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The Kingdom of Thailand is situated in Southeast Asia, a popular destination for tourists, also used as a hub for exploring nearby regions such as Southern China, Indochina and Myanmar.
The shape and geography of the country is quite diverse and interesting, divided into four natural regions:
The North – with its mountainous terrain and forestation
The Central Plains – and its vast rice/paddy fields
The Northeastern Plateau – owning semi-arid rural farmlands
The Southern Peninsula – and its tropical islands and meandering coastlines
The Kingdom is divided into 76 provinces, which are then split into districts, sub-districts and villages respectively. The capital and commercial centre of Thailand is Bangkok, with a population of 9.1 million inhabitants in the city alone. This world famous city benefits from rich cultural influences and is also the industrial centre of the Kingdom.
Being a constitutional monarchy, the Thai Royal Family is revered across the nation, benefitting from considerable power. His Majesty, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, is otherwise known as King Rama IX, who is the ninth king of the Chakari Dynasty and the longest reigning monarch in the nation’s history, ruling for over 50 years. Therefore, King Bhumibol Adulyadej is officially recognized as the Head of State, the upholder of all religions and regions in the country, and also the Head of the Armed Forces. In layman’s terms, when the king states an opinion on social and current affairs, people listen!
Embracing rich cultural diversity and traditions, this charismatic country is a magnet for visitors who come to sample the unique philosophy and upbeat nature of its inhabitants. The Thai population are immensely nationalistic and proud of their history, religious attitude and the Royal Family. With its tropical climate, natural wonders and its reputation for unparalleled hospitality, it is hardly surprising that since the turn of the millennium, over 10 million people have visited the country each year.
513,115 sq. km.
There are four natural regions for which Thailand is divided:
The North – The mountainous regions of the north own a cacophony of colour, beauty and interesting cultural influences. With its mixture of cooler temperatures, exotic fruits, hilltribe handicrafts and colourful orchids, this is a melting pot of culture.
The Central Plains – These fertile farming and rural areas are a hotbed for rice and fruit cultivation. Including the cosmopolitan Bangkok region and the picturesque beaches on the East Coast, the Central Plains offer a wealth of beauty and interesting places to see.
The Northeastern Plateau – This region owns a wealth of semi-arid rural farmlands and many archaeological masterpieces and anthropological mysteries.
The Southern Peninsula – Home to tropical islands and meandering coastlines, this idyllic region holds important economical industries such as tin mining, fishing and rubber plantations.
This densely populated Kingdom has over 65 million citizens, with around 9 million people living in the city of Bangkok alone.
The ethnicity of the nation is largely split into three categories:
Thai – 80%
Chinese – 10%
Malay – 3%
The remaining 7%
are made up of minority groups such as the Mons, Khmers and hilltribe villagers. Although ethnic Thais make up the majority of the population, the country’s location is a famous crossroads in a migratory sense, providing the vast cultural influences we see in the Kingdom today.
As the constitutional monarchy has been in place since 1932, the organization of state is gradually moving forward. The parliament consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate, whose members, representatives and the Prime Minister are elected by the people. The Kingdom is divided into 76 provinces, which are then split into districts, sub districts and villages. An elected governor is also chosen for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. The remaining 75 provinces receive appointed governors.
Head of State:
H.R.H. King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX of the Chakri Dynasty)
Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha (since 24 August 2014)
Time is + 7 hours ahead of GMT, 1 hour behind Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.
Currency: Thai baht
One would be expected to wear sensible clothing to formal meetings or dining in top restaurants. When visiting beaches or resorts, it is considered suitable to wear skimpy and revealing clothes, but in normal public circumstances, this style of clothing is inappropriate, especially when visiting a temple or place of worship.
Weights & measures:
Metric is the numerical system used throughout Thailand. You will notice that the numbers on vehicle speedometers, highway markers and the speed limits all indicate kilometres.
Most commercial concerns in Bangkok operate on a five-day week, usually from 8 am to 5 pm. Many stores open seven days a week from 10 am to 10 pm. Government offices are generally open between 8.30 am and 4.30 pm with a noon to 1 pm lunch break, Monday to Friday except on public holidays. Banks are open Mondays to Fridays from 9.30 am to 3.30 pm except on public holidays.
Thailand's mail service has a fairly good reputation. The major hotels provide basic postal services on their premises. The opening and closing times of provincial post offices are usually 8.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
Instead of using your SIM card from your home country, you should purchase a Thai SIM Card when visiting the country because the tariffs are much cheaper.
