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Thailand  Travel  Tips

Passport & Visa

Check with your nearest Thai Embassy for latest information. Currently, nationals from 57 countries can stay up to 30 days without a visa.

Visa on arrival is now available for 96 countries at the international airports in Bangkok, Phuket, Hat Yai, Chiang Mai and U-taphao, and at immigration check points in Mae Sai, Chiang Saen, Chiang Khong, Batong and Sadao for 15 days stay. A Tourist visa is valid for 60 days. Narcotics, firearms and pornographic materials are strictly prohibited. Any amount of foreign currency may be brought in for personal use .

Thai Consulates Worldwide - Click here

 

 Transport

Local transport

In Bangkok, the newly introduced elevated Skytrain links most famous shopping areas of the city and also offers superb views. The ongoing underground mass-transit system will be completed in 2003. Buses serving towns and inter-city routes are inexpensive, and generally reliable. Some private companies operate deluxe express buses between major cities.

Taxis

Metered taxis operate in Bangkok only.

Tuk Tuks

3-wheeled open-sided taxis operate in many towns - agree fare in advance.

Songthaews

Small covered trucks with bench seats, taking approx. 10 persons, usually running on fixed routes within cities or short distances between towns. Payment is per person, but can be hired for private use.

Bicycles

For rent in most tourist spots but maintenance levels are often poor.

Motorcycles

Available for rent in resort areas but there is a high accident rate amongst tourists.

Boats

Bangkok has an extensive public boat service operating on the river, and canals. The Chao Phya Express Boat (Rua Duan) to Nonthaburi makes an inexpensive and pleasant trip. Inter-island ferries operate in all tourist areas.

Bangkok airport

Bangkok International Airport (25 km) is half to one hour to city centre depending on traffic.
Take only authorised taxis or limousine service bookable at official counters. There is also an Airport Bus service linking the airport with many downtown hotels.

Airport tax

Currently 500 baht for International flights, and 30 baht for domestic flights. (Flights with Bangkok Airways may involve higher airport taxes.)

Provincial airports

The main airports serving tourists are at Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Koh Samui. Most large towns have air services to the capital. For more information on flights within Thailand

Car hire

Self-drive is becoming increasingly popular, with excellent maps available, and nearly all road signs posted in English. Driving is on the left. Local hire companies are usually considerably cheaper than international firms, but may be less efficient in the case of a problem. Cars with driver-guides is another option, easily arranged.

 

Social custom

Thais greet each other with a prayer-like gesture called a Wai. Generally, a younger person Wais an older person, who will then return it. Thais address each other (and usually foreigners) by their first names (which is also how they are listed in the telephone directory followed by their family name) This is prefixed by the polite word Khun. Public displays of affection, shouting and wild gesticulation are to be avoided as they are considered impolite.
The head is considered the highest part of the body, while the feet are considered the lowest, both literally and figuratively. Touching someone's head or pointing at people or things with the feet are, therefore, considered extremely rude. As with entering temples, shoes are removed before entering somebody's home.

 

Tap water safety

Although tap water in Bangkok is theoretically drinkable, bottled water is recommended in all places.

 

Medical

No required vaccinations unless coming from infected area. Yellow fever certificates required for those coming from infected area.

 

Postal service

Generally reliable. Express mail service (EMS) is excellent within Thailand, and available to most destinations worldwide.

 

Telephone

Most hotels now offer IDD lines. Local and international telephone booths can be found in major cities and tourist areas. Phone cards available for both. Check hotel rates before making calls, some can be very expensive.

Newspapers

There are two major daily English-language newspapers-Bangkok Post and The Nation, and one business newspaper, Business Day, which comes out on weekdays only.

Email/Internet

Internet access points are available in major tourist areas, and in all cities. Inexpensive.

Emergency services

Bi-lingual tourist police are attached to the Tourism Authority of Thailand's offices nation wide. In case of emergency, call the Tourist Police Centre at 652-1721-6 or a 24-hour tourist service centre at 1155.

 

SAO MAI TOURIST COMPANY LTD.

SAIGON OFFICE

HANOI OFFICE

R# 307 – 309 Cotec building , 7  Nam Quoc Cang

Disttrict 1 , Ho Chi Minh City

R# 304 North Star building , 4  Da Tuong St.

Hoan Kiem Dist. Hanoi

Tel. (84-8) 9253385 / 9253378

Fax. (84-8) 9253378 / 8395619

Tel. (84-4) 9423315 / 9423316

Fax. (84-4) 9423316 / 8647360

E-mail.  saomaitours@hcm.vnn.vn

E-mail. saomaihanoi@fpt.vn

 

Website: http://www.saomaitours.com/  http://www.saomaitours.com.vn/   Contact: info@saomaitours.com or saomaitours@hcm.vnn.vn