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Map Guide

Situated in the heart of the Southeast Asian mainland, Thailand covers an area of 513,115 square kilometers. It is bordered by Laos to the northeast, Myanmar to the north and west, Cambodia to the east, and Malaysia to the south.

General Information
Capital Bangkok
Language The Thai language is liberally sprinkled with words from Pali and Sanskrit (the classical languages, respectively, of Theravada Buddhism and Indian Hinduism). Written Thai employs an alphabet of 44 consonants and 32 vowels that combine to form syllabic sounds.

Thailand is naturally divided into four topographic regions: 1) the North, 2) the Central Plain, or Chao Phraya River basin, 3) the Northeast, or the Korat Plateau, and 4) the South, or Southern Isthmus.

The North is a mountainous region characterized by natural forests, ridges, and deep, narrow, alluvial valleys.

Central Thailand, the basin of the Chao Phraya River, is a lush, fertile valley. It is the richest and most extensive rice-producing area in the country and has often been called the "Rice Bowl of Asia." Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is located in this region.

The Northeastern region, or Korat Plateau, is an arid region characterized by a rolling surface and undulating hills. Harsh climatic conditions often result in this region being subjected to floods and droughts.

The Southern region is hilly to mountainous, with thick virgin forests and rich deposits of minerals and ores. This region is the center for the production of rubber and the cultivation of other tropical crops.

Population The population of Thailand is approximately 70 million (January 2004). The most important ethic minority is Chinese.
Language The Thai language is liberally sprinkled with words from Pali and Sanskrit (the classical languages, respectively, of Theravada Buddhism and Indian Hinduism). Written Thai employs an alphabet of 44 consonants and 32 vowels that combine to form syllabic sounds.
Passports and Visas Aliens visiting Thailand must possess valid passports or acceptable travel documents and appropriate visas before entering the country. Visitors from certain countries are permitted to stay for up to 15 day without visas, provided they possess tickets confirming departure within 15 days, while visitors from several other countries are allowed to apply for tourist visas at all ports of entry. Transit visas are granted for up to 30 days and tourist visas for up to 60 days; diplomatic and official visas are valid for up to 90 days
Customs Narcotics and pornographic materials are strictly prohibited. Permits must be obtained for firearms and certain species of animals and plants. The export of Buddha images, images of deities and antiques is strictly forbidden without first obtaining approval from the Fine Arts Department. Any amount of foreign currency may be brought in for personal use.
Climate and Weather
Thailand is a warm and rather humid tropical country. The climate is monsoonal, marked by a pronounced rainy season lasting from about May to September and a relatively dry season for the remainder of the year. Temperatures are highest in March and April and lowest in December and January. The average temperature is 23.7 to 32.5 degrees Celsius (75 – 91 Degrees Fahrenheit).

Money and Currency
Business Hours The private sector operates from 9 am to 5 pm, while the public sector operates from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday, except on public holidays. General banking hours are Monday to Friday 9.30 am to 3.30 pm.
Currency The Thai unit of currency is the baht 1 baht is divided into 100 satang. Note are in denominations of 1,000 (brown), 500 (purple), 100 (red), 50 (blue), 20 (green) and 10 (brown) baht. Coins consist of 25 satang, 50 satang, 1 baht, 5 baht and 10 baht.

Major currency bills and travellers cheques are cashed easily at hotels, tourist shops, all provincial banks, shopping centres and money changers. Travellers cheques are best changed in banks (you will need your passport). Rates of exchange at banks or authorized money changers are better than those at hotels and department stores.

Any amount of foreign currency may be brought into the country. Visitors may take foreign currency out of Thailand, but no more than the amount stated in the customs declaration made on arrival. Travellers leaving Thailand may take out no more than 50,000 baht per person in Thai currency.

Currency Notes
Paper baht comes in denominations of 10 (brown), 20 (green), 50 (blue), 100 (red), 500 (purple) and 1000 (beige).

Currency Coins
There are 100 satang in one baht; coins include 25-satang and 50-satang pieces and baht in denominations of 1, 2, 5 and 10.

