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Pattaya, Head office:
565/83–85 Moo 10, Nongprue, Banglamung, Chonburi 20150, Thailand

Bangkok office: 40/6 Soi Sukhumvit 49, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

Phuket office: 108/113 Moo 5, Chalermprakiat (bypass) Road, Rassada, Muang, Phuket 83000, Thailand

Samui office: 80/107 Moo 5, Choengmon Street, Bophut, Koh Samui, Suratthani 84320, Thailand

Krabi office: 495/37–38 Tanasap Village, Utarakij Road, Krabi Yai, Muang, Krabi 81000, Thailand

Chang office: 21/15 Moo 4, Klong Prao Beach, Koh Chang, Trat 23170, Thailand

Help for Tourists 24/7 hotline: +66 89 009 50 00

+66 33 678 505

+66 33 678 506 (fax)

info@sayamamice.com

+66 92 279 11 99


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Use of any materials of this site only with the written permission of the copyright holder.

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Tourist Information

07 November 2014

Water

You must NOT drink water from the taps when in Thailand! Hotels will provide you with free drinking water, and bottled water can be bought from any shop.

Clothes

Taking into consideration the tropical climate of Thailand, light clothes made of natural fabrics are recommended. It should be noted, however, that Thai traditions dictate bare skin – including knees, elbows, and shoulders – be covered when visiting sacred and/or ancient places of interest. In addition, nude sunbathing on public beaches is prohibited.

Shopping

Thailand is a country of shopping, where you can buy almost anything, from the mundane to the exotic, including live crocodiles! Of course, before buying any live animal or plant cultures, one should consult the rules and regulations of export and import to the country of destination. Street stalls, small shops, markets, and large shopping malls offering a huge selection of souvenirs, Thai crafts, jewelry, clothing, footwear, leather products, household appliances, and a host of other things create a striking picture.

According to CBI, a reputable tourism rating agency, Thailand has been the world’s best value-for-money destination for five years running.

It is possible to bargain in Thailand, but only in markets and in private shops – the prices in shopping malls are fixed. Additionally, we do not recommend buying gems or jewelry on the street or at the beach, as it is very likely that these will be fakes. The best place to buy jewelry is from factories and specialized shops. When purchasing goods over 2,000 BHT, it is advisable to have your passport with you. This also helps at the airport on the return home where you can apply for a VAT refund before your departure.

Currency Exchange and Traveler's Checks

It is advisable that you exchange all currency and traveler’s checks for Thai baht at banks and official exchange offices only. Banks are usually open 09:00 to 21:00, seven days a week. Many hotels also offer exchange services at the reception desk also, though rates tend to be less attractive.

ATMs and Credit Cards

All ATMs in Thailand have local currency – Thai baht, only. ATMs can be found in nearly any shopping mall, on the streets, and near bank branches. Most banks, shops, and hotels accept international credit cards, such as American Express, MasterCard, and/or Visa.

Customs Regulations

The Laws of the Kingdom of Thailand are quite rigorous and strictly enforce ethics and morality. It is well-known that the import of drugs is forbidden where the punishment if caught ranges from life imprisonment to the death penalty. Weapons and ammunition without the proper permissions from authorities is also prohibited, as are meat products, and any print or video production of a pornographic nature.

It is also against the law to export any and all cult images and/or statues of Buddha. Special certificates and licenses are required to export antiques and any folk crafts, gold bars, precious stones and/or jewelry. If you intend to export a domestic animal, you must consult with customs officials in advance.

Tax Free: What is it and How to use it

Thailand imposes a 7% value-added tax or VAT on all items for purchase, which foreign visitors may be able to claim for reimbursement upon leaving the country. To recover this sales tax you’ll need to ask the vendor for a VAT document upon payment of goods over 2,000 THB. This document should contain your passport data, the vendor’s tax registration number, and the total cost of goods (net + VAT). Visitors should be aware of an important nuance when attempting to claim reimbursement upon departure: refunds are made only when the total amount of claimed purchases exceeds 5,000 BHT.

Upon arrival to the airport, find the Customs Check for VAT Refund counter and ask the customs officer to stamp your receipt. Refunds will not be made without this stamp. All cash refunds will be made at the VAT Refund desk upon clearing passport control.

Missed Departures

Should you miss your international flight get in touch with the airline immediately.

For missed domestic flights you can re-register your ticket for the next available flight at the airline counter, provided seats are available and changes are permitted by the airline.

Car Rental

It is best to use well-known car rental companies such as Budget or Avis, as their cars are insured and are kept in good working condition. In order to rent a car you’ll need your passport, an international driver's license, and a credit card. Private car rental companies require fewer documents and payment is made in cash, but the cars, generally, are not insured, meaning even minor accidents or car troubles may subject the renter to significant liability for damages, as the police generally side with the owner not the renter in such cases.

Caution should be taken when renting motorcycles, as these are high-risk vehicles especially when you consider Thailand’s often chaotic traffic.

