Bangkok & Thailand
Bangkok or “Krung Thep” (literally means the city of angles) is Thailand’s capital city. The city serves as the center of development and modernity in industry, commerce, economy and transport, yet these modernities harmonize well with its traditions, cultures and archeological sites.
For years, it was only a small trading port at the banks of the Chao Phraya River, until Kin Rama I, the first monarch of Chakri Dynasty, turned it into the capital of Siam in 1782. Since then, Bangkok has turned into one of the most bustling and dazzling cities in Asia. The city is full of hidden gems that wait for you to explore such as the magnificent Grand Palace and the adjacent Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha); Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn); Wat Pho (Temple of Reclining Buddha); Lumpini Boxing Stadium; MBK Shopping Center and many more.
For more details about Bangkok, please visit the Bangkok Tourism Division official website at www.bangkoktourist.com
Thailand is a wondrous kingdom featuring Buddhist temples, exotic wildlife and spectacular islands. Thailand is the only Southeast Asian nation that never have been colonized by European power, is the constitutional monarchy whose current head of the state is H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Climate: Located just 15 degrees north of the equator. Thailand has a tropical climate, thus the weather is generally hot and humid. The temperatures typically range from 19-38 degree Celsius (66-100 degree Fahrenheit). Generally speaking there are three seasons in Thailand; cool season (November – February), hot season (April – May), rainy season (June – October). Therefore, during 14-16 November 2013 would be the best time to visit Thailand when the Northeast monsoon is blowing cool, dry air which serves as a respite from the heat.
Time: Thailand standard time is GMT+7 and does not observe daylight savings.
Dress: For casual wear, light, loose, cotton clothing is advised. However, when visiting temples and historical places, shorts and sleeveless tops are deemed inappropriate.
Currency and Banking Facility: The monetary unit of Thailand is Thai Baht (THB). Banknotes are issued in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 Baht and there are coins of 25 and 50 satang, 1, 2, 5 and 10 Baht. Most major credit cards are accepted, whilst travelers’ cheques and banknotes of major currencies can be exchanged easily at any commercial bank. Most hotels provide money exchange service.
The banks open Monday – Friday, 08.30-15.30 hrs. (except public holidays), however nowadays there are many banks that situate in shopping malls which operate till late at night, seven days a week even on public holidays.
Electricity: Electrical outlets in Thailand are charged at 220/50 v. visitors will have to bring adapters to run their own electrical appliances. Outlets in Thailand are mostly feature flat, two pronged plugs, though some feature holes for round plug ends.
Transportation: There are many transportation means to get you around the city, making any trip convenient and enjoyable. Most of public transportations provide are inexpensive such as motorcycle, tuk-tuk, taxi, BTS skytain, MRT underground and etc.
One of the fastest ways to get around town when you are solitary traveler is to jump on a motorcycle. By being able to dodge the almost constant gridlock and dart in and out between cars and buses, motorcycle is a quick way to get around during the rush hours. Motorcycle taxis can be easily spotted with the riders wearing orange vest around the corner of shopping buildings, busy roads and small streets.
Fare will start from 10 Baht for short journey and varies depend on how far you go. For your safety, please at all-time riding on the motorcycle wearing the safety helmet.
The open-air three wheeler or Tuk-Tuk is popular among foreigners for short trip around the city, although they are most of the time more expensive than taxi. Expect to pay 40 Baht and upwards for a short journey, unless you are a good bargainer.
With radio and meter, air-conditioned taxi is cheap, plentiful and comfortable. Those with red light in front are vacant and stop for you instantly. The fare is from 35 Baht for the first 3 kilometers and the rate rises at 2 Baht increments with a traffic jam surcharge, but no night-time increase. If using the express way, passenger is expected to pay the amount as indicated at each tollgate.
This BTS sky train has been designed to help you discover all the interesting sites and activities around Bangkok. It is a cheap, smooth, cool, clean and fast, it operates from 06.00 – 24.00 every day. The train is pretty full during peak hrs. 07.00-09.00 hrs. and 16.00-19.00 as the BTS has become a primary means of transport for people living and working in Bangkok. For more information about the routes and fares, please visit www.bts.co.th
Fast and efficient, the Mass Rapid Transit network (MRT) serves 18 stations and stretches for 20 km in horseshoe shape from Hua Lumphong in the South (near Chinatown) to Bang Sue in the North. Trains arrive every 5-7 minutes, and connect to the BTS sky train at Sukhumvit and Silom stations. For more information about the routes and fares, please visit www.bangkokmetro.co.th
Visa: Visitors are required to have an onward ticket to enter to Thailand. Citizens of most nations can get a 30-day visa upon arrival or are exempt from visas, for more information in obtaining the visa please visit http://www.thaiembassy.com/thailand/thailand-visa-types.php