THAILAND INFORMATION


WestEast Travel
Our recommended travel agent is WestEast Travel who have been in operation since 1988 and specialise in personal
travel to Thailand and the far east.
We have always found WestEast Travel to be very professional and efficient and the special offers that appear on
their website from time to time are well worth keeping an eye on. You can request on their website that they keep you
up to date with all the latest news and offers.
WestEast make a price promise that if you find the exact same flight anywhere else at a lower price they will not only
match that price, but simply beat it.
For preferred airlines, prices and availability check the flight search facility on their website

WestEast Travel    295 King Street, Hammersmith, London, W6 9NH
Tel: 0844 815 8899
Fax: 0870 063 3125
E.Mail: uk@westeasttravel.com
Website:
www.westeasttravel.com
Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 09-00 - 18-00
   Saturday 10-00 - 15-00
   Sunday and Bank Holidays: Closed


Airlines
Depending upon plans and arrangements and whether or not you plan to stop off on the way to Thailand I for one am
a massive fan of the direct flight. Getting on and off the plane and waiting around in various transit lounges is not my
favourite occupation, so I like to do the flight in one.
Our preferred airlines are either Thai Airways or Eva Air and we have used both of these airlines on a fairly equal
amount of occasions and find them to be excellent. There are various flight times inbound and outbound, but Eva Air
has a flight which departs London Heathrow at 21-30 and arrives Bangkok at 15-45 the next day. The outbound flight
departs from Bangkok at 13-10 and arrives at London Heathrow at 19-10 the same day. Providing there are no delays
at customs we are out of Heathrow and on our way out of London by 20-30. A further two hour car journey gets us
home by about 22-30 and all in one day with the help of the time difference. There are of course many fantastic
airlines for your flight to Thailand and you might well already have your own personal favourites, but a good search
around on the WestEast Travel flight search facility will give you all direct and non direct flights, prices, times and
availability that would suit you.  Websites:  
www.evaair.com        www.thaiairways.co.uk       www.thaiairways.com


Insurance
Travel insurance is highly recommended, preferably a policy covering you for medical problems,theft and loss.
There are policies around that pay hospital and doctors bills directly instead of you having to pay at the time and
claiming back when you return home, however if you do have to claim back later make sure you keep all
documentation safe. A further point is to make sure the policy covers you for ambulance or an emergency flight home.
On a lighter note and over the 25 years that I have been going to Thailand I have only had to make use of my travel
insurance once. ''I had a disagreement with a dog in 2008 that bit me in the leg, so just to be on the safe side I ended
up having a few rabies shots, it turns out the dog was annoyed with anyone that went near it as she had given birth
and was protecting her young and I just happened to be passing by.''
* No recommendations for travel insurance unless of course you use Westeast Travel for your flight, they have various
travel insurance policies as you would expect, but I am sure you have your own preferred options here.


Suvarnabhumi Bangkok International Airport
Suvarnabhumi Bangkok international airport is based about 25 kilometres outside of the Bangkok city centre and is
infact conveniently placed in between Bangkok and the seaside resort of Pattaya.
Pattaya is about 90 minutes from the airport.

Visas
At this present moment in time passport holders for 41 different countries given below are not required to obtain a visa
when entering Thailand for the reason of tourism and are permitted to stay in the kingdom for a period of 30 days on
each visit.
No visa required for up to 30 days for passport holders of....
Australia, Austria, Belguim, Brazil, Bahrain, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany,
Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco,
Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Quatar, Singapore, Spain, South Africa,
Sweden,
Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America and Vietnam.
For Further Enquiries
Royal Thai Embassy London
29-30 Queen's Gate, London, SW7 5JB
Tel No: 020-7589-2944 Ext. 5500
Fax No: 020 7823-7492
Website:
www.thaiembassyuk.org.uk
Email: csinfo@thaiembassyuk.org.uk


Geography
Thailand is situated in South east Asia and occupies an area of 511,771 sq km which is roughly about the size of
France and has a population of approximately 65 million people. Thailand  is bordered by Malaysia to the south,
Cambodia to the east, Laos to the north east and the north and finally Myanmar to the west and part of the north. The
capital city is Bangkok ( krung Thep) for short as we don't want to go in to the full name here.

Climate
Thailand has a tropical climate and has three main seasons that feel like wam, hot and hotter, but that is only my
interpretation of the seasons.
The real seasons are
Hot season:     March - June
Rainy season: July - November
Cool season:   November - February
During the months of November through to February you might well need a sweater or a jumper for those slightly
cooler evenings or early mornings and especially this applies in the north in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Mae Hong
Son where you might even need a sweater or a jumper during the day.
However for the majority of the time in Thailand it is fairly warm to say the least and thin cotton clothing is the way to go.

