Thailand fits into a single time zone, 7 hours ahead of GMT.
When it is 12 o’clock in Bangkok, it is 5 or 6 o’clock in the morning in Europe, depending on whether it is summer time or winter time.
When it is 12 o’clock in Bangkok, it is 10 o’clock in the morning in Reunion.
When it’s 8 p.m. in Bangkok, it’s 9 a.m. in Montreal.
Capital : Bangkok ( Krung Thep in Thai) with about 10 million inhabitants
Location : Between 6 and 21 parallel North
Area: 513,115 km2 (12 x larger than Switzerland)
North-South 1,650 km
East-West 800 km
Narrowest point Isthmus von Kra (approx.15 km wide)
Countries bordering :
West and North: Myanmar
In the North- East : Laos
In the East : Cambodia
In the South: Malaysia
In the North: mountainous and rich in forests
In the North-East: high peaks and richly wooded
In the center: very fertile due to the Chao Phraya river and its tributaries
Population / Religion
Thailand now has around 70 million inhabitants, of which around 75% are Thais. Almost 95% of the Thai population is Buddhist.
Thai is the official language of the country, and comes in different dialects. The business language is English.
The Kingdom of Thailand has been a Parliamentary Monarchy since 1932. The current constitution dates from 1991. Parliament consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate appointed by the Head of Government. The king is the head of state.
French Embassy in Thailand
8, rue Creuse, 75116 Paris
Tel: 01 56 26 50 50 Fax: 0 56 26 04 25
Thai Embassy in France
35, Charoen Krung Road Bangkok
Tour CAT 23rd Floor
Tel: + 66 02 657 5100
Embassy of Belgium in Thailand
Sathorn City Tower
175 South Sathorn Road
Tel : + 66 02 679 5454
Swiss Embassy in Thailand
35 North Wireless Road
Tel: + 66 02 253 0156 to 60
Embassy of Canada in Thailand
990 rama IV road bangrak
Tel : + 66 02 636 0540
The French, Belgians, Swiss, who travel less than 30 days in Thailand, do not need a visa, provided that the validity of the passport exceeds 6 months on arrival in Thailand
The climate is punctuated by three seasons, which are hardly differentiated.
We generally distinguish the slightly cooler dry season (December to February) at the end of October to April with a very hot off-season in April-May (35 °) on average, before giving way to the monsoon.
The most touristic and also the coolest season is between December and January. It is advisable to book several months in advance for this period of extremely hot summer (March to June) and the rainy season (June to November) can also be a good time to travel. You will discover magnificent green landscapes.
Even in the cooler months, it is extremely hot in Thailand: its extreme equatorial climate is difficult for the most seasoned travelers.
In Bangkok the maximum temperatures are close to 32 ° throughout the year and the humidity rate rarely drops below 50%.
Temperatures drop slightly during the Christmas season, but the humidity remains extremely high, to the point that there is a need to take several showers a day.
The so-called “rainy” season can experience several weeks of drought and the “ dry ” period around Christmas, due to the unexpected attacks of the monsoon …
The climate is marked by seasonal monsoons that cross the country. Relatively predictable in most areas, they vary as one descends south towards Malaysia.
Koh Samui and the east coast are sometimes hit by monsoon winds in November and December, but as a rule, it rains less there than anywhere else during the rainy season. The hottest months are May and June.
Travelers generally choose to visit Thailand during the relatively cool and dry season which runs from December to February. The foreseeable inconveniences during this period, tourist destinations are saturated and hotel rooms are scarce. Prices also tend to go up and it is more difficult to find tickets to travel around the country.
You can visit Thailand all year round, but the period from October to mid-March is the best season; the climate is then dry, and it is not too hot.
It is at this time that the festivals are most numerous. It is essential to book your stay in advance for this period, especially as Thais travel a lot for the holidays.
The country enjoys a humid tropical climate, always hot, and the water temperature remains around 26 ° -28 ° C.