Credit Cards

All major credit cards are widely accepted throughout the kingdom. Most foreign currencies and traveler's checks are easily changed at banks, hotels or moneychangers in cities mainly.

For lost cards :
American Express Tel : (662) 273 5100 or (662) 273 0022
Diners Club Tel : (662) 238 2920 or (662) 238 2680
Master Card Tel : (662) 256 7326-7
Visa Tel : (662) 256 7326-7

Tipping Tipping is not a usual practice in Thailand although it is becoming more common. Most hotels and restaurants add a 10% service charge to the bill. Taxi drivers do not require a tip, but the gesture is appreciated and 10-20 baht is acceptable for porters.
Fixed prices are the norm in department stores, but at most other places bargaining is to be expected. Generally, you can obtain a final figure of between 10-40% lower than the original asking price. Much depends on your skills and the shopkeeper's mood. But remember, Thais appreciate good manners and a sense of humor. With patience and a broad smile, you will not only get a better price, you will also enjoy shopping as an art.
V.A.T. Refunds Visitors entering the Kingdom on a tourist visa are entitled to refund of the 7% V.A.T. on goods purchased at registered retail outlets.

Useful Contact Numbers
Main Tourism Office
Tourism Authority of Thailand

1600 New Phetburi Road, Makkasan, Rajatevee, Bangkok 10310
Tel: (66) 2250 5500 Fax: (66) 2250 5511
Email :
Website :
Emergency Numbers
Police : ............................... 191
Tourist Police : ................195
Fire : ................................... 199
Ambulance : ....................(02) 252-2171
International Access Code Call directory assistance : 13 (Bangkok), and 183 (other) to speak
with an English-speaking operator
Country Code 66
City Codes
Bangkok : ..........................02
Chiang Mai : .....................053
Pattaya : ............................ 038
Phuket : ............................. 076
Koh Samui : ...................... 077
Hat Yai : ..............................074
Foreign Embassies

The Australian Embassy
37 South Sathorn Rd, Bangkok 10120
Tel: (02) 287-2680, 287-3485, 287-4843
Fax: (02) 287-2028-9

British Embassy
1031 Wireless Road, Patumwan, Bangkok 10300
Tel: (02) 253-0191 Fax: (02) 254-9579
Consular Section Tel: (02) 267-9689
Fax: (02) 255-6051 Visa Section Tel: (02) 267-9699
Fax: (02) 254-9579 Mon-Tues 8-11.00am Fri 8-12.00pm

France- French Embassy
35 Soi Rong Phasi Kao 36, New Rd, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500. Mon-Fri 8.30-12.00pm
Tel: (02) 256-9306-9, 285-6104-7Fax; (02) 256-9310
French Consulate 29 South Sathorn Rd, Yannawa, Bangkok 10120 tel: (02) 287-1592-8
Fax: (02) 287-1019

Germany -Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
9 South Sathorn Rd, Yannawa, Bangkok 10120
Tel: (02) 285-6627-8, 679-1120
Fax: (02) 287-1776. Mon-Fri 8.30-11.30am

Japan - Embassy of Japan
1674 New Petchburi Rd, Huay Kwang, Bangkok 10310 Tel: (02) 252-6151-9 Fax: (02) 255-6999, 258-6877 Consular Section Tel: (02) 260-8502
Fax: (02) 258-9716 Japan Information Service
9th Flr, 159 Sermmit Tower, Sukhumvit Soi 21, Bangkok 10110 Tel : (02) 259-0234-7
Fax: (02) 258-6877. Mon-Fri 8.30-12.00pm

United States of America
US Embassy

95 Wireless Rd, Bangkok 10500. Mon-Fri 7-4.00pm
Tel: (02) 205-4000
Fax: (02) 205-4131

The Consulate of Ireland
11th Flr, United Flour Mill Bldg, 205 Rajawong Rd. Bangkok 10100 Tel: (02) 223-0876, 226-0680
Fax: (02) 224-5551

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