Useful Info

THAILAND GENERAL INFO

 

Location

Location: Thailand is situated in the heart of the Southeast Asian mainland, covering an area of 513,115 sq.km. and extends about 1,620 kilometres from north to south and 775 kilometres from east to west. Thailand borders the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the Union of Myanmar to the North, the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Gulf of Thailand to the East, the Union of Myanmar and the Indian Ocean to the West, and Malaysia to the south.

Capital

Bangkok

Historical Background

There are conflicting opinions as to the origins of the Thais. Three decades ago it could be said with presumed certainty that the Thais originated in Northwestern Szechuan in China about 4,500 years ago and later migrated down to their present homeland. However, this theory has been altered by the discovery of remarkable prehistoric artifacts in the village of Ban Chiang in the Nong Han District of UdonThani Province in the Northeast. These include evidence of bronze metallurgy going back 3,500 years, as well as other indications of a far more sophisticated culture than any previously suspected by archaeologists. It now appears that the a Thais might have originated here in Thailand and later scattered to various parts of Asia, including some parts of China. Siam is the name by which the country was known to the world until 1939 and again between 1945 and 1949. On May 11, 1949, an official proclamation changed the name of the country to “Prathet Thai”, or “Thailand”, by which it has since been known. The word “Thai” means “free”, and therefore “Thailand” means “Land of the Free.”

Climate

Climate: Thailand is a warm and rather humid tropical country with monsoonal climate. Temperatures are highest in March and April with average temperature of 28 degree Celsius to 38 degrees Celsius and humidity averaging between 82.8 percent to 73 percent

Population

The population in Thailand is approximately 67 million, of which around 8 million live in the capital city, Bangkok.

Language

The national and official language is Thai while English is widely spoken and understood in major cities, particularly in Bangkok and in business circles.

Religion

Buddhists 94.2%, Muslim 4.6%, Christian 0.8%, other 0.4%.

Business Hours

Government and business offices are open from 8:30 to 16:30 hours, Monday to Friday.

Seasons

  • Hot : March to May, average temperature is about 34 ºC
  • Rainy : June to October average temperature is about 29 ºC
  • Cool : November to February, average temperature ranges from 20ºC to 32ºC

Clothing

Thin cotton is the best. Jackets or sweater may be necessary in a cool season, especially in the mountainous areas on the North or Northeast.

Foreign Currency Declaraton

As from 24 February 2008, under the relevant Thai law, any foreigner who brings or takes an aggregate amount of foreign currency exceeding USD 20,000 or its equivalent into or out of the Kingdom of Thailand shall declare such amount of foreign currency to a Customs Officer. Failure to declare upon bringing foreign currency that exceeds the amount restricted by law or its equivalent out of or into the Kingdom of Thailand or making any false declaration to a Customs

Electricity

220 volts 50 cycles throughout the country

Banks

Major Thai commercial banks include the Bangkok Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, Krung Thai Bank, Thai Farmers Bank and Thai Military Bank. Business hours are 08:30 – 15:30 hours, Monday to Friday. Several international banks also have offices in Thailand.

Currency

Currency: The Baht is the standard currency unit.
1 Baht = 100 satangs
Bank Notes : 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 Baht
Coins : 1, 5, and 10 baht

TRAVEL & ACCOMMODATION

The Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ) will sponsor meals, single-occupancy accommodation,
round-trip transportation and course materials for all admitted participants. Round-trip airfares will be reimbursed up to USD 1,000.

Admitted participants who require a visa to enter Thailand are responsible for their own visa applications and applicable fees. The TIJ will issue a visa support letter upon request. Airport transfer between the airport and the accommodation will be provided.

Dusit Thani Bangkok

946 Rama IV Road,
Bangkok 10500, Thailand

Tel: +66 (0) 2200 9000
Fax: +66 (0) 2236 6400

Website

Dusit Thani Bangkok is a 5-star luxury hotel which embodies the very essence of Thailand and blends it with modern conveniences, affording guests a truly singular experience. Well-appointed rooms and suites feature distinctive Thai elements, immersing guests in the mystique of the ‘Land of Smiles’.Dusit Thani Bangkok is conveniently located adjacent to both Sala Daeng BTS Skytrainstation and Silom MRT underground station. The hotel is within close proximity to the city’s major business, shopping and entertainment districts such as Silom, Sathorn and Rajprasong.

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Access the hotel from Survarnabhumi International Airport

By public transit train – take the escalator down from the Arrival Hall to entry the Airport Rail Link (ARL) which located on the first floor, then take a ride from Suvarnabhumi to Makkasan station. Then walk further from ARL Makkasan exit about 450 meters to take the underground from MRT Phetchaburi to Silom station (exit 2), then you will find the hotel entrance right in front of the station.

