Useful information : When to go, Getting around...
When to go
It is possible to visit Thailand all year long, but the dry season, which runs from November to February and which corresponds to the high tourist season, is without doubt the most pleasant time to travel, whether you want to enjoy the beaches or go hiking. The climate is mild and a refreshing breeze blows off the northern mountains.
From March to June, the summer monsoon results in much hotter temperatures and higher humidity levels! If you are not a fan of high temperatures, avoid this period or plan to spend most of your time in the sea!
The rainy season runs from July to October and is celebrated by the Water Festival (Songkran). During this season the weather swings between showers, sometimes stormy, and sunshine, but, have no fear, the climate is by no means unsuited to sightseeing!
Finally you may want to remember that Thailand extends for some 1,000mi/1,700km, giving rise to marked differences between the north and the south.
Formalities and useful addresses
No visa is required for stays under 30 days. Stays in excess of 30 days require a visa that can be applied for at an immigration office and will be extended once for a further 30 days.
Passport must be valid for six months from the date of entry.
TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) -www.tourismthailand.org
Money and budget
Banks are open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 3.30-4.30-pm and, in big cities, Saturdays from 9am-noon.
International credit cards accepted by all medium- to high-range establishments. ATMs can be found most everywhere.
Car rental for 1 week (category A): Bahts 7 000 (£150).
1 double room: Bahts 400/3 000 (£8/65) depending on the standing.
1 meal in a good restaurant: Bahts 300/400 (£6.50/8.50).
1 ticket to the museum: Bahts 100/200 (£2/4).
1 ticket for a national park: Bahts 100/400 (£2/8.50).
1hr massage: Bahts 200/250 Bhts (£4/5.50).
1 bottle of mineral water: Bahts 15 (£0.32).
1 coffee: Bahts 25 (£0.54).
1 beer: Bahts 60 (£1.25).
Health and safety
No national emergency number. Contact the Tourist's Friend Centre ([TEL] 02 314 1212) to be connected to the appropriate service.
Tourist Police: [TEL] 11 55
Fire brigade: [TEL] 199
Current is 220 V, with plugs featuring 2 pins, either slim or rounded. An AC adaptor may be necessary for US travellers.
January 1 – New Year
April 6 – Commemoration of the Chakri dynasty
May 1 – Labour Day (for workers)
May 5 – Coronation Day
August 12 – Queen Sirikit's birthday and Mother's Day
October 23 – Chulalongkorn Day
December 5 – The king's birthday and Father's Day
December 10 – Constitution Day
December 31 – New Year's Eve.
Moveable feast days
Chinese New Year – End of January or start of February
Buddhist New Year – Songkran Festival (mid-April)
Makha Bucha – During February, full moon of the third lunar month
Visakha Bucha – May full moon
Asalaha Bucha (Khao Pansa) – July full moon. Start of Buddhist Lent.
Post offices are generally open Mon-Fri 8.30am-5.30pm (9pm in big cities), and from 9am-noon on Saturdays.
Bangkok International Airport – www.bangkokairportonline.com