Welcome to Thailand!
We would like to invite you to travel in our country. For more information, please go to www.tourismthailand.org. You will see comprehensive information about Thailand's spectacular destinations and most popular interests and activities. The featured E-Brochures in listed that match your preferred destinations, interests, or keywords are also available to download from the website.
Thailand is one of the top travel destinations in the world. The capital city of Bangkok, the 'City of Angels' or 'Krung Thep' as the locals call it – is a great place to start or finish any travel to Thailand. Bangkok was founded in 1782 by the first monarch of the present Chakri dynasty. It is now the country's spiritual, cultural, diplomatic, commercial and educational hub. It covers an area of more than 1,500 square kilometers, and it is home to one-tenth of the country's population. With an estimated population of around 10 million people, Bangkok is a wonderful fusion of Asian and Western cultures.
Over the last few decades, Bangkok, has changed into a modern, exciting and sophisticated city. It offers to visitors not only the cosmopolitan amenities they would expect from other big cities, but also a unique treasure trove of cultural attractions. Thailand, in the heart of Southeast Asia, was never colonized and thus kept its unique culture and heritage intact. Bangkok offers visitors the opportunity to experience fascinating glimpse of Thailand's gentle culture amidst the bustle of a great and dynamic metropolis. This great city has had astounding success in combining the ancient and modern world.
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The modernization of Bangkok has outwardly transformed the city into a bustling metropolis unrivalled in Asia for its dazzling kaleidoscope of sights and experiences, with gleaming skyscraper, sophisticated department stores and international hotels. This juxtaposition of old and new means that Bangkok has contrasting attractions to offer to the 21st century tourist: glittering temples and elegant boutiques; traditional markets and air-conditioned malls; traditional culture and Western convenience.
However, Bangkok remains quintessentially Thai, with lustrous silks, bronze-ware, antiques, and gemstones to tempt the travelers. The city's wealth of cultural landmarks and attractions in addition to its notorious entertainment venues has made it synonymous with exoticism. Its historic wealth coincides with its rapid modernization, reflected in the cityscape and the urban society. The Grand Palace and the adjacent Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha); Vimanmek Palace, Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn); and Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) are on the top lists of the must for travelers. These top list destinations are only a few kilometers from the conference venue, Prince Palace Hotel!
Furthermore, Bangkok has been known as a shopper's paradise. A trip to Thailand therefore should include a few days browsing the shops and malls of the city. The range is impressive and the prices unbeatable. One of the biggest draws in terms of shopping in Bangkok is the Bo Bae Market, a famous market offering good bargains for retail and whole sale clothing. Buying just 3 pieces of the same clothing will get you wholesale rates. This market area locates on the lower floors of the conference venue building! Besides that, the Weekend Market (Chatuchak), the world's largest open air market, where shoppers who are adept at bargaining can buy many of the same goods at a fraction of the price of those in the main tourist areas. More shopping places include Platinum Fashion Mall, Baiyoke & Pratunam Market, Icon Siam, Asiatique the Riverfront, Silom Night Market, Jim Thompson House, Siam Paragon, Pantip Plaza (IT Mall), and Sampeng Market. There are other shopping malls, street markets and department stores everywhere offering not only fashion but Thai wares and souvenirs, silks, computer gadgets, ipods and anything the shopper desires.
Bangkok is not only the shopping heaven for all of travelers, but here is also known as the home of delicious food, supplied by both street vendors and a wide selection of multi-cuisine restaurants. Yaowarat or Chinatown Bangkok is known as one of the greatest street food locations in the world. This night market is a great of mixture of street food and restaurants offering both local cuisines and Chinese food. Also, Kaosan Road is also very famous night market place that can attract travelers from every corner of the world with variety of food, handicrafts, clothes, cocktail bars, night clubs, Thai massage, and so on. Beside, Wang Lang Market is a popular place for its street food and local restaurants. This market is a vibrant, meandering market full of food, clothing, and catering almost exclusively to locals. These destinations are only a short distance from the conference venue. More markets that are around Bangkok include Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market, Train Night Market, and Neon Market.