By public metered taxi – look for the taxi stand signage at the second floor then join the taxi queue. The metered fare from the airport to the hotel is usually around THB 350 including the tolls and airport surcharge.

Access the hotel from Don Muang International Airport

By public metered taxi – Taxi stand located in front of the Arrival Halls International & Domestic Passenger Terminals. The metered fare from the airport to the hotel is usually around THB 400 excluding the tolls and airport surcharge.

LOCAL TRANSPORTATION

 

There are many transportation means to get you around the city, making any trip convenient and enjoyable. Most of public transportations provide are inexpensive such as Tuk-Tuk, Metered taxi, BTS sky train, MRT underground, etc.

BTS

lt-1This BTS sky train has been designed to help you discover all the interesting sites and activities around Bangkok. It is a cheap, smooth, cool, clean and fast, it operates from 06.00 – 24.00 every day. The train is pretty full during peak hours 07.00 – 09.00 and 16.00 – 19.00 as the BTS has become a primary means of transport for people living and working in downtown Bangkok. For more information about the routes and fares, please visit www.bts.co.th
Explore Bangkok by BTS Click here

MRT

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Fast and efficient, the Mass Rapid Transit network (MRT) serves 18 stations and stretches for 20 km. in horseshoe shape from Hua Lumphong in the South (near Chinatown) to Bang Sue in the North. Trains arrive every 5-7 minutes, and connect to the BTS sky train at Sukhumvit and Silom stations. For more information about the routes and fares, please visit www.bangkokmetro.co.th

Airport Rail Link

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Airport Rail Link connects Suvarnabhumi Airport with downtown Bangkok. The train ride only takes 15-30 minutes from the airport. The Airport Rail Link station in Phaya Thai is connected to the BTS, while the station in Makassan is just walking distance from the MRT. The train service runs from 06.00 to midnight. For more information please visit www.srtet.co.th/en/index.html

Photo Credit: Airport Rail Link

Tuk-Tuk

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The open-air three wheels or Tuk-Tuk is popular among foreigners for short trip around the city, although they are most of the time more expensive than taxi. Expect to pay 40 Baht and upwards for a short journey, unless you are a good bargainer.

Photo by Colin Tsoi licensed under CC

Taxi

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With radio and meter, air-conditioned taxi is cheap, plentiful and comfortable. Those with red light in front are vacant and stop for you instantly. The fare is from 35 Baht for the first 3 kilometers and the rate rises at 2 Baht increments

Photo by P Ian Fuller licensed under Photo by CC

ATTRACTION IN BANGKOK


The Grand Palace

The Grand Palace began construction in 1782 during the reign of King Rama I, to become a royal residence, and it has been the utmost architectural symbol of Thailand ever since. The Grand Palace served as a significant royal residence until 1925 and is now used for ceremonial purposes only.

The major attraction of the Outer Court is the, the residence of Thailand’s most sacred Buddhist sculpture: Phra Kaeo Morakot (the Emerald Buddha), which was carved from flawless green jade, situated amid gold-gilded sculptures and ornaments, and fresco paintings of the main ordination hall.

Photo by Oswin Budiman licensed under CC

Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)

The statuesque pagoda of Wat Arun, or The Temple of Dawn, on the bank of Chao Phraya has always been the most remembered scene of Bangkok’s skyline for ages. It is believed that Wat Arun was built during Ayutthaya era and is better known from its other name: Wat Chaeng, which means the Temple of Dawn.

The main highlight of Wat Arun is undoubtedly the grand pagoda, or prang in Thai. Influenced by Khmer-style pagoda, the 67-meter-tall pagoda is made of cement covered by million pieces of China porcelains. It is surrounded by four smaller pagodas.

Photo by Werapat Apirojananan licensed under CC

Wat Pho

Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimonmangkalaram or Wat Pho, as it's commonly known, was built in the 16th century and regarded as the royal temple of the reign of King Rama I, is famous for two things: (1) the 46-meter-long Reclining Buddha built in 1832 featuring the feet beautifully inlaid with mother-of-pearls and (2) the Thai massage.

Photo by Flip Nomad licensed under CC

National Museum

The National Museum houses a vast collection of artifacts and antiques founded throughout Thailand, divided into periods of time: from pre-historic eras to old kingdoms and the current Rattanakosin era.

Photo by Henrik Berger Jorgensen licensed under CC

The Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles

The SUPPORT Foundation under the Royal Patronage of Queen Sirikit has renovated the European-classic Ratsadakorn Bhibhathana building to showcases exhibitions telling the story of how Her Majesty Queen Sirikit has helped turn Thai silk from local handicraft into a symbol of Thailand, through her SUPPORT Foundation. Highlights are HM Queen Sirikit’s personal collection of dresses designed and tailored from Thai textiles by international and local designers.

