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Thailand Travel Tips - Bit of knowledge about the country one intends to visit makes the journey much more comfortable. These tips would come very handy when visiting Thailand, the land of smiles.
Shopping in Thailand
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Thailand TravelLittle knowledge can lead to a big problem. It is essential that one be aware of the rules and regulations, social and etiquette norms of the country one is visiting. Here are some useful tips for the tour of Thailand. One would find them to be of great help.

How To Act
» Thailand is a Buddhist country. Don't show disrespect to any object connected to the religion.

» Thais hold their king, queen and royal family members in great reverence. Be careful not to show contempt towards them.

» Sacrilegious acts are punishable under Thai law, even if the perpetrator is a foreigner.

» Dress decently when entering a Buddhist temple. Take your footwear off.

» The female should be careful not to deal directly with a Buddhist monk.

» Refrain from touching any adult on the head. Thais consider head the noblest part of the body (spiritually) and would not appreciate your act.

» Don't put your feet on chairs, ledges etc to relax. Thais would consider it inappropriate.

» Intimacies between opposite sexes should not be shown in public.

» Sunbathing in nude is on the wrong side of the law. Keep away from it.

» Not be overzealous to shake hands with the Thais while meeting them.

With Children
» Footpaths in general, and specially of Bangkok, are not pedestrian friendly. Prefer back-or-chest-mounted baby carriers instead of strollers.

» Tell your children not to approach dogs, monkeys or other animals, for they are not as friendly as the Thais.

» Give frequent handwash to your children. This would help them keeping away from stomach bugs.

While Travelling
» Make full use of sun blocks, hats and glasses.

» Avoid eating anything that hasn't been boiled or fried.

» Buy sealed, bottled water. It is better to buy ice that is manufactured in factory.

» Don't take eatables or drinks offered by strangers or taxi drivers.

» Don't accept tours offered by strangers. Make sure that you avail of the services of a registered travel agency.

Shopping
» Bargaining is a norm in Thailand. So don't hesitate to ask for a proper discount.

» Departmental stores have fixed prices.

» Deal carefully with sidewalk vendors who may not offer genuine goods at fair prices.

» Ask for receipts for the goods you buy. While purchasing jewelry you must get a certificate for guarantee.

» Determine all conditions with shopkeepers before accepting money-back guarantee offers.

Tipping
Tipping need not be given except in the big hotels of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Phuket. Even here, tipping is not necessary if the bill incorporates the service charge.

Checking E-mail
» You can access your Internet account through cyber cafes in all popular tourist destinations.

» Mail can also be checked at the main post offices.

» International roaming access can be availed from the local service provider on reasonable rates.

Clothing
» Loose and light clothes are best in the tropical climate.

» Sweaters are needed in hilly regions during winters.

» Appropriate dress is required at certain entertainment and dining establishments.

Medical Services
Medical services are easily available in all tourism destinations and provincial capitals.

Public Holidays
Occasion English Name Date Remark
Wan Khun Pee Mai New Year Day January 1
Magha Bucha Magha Puja February (date varies) Buddhist holiday, based on lunar calendar
Chinese New Year March (date varies) Celebrated in chinatowns, not a national holiday, though some private offices can remain closed
Chakri Day April 1 Commemorates establishment of current dynasty
Songkran Thai New Year April13-15 Water festival, most popular festival
Visakha Bucha Vesak May (date varies) Buddhist holiday, based on lunar calendar
Royal Ploughing Ceremony May Only Government holiday
Labour Day May 1 Only Bank holiday
Coronation Day May 5 Remembering the crowning of current king
Asanha Bucha Aslha Puja July (date varies) Buddhist holiday, base on lunar calendar
Khao Phansa Vassa July (date varies) Buddhist holiday, based on lunar calendar
Mid Year Day July 1 Only bank holiday
Wan Piyamaharat Chulalongkorn Day October 23 Anniversary of King Chulalongkorn's death
Father's Day December 5 Current king's birthday
Constitution Day December 10 Commemorates the change to constitutional monarchy
New Year's Eve December 31