film, three rolls of video film, and one item of electrical goods per person are allowed in duty free. Buddha images, antiques or fragments thereof are not allowed to be taken out of Thailand without authorization from the Fine Arts Department.
No vaccinations are presently required unless you are traveling from or through contaminated areas. It is recommended that you be immunized against polio, typhoid, tetanus and hepatitis A and B. MONEY/CURRENCY: The Thai monetary unit is the Baht. There are 100 satang to one baht. Coins are used in denominations of 25 satang, 50 satang, 1 baht, 5 baht and 10 baht. Bank note denominations comprise 10 baht (brown), 20 baht (green), 50 baht (blue), 100 baht (red), 500 baht (purple) and 1000 baht (gray). Notes are also scaled in size; the larger the denomination, the larger the note.
Money and travelers cheques of all major currencies can be exchanged at hotels, banks, exchange booths and mobile exchange kiosks in tourist areas. Banks almost always offer the best rates. MONEY/CREDIT CARDS: Credit cards are widely accepted in department stores, major hotels, up-market shops and restaurants. They can also be used for cash advances at banks and exchange counters. The most commonly accepted cards are VISA and MasterCard, followed by American Express, JCB and Diners Club.
The electric current for the whole of Thailand is 220 volts AC, 50 cycles. Dual-prong rounded plugs as well as flat-pin plugs can be used in sockets. Adaptors are provided by most of the hotels.
SAFETY & SECURITY
Thailand is a safe country, but like anywhere in the world, it is wise to be a little cautious. Simple safety precautions such as ignoring touts, keeping away from trouble areas, not wearing excessive jewelry, being careful when crossing roads (remember: left-hand traffic!) and taking care of valuables will keep you out of trouble. Valuables such as money, travelers cheques, passports and flight tickets are best kept in the safety box of your hotel.
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PUBLIC HOLIDAYS YEAR 2002 (B.E. 2545):
01 JAN New Year's Day
12 FEB Chinese New Year's Day
26 FEB Makabucha Day SAT 06 APR Chakri Memorial Day
13 APR Songkran Festival Day
14 APR Songkran Festival Day
01 MAY National Labor Day
05 MAY Coronation Day
26 MAY Visakabucha Day
25 JUL Buddhist Lent Day
12 AUG H.M. The Queen's Birthday
05 DEC H.M. The King's Birthday TUE
10 DEC Constitution Day TUE
31 DEC New Year's Eve
If any of the holidays listed above fall on a Saturday or Sunday, the post working day might also be observed as a holiday.
Airport tax or departure tax is required to be paid by all international and domestic passengers departing from any Thai airport. The airport tax of a domestic flight ticket bought within Thailand is usually added to the ticket fare automatically. For international flight Baht 700.- / person For domestic flight Baht 50.- / person TIME
Thailand time is 7 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), 6 hours ahead of Rome, Paris and Vienna, 5 hours ahead of Pretoria, 13 hours ahead of New York and 3 hours behind Sydney. All these time differences are based upon Winter Time. Thailand lies in the same time zone as its neighbors Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam
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Thailande packages, Phuket inbound Travel
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