Information


Essentials:

Name: The country’s official name is the Kingdom of Thailand.
Flag: Trairanga is the Flag of Thailand
Language: The official language in Thailand is Thai. Learn more about Thai Language Tips
Time zone: Thailand is on Indochina time, which is GMT+ 7.
Counting and numbers: Dates in Thailand are written with the day first, then the month, then the year. A common way to write a day would be: 17 April 2008. With written numbers, commas and decimal points are exactly like in Europe but swapped from what you are used to in the US. Thailand uses the metric system for measurements and Celsius for temperatures. You can find a conversion tool here.
Electricity and plugs: The standard electrical voltage in Thailand is 220 volts / 50HZ, so you will need an adaptor if you don’t come from a European country (which uses the same system). If you come from a 110 volts country — US or Japan — you’ll notice easily that even if you follow the rules your appliances won’t work. However most appliances are designed to to automatically sense and adjust if they are built to work on both systems.

The plugs accommodate both flat prongs — same as in U.S. and Japan- and round prongs — same as in Europe and Asia. If you have an appliance with a 3-prong plug but the wall offers only a 2-prong receptacle, you should buy an adapter plug at the hardware store. During lightning storms you should turn off the sensible appliances and even unplug some of them.

Money:

Currency: The official currency in Thailand is Baht (THB). It’s subdivided into 100 satang. Denominations include: 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 satang coins, 1,2, 5 and 10 baht coins, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 baht banknotes. Check this conversion rate tool before planning your vacation.

»Learn more about Costs of a Trip to Thailand

Banks and ATMs
ATMs can be found all over Thailand, from the big cities to the relatively small towns. You shouldn’t have problems finding one unless you are in a rural area or small island.

Before leaving on vacation it’s worth checking what fees your bank has for using your card abroad. Also, some Thai banks might charge you a small fee for using their machine. Credit cards are accepted but the fees associated with them are rather high so it’s better not to relay on using your credit card.

Attention: Unfortunately there is quite a lot of electronic fraud in Thailand so be especially careful when using your card in ATMs. Also, make sure to notify your bank that you will be in Thailand (cards have been frozen because of suspicious activity).

Phones/Calling:

Using the telephone
The country code for Thailand is 66. To call Thailand from US you will first need to dial out of the U.S. and then into Thailand, which means 011+66 + local number. To call a Thai number from within the city, just dial the number you were given. To call US from Thailand dial 00+1+the US number (make sure to use the area code as well).

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You can also ask your mobile carrier to tell you what network to connect to once you get to Thailand (provided you have the roaming activated). The GSM network uses the same standards as Europe, Asia and Australia (GSM 900/1800), but it’s not compatible with US and Japan standards. Another option is to just buy a prepaid card when you get in Thailand, provided your cell is unlocked.

Useful telephone numbers
Emergency Police Service 191
Medical Emergency Call 1669
Tourist Police 1155

Immunizations

You should be up to date on all of your regular immunizations, including tetanus and MMR. You should also consider immunizing yourself against Hepatitis A and typhoid. If you plan on working with animals or being in the wilderness a lot, a rabies vaccine is prudent – particularly because without an immunization you have a very short window to get to a modern facility after you’ve been bitten.

Japanese encephalitis is another immunization to consider if you’ll be spending a significant amount of time around farm animals.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) maintains current information about health issues in Thailand.

Maps

Not only is the elephant Thailand’s national symbol, if you blur your eyes a bit you’ll see that Thailand is roughly shaped like an elephant’s head.
»More about the Thailand maps

Transportation

You can travel by plane, train, taxi, or bus, but don’t think you only have four options to choose from — each type has its own tier of choices. Once in a city, your options expand further with motorbike taxis, songteows, and tuk tuks.
»More about the Thailand Transportation

Visa Information:

According to the legislation, passport holders from the following 42 countries do not require a visa to visit Thailand: Australia , Austria , Belgium , Brazil , Bahrain , Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Denmark , Finland , France , Germany , Greece , Hong Kong , Iceland, Indonesia , Ireland , Israel , Italy , Japan, Korea , Kuwait , Luxembourg , Malaysia , Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway , Peru , Philippines , Portugal , Qatar, Spain , South Africa , Sweden , Switzerland, Turkey , United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America and Vietnam.

Passport holders from the following 20 countries may apply for visas on arrival, at the immigration checkpoints for the purpose of tourism for the period of not exceeding 15 days: Bhutan , China (including Taiwan), Cyprus , Czech , Hungary , India , Kazakhstan, Latvia, Maldives , Mauritius , Oman , Poland , Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.

Tip: If arriving from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or EU, you’ll automatically receive a 30-day entry stamp – but only if you arrive by air. If you cross in to Thailand by land, you’ll only receive a 15-day stamp.

»More about Thailand visas

Weather in Thailand

In general, Thailand’s weather is tropical and humid. Because the country is long and skinny, with northern highlands and southern coasts, you can except fairly significant regional variations in weather patterns and temperatures throughout the year.

»More about the weather in Thailand and when to go.