220 volts AC, 50Hz. Both flat and round two-pin plugs
Thai is the official language, although English is widely
spoken in tourist areas.
Tipping is not expected, but is becoming more common in places
frequented by tourists. A 10% service charge is added to the bill
at most hotels and restaurants. Taxi drivers are not tipped.
Terrorist threats have been made recently, and in January 2012
the US government issued a warning to US citizens in Bangkok. The
political situation in Thailand is very uncertain. There have been
major political demonstrations in Bangkok and outbreaks of
violence. There is a threat to westerners from terrorism throughout
South East Asia and travellers should be particularly vigilant in
public places, including tourist resorts. Avoid the border areas
and don't camp in undesignated areas in national parks. Visitors to
major cities are advised to secure their passports and credit cards
and not carry too much money or jewellery. In Bangkok visitors
should be aware of scams, often involving gems recommended by kind
strangers. In tourist areas, particularly at the Full Moon Party on
Ko Phan Ngan, be careful about accepting drinks from strangers as
there have been reporteds of drinks being drugged. Incidents of
sexual assault do occur and female travellers should be cautious.
The security situation in the southern provinces near the Malaysian
border is unstable and travel to Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat and
Songkhla is to be avoided - the government has announced a state of
emergency in the area. Violence near the Preah Vihear temple area
has been recurrent and visitors are advised to avoid travel there.
Further attacks could take place in areas frequented by foreigners.
Thai authorities have put security measures in place throughout the
country, including Bangkok. There have been several sinkings of
passenger boats thought to be caused by overloading. The monsoon
season in September and October (November to March on Koh Samui)
brings about flooding in the north, north-east and central regions,
causing mudslides and flash floods; visitors planning to trek in
the jungle during this time should check conditions with licensed
tour guides before leaving.
Public displays of affection are frowned upon. Dress is
informal, although beachwear should be confined to the beach. Drugs
are illegal and travellers should know that possession of even
small quantities can lead to imprisonment, and that drug
traffickers risk the death penalty.
The international country dialling code for Thailand is +66. The
outgoing code is 001, followed by the relevant country code (e.g.
00144 for the United Kingdom). City/area codes are in use, e.g.
Bangkok is (0)2 and Chiang Mai is (0)53. To dial a mobile in
Thailand an 8 must precede the city code. International direct dial
facilities are available throughout most of the country. Mobile
phone networks cover most towns, cities and holiday resorts;
operators use GSM 900, 1800 and 1900 networks. Internet cafes are
available in the main towns and resorts.
Travellers to Thailand do not have to pay duty on 200
cigarettes, 250g tobacco or equivalent amount of cigars, 1 litre of
alcohol, 1 camera with 5 rolls of film or 1 movie camera with 3
rolls of 8 or 16 mm film. Goods to the value of Bt10,000 per person
for non-residents with transit visas and Bt20,000 per person for
holders of tourist visas are allowed. Family allowances are double
the individual allowances. Prohibited items include firearms and
ammunition without licenses, fireworks, and drugs. Trafficking in
drugs carries the maximum penalty. Restrictions apply to meat
imported from countries affected by BSE or mad cow and
foot-and-mouth diseases. Antiques or objects of art and religious
articles may not be exported without a license.