The electric current in Thailand is 220 Volt AC (50 cycles) throughout the country. Travelers with shavers, tape recorders and other appliances should carry a plug-adapter kit. The better hotels will make available 110 Volt transformers.
Though tap water in Bangkok is technically safe to drink, the plumbing in certain buildings may make water inadvisable to ingest. Furthermore, travelers’ unaccustomed to otherwise harmless bacteria in the water could get upset stomachs from drinking ice that is technically ‘safe’ to consume. Bottled water in Thailand is recommended as it is cheap and ubiquitous and most ice is safe to consume as it is produced with potable water, with cube ice generally safer than crushed ice.
Fuel for cars in Thailand is predominately unleaded petrol, sold by the liter. Bigger vehicles, such as vans, use diesel. Both are readily available at petrol stations throughout the country. Prices range from 20 to 30 baht per liter. Most service stations accept Visa and MasterCard, and generally close by 10pm or midnight.
Thailand uses the metric system and road distances and speed limits are posted in kilometers and kilometers per hour.
The Thailand postal service is efficient and reliable with branches in most major towns throughout the Kingdom. Thailand post offices are open M-F 8am-4:30pm and Sa-Su 9am-1pm. However, The Central GPO in Bangkok, located on New Road, is open until 6pm M-F and Sa-Su 9am-1pm. All Thai post offices are closed on public holidays, though most major hotels can arrange to mail letters and parcels on your behalf. In addition to domestic and international mail services, both land and air, standard and registered, the Thailand postal service also provide telegram service.
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Thailand uses the metric system for all weights and measurements, with the exception of area, which Thais divide into wa and rai.
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Electrical outlets in Thailand are charged to 220v at 50 cycles per second, which is compatible with appliances from the U.K. but not those from the US and many other nations. While most computer cables have adaptors for voltage, visitors from the U.S. and those not on the 220/50 v. will have to bring adapters to run most other appliances. Outlets in Thailand generally feature flat, two pronged plugs, though some feature holes for round plug ends. Few outlets feature three holes (grounded outlets) so it is often necessary to have a three to two prong adapter for using notebook computers in Thailand.
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Thailand hotels are some of the finest in the world, whether they are five star luxury spa retreats or quaint family-run beachfront bungalows. There is a hotel in Thailand for every type of traveler on every budget. That said, the best prices are during Thailand’s off-peak season (May – Aug), while the most expensive prices are typically during the cool season (Dec – Feb). Whether your accommodation choice is a homestay with local villagers, a guesthouse in a backpacker district, a beach bungalow, or a five star hotel in Thailand, unless you have booked ahead, settle for nothing less than the warmest “land of smiles” hospitality.
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The Thai phone system is both modern and widespread, with comprehensive coverage for cell phones and reliable pay phones found throughout the kingdom. Purchasing a second-hand Thai phone is inexpensive and convenient, and calling from Thailand on a public phone is easy with a phone card available at most convenience stores. Emergency numbers are often three or four digit numbers, including Tourist Police, which is 1155.
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Thailand is not an easy place to visit for people with reduced mobility or other physical challenges. The larger resorts and tourist attractions provide facilities for disabled people, but in rural areas public transport is limited and often inaccessible to wheelchair users.
Moving around the city can be extremely difficult for disabled people. The streets and pavements are uneven and few buildings provide ramps and handrails to aid disabled access. Guide dogs are rare and there are few audio signals for the blind at traffic crossings.
Nonetheless, a project has been announced by the Bangkok governor along with the Disabled People International Asia-Pacific Region to ensure that Bangkok pavements are easily navigable for those with reduced mobility. A commitment has also been made to make public transport more accessible.
Public transport is not usually equipped to facilitate disabled access. Public buses are inaccessible to wheelchair users. Disabled people are usually forced to travel through the cities by taxi. However, few taxi drivers are experienced or trained in helping a wheelchair-bound customer into and out of their cars.
Sky Train (BTS) stations in Bangkok are on multiple levels, with ticketing on a level above the street and trains on upper levels, making access difficult for wheelchair users. At the moment only five of the stations provide disabled access. However, there are plans for elevators to be built at other stations.
The national rail network has no special facilities for disabled passengers but assistance will be given to those who ask.
The Bangkok MRT underground (Metro) has better disabled access and all of the stations have elevators. Assistance will be given to disabled passengers if requested. On the trains there are locks for wheelchairs.
At Suvarnabhumi Airport a lack of elevators and disabled toilet facilities makes it difficult for wheelchair users, though assistance is easy to procure.