The SIM Card must be used in conjunction with a Digital GSM mobile phone within the 900-MHz range or a Digital PCN mobile phone within the 1800-MHz range. If your phone is not compatible, you can buy a new mobile for 1,200 THB and a new SIM card, which will save you much more money in the long-term.
There are Internet Cafes situated everywhere, especially in the major tourist regions where Wi-Fi is now becoming a permanent fixture.
You will find that most hotels and some restaurants add a 10% service charge to the bill and for porters 20 baht. Taxi drivers do not require a tip, but in bars it is usual to leave 20-baht minimum.
Bargaining, or haggling, as it is known, is something you need to acclimatize to, unless you are visiting department stores and shopping centres where fixed prices are applicable. If visiting market stalls, it is expected that you will haggle for the price of the chosen item. By not bargaining, you could pay 10-30% more than the going rate. When bargaining, do not be aggressive. Be polite, respectful and ensure you keep a smile on your face.
Tourism Authority of Thailand http://www.tourismthailand.org
When it comes to health care, Phuket has everything you’re likely to need, and to international standards at third world prices. There are three local hospitals with English-speaking doctors.
Health Insurance - All visitors to Phuket should be adequately covered by health insurance. This insurance should be purchased before you leave home. Most of the private hospitals have contractual arrangements with the major health insurance companies and if you need hospitalization, they will arrange direct billing on your behalf.
Water – Do not under any circumstances drink tap water always drink bottled water
Mosquitos – Cause dengue fever and malaria, so use anti mosquito sprays in evening
Sun – More than 20 minutes in Phuket sun or even when overcast you will burn, so use sun cream always.
Immunisation – If you're traveling to Phuket, consult your doctor at least 4-6 weeks before your journey to discuss what vaccinations are suitable for you. Phuket International Hospital recommends the following vaccinations (as appropriate for age):
Tetanus-diphtheria booster if needed
Measles booster if needed
National Travel Health Network & Centre – Here you will find the best advice for visiting Thailandhttp://www.nathnac.org/ds/c_pages/country_page_th.htm#general
The Thai are a proud nation of people with a long history and well-established, complex hierarchal structure of status. Starting with the Royal family and percolating down, everyone in Thailand knows and respects their place in society. A polite Thai (which is most of them) will usually immediately identify whether another is of higher status than them (usually deemed by age or wealth) and initiate the 'wai' - a submissive and graceful bringing together of the hands to the chest or beneath the nose (to show ultimate respect). Even on a social level they will refer to their elders as 'pii' (older sibling). In fact social grace is paramount and the formal suffix 'kha' (female) and 'khrup' (male) is added to the end of all sentences when addressing strangers, employers/employees or elders.
There are many other habits of etiquette which the foreigner will do well to observe, the most important being to avoid loss of face by losing your temper. The feet are considered dirty and should not be pointed directly at people or raised; shoes are usually never worn in indoor living areas and the head is sanctified, so avoid touching someone else on the head, unless they are an intimate friend. Contrary to popular impression, Thais are quite conservative and expect visitors to dress appropriately in formal public places. They are also discreet about showing affection, especially in public. Holding hands is considered taboo among the older generation.
Thailand passport and visa requirements - All tourists must possess a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond their intended length of stay (Retirement visa requires at least 18 months validity).
Foreign nationals visiting Thailand must possess valid passports or accepted travel documents and appropriate visas before entering the country. Visitors from several countries are permitted to stay up to 30 days without visas, while visitors from some other countries are entitled to apply for visas on arrival with stay of up to 15 days, provided they possess tickets confirming departure within 15 days at all ports of entry. Transit visas permit stay for up to 30 days and tourist visas for up to 60 days. Non-immigrant, diplomatic and official visas permit stay for up to 90 days.
More info http://www.mfa.go.th/main/en/home
30 and 90 Day Visa Exemption
Passport holders from most western countries do not require a visa when entering Thailand for tourist purposes if their stay does not exceed 30 days or 90 days. You must show proof of a confirmed return ticket and sufficient funds during your stay, which according to the Thailand Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a minimum of 20,000 baht per individual or 40,000 baht for a family (or equivalent in foreign currency). You may or may not be asked to show these depending on the discretion of the immigration officer.
