getting to know thailand
Thailand formerly known as Siam (Thai: สยาม), is a country at the centre of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. With a total area of approximately 513,000 km2 (198,000 sq mi), Thailand is the world's 51st-largest country. It is the 20th-most-populous country in the world, with around 68 million people. The capital and largest city is Bangkok.
Try saying this!… “KrungThep MahaNakhon AmonRattanakosin Mahinthara AyutthayaMahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani BuriromUdomRatchaniwet Mahasathan AmonPhiman AwatanSathit Sakkathattiya WitsanuKamprasit” Finished?… That’s the real name in Thai of Bangkok. It’s the longest in the world. Phew! :)
Thailand is a constitutional monarchy and was a parliamentary democracy until the coup in May 2014 by National Council for Peace and Order. Its capital and most populous city is Bangkok. It is bordered to the north byMyanmar and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern extremity of Myanmar. Its maritime boundaries includeVietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast, and Indonesia and India on the Andaman Sea to the southwest.
Thailand’s climate is tropical with a mean annual temperature of 82°F and high humidity. There are three distinct seasons -Hot -Hotter -Hottest- Just Kidding! – the hot season from Late March to May, the cool season from November to February and the rainy season from about June to October. The best time to visit is between November and Early March when the weather in Thailand is optimum.
Thai money is called the baht, and the exchange rate is approximately 34 or 35 baht = $1. To find the most up to the minute Thai currency exchange rates, go to XE.com Currency Converter. The official currency is the Baht. Notes: 1,000 Baht (grey); 500 Baht (purple); 100 Baht (red); 50 Baht (blue); 20 Baht (green). Coins: 1, 2, 5, 10 Baht and 25, 50 satangs (100 satangs = 1 Baht).
Forget tight pants (except when you are doing yoga of course) and clinging dresses (at least during the day) and go for light, loose cotton clothing. Formal dresses, suits and ties may be necessary for business travellers or if you plan to visit exclusive dining venues and official events. When visiting temples, certain museums and the Grand Palace, remember to dress politely; shorts, singlets, spaghetti straps, skirts, tank-tops, ripped jeans and open backed sandals are not acceptable.
Tourists from many countries (including the US, UK, Germany, France and Singapore) do not require a visa when entering Thailand and can stay for a duration of 30-days. In many of these countries (including the US, UK, Australia, Germany, France and Singapore) you can apply for a 60-day tourist visa before you leave. If you hold a Brazilian, Peruvian or South Korean passport, you are exempted from visa requirements and are permitted to enter and stay in Thailand for a period of not exceeding 90 days.
Citizens of some other countries are required to apply for a 15-day visa at immigration checkpoints on arrival, while others must apply for one before they leave. It all depends on the particular visa arrangement Thailand has with your home country. The best way to find out is to check with either the Thai Immigration Bureau or the Thai Embassy or Consulate in your home country.
Though you will find most items in Thailand, it might be a good idea to bring certain personal items from home. Remember also to bring any medicine you are taking. Light cotton clothing is recommended in Thailand's tropical climate, as well as a pair of comfortable walking shoes. Your list should include:
Small Foldable umbrella/Hat or Both
Antiseptic lotion or spray
Traveller's first aid kit
Photocopies of official documents
I recommend you packing light for this trip because you will shop until you drop!!! and that being said you need to leave enough space in your suitcase to bring them back to US. ( Please check with your airline about baggage allowance)
Once we are in Bangkok one afternoon you will have an opportunity to shop in one of most famous flea market in Thailand. Always bargain the price when you buy anything from street vendors and flea market. NOT IN THE MALL!
Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok is the main air gateway into Thailand. It serves more than 50 international airlines, representing every major carrier in the world. Apart from Suvarnabhumit Airport.
On this trip we will be arriving at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok then catch a flight the next day to Krabi Province Airport. The best price for the ticket is to purchase around 3-4 months before trip. I use Hopper App to watch the price then check directly on the airline site, you may get even cheaper price that way. Make sure thought that the flight you pick have enough connection time. I do not suggest any flight that have connection time less or close to an hour. Emirate Airline have a direct flight from Orlando to Dubai and from Dubai to BKK.
Voltage is 220 Volts with either 2 flat blades (NEMA 1-15 or JIS C 8303) or round 2 pin plugs (Europlug CEE 7/16). But nowadays most phone and some tablets have Universal charger. Please check your device!
Tip porters, hotel staff, Taxi and all transfer drivers, server, massage therapist, if you've been given good personal service - the amount varies with the kind of hotel and services. In restaurants around a 10 % - 15% tip is usually the norm, but you don't need to tip in small roadside eating places. Taxi fares should be rounded up to the nearest 5 or 10 Baht, especially meter-taxis who don't earn a lot, are pretty knowledgeable and incredibly patient in the Bangkok traffic.
ATM machines are available at most banks and shopping centres throughout the city. Thai Baht only. ATMs generally have Thai and English language displays and will accept most internationally recognised foreign cards. Many ATM's will also accept cards under the CIRRUS, Maestro, VISA or Mastercard system.
I reccomend exchange some money at the airport upon arrival because on the island the rate is quite expensive. Once we get back to Bangkok the exchange booth is easy to find with a good rate.
The Thai Royal Family are deeply revered, and you will see portraits of them throughout the country. At the cinema, you must stand for the royal anthem before the film is screened. Anger is regarded as crude and lacking in self-discipline. Remain calm and smile and you will find all sorts of doors opened. It is considered rude to point your foot at a person or object. Thais regard the head as the highest part of the body and do not appreciate anyone touching them there, even as a friendly gesture. So your feet should be low or on the ground rather high and toward anyone head or face. You should dress appropriately when visiting temples. Don't go shirtless, in shorts, hot pants, short skirts or spaghetti straps. Remove your shoes when entering a Thai home or Buddhist temple. Buddha images large or small, ruined or not, are regarded as sacred. Don't take photographs or do anything which might indicate a lack of respect. While on the rise in Bangkok, extreme public displays of affection are often frowned upon. By all means, hold hands if the urge takes you.
Standard time zone: UTC/GMT +7 hours.