For Thais, life is punctuated by three seasons: temperate (Nov-Jan) hot (Feb-May) and rainy (June-Oct)
The latter has a bad reputation wrongly: the Thai monsoon consists of an alternation of violent rains, at the end of the day, and strong sun; it is a period during which one can bathe and have a pleasant trip.
These three seasons are not so clear in reality, due to variations due to altitude or exposure.
Thus, the monsoon does not affect the islands of Phuket West coast and Samui East coast at the same time, however close
Phuket is more of a winter destination, Samui a summer destination. For Bangkok and the north there are no contraindications.
In the north, avoid trekking during the monsoon and plan to wear wool in all seasons, the temperature being cooler than in the plains.
The postal service is very efficient in Thailand and you will find a post office in most cities.
You can also drop off your mail at the hotel reception.
If you bring your personal phones with you, when you happen to be able to deactivate the cellular data abroad as well as the 3G / 4G system, at the risk of ending up with a very steep bill! Some operators allow you to receive your voicemail messages free of charge on your mailbox, avoiding you to call your voicemail in France at a premium rate. Do not hesitate to inquire with your operator. In order to stay in touch with your loved ones, you can also download free WiFi-enabled applications such as Skype, WhatsApp or Viber.
The Thai telephone system is modern and efficient, whether it is local or international calls.
To call abroad, dial the international code (00) then the destination country code (33) for France (41) for Switzerland (32) for Belgium (1) for Canada and finally the phone number of your correspondent.
The Thailand code is (66) if you are calling from abroad. You must then dial the area code (without the 0), then the number of your correspondent
You can very easily buy a Tourist Sim Card, for the duration of your stay, in all the small “Seven Eleven” shops… Please note that your fingerprint will be required recently.
In most cities there are Internet cafes that offer excellent services at great prices.
You can call inexpensively using Skype software in most Internet cafes.
Almost all hotels have an internet service accessible either directly in the rooms or in the hotel lobby.
The national currency is the Bath (THB).
The euro and the dollar can be changed very easily in the exchange offices and the banks that line the streets.
The exchange rate in June 2023 was equivalent to:
37.90 bath for € 1,
34.75 baht for US $ 1,
25.725 bath for $ 1 CAD,
38.75 bath 1 CHF,
Many automatic teller machines (ATM) accept major bank cards.
Withdrawals by international Visa, Mastercard, Eurocard are possible throughout Thailand.
You can get cash at the bank counter using your bank card and on presentation of your passport.
We advise you to avoid payments by credit card in small hotels, shops, restaurants, so as not to be charged undue sums. In addition, you will be charged a commission that can vary between 3% and 5%.
Traveller’s checks are accepted by banks and exchange offices, which will charge a commission in exchange for their service and require the presentation of your passport.
As in all countries, it is recommended to take care of your valuables. Use a belt equipped with pockets with zippers and do not hesitate to deposit your belongings in the safe of your hotel.
Banknotes bearing the likeness of the King of Thailand. Since 2018 new banknotes bearing the effigy of the new King of Thailand have been in circulation.
20 bath (green) – 50 bath (blue) – 100 bath (red) – 500 bath (purple with anti- fraud hologram ) – 1000 bath (brown).
The pieces: 25 and 50 damn; 1,2,5, and 10 bath (two-tone).
Remember to always carry small change with you, to pay for meals, taxis and small daily expenses.
In the event of loss or theft of your card:
If you do not know the telephone number to file an objection from abroad, dial the following numbers from Thailand:
Carte Bleue : 001 800 11 535 0660
Euro card / mastercard : 001 800 11 887 0663
American Express: 00 33 1 47 77 74 84
Diner’s Club: 00 33 1 70 75 51 16
How to get around Thailand.
Bangkok is served by around 100 airlines, including all the major international companies. Since 2006, most flights land at the new Suvarnabhumi Airport (BBK) located 25 km southeast of Bangkok city. The former Don Muang airport (DMK) is located 25 km north of the city of Bangkok and is now reserved for domestic flights (Nok Air, Vietjet, Air Asia…).
IN PRIVATE VEHICLES
Privatized vehicles remain the most comfortable, secure and enjoyable way to visit Thailand.
