h a i l a n d
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Kingdom of Thailand, covering an area of 514,000 square kilometers,
lies in the heart of Southeast Asia, roughly equidistant between India
and China. It shares borders with Myanmar to the west and north, Laos
to the northeast, Kampuchea to the east and Malaysia to the south. Topographically
the country is divided into four distinct areas: the mountainous North,
the fertile Central Plains, the semi-arid plateau of the Northeast, and
the peninsula South distinguished by its many beautiful tropical beaches
and offshore Islands.
and Travel Information for other Provinces in Thailand
has a tropical climate with three distinct seasons: Hot (March-May), Rainy
(June-October) and Cool (November-February). Average temperatures are
around 27° c.
has a population of about 60 million. Ethnic Thais form the majority,
though the area has historically been a migratory crossroads, and thus
strains of Mon, Khmer, Burmese, Lao, Malay, Indian and, most strongly,
Chinese stock produce a degree of ethnic diversity. Integration is such,
however, that culturally and socially.
national religion is Theravada Buddhism, practised by more than 90 percent
of all Thais. The remainder of the population adheres to Muslim, Christian,
Hindu and other faiths, all of which are allowed full freedom of expression.
Buddhism continues to cast a strong influences on daily life.
Thai people originated in Southeastern China where, in 650 AD they founded
the independent kingdom of Nanchao which thrived for 600 years. However,
invasions and an unwillingness to be incorporated into mainstream Chinese
society led to waves of migrations southward into what is now Thailand.
Eventually several groups of Thai migrants united and established Sukhothai
as their capital in the mid 13th century.
other civilizations had existed on Thai soil much earlier,Sukhothai was
the first sovereign kingdom of Thailand. It flourished for over 100 years
during which time the distinctive forms of Thai art, architecture and
culture were firmly implanted.
approximately the same time, King Mengrai, an ally of Sukhothai, was establishing
the northern Lannathai Kingdom, centered on Chiang Mai which was founded
the mid 14th century a new and more powerful dynasty arose at Ayutthaya,
an island city in the Chao Phraya River 85 kilometers north of present
gaining in wealth, military might and prestige, Ayutthaya absorbed the
former kingdom of Sukhothai and remained Thailand's capital for 417 years,holding
sway over most of the country except the North.
prospered steadily, reaching the height of its power in the 17th century
when diplomatic relations with the West were established and trade agreements
made with the leading European powers of the day. Weakened by internal
conflicts, Ayutthaya fell to the Burmese in 1767.
fleeing south the survivors of Ayutthaya were rallied under king Taksin
who founded a new capital at Thonburi and eventually succeeded in expelling
the Burmese from Thai soil.
the death of Taksin in 1782 Chao Phraya Chakri was proclaimed king and
as Rama I was founder of the present Chakri dynasty. For strategic purposes
he moved his capital across the Chao Phraya River to Bangkok.
the Chakri Kings the borders of Thailand were consolidated and other parts
of the country were gradually brought under the full control of the central
government. Rama VI (King Mongkut, 18511868), secured ties with the West,
especially with France and Britain, while at the same time, assuring his
country's independence and avoiding the colonial fate of all Thailand's
Mongkut's successor, Rama V (King Chulalongkorn, 1868-1910), brought about
many social and political reforms that firmly guided Thailand into the
absolute monarchy was to continue through the reign of Rama IV (1910-1925)
and into that of Rama VII (1925-1934). But in 1932 a coup d'etat succeeded
in bringing about a change to a constitutional monarchy. Rama VII accepted
the situation although he abdicated two year after the coup.
throne passed to the young King Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII) who was succeeded
by his brother King Bhumipol (Rama IX), the present monarch.
litre of alcoholic beverage and 200 cigarettes, plus reasonable personal
effects(such as one still camera, one movie or video camera, personal
jewellery etc) may be brought in duty free and taken out on departure.
drugs, pornographic material and firearms are strictly prohibited.
Unlimited foreign currency, traveller's cheques, money orders etc may
be brought into the country, but any amount over US$10,000 must be declared
on entry. Amount taken out of the country may never exceed that declared
nationalities do not require a visa for a stay of up to 30 days provided
they have a ticket for onward travel. Longer visits require a visa obtainable
from Thai embassies and consulates. Tourists visas permit stays up to
90 days. For full details, contact your nearest Thai embassy or consulate.
I need a visa?
visitors who are exempted from applying for entry visa must be of the
nationality of and holding valid passport or traveling documents issued
Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, U.S.A.
