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VISA INFORMATION

The Thailand Ministry of Foreign Affairs website has advice as to which visa might be appropriate for your situation.

For a summary of countries and territories entitled for Visa Exemption and Visa on arrival click here

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK)

Suvarnabhumi Airport is located about 15 km of on the east-bound Bangna-Trat Highway in Bang Phli District, Samut Prakarn Province and is about 25 km from downtown Bangkok.

For Suvarnabhumi Airport information and transport services click here

Don Mueang Airport (DMK)

Bangkok International Airport (Don Mueang Airport) is located some 22 kilometres north of Bangkok. The Domestic Terminal and Cargo Terminal are also located nearby.

For Don Mueang Airport information and transport services click here

GENERAL INFORMATION

Banking and Currency

Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are plentiful throughout Thailand, and most will accept cards issued by any of the major international banking networks (Plus, Cirrus, etc.)

Business Hours

Most commercial concerns in Bangkok operate on a five-day week basis. Government offices are generally open between 8.30 AM and 4.30 PM with a noon to 1.00 PM lunchbreak, Monday through Friday, except on public holidays. Private businesses maintain much the same hours - perhaps 8.00 AM to 5.00 PM, with certain exceptions. Many stores open 12 hours a day, seven days a week.

Credit Cards

Major credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, JCB and American Express, are readily accepted at most hotels, airlines, restaurants and upscale merchants.

To prevent your credit/debit card from being declined, it is important to advise your card issuer of your travel plans in advance. Some institutions routinely block/deny unexpected charges from Thai merchants for fear of possible fraudulent use.

Electricity

The electric current is 220 Volt AC (so cycles) throughout the country. There are many plugs and sockets in use. Travellers with shavers, tape recorders and other appliances should carry a plug-adapter kit. The better hotels will, make available 110 Volt transformers.

Etiquette

Polite behaviour is welcomed everywhere, and what is considered polite in other countries is probably considered polite in Thailand, too. However, there are a few cultural pitfalls, mainly social and religious taboos, the breaking of which can cause offence:

  • For example, Thais revere their royal family. Even a faintly implied slight on the Thai monarchy will likely cause great offence.
  • Outward expressions of anger are regarded as crude and boorish. The visitor who remains calm and smiles appreciatively will find all sorts of doors open to him.
  • Visitors should dress neatly in all religious shrines. They should never go shirtless, or in shorts, hot pants or other unsuitable attire.
  • Shoes should be removed when entering private Thai homes; chapels where Buddhist images are kept; and any of the Islamic community's mosques.
  • Each Buddha image, large or small, ruined or not, is regarded as being a sacred object. Never climb onto one to take a photograph or do anything that might show lack of respect.
  • Public displays of affection between men and women are frowned upon. Westernised Thai couples may hold hands but that's as far as it goes in polite society.
  • It is considered rude to point your foot at a person or object.
  • Thais regard the head as the highest part of the body, both literally and figuratively. Therefore, they do not appreciate anyone patting them there, even as a friendly gesture.

Health

No inoculations or vaccinations are required unless you are coming from or passing through contaminated areas, Yellow fever certificates are required for those who are coming from 14 following countries; Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Angola, Barkina Faso, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Mauritania, Mali, Nigeria, Sudan and Zaire.

Insurance

It is strongly recommended that delegates take out adequate travel and health insurance prior to commencement of travel. Further information can be obtained from your travel agent.

Language

English is the official language of the Conference.

English is widely understood, particularly in Bangkok where it is almost the major commercial language. English and other European languages are spoken in most hotels, shops and restaurants, in major tourist destinations, and Thai-English road and street signs are found nation-wide.

Liability

The Organising Committee and/or the Conference Organisers shall not be held liable for personal accidents or losses or damage to private property of registered delegates. Delegates should make their own arrangements with respect to personal insurance.

Tipping

It is not necessary to tip cinema ushers. It is customary to tip porters and hotel personnel who have given good personal service. A 10%-15% tip is appreciated in restaurants, particularly where service charge is waived.