482 Phuket Road,
A. Muang, Phuket Town 83000
Tel: (66) 076.221.905
Phuket International Hospital
44 Chalermprakiat Ror 9 Rd
Located between Big C and Tesco Lotus on the bypass road.
Tel: +66 (0)7 624 9400, +66 (0)7 621 0936
Bangkok Phuket Hospital
2/1 Hongyok utis Rd, Phuket City
Located in Phuket City.
Tel: +66 (0)7 625 4421
Mission Hospital Phuket
4/1 Thepkrasattri Rd
Amphur Muang, Phuket 83000
Tel: (66-76) 237220/5 - 211907 or 212149 - 01-4299627
Sawatdirak Road, Patong Beach, Phuket 83150
Tel: (66-76) 344225 - 340617 For EMERGENCIES call 340444
Thalang Government Hospital
Thepkrasattri Road, Thalang
Tel: (66-76) 311111
Yaowarat Road, Phuket Town
Tel: (66-76) 212150 - 211155
IMPORTANT TELEPHONE NUMBERS
Tourist Police 1155 or 076 214 368
Ambulance 076 254 425 /210 935
Bangkok-Phuket Hospital 076 254 421
Patong/Kathu Hospital 076 340 444, 342 633
Phuket International Hospital 076 249 400
Hyperbaric Services Thailand 076 342 518/9; 09 871 2335 emergency
Street and mailing address:
Australian Embassy, Bangkok
37 South Sathorn Road
Bangkok 10120 Thailand
General Contact details
Phone: +66 2 287 2680
Facsimile: +66 2 287 2029
New Zealand Embassy
M Thai Tower, 14th Floor,
All Seasons Place
87 Wireless Road
THAILANDTel: +66 2 254 2530
Fax: +66 2 253 9045 or 253 0249
8:00am- 12 noon
Philippine Embassy, Bangkok
The Official Website of the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Bangkok, Thailand.
760 Sukhumvit Road corner Soi 30/1 (Soi Philippines ),
Klongtan, Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Tel (662) 259-0139 / 259-0140
Fax (662) 259-2809
Office Hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Consular Services: 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
British Embassy at Bangkok, Thailand
We provide consular information, general information about visa and and some useful recommendation for the travelers who want to go to Thailand. Web site presented both in English and Thai.
1031 Wireless Road
Tel:+66 (0) 2 305 8333
ext: 2334, 2318
Fax:+66 (0) 2 255 6051
Monday - Thursday 0800-1100, 1300-1530
Friday 0800 - 1200 only
British Embassy, Chiang Mai
British Honorary Consul
198 Bumrungraj Road
Muang, Chiang Mai 50000
Tel: +66 (0) 53 263015
Fax: +66 (0) 53 263014
Monday - Friday 0900-1130
Canadian Embassy in Bangkok
Our mission is to represent Canadian interests. In addition our consular officers provide assistance of various kinds to Canadian citizens in our host countries.
The Embassy is located at:
15th Floor, Abdulrahim Place
990 Rama IV Road
Bangrak, Bangkok 10500
P.O. Box 2090
United States Embassy in Thailand
Visas / American Citizen Services
American Citizen Services (ACS)
Address: 95 Wireless Road, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel (2) 205-4005
Address: 95 Wireless Road, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: (2) 205-4000
Consulate General in Chiang Mai
Address: 387 Witchayanond Road, Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand
Tel: (53) 252-629
Fax: (53) 252-633
Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)
Address: 120-122 Wireless Road, Bangkok, 10330, Thailand
Tel: (2) 205-5352
Address: 95 Wireless Road, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Non-Immigrant Visas Tel: (2) 205-4005
Immigrant Visas Tel: (2) 205-4287
Deutsche Botschaft Bangkok
German embassy Bangkok.