Bahrain, Brunei, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia,
Myanmar, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, *Republic of Korea,
Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Turkey, United Arab Emirates
Australia, Fiji, *New Zealand, Papua New Guinea,
Vanuatu, Western Samoa.
Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Kenya, Mauritania, Morocco,
Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, Yemen.
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany,
Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway,
Portugal, Slovene, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, U.K.
meeting the above conditions are exempted from visa and are permitted
to remain in the Kingdom for a period not exceeding 30 days, except for
the nationals of the Republic of Korea and New Zealand, who are permitted
to stay in Thailand for maximum 90 days from the days of entry.
: Please check the period of stay stamped in your passport upon entry
into the kingdom
more details contact :
Immigration Division, Soi Suan Phlu, Sathon Tai Rd., Bangkok 10120
Tel : (662) 287-3101 to 10
Fax : (662) 287-1740
inoculations or vaccinations are required unless you are coming from or
passing through contaminated areas.
visitors arrive through Bangkok's Don Muang International Airport which
is connected by daily flights to Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.
Flights, from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Hong Kong, land on a
regular basis at Chiangmai, Koh Samui, Phuket and Hat Yai. Charter flights
sometimes land in Bangkok, Phuket, and at U-Taphao for Pattaya.
rail services link Singapore and Bangkok intermediary stops include Kuala
Lumpur, Butterworth, Penang and major southern Thai towns.
entry to Thailand is restricted to three road crossings on the Thai- Malaysian
border, and the bridge spanning the Mekong River between Laos and Thailand
at Nong Kai.
are no regular steamship connection with Thailand. Cargo ships calling
at Bangkok's Khlong Toei port sometimes have passenger cabin facilities.
Cruise ships, such as Cunard's Queen Elizabeth II, periodically visit
Airways International (THAI) operates a wide domestic network with daily
flights linking virtually all major towns with Bangkok. Ground transportation
is extremely comprehensive and comparatively inexpensive. There are convenient
rail connections with the North, Northeast and South, while air conditioned
coach and government bus services are operated from Bangkok to all town
throughout the country. Rental cars are also readily available.
provide standard services nationwide, Monday through Friday, except public
and bank holidays, between 10.00 AM. and 3.30 PM. Bank currency exchange
centres operate from 7.00 AM. to 9.00 PM, seven days a week including
commercial concerns in Bangkok operate on a five-day week. Government
offices are generally open between 8.30 AM and 4.30 PM with a noon to
1.00 PM lunch break, Monday through Friday, except on public holidays
Private businesses maintain much the same hours -perhaps 8.00 AM to 5.00
PM with certain exceptions. Many stores open 12 hours a day, seven day
There are also efficient business centres available if you are in business
in Thailand for a few days.
Bangkok Yellow Pages lists local and international automobile rental companies
Self-drive and chauffeur-driven automobiles are widely available. Car
hire companies also operate in Pattaya, Hat Yai, Phuket and Chiang Mai.
Those possessing valid International Driver Licenses may prefer to hire
baht is divided into 100 satang. "Copper" coins are valued at 25 and 50
satang. Silver coins are in denominations of 1,2 and 5 baht. Banknotes
are valued at 10 baht (brown), 20 baht (green), 50 baht (blue), 100 bath
(red). 500 baht (purple) and 1000 baht (khaki)
cheques / credit cards
dollar travellers cheques can be conveniently cashed at all provincial
banks and authorized money changers. Travellers cheques in other currencies
are best changed in Bangkok where better rates prevail.
international credit cards, such as American Express, Diners Club and
VISA are accepted by major banks, restaurants, hotels and shops.
facilities for cash and traveller' cheque are available in banks, hotels,
and foreign exchange booths located in tourists areas.
passengers on international flights from Bangkok's Don Muang airport must
pay 500 baht. 30 baht per person is collected for Domestic flight except
Samui flight, at baht 400 per person is collected at Samui Airport.
loose cotton clothing is best. Nylon should be avoided. Sweaters are needed
during cool season evenings or if visiting mountainous areas and remote
operates exclusively on 220 volt, 50 cycle AC power
send letters or packages to any desired destinations is very convenient
for visitors to Thailand. Post offices as well as most hotels offer good
taxis have fixed tariffs. Taxis cruising the streets of Bangkok have meters.
Thailand, you can contact virtually any city in the world without difficulty
International phone calls, telegraph, telex, and bureau fax services are
available at International Telecommunication Services Center, near Bangkok's
Central Post Central as well as in most hotels.
is customary to tip hotel personnel who have given good personal service.
A 10% tip is appreciated in restaurants, particularly where service charge
additional information on the following sights, contact:
Tourism Authority of Thailand
4 Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue
Tel (02) 281-5051 or (02) 282-8129
Fax: (02) 280-1998
This outdoor museum is filled with replicas of Thailand's most magnificent
monuments and temples.
Tel (02) 224-1057
Farm and Zoo
is the world's oldest and largest crocodile farm.
Tel (02) 387-0020
This is the most respected Buddha image in Thailand, carved from green
jade. The King himself visits here 3 times a year to change the Buddha'ss
Tel (02) 222-8181
River Kwai and an infamous prisoner- of- war camp in which thousands of
allied troops died following their capture by occupying Japanese forces.
Many of these soldiers are buried in Kanchanaburi's Commonwealth War Cemetery.
most colourful of Thailand's floating markets is the one at Damnoen Saduak
in Ratchaburi Province, about 104 kilometres southwest of Bangkok.
Rose Garden Country Resort
cultural village with dance performances, elephants at work and Buddhist
Tel (02) 253-0295
Elephant Ground and Zoo
with elephants and numerous other forms of animal life.
117 Moo 6 Petchakasem Highway
Bangkok Office: Tel (02) 284-0273
This is the tallest tower in Thailand.
Arun Amarin Rd.
Tel (02) 282-1143
of the Reclining Buddha
Wat Pho ( click for postcard )
This temple is the oldest center of learning in Thailand with a 145ft
(46m) long, 49ft (15m) high, gold-plated, reclining Buddha.
Tel (02) 222-0933
is the center for domestic and international cultural exchange. It is
often the venue for art shows by the country's leading artists.
Tel (02) 245-7711
is the world's largest building made entirely of golden teak. Rachvithi
Tel (02) 222-0859
World Amusement Park
will enjoy the water-oriented activities in this amusement park.
beautiful park has caves, waterfalls and assorted flora.
Orchid Garden and Thai Village
of lush greenery and breathtaking orchid gardens.
5/11 Moo 6 Thepkasattri Rd.
Tel (076) 214-860
Butterfly Garden and Aquarium
display of different kinds of butterflies and fish.
71/6 M. 5 Soi Paneang
Tel (076) 210-859
is a water world, theme park and fair rolled into one.
101 Sukhapibarn 2 Rd.
Tel (02) 517-1032
the attractions here are the remains of the Royal Palace, several Buddhist
temples and a system of canals and ponds.
Preserves the traditional technologies and folk arts of Northern Thailand.
131 Soi 21 (Asoke) Sukhumvit Road
Tel (02) 258-3491
of Forensic Medicine
is one of the more unusual sights in Thailand. On display are preserved
bodies of infamous murderers and a bisected head with a bullet lodged
in the brain.
2 Prannok Road
Tel (02) 411-2003 or (02) 411-0241
here date back to the Neolithic times. Guided tours are available on Tuesdays
4 Na Phrathat Rd.
Tel (02) 224-1396
is a private collection of Thai arts.
Tel (02) 253-9772
Thais have adopted a number of modern forms of recreation such as golf,
tennis, ice skating, and bowling. But the local sports of boxing and kite
fighting are still very much the preferred spectator sport in Thailand.
Boxing is the most popular and exciting spectator sport in Thailand, as
well as a means of self-defense for the Thai people. It also holds the
prestige of being the largest spectator "ring sport" in the world. Unlike
the Western-style of boxing, Thai Boxers are allowed to use their feet,
elbows, legs and shoulders. Bouts are held at the Ratchadamnoen Stadium
and Lumpini Stadium. Thai Boxing may also be seen on television every
day, usually in the evening. This is truly an unbelievable sport to see
in person, yet the squimish probably should not attend, as it is quite
ancient local sport played and patronized by the Kings of Thailand for
centuries is kite fighting, a contest which is held from March to April
at the Sanam Luang in Bangkok. The Thais make kites in hundreds of different
forms and colors. Each kite is huge in size and requires a number of people
to fly it. Kites are classified as "chulas" (male) or "pukpaos" (female).
The object of the contest is to force the opposition's kite to land in
your half of the field while thousands of people cheer.
is another traditional Thai game. It involves the use of a takraw ball,
five to six inches in diameter, made of rattan. Using their head, feet,
knees or elbows, players hit the ball over a net to another team.