Thailand General Travel Information

Passports & Visas

SA passports do not require visas for Thailand.

Travellers are required to hold a passport valid for not less than 6 months after entry into Thailand. For travellers aged 50 years or above wishing to take retreat in Thailand at least for a period of one year, their passports should be valid not less than 18 months. Before traveling, check that your embassy can replace your passport if it is misplaced. Make copies of the identification of yourself and of your family in case of emergency. If you lose your passport, contact the police and your embassy/consulate immediately.

Airport Taxes

No airport tax is levied on passenger upon embarkation at the airport. However, the Bangkok Airport Tax is levied on transit passengers who decide to leave the transit area if the tax has not been included in the ticket. Fee: THB 700.- (payable in THB only), before their departure.


Thai currency is decimal based and divided into baht and satang. There are 100 satang to 1 baht. Credit cards including Visa, Mastcard, American Express and Diner's Club are accepted at all luxury hotels and the more expensive restaurants.

Traveller's cheques can be cashed at banks and exchange counters in major towns and resorts. ATM machines all over thailand accept the most widely used cards including major credit cards and debit cards such as cirrus and maestro cards.

Thai and foreign banks provide standard services nationwide, Monday through Friday, except public and bank holidays, between 9.30 AM and 3.30 PM. Major banks such as Bangkok Bank, Thai Danu Bank, Thai Farmers Bank and Siam Commercial Bank operate currency exchange centres in most tourist areas from 7.00 AM to 9.00 PM, seven days a week, including holidays.

Many first-class hotels provide 24-hour money exchange services, but only for major currencies such as American dollars, British pounds, German marks and Swiss francs. Travellers cheques are generally accepted only from bona fide hotel guest


Thailand operates exclusively on 220 volt, 50 cycle AC power

Plug Types : The 2 flat parallel blade type. Sometimes the 2 round prong type, or both can be used on the same socket


Central Region

Bangkok is always hot, although temperatures dip (especially at night) around Christmas and New Year, making this the most comfortable time to explore the city. The heat is intense from February to May, and it rains frequently from June to September/October.

North and Northeast

The north and northeast are cool from November to early February, and nights can be very cold around Christmas and New Year. Take warm clothing if you travel or go trekking here at this time. It rains in the north from July through September, so take light rain gear for trekking. However, these are the best times to visit, as the vegetation is rather parched during the hot season, from late February to early July.


The south is very wet from March through November, so if you want to catch the sun, go between February and October/early November.


Bring Mosquito repellent with you and drink only bottled water. Also be careful of ice in your beverages and raw fruit and vegetables washed in tap water.


Hotel taxis have fixed tariffs. Taxis cruising the streets of Bangkok have meters. Tuk Tuks are cheap and also fun and safe to use.

Social Norms

Thais don't normally shake hands when they greet one another, but instead press the palms together in a prayer-like gesture called a wai. Generally a younger person wais an elder, who returns it.  Thais regard the head as the highest part of the body, literally and figuratively. Therefore, avoid touching people on the head and try not to point your feet at people or an object. It is considered very rude.

Shoes should be removed when entering a private Thai home.  Public displays of affection between men and women are frowned upon. Although almost all year round in Thailand has a hot weather, walking shirtless on the street, especially in Bangkok, is generally regarded as impolite - tank tops are acceptable


Tipping is not normal practice in Thailand, although they are getting used to it in expensive hotels and restaurants. Elsewhere don't bother. The exception is loose change left from a large Thai restaurant bill; for example if a meal costs 288B and you pay with a 500B note, some Thais and foreign residents will leave the 12B coin change on the change tray. It's not so much a tip as a way of saying "I'm not so money-grubbing as to grab the last baht". On the other hand change left from a 50B note for a 44B bill will usually not be left behind.

Good bargaining, which takes practice is another way to cut costs. Anything bought in a market should be bargained for; prices in department stores and most non-tourist shops are fixed.

Visiting Pagodas (Wats) and other religious and traditional sites

Visitors should dress neatly in all religious shrines. They should never go topless, or in shorts, hot pants or other unsuitable attire. It is acceptable to wear shoes when walking around the compound of a Buddhist temple, but not inside the chapel where the principal Buddha image is kept. Each Buddha image, large or small, ruined or not, is regarded as a sacred object.

Never climb onto one to take a photograph or do anything which might indicate a lack of respect. Buddhist monks are forbidden to touch or be touched by a woman, or to accept anything from the hand of one.

If a woman has to give anything to a monk, she first hands it to a man, who then presents it

SATSA No. 207

Hartley’s Safaris is registered with Southern Africa Tourism Association Registration number 207.


Hartley’s Safaris
South Africa (Pty) Ltd
Reg no: 2001/006019/07
United Kingdom
Copyright © 2016 Hartley's Safaris SA

Okavango Explorations (UK) Ltd
T/A Hartleys Safaris
Registered in England No. 2348880
Copyright © 2016 Hartley's Safaris UK

SATSA No. 207

The air holidays and flights shown are ATOL Protected by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Our ATOL number is ATOL 3958. Many of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website.

Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected.

Copyright 2024 by Hartley's Oceans & Islands | Terms Of Use | Privacy Statement | Powered by: WoW Interactive Login