Travel Essentials

Visas

Obtaining a Thai visa is easy: all you need is a passport with a minimum six months’ validity. It is recommended to apply for a Thai visa in India. The Royal Thai Embassy is in New Delhi (www.thaiemb.org.in) and there are consulates in Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai. Visa applications can also be submitted at any of the five VFS Global (www.vfs-thailand.co.in) application centres across India: New Delhi, Chandigarh, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Along with the application form and passport, photocopies of the following are also required 1. Confirmed return air ticket/vessel itinerary; 2. Financial statement/credit card issued by a bank or financial institution (not applicable in case of frequent travellers to Thailand; and 3. Proof of hotel/accommodation reservation in Thailand (if applicable). For a visa on arrival which is valid for 15 days, a recent photograph (2 1/4 inches) is required along with the application as well as a fee of Bt1,000. The fast track counter levies an additional fee of Bt200.

Time Zone & Weather

The time zone in Thailand is referred to as ICT, which stands for Indochina Time (although many countries in the region are not on ICT time). ICT is +7 hours from UTC/GMT (Coordinated Universal Time/Greenwich Mean Time). There is no daylight saving time in Thailand.

The weather in Thailand is generally hot and humid: typical of its location within the tropics. Generally speaking, Thailand can be divided into three seasons: “hot” season, “rainy” season, and “cool” season, although the country’s geography allows visitors to find suitable weather somewhere in the country throughout the year. Located just 15 degrees north of the equator, Thailand has a tropical climate and temperatures typically range from 19 to 38 degrees C (66-100 F). Expect some rain between May and October.

Fast Track Services

Your wedding planner will be able to arrange for you and your guests to breeze through the entire immigration routine in less than 20 minutes. With the Fast Track Service at Suvarnabhumi Airport, a designated agent will escort you and your bags from the arrival gate, through the Fast Track immigration – no need to stand in line – and your luggage will be waiting for you at the other end. The chauffeur service will be outside the airport, ready to whisk you to the hotel in no time.

Money & Banking

Currency
The currency of Thailand is the Thai baht (THB), which comes in both coins and bank notes form. The size of Thai currency, both coins and bills increases with value and varies in colour. Bt1000, Bt500, Bt100, and Bt20 are in bank note demoninations. The coins also range in sizes, from the largest Bt10 to the smallest 25 satang (100 satangs to one baht). It is advisable to carry smaller denominations for paying local transport costs as the driver sometimes may not have change for a Bt1,000 or Bt500 note.

Exchange
Banks or legal money changers offer the best rates to exchange Thai baht or foreign currency. ATMs that accept Visa and other credit cards are easily found in large cities and dispense Thai baht, while many exchange booths will give you a cash advance in Thai baht on your credit card with a good exchange rate, they will levy an extra fee.

Credit Cards
Major credit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard American Express, are accepted in most hospitality establishments and shopping centres, particularly the larger ones in Bangkok and popular tourist areas. However, there are occasionally additional fees placed on charges by both the retailer and your card provider.

Banking
Bank hours in Thailand are generally Monday through Friday, 9.30 am to 3.30 pm, though certain banks in shopping malls and public establishments are also open on weekends for some services. Currency exchange booths are open for considerably longer hours in Bangkok and other major tourist destinations.

pix pix pix pix