Thailand: Destination Asia

 

Destination Asia is the Far East’s leading Diversified Travel Organisation with 27 offices in 11 Asia countries.

Destination Asia was formed in 1996 when experienced travel executives and managers saw a niche market opportunity for a travel firm that, being owned by its staff, could provide travel services solely responsive to the needs of the client and not the whims of any international corporate conglomerate.

Destination Asia Thailand and Destination Asia Vietnam were the first units of the Destination Asia group to be formed. From these two initial successes Destination Asia Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Myanmar and Laos have evolved, further strengthening our association within the region. In 2010 we opened in Singapore & Malaysia and in 2011 we launched our Japan operation.

We offer specialist services for all areas of the corporate Incentive, Meeting and Exhibition business, with particular expertise in the UK markets. Destination Asia prides itself in creating unique and cost effective programs, with the highest levels of professional operation and delivery, which has resulted in the Company providing services to many of the Fortune 500 companies using incentive travel as a core sales motivation device.

Website: destination-asia.com

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Key Contacts
Addie Samerton, Managing Director
Krisanee 'Kris' Srisatin, General Manager
Wanchai Thavornthaveekul, Incentive & Conventions Director

Thailand - Destination Factfile

Local Time GMT +7hrs - No daylight saving adjustments.

Flying Time from the UK London – Bangkok approx 12 hours.

Main Airports The principal airport of Thailand is Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok. There are also another four international airports located in the major destination of Phuket, Samui, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.

Transfers Suvarnabhumi International Airport is approximately 37 kilometres from the centre of Bangkok and transfer time by road is approx 45 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.

Immigration Visitors from 60 countries and Hong Kong SAR can enter Thailand without a visa for a period not exceeding 30 days. Visitors from a further 22 countries may apply for a visa on arrival at the airport, valid for 15 days.
UK passports must be valid for a minimum of 6 months from the date of entry into Thailand. Entry to Thailand is normally refused if you have a passport which is damaged or has pages missing. UK passport holders arriving by air may enter Thailand for 30 days without obtaining a visa in advance of arrival.

For further advice contact the Royal Thai Embassy in London as follows:-

Royal Thai Embassy
29-30 Queen's Gate
London, SW7 5JB
Tel: (0)207 589 2944 Ext. 5500
Fax: (0)207 823 7492
Email: (consular matters) csinfo@thaiembassyuk.org.uk - (other matters) thaiduto@btinternet.com
Office Hours: Monday to Friday 09:30 to 12:30 (except Embassy’s official holidays)

Royal Thai Embassy (London) website

Customs All kinds of narcotics (hemp, opium, cocaine, morphine, heroin), counterfeit goods, obscene literature, pictures and articles are prohibited.
Visitors may bring in without duty 200 cigarettes, or 250gms of cigars or tobacco, or in total not exceeding 250gms.
One litre of alcoholic beverage (wine or spirits) may be brought in duty free.

Currency Baht (approx exchange rate is Baht 30.3 to US$1). One baht is divided into 100 satang.
Coins: 25, 50 satang / 1, 2, 5, 10 baht.
Notes: 1,000, 500, 100, 50 and 20 baht.

ATM machines are common. Credit cards are widely accepted at hotels, restaurants and in shopping malls. Major currency bills and traveler’s cheques are cashed easily at banks, hotels, tourist shops, money changers and at exchange facilities at the airport on arrival.

Climate Thailand lies in a tropical zone and shares the same weather patterns as most Southeast Asian countