1 Do I need a visa? Passport holders from 41 countries, including Australia, the UK, the US and Canada, do not require a visa for stays not exceeding 30 days. Visit for the full list. How long will it take me to get there? 2 hours (Phuket), 2.5 hours (Bangkok), 3 hours (Chiang Mai) from Singapore. Thailand is 7 hours ahead of GMT and 1 hour behind Singapore. 2 What’s the money situation? The official currency of Thailand is the Thai baht (THB). Foreign currency and travellers cheques can be exchanged at banks and Thai baht withdrawn at ATMs throughout the country. Credit cards are widely accepted. When’s the best time to visit? The weather in Thailand is generally hot and humid across most of the country throughout most of the year. Avoid Bangkok and the inland areas in April when the weather is scorching. Beach lovers should be aware that the weather varies on the east and west coasts. On the west coast (Phuket, Phi Phi and Krabi), the southwest monsoon brings heavy storms from April to October. On the east coast (Koh Samui, Koh Phangan), most rainfall is between September and December. What’s the lingo? Thai is the official language, but most locals have at least a rudimentary understanding of English. Here are some phrases to get you started: Hello Sawadee ka (female) / Sawadee krab (male) What is your name? Khun cheu arai? My name is __ di-chan chuh __ (female) pom chuh __ (male) How much? Tao rai ka? (female) / Tao rai krub? (male) Thank you 5 3 4 6 Is there anything I should know about meeting the locals? To say hello in Thai, perform a wai : place your hands together close to your chest and dip your head in a slight bow. What’s a must-try dish? Pad Thai: rice noodles stir-fried with eggs and chopped firm tofu, flavoured with tamarind pulp, fish sauce, dried shrimp, garlic or shallots, red chili pepper, palm sugar, and served with lime wedges and chopped roasted peanuts. 7 Khorb khun ka (female) Khorb khun krab (male) Yes Chi No, thank you Mai ao ka (female) / Mai ao krab (male)


• The town of

Kanchanaburi is home to the famous “Bridge Over the River Kwai”, part of the Burma- Siam railway. An estimated 80,000 to 100,000 people died constructing the project.

• It is strictly

against the law to criticise the monarchy. • Thailand is the

only country in Southeast Asia that has not been colonised by Europeans.

• At 127 metres high, Phra

Pathommachedi in Nakhon Pathom is the tallest stupa in the world. • A nuclear family is rare in Thailand as many live in large extended families.

• Bangkok was

once called “the Venice of the East” due to buildings being built on stilts above the Chao Phraya River.

What should I buy as a souvenir? Thai silk, spa products, Thai cookbooks.

8 | nimon


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