For more details visit the official website of the Bangkok Tourism Division: www.bangkoktourist.com
Getting around Bangkok
Bangkok's heaving traffic is legendary, presenting a constant challenge for residents and visitors alike. River and canal boats, along with the BTS skytrain and MRT subway systems, offer some reliable alternatives to getting stuck on the roads. Nonetheless, traffic remains horrendous, particularly mid-week. Below is a guide to inner-city transport choices.
|Bangkok BTS Skytrain
The Bangkok Transit System, or BTS, is a three-line elevated train network covering the major commercial areas, from up north at Mo Chit all the way past Siam Square to Sam rong, from down-town National Stadium all the way over the river to Bang Wa, and from Khlong Bang Phai all the way over the river to Tao Poon. Trains run every few minutes from 5.15 am to midnight, making the BTS a quick and reliable transport option, especially during heavy traffic jams. For more information, please enter www.bts.co.th.
|Underground Bangkok MRT Subway
Bangkok's Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) is another fast and reliable way to get around town. The 18-station line stretches 20kms from Hua Lumphong (near the central railway station) up to Bang Sue in the north. Subways run from 6am to midnight daily, with trains arriving every 5-7 minutes. The MRT has interchange stations with the BTS skytrain at Mo Chit, near the northern bus terminal and the JJ Weekend Market, on Sukhumvit Road at Asoke station (BTS) and Sukhumvit station (MRT), and on Silom Road at Sala Daeng Station (BTS) and Silom Station (MRT). For more information, please enter www.bangkokmetro.co.th
|Airport Rail Link
Airport Rail Link provides train service at the maximum speed of 160 kilometer per hour on an elevated track parallel to the eastern railway, which covers the distance of approximately 28 kilometers, passing through 8 stations; Phyathai Station, Rajprarop Station, Makkasan Station and City Air Terminal, Ramkhamhaeng Station, Hua Mark Station, Thab Chang Station, Lad Krabang Station, and Suvarnabhumi Station. Operate daily from 05.30 - 24.00 hrs. For more information, please enter http://airportraillink.railway.co.th
Khlong Saen Saep canal boats operate from Banglamphu across the city to Ramkhamhaeng University. Canal (khlong) boats tend to be frequent and cost around 10-20 Bahts depending on distance.
|Express River Boat
Bangkok's vast network of inter-city waterways offer a quick and colorful alternative for visiting some of city's top sights, such as the Grand Palace. Express boats ply the Chao Phraya River from Saphan Taksin Bridge up to Nonthaburi, stopping at some 30 main piers along the way. Fares range from around 10 to 32 Bahts depending on the distance, with tickets being purchased either onboard or at the pier, depending on how much time you have. Boats depart every 20 minutes or so between 5:50am and 7:00pm. For more information, please enter http://www.chaophrayaexpressboat.com/en/home/index.asp
Bangkok has an extensive and inexpensive public bus service. Both open-air and air-conditioned vehicles are available. As most destinations are noted only in Thai, it is advisable to get a bus route map, available at hotels, TAT offices and bookshops. Note that for many of the buses you board in the middle set of doors and exit from the front and rear. Tickets sellers will come to you once onboard. For more information, please enter http://www.bmta.co.th/en/index.php
The BRT or Bus Rapid Transit is a bus line that has its own dedicated line. The line starts at Sathorn where there is a connection with Chong Nonsi BTS station. The route follows the Chao Praya river on the South part of Bangkok and crosses it. The last stop is Ratchphreuk.
Bangkok has thousands of metered, air-con taxies available 24 hours. Flag fall is 35 Bahts (for the first 2km) and the fare climbs in 2 Bahts increments from there. For trips to and from the airport, passengers should pay the expressway toll fees. When boarding from the queue outside the terminal, an additional 50 Bahts surcharge is added.
Those three-wheeled taxis (or 'samlor' in Thai) are best known as tuk-tuks, so named for the steady whirr of their engines. A 10-minute ride should cost around 40 Bahts, but always bargain before boarding.
In Bangkok's heavy traffic, motorcycle taxis are the fastest, albeit most dangerous, form of road transport. Easily recognizable by their colorful oranges vests, motorbike taxi drivers gather in groups beside department stores, outside restaurants, at the end of long sois or nearby tourist spots. As with tuk-tuks, fares definitely have to be negotiated beforehand.
The Thailand climate is controlled by tropical monsoons and the weather in Thailand is generally hot and humid across most of the country throughout most of the year. While Thailand's seasons are generally divided into the hot season, cool season, and rainy season, in reality it's relatively hot most of the year. The annual average temperature in Bangkok is about 28°C. The humidity is from 69% to 79%.
During the Congress, January in Bangkok will slightly be cool across the country with on average 2 days of rainfall during a month, but there is still sunshine and warm temperature. The average day time temperature in January varies from 21°C to 32°C.
