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Thailand


Time

Difference with Moscow time: in winter – 4hours, in summer – 3 hours.
Difference with Kiev and Minsk time: in winter – 5 hours, in summer – 4 hours.
Difference in time with Аstana is 1hour during the whole year.

Water

An important warning: you can not drink water from the taps inn the territory of the Kingdom Of Thailand! Hotels will give out drinking water for free and you can buy bottle water on the street.

Clothes

You should taking into consideration Thailand has a tropical climate. You should wear light clothes with natural fabrics. However, Thailand’s traditions do not welcome unnecessary nakedness in public places. When visiting temples you need to put on clothes covering your knees, elbows, and shoulders, plus you must put on shoes covering your heels. You also must wear a bathing suit if you want to go to a public beach and sun bath.

Shopping

Thailand is a great country to go shopping! You can buy almost anything, starting from souvenirs to live crocodile (note: before buying an animal or plant consult about rules of its export or import to your country). You will notice there abundance of shops, markets and trading centers are impressive. You will be offered a variety of souvenirs, goods of Thai craftsmen, bijouterie, clothes, footwear, products for your skin, jewelry, household appliances, etc.
One of the most authoritative international tourism agency the CBI says that Thailand has been number one (1) for the last 5 years in offering the best for «price – quality».
We are directing your attention to the fact that all prices in Thailand are negotiated both in the markets and private shops. Prices are fixed in supermarkets and trade centers. We do not recommend you to buy jewelry and precious stones on the streets and beaches, because they are not always honest. The best places for buying jewelry are at the jewel enterprises and large shops. When you are buying expensive goods (more that 2000 bahts), you should always have your passport so the purchase can be executed in the proper way. In this case they will be able to return you the amount of VAT in the airport before you leave.

Exchange of currency and traveler’s checks.

We recommend that you change currency and traveler’s checks on bahts only in bank branches and official currency exchange offices with a sign EXCHANGE. The Banks are open from the hours 9.00- 21.00. The Banks are open every day of the week. Many hotels offer this service at their receptions, but your exchange rate will not be as good as the banks offer.

Automatic teller machines and credit cards

There is only one local currency in all automatic teller machines in Thailand – bahts. You can find them by the sign «ATM» in any trade center, on the streets and also near bank branches.
Most banks, shops, hotels accept payments with international credit cards American Express, Master Card, Visa.

Customs rules

The Laws of the Kingdom of Thailand are quite rigorous and protect morality. It is forbidden to import drugs (penalty – live sentence or capital punishment), weapon or ammunition (without proper permission of competent authorities), printing or video production of pornographic nature.
It is not permitted to export cult pictures and statues of Buddha. Special certificates and licenses are required to export antiques and author’s product of folk craftsmanship, gold bars, precious stones and jewelries. If you intend to export a domestic animal, consult with customs officers in advance.

Water motorbike (Jet Skies)

The level of injury rate among tourists using Jet Skies are very high. The reasons are high speed, poor visibility, lack of experience, and very often – alcohol. If you have never driven a Jet skies you must be very careful.

Rules of behavior in public places

  • The Thais do not handshake each other while meeting or parting. They put palms together keeping them in front of themselves like Christians while praying. This gesture is called «vaj». The younger person greets first the older one and the older responds in the same way. Observe the way how they do it and you will quickly learn this greeting.
  • Pointing at somebody with one’s leg is considered to be impolite. Man’s toes should not be directed at anybody even when he is sitting. Please try to follow this attentively.
  • A head is the main part of the body in literal as well as in figurative sense. That is why they do not like when somebody touches their head even in a friendly manner. If you look attentively at the behavior of locals in public places, you will easily notice that the youth try to keep their heads lower than the heads of elderly people, this is done in order not to make an impression that they look down on them. Of course it is not always possible but even a similar attempt will be noticed and appreciated.
  • Excessive display of feelings between man and woman is not welcome in public places.
  • Loosing self-control and raising your voice is considered a lack of good manners. They believe that by controlling one’s emotions and being calm, one can achieve one’s goal more quickly.
  • Locals call to each other by their first name. So, do not be surprised hearing your name, for example Vladimir or Maria instead of the last name. They usually add the word «khun» before your name which is equal to Sir or Madam.

Rules of behavior in cult places

  • One should always be neatly and reservedly dressed. Admittance to temples is denied to persons without shirts or those who wear shorts, miniskirts or other too open clothes. Try to observe the following rules: the way you are dressed to go to a similar place in your own country, the same way you should be dressed here.
  • Walking with shoes is admitted outside of a temple. If you decide to enter the place where the statue of Buddha is located, please take off your shoes. Do not worry about hygiene, the floor is usually clean in such places.
  • Buddhism monks are forbidden to touch woman or take anything from her hands. If a woman is willing to make offering to a monk, she has to pass this gift first to a man and then he will pass it to the priest. An offering to a monk can be made by a woman in another way, she can put the gift on the brim of a saffron cloak (shawl) which the monk holds on the other side.
  • All statues of Buddha – big and small, dilapidated and new are considered to be holy. That is why nobody should climb on them to have a picture taken. In other words, do not do anything that may be considered as disrespect to sacred things.

Diving in Thailand

Thailand is one of the most beautiful countries with exotic seas. Its waters are the waters of the Gulf of Siam South China Sea and a relatively small eastern part of the Indian Ocean extending from the western coasts of Malaysia towards the Andaman Islands and expanding towards Burma.
Most of professional diving centers are located on Phuket and Phi Phi islands (Andaman Sea). Entry-level divers can leave for Pattaya. There is also an opportunity to dive near Samui and Chang islands (Gulf of Siam) or around small islands located near the big ones.

The temperature of the sea is usually between 27-29 °С and everyone feels very comfortable in the water in anytime of year.

 

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