Personal Water Crafts (PWC)

Accident rates are high among tourists using PWCs, as excessive speed, poor visibility, waves, and in many cases alcohol all contribute. Please be careful when operating any motorized vehicle on the water.

Tips

Tipping is customary in bars and restaurants. The typical rate is 10-20 THB per person or 10% of the total order. You may also consider tipping hotel porters around 10-20 THB.

How Not to Get Lost in Thailand

You can depend on SAYAMA Travel when in Thailand as a reliable friend and partner. We don’t want you to be a victim of fraud or target of scams. To this end, please do not talk to strangers on the street, do not agree to shady offers or invitations to visit certain places or go on tours. Your guide/coordinator will be able to give you all of the information you need. It should be noted that Thai people speak very poor English and so a business card of the hotel at which you are staying written in Thai should be carried at all times. This will save you from any problems you might have in finding your way back.

Rules of Behavior in Public Places

It should be noted that Thai people do not shake hands when saying hello or goodbye. Instead, they greet each other with a gesture called wai – a slight bow with the palms placed together in front of the body in a prayer-like manner. Traditionally, the younger individual will initiate the wai followed by the same gesture from the older or senior individual.

Note also that it is extremely rude to point with your foot. Even when seated, care should be taken to ensure that your feet are not directed at any one person in particular.

For Thai people the head is considered a sacred part of the body, which is why they shy away from having their heads touched, even if in only a friendly manner. Paying attention to the behavior of locals in public will demonstrate that younger people actively attempt to keep their heads lower than those of the elderly; a gesture demonstrating respect. Of course, this is not possible all the time. However even small attempts to follow this tradition is noticed and appreciated.

Similarly, public signs of affection between a man and a woman are frowned upon. Losing control or raising your voice is also regarded by Thai people as uncultured. Getting one’s way is easier by remaining patient and staying calm.

Locals normally address each other by their first name, so do not be surprised if you are addressed in this way. The word khun is often added as a courtesy to first names, the equivalent of Miss, Mrs, or Mrs.

Etiquette in Places of Worship

When visiting temples and other such venerated places, take care to ensure that you are wearing the proper attire. You will not be allowed entrance without a shirt, if you are in shorts, short pants, a mini skirt, or wearing any other clothing that might be considered provocative. It is generally accepted that you should wear the same types of clothing you would wear in your own country.

Footwear is allowed when walking around the temple, but when entering the Buddhist sanctuary all footwear should be removed. Hygiene shouldn’t be a concern as venues such as these are kept very clean.

Buddhist monks are strictly prohibited from touching women or accepting anything from a woman’s hands. If a woman wishes to make an offering to a monk, she must pass it to a man and he, in turn, will pass it to the priest. The other way a woman might give alms is to place the item on the edge of the monk’s saffron robe.

All Buddha statues – large and small, dilapidated or otherwise – are considered sacred in Thailand. Do not climb on them even to be photographed. They should be treated with respect.

Diving in Thailand

Thailand is one of the most beautiful and exotic seafaring countries, laying claim to the Gulf of Siam and a relatively small part of the Indian Ocean.

Most professional diving centers are found on Phuket and Koh Phi Phi in the Andaman Sea, while novice divers will enjoy Pattaya. For the more adventurous, there are opportunities to dive near Koh Samui and Koh Chang (islands) within the Gulf of Siam, or around small islands not far from the larger more well-known options.

Water temperatures typically range from 27°С to 29°С, making it comfortable for almost everyone no matter the time of year.

Telephone Numbers to Keep on Hand

Bangkok Hospital Medical Center

2 Soi Soonvijai 7, New Petchburi Road

Bangkapi, Huay Khwang, Bangkok, 10310

Tel: +66-2-310-30-00

Emergency Services

Tel: +66-2-310-34-56

Bangkok Hospital Pattaya

301 Moo 6, Sukhumvit Road, km 143

Naklua, Banglamung, Chonburi, 20150

Tel: +66-38-25-99-99

Bangkok Hospital Phuket

2/1 Hongyok Utis Rоаd, Muang District,

Phuket, 83000

Tel: +66-76-25-44-25

Bangkok Hospital Samui

57 Moo 3, Thaweerat Phakdee Road, Bophut,

Koh Samui, Surat Thani, 84320

Tel: +66-77-42-95-00

Bangkok Hospital Chanthaburi

25/14 Taluang Rоаd, Watmai Sub District,

Muang, Chanthaburi, 22000

Tel: +66-39-31-98-88

Tourist Police

Since 1982, the Thailand Tourist Police, in cooperation with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), have been in charge of tourist safety. The Tourist Police render assistance to tourists, accept and consider complaints, investigate accidents, and provide coordination of security services. As a rule, most police officers speak English. You can easily identify them by the blue or yellow chevrons on their uniform.

Contact Telephone Numbers:

Thailand Tourist Police: 1155 (national call)

Bangkok Tourist Police: +66-22-34-02-42

Pattaya Tourist Police: +66-38-42-93-71

Phuket Tourist Police: +66-76-25-46-93, +66-76-22-53-61

Samui Tourist Police: +66-77-42-12-81


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