For more information, please visit http://www.qsmtthailand.org/

Photo by Noppadol Jaroenraksa licensed under CC

China Town

Thailand’s largest Chinese community or commonly known among Thais as Yaowarat. Yaowarat is widely known as the kingdom’s largest center of gold trade and a great foodie destination.

During the day, you will find shops selling gold, Chinese herbs, fruits and Chinese restaurants serving authentic cuisine on both sides of the roads. But after sunset, the road turns into a street food heaven where a number of food trucks prepare you marvelous food, from Chinese fried noodles to iced Chinese dessert.

Photo by Natt Muangsri licensed under CC

Bangkok’s Shopping Zone

It all starts at Siam Square, a low-rise complex of shop houses, home to hip boutiques of young Thai designers and teenage activities. Across the street are three sister shopping malls: Siam Discovery, Siam Center and Siam Paragon.

At Ratchaprasong intersection is Central World, Southeast Asia’s largest lifestyle complex that houses two mall-in-mall: Zen and Isetan. Across the street are Gaysorn and Erawan, where you find the most luxurious fashion brands in the world. Walk further and you’ll reach Central Chidlom, the legendary upscale shopping mall to find selective luxury brands as well as top Thai designers.

Asiatique, The Riverfront

The largest waterfront themed retail and new lifestyle night shopping place in Bangkok, Thailand that combined the elements of the Thai history and the modern lifestyle in the fabulous way, under the concept of Festival Market and Living Museum. The total project area is over 12 Acres located adjacent to Chaopraya river with the longest boardwalk over 300 meters.

Photo by Michael Saechang licensed under CC

Chatuchak Weekend Market

Fully open on Saturdays and Sundays only. Provides shoppers with a huge variety of merchandise it has to offer, from latest fashion items and vintage decor finds to Thai crafts and teak wood tables. Though the market officially opens at 7 am in the morning, shoppers usually go in the afternoon when the weather is not too hot and they will hang around till 7 or 8pm.

Photo by edwin.11 licensed under CC

OTHER ATTRACTIONS OUTSIDE BANGKOK


Ancient Ayutthaya, Ayutthaya

The ruins of Auutthaya that now remain, many of which have been painstakingly restored, have been granted World Heritage status by UNESCO. The architecture of Ayutthaya is a fascinating mix of Khmer and early Sukhothai styles. Some cactus-shaped obelisks, called prangs, denote Khmer influence and look something like the famous towers of Angkor Wat. The more pointed stupas are ascribed to the Sukhothai influence. Ayutthaya is only located about 90 kilometers from Bangkok and can be visited on a daytrip

Photo by Pablo Cuneo licensed under CC

Kanchanaburi

Because of its magnificent landscape and charming beauty, Kanchanaburi has become a major tourist destination, with attractions including several well-known waterfalls, caves that were once inhabited by Neolithic man, pristine national parks, tranquil rivers, virgin forests, and several large reservoirs. The city of Kanchanaburi is located at the point where the Khwae Noi and Khwae Yai Rivers meet and form the Maenam Mae Klong. The notorious Death Railway passed through the town, near which stands the site of the Bridge on the River Kwai.

Photo by Mchloe licensed under CC

Ubol Ratchatani

Located in the lower region of Northeastern Thailand, 629 kilometers from Bangkok, Ubon Ratchathani province features plateaus and mountain ranges with the Mun River running through the middle. Sandstone cliffs along the Mekong River serve as a natural border between Thailand and Laos. The region where Ubon Ratchathani borders both Cambodia and Laos has been coined “the Emerald Triangle” in recognition of its magnificent green landscapes. Adding to Ubon Ratchathani’s natural appeal, Phu Chong Nayoi and Pha Taem National Parks are two of Isan’s most unspoiled and unvisited natural preserves.

Photo by MThai

Krabi

Krabi, which lies along the coast of the Andaman sea in Southern Thailand, is a top tourist destination as a result of its plentiful natural attractions including, white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, extensive coral reefs, numerous caves and waterfalls, and over 130 islands, including Koh Lanta and the jewels of the Andaman coast, the six islands of Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park. 

Photo by Mike Behnken licensed under CC

Phuket

Thailand’s largest island is an international magnet for beach lovers and serious divers, who enthusiastically submerge themselves in the Andaman Sea. Blue lagoons and salmon sunsets make for a dream-like atmosphere, and indeed, a vacation here can feel a bit surreal.

Photo by Phuket PhotographerJ licensed under CC
For more information on travelling in Thailand, please visit https://www.tourismthailand.org/home