Climate information link: https://www.tmd.go.th/en
The basic monetary unit in Thailand is Thai Baht. A Baht is divided into 100 satangs. The following coins and notes are currently in use:
- Coins: 25 and 50 satang; 1, 2, 5 and 10 baht
- Banknotes: 20 (green), 50 (blue), 100 (red), 500 (purple) and 1,000 (grey or brown) baht
Major foreign currencies can be exchanged for Thai Baht by banks and authorized money changers. Major credit cards are also widely accepted in tourist centers. The most commonly accepted cards are Visa and Master Card, followed by Amex, Diners and JCB.
** Banking hours: Monday to Friday, 08.30 - 15.30 hrs. (Except public and bank holidays)
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||All tourist destinations and provincial capitals have hospitals and clinics staffed by well-trained doctors and nurses. In the case of an emergency, an ambulance can be summoned from any private hospital. Visitors are not required to have vaccination certification unless coming from/passing through a designated infected area.
The electricity in Thailand is 220 volts. They accommodate both flat prongs (like in the U.S. and Japan) and round prongs (like much of Europe and Asia). Actually, most receptacles in Thailand are two prongs, missing the third grounding/earthing prong at the bottom. However, the newest office and condominium dwellings usually offer the third prong due to increased awareness of the importance of grounding for both safety and equipment damage reasons.
For visa requirements, please refer to the website of the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs (www.mfa.go.th). Also confirm with your local Thai embassy/consulate which (if any) visa you will need. If you are in need of an invitation letter for visa purposes, please inform us.
The following provides information with regard to tourist visa for Thailand:
- DOCUMENTS REQUIRED
- Passport or travel document with validity not less than 6 months
- Visa application form completely filled out
- One recent (4 x 6 cm.) photograph of the applicant
- Evidence of travel from Thailand (air ticket paid in full)
- Evidence of adequate finance (10,000 Baht per person and 20,000 Baht per family)
- Consular officers reserve the rights to request for additional documents as deemed necessary
About 1,000 Bahts per entry (Visa fee may be changed without prior notice)
VALIDITY OF A VISA
The validity of a visa is 3 months or 6 months.
VALIDITY OF A STAY
Upon arrival, travelers with this type of visa will be permitted to stay in Thailand for a period of not exceeding 30 days or 60 days.
TOURIST VISA EXEMPTION
Passport holders from 48 countries and 1 special administrative region – Hong Kong SAR – are not required to obtain a visa when entering Thailand for tourism purposes and will be permitted to stay in the Kingdom for a period of not exceeding 30 days on each visit. Foreigners who enter the Kingdom under the Tourist Visa Exemption category may re-enter and stay in Thailand for a cumulative duration of stay of not exceeding 90 days within any 6-month period from the date of first entry.
List of 48 countries are as follows:
- Australia: Commonwealth of Australia
- Austria: Republic of Austria
- Belgium: Kingdom of Belgium
- Bahrain: State of Bahrain
- Brazil: Federative Republic of Brazil ***
- Brunei Darussalam: Negara Brunei Darussalam
- Czech Republic
- Denmark: Kingdom of Denmark
- Finland: Republic of Finland
- France: French Republic
- Germany: Federal Republic of Germany
- Greece: Hellenic Republic
- Hong Kong: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
- Iceland: Republic of Iceland
- Indonesia: Republic of Indonesia
- Ireland: Republic of Ireland
- Israel: State of Israel
- Italy: Republic of Italy
- Korea: Republic of Korea ***
- Kuwait: State of Kuwait
- Liechtenstein: Principality of Liechtenstein
- Luxembourg: Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
- Monaco: Principality of Monaco
- Netherlands: Kingdom of the Netherlands
- New Zealand
- Norway: Kingdom of Norway
- Oman: Sultanate of Oman
- Peru: Republic of Peru ***
- Philippines: Republic of the Philippines
- Portugal: Republic of Portugal
- Qatar: State of Qatar
- Singapore: Republic of Singapore
- Slovak: Slovak Republic
- Slovenia: Republic of Slovenia
- Spain: Kingdom of Spain
- South Africa: Republic of South Africa
- Sweden: Kingdom of Sweden
- Switzerland: Swiss Confederation
- Turkey: Republic of Turkey
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- United States of America
- Vietnam: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
*** Thailand holds bilateral agreements on visa exemption for holders of diplomatic, official and ordinary passports for a visit of not exceeding 90 days with Brazil, the Republic of Korea, and Peru. Therefore, nationals of these 3 countries are exempted from visa requirements and are permitted to enter and stay in Thailand for a period of not exceeding 90 days.