9 South Sathorn Road
Tel: (0066-2) 287 9000
Fax: (0066-2) 287 1776 oder 285 6232
Embassy of Belgium, Bangkok
Official site of the Embassy of Belgium in Bangkok, Thailand
Sathorn City Tower - 17th floor
175 South Sathorn Road
Tungmahamek - Bangkok 10120
Monday through Friday
8 AM to 4 PM
8 15 AM to 11 30 AM (visa and administration)
Royal Netherlands Embassy in Bangkok
106 Wireless Road, Lumpini
Postal address & Contact Info:
Royal Netherlands Embassy in Bangkok
P.O. Box 404
General phone number: (662) 2547701/5
General fax number: (662) 2545579 or (662) 2541679
Faxnumber Consulair affairs section: (662) 2539181
Embassy Of Malaysia In Bangkok
Address: 35 South Sathorn Road,
Tungmahamek, Sathorn, Bangkok 10120Kingdom of Thailand
Telephone: (662) 679 2190
Telex: 87321 Answerback 87321
Fax:(662) 679 2208
Consulate General Of Malaysia In Songkhla
Address: No. 4 Sukhum Road,
Telephone: (074) 311 062, 316 274
Fax:(074) 324 004
Telex: 60208 MAWAKIL TH
Singaporean Embassy, Bangkok
Address: 129 South Sathorn RoadBangkok 10120.
Telephone: +286 2111, +286 1434
Fax: +286 6966, +287 2578
Operational Hours: Monday to Friday: 9.00 am to 12.00 pm ;
1.00 pm to 5.00 pmSaturday, Sunday and Public Holidays: Closed
Mission 's Duty H/P No: 001-66-(1) 844-3580 (24 hours)
Burma Embassy Of The Union Of Burmese Embassy.
Address: Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500.
Embassy of Denmark
10, Sathorn Soi 1
(Soi Attakarn Prasit)
South Sathorn Road
Tel: +66 (0) 2 343 1100
Fax: +66 (0) 2 213 1752
telephone: +66 (0) 1 834 8010
The embassy can assist Danes in emergency cases such as death, acute illness etc.
78 Sap Road, Surawongse, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500
Tel: 02-234-98-24, 02-268-11-69
Royal Norwegian Embassy in Bangkok
Office address: Postal address:
UBC II Building, 18th floor
591 Sukhumvit Road, Soi 33
Thailand G.P.O. box 81
Tel: +66 (0)2302 6415
Fax: +66 (0)2262 0218
E-mail: [email protected]
Swedish Embassy In Bangkok
Embassy of Sweden
P.O. Box 1324
Nana Post Office
20th Floor, One Pacific Place
140 Sukhumvit Road,between soi 4 and soi 6
The Embassy is next to the Landmark Hotel
Phone: +66-(0)2 263 72 00
Fax: +66-(0)2 263 72 60
Fax visa section: +66-(0)2 263 72 67
Telegram: svensk bangkok
The telegrams are carried out with the daily mail
E-mail to the visa section:
Phuket Police Stations
Station: Chalong Sub-District Police Station
Address: Tambon Chalong, Amphur Muang, Phuket 83000
Station: Cherng Talay Sub-District Police Station
Address: Tambon Cherng Talay, Amphur Thalang, Phuket 83110
Station: Kamala Sub-District Police Station
Address: 96 Moo 3, Tambon Kamala, Amphur Kathu, Phuket 83120
Station: Kathu District Police Station
Address: Tambon Patong, Amphur Kathu, Phuket 83150
Station: Marine Police Division 5
Address: Phuket Road, Amphur Muang, Phuket 83000
Station: Muang District Police Station
Address: 1 Chumporn Road, Amphur Muang, Phuket 83000
Station: Phuket Provincial Police Headquarters
Address: Yaowarat Road, Amphur Muang, Phuket 83000
Station: Phuket Tourist Police
Address: 100/31-32 Bypass Road, T. Rasada, A. Muang, Phuket 83000
Station: Phuket Traffic Police Station
Address: 1 Chumporn Road, T. Taladyai, A. Muang, Phuket 83000
Station: Tah Chat Chai Sub-District
Address: Police Station, 22 Moo 5 T. Mai Kao, A. Thalang, Phuket 83110
Station: Thalang District Police Station
Address: Thepkrasattri Road, Amphur Thalang, Phuket 83110
Station: Thung Thong Sub-District Police Station
Address: 51/22 Wichitsongkram Rd, Moo 6, Amphur Kathu, Phuket 83120
Phuket International Academy (PIA)