The train remains a pleasant way to get around the country, if you are not constrained by the time and the destinations served which remain limited.
The bus is convenient to reach most small towns, for short trips.
SKYTRAIN & METRO
The inauguration, a few years ago, of the Bangkok BTS skytrain, greatly facilitates travel in Bangkok, it serves many tourist sites and shopping districts of Bangkok, hotels on Silom Road, the PATpong district, hotels from Sukhumvit Road.
The metro is open every day from 5 a.m. to midnight. The tickets are different than the BTS tickets.
OVER THE WATER
Different boats exist in Thailand including long tail boats “fascinating and incredible wooden motorised boats”, you can take the opportunity to visit Bangkok and its surroundings, the floating market, take a cruise on the Chao Phraya, explore the lakes of the national parks or go on an excursion to discover the southern islands.
CAR & MOTORCYCLE RENTAL
The traffic outside the big cities remains pleasant by car or motorbike, for the more seasoned. You should know that Thailand remains the second country in the world with the most road accidents! You will be asked for your international license. And we recommend that you have repatriation insurance.
The electrical outlets are perfectly compatible with our European electronic effects. You will therefore not need to bring an adapter during your trip. The current is 220 Volts (50 Hz) and classic two-arrow sockets. On the other hand, if you have a lot of electronic devices, consider bringing a power strip that will facilitate the simultaneous charging of all your devices. However, you can easily buy adapters at a lower cost on site.
Thailand is a warm and welcoming country. Still, it’s best to be careful not to stir up the lust of dishonest people by flaunting your possessions and wealth. A safe is available in most hotels to protect your most sensitive items.
Thailand is famous for its cuisine and rightly so! You will have the opportunity to taste traditional dishes, more or less spicy, based on rice or noodles, accompanied by chicken, pork or seafood. If you are not a fan of spicy dishes, do not hesitate. to notify your server by specifying ” No spicy ” when ordering.
Pad Thai, sautéed noodles with shrimp, as well as kai satay skewers, are staples of Thai cuisine. A way to gently introduce yourself to Thai gastronomic flavors …
Children can sometimes be reluctant to taste foods that are spicy or have exotic tastes. This is why many restaurants and hotels offer mixed cuisine, combining Western (pizza, pasta, hamburger) and local dishes.
Tap water is not drinkable in Thailand! A small bottle of water per person will be provided to you each day at your hotel, but we recommend that you purchase one and a half liter bottles in order to hydrate yourself properly, the high temperatures and physical activity promoting dehydration.
Comfort of hotels.
As a general rule, all hotels provide you with hygiene products, such as soaps, shower gels and shampoos, as well as towels.
If you wish to wash your laundry, a laundry service is present in each hotel and will clean your laundry (at an additional cost). Allow between 24 and 48 hours for the return of your effects.
You can also have access to Wi-Fi in the common areas and / or in your room, depending on the services offered by the hotel. Note that the quality of the connection often depends on the proximity / distance from large cities.
In Thailand, certain rules must be observed:
To access the different temples, otherwise you will be barred from entering, you will need to have your shoulders and legs covered and will have to remove your shoes to enter sacred buildings.
Drone users must be provided with civil liability insurance, a user license and declare it to the nearest police station.
You will be prohibited from picking up or bringing back corals (even dead).
You will also be prohibited from feeding the fish, even if your boat captain suggests it.
Please note, it is strictly forbidden to vape or own e-cigarettes in Thailand. ” E-cigarettes are subject to confiscation and you could be fined 1 million Baht or 10 years in prison .” This is not a joke. The introduction of more than 1 carton of cigarettes per person is also liable to a fine. The fine can be very high. Around 1000 € for 5 imported cartridges. It is also forbidden to smoke on 20 beaches in Thailand this is punishable by 1 year in prison and / or 100,000baht fine: Pattaya, Jomtien, Phuket, Cha -Am, Hua Hin , Bang Saen , Pangnga , Samila , Mae Phim and Laem Singh.