Government
A constitutional monarchy. The Head Of State: King Bhumibol Adulyadej
The Kingdom of Thailand was established in 1238 as Siam. It was established by King Khunsri Intrathit who named
Sukhothai as the capital city. It was known as Siam up to 1939 and is the only South East Asian country that has never
been colonized by a European invader.

Language
Thai is the national language, plus regional Thai dialects and various hilltribe languages. English is widely understood
in the main cities and I find improving each time we go, but I worry I will not be able to further advance my Thai soon as
everyone wants to speak to me in English in order to practise.
In reality I am still happy to say that the majority of language spoken is Thai language and long may that remain.

Religion
The majority of people infact 95 percent are Buddhist and the minorities are made up with Muslim, Christian, Hindu and
others.

Customs
The duty-free allowance on cigarettes for visitors to Thailand is 200 and one litre of wine or spirits.
There is no limit on the amount of travellers cheques or drafts you import, but if you have more than US$10,000 in
cash it must be declared. You cannot export more than B50,000 in cash.
You will also require export licenses should you be thinking about taking home antiques or Buddha images.

Currency
The currency is the Baht the baht is made up of one hundred satangs.
Thai bank notes are in the form of B1000, B500, B100, B50 and B20 denominations.
Thai coins are in the form of B10, B5, B2, B1, 50 satang and 25 satang


Money Exchanging
You can exchange cash and travellers cheques at banks and at money changers, normally getting a better rate with
the travellers cheques.
The major credit cards are accepted in restaurants, hotels and various shops.
I myself have also used without problem the ATM machines and have found them very convenient, but keep an eye on
the bank charges of some banks that show up on your statement when you gget home.
Your card at an ATM is not always garanteed to work as some banks will block it, if the country that you are in is
considered for the high fraud risk  list and Thailand is on that list.
Also with ATM'S in Thailand the money comes out first and then the card back, where here in the Uk the card comes
back first and then the money.
Tips regarding card fraud are very much the same as anywhere, keep your card safe, keep an eye on your account
and use machine's that are preferably inside bank buildings, because also if a machine chews your card up or
whatever, the bank can look in to it and hopefully sort the problem out. Finally inform your bank before you go that you
might be using your ATM card in Thailand during the period from - until and the bank will note this,
On one of our tours one gentleman forgot to inform his bank that he would be using his card in Thailand and after two
withdrawals in Thailand they turned his card off, thinking foul play was at work. He had to contact his bank and tell
them that it was he who was in Thailand and could they put it back on again, which they did in 10 minutes.


Time
Thailand time is GMT + seven hours

Health

Water
Do not drink any tap water in Thailand it is not safe.
Bottled water is available everywhere in Thailand and is very inexpensive, infacy so inexpensive it can be used for
cleaning your teeth as well.

Inoculations
Regarding inoculations it is always best to check out what you require with your GP or the practice health sister.
There are actually no requested inoculations for visitors to Thailand, but certificates for cholera or yellow fever are
required if you are arriving from an infected area.
The usual recommended vaccinations are for Hepatitus A, Tetanus, Thyphoid, Polio and maybe Hepatitus B, but your
Doctor will confirm this.
If by chance you are bitten by a dog or a monkey as I was by a dog on one occasion in 2008 then rabies shots are
available at the nearest hospital and the four shots on different days cost me about £40-00 and the hospital service
was brilliant literally in and out. As far as records go being bitten once in 25 years of going to Thailand is not bad.

Malaria
Although mosquitoes are in abundance all over Thailand, the risk of catching malaria is low outside of a few border
areas and the remote areas we are talking about are not going to be visited by tourists. The areas at greater risk are
remote areas on the borders of Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. The only place that we visit near the border areas is
Mae Hong Son,so it is a good idea to get advice from your GP to see if Mae Hong Son makes the risk list. Places like
Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket are fine. The key to all of this is to do as much as you can to avoid being
bitten, by using mosquitoe spray and wearing long sleeves and long trousers at night.
Again check with your local GP or health sister to confirm the position, but I have only ever used anti-malarial tablets
on one occasion and got some rough side effects from them and have never used anything since,but again please
visit your medical practice for advice.
For further information about Malaria and other health issues in Thailand, please browse the two websites below.
Website:
www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk               Website: www.mdtravelhealth.com/destinations/asia/thailandhtm
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