Address: 115/15 Moo 7 Thepkasattri Road, Thepkasattri,Thalang, Phuket 83110, Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 76 336 076
Baan Kajonkiet Kindergarten (Cherngtalay)
Address: Pasak,Cherng Talay, Thalang, Phuket 83110
Tel: 086-6820454, 086-4759158
Kajonkiet Thalang School
Address: 223 Moo 5, Srisoonthorn, Thalang, Phuket 83110
British International School, Phuket
Address: 59 Moo 2, Thepkrasattri Road T. Koh Kaew, A. Muang Phuket 83000, Thailand
Tel: +66 (0)76 335555
Address: 88/12 Moo 5, Kamala, Phuket, Thailand
Tel: +66 (0)8 54704800
QSS, Quality Swedish School
Address: 32/31 Soi 8 Kamala, Kathu, Phuket
Tel: +66(0)8 24175962
Kajonkiet International School Phuket (KISP)
Address: Soi The Valley 1, Pra Phuket Keaw Road, Kathu, Phuket
Tel: +66 (0)89 652 7599
QSI International School of Phuket
Address: 84/1 Moo 1, Chalermprakiet R 9 Rd., T. Kathu, A. Kathu, Phuket
Tel: (0) 76 304 312
Head Start International School
Address: 41/6 Moo 5, Vichitsongkram Rd. T. Vichit A. Muang Phuket 83000 phuket
Tel: +66 (0)76 612876
Prince of Songkla University
Address: 80 Vichit Songkram Rd., Amphur Kathu, Phuket 83120
Tel: +66 (0)76 276000-1
Smiley Kidz International
Address: 10/28 Moo3 Jonthong Thani Village, Chaofa Road,, Vichit muang, Phuket 83000
Tel: 084 847 0732
Oak Meadow International School (Grades 1-8)
Address: 10/32 Moo Baan Jonthong, Vichit, Muang, Phuket 83000 Thailand
Tel: +66 (0)76 521550
Address: 14/11Chao Fa Road East, Moo 9, T. Chalong, A. Muang, Phuket, 83130
Tel: 080 624 7060 (English), 087 278 5511 (Thai)
Cravens International Nursery Pre School
Address: 48/5 Moo 10, Soi Jaofa 47 T. Chalong, A. Muang Phuket 83130
Tel: +66 (0)76 383150
ISP - International School of Phuket
Address: 79/6 Moo 4 Soi Sermsuk, Viset Road, Tambon, Rawai, Amphoe Muang, Phuket, 83130
ABC International Nursery and Pre-school
Address: 59/5 Soi Anna, Sai YuanRoad , Rawai, Phuket, Thailand
Tel: +66 (0)8 9971 1813
Palm House School
Address: 21/1 Moo 2, Soi Salika Viset Road Rawai
Tel: +66 (0)76 288630
Phuket banks: Opening hours - 8.30am and 3.30pm (Monday to Friday) except public and bank holidays.
ATM Machines: Most major banks have ATM machines which accept major cards
Currency exchange: Operate from most banks. Also mobile currency exchange centres operate in the evening in major resorts like Patong and Karon from 7.00am to 9.00pm, 7 days a week including holidays.
Credit Cards: Visa/Mastercard accepted by all banks and local stores. AMEX is not acceptable in many places including banks.
Hotels: Most major hotels will exchange money but at a less favorable rate than the banks.
147 Rat-U-Thit Road Patong Beach Phuket 83150
Phone 076 344906/9
22 Phang-nga Road Phuket Town Phuket 83000
Phone 076 211292/5
142 Thepkarasattri Road Phuket Town Phuket 83000
Phone 076 223076/8
Bank of Asia
110 Thaweewong Road Patong Beach Phuket 83150
Phone 076 340142 (member of ABN-Amro)
Bank of Asia
206 Phuket Road Phuket Town Phuket 83000
Phone 076 214901 or 211566 (member of ABN-Amro)
Bank of Ayudhya
145 Rat-U-Thit Rd Patong Beach Phuket 83150
Phone 076 340809 or 340810
Siam Commercial Bank
83, Thaweewong Rd Patong Beach Phuket 83150
Phone 076 321467 or 321469
Siam Commercial Bank
Unit 21, Canal Village Laguna Phuket Cherngtalay Phuket 83110
Phone 325514 or 325515
Thai Farmers Bank
133/1-4 Rat-U-Thit Road Patong Beach Phuket 83150
Phone 340447 or 340449
Krung Thai Bank
90-96 Rat-U-Thit Road Patong Beach Phuket 83150
Phone 076 344301 or 344302
Krung Thai Bank
6 Rasada Road Phuket Town Phuket 83000
Phone 076 214101
Siam City Bank
33/124 Patak Road Karon Beach Phuket 83130
Phone 076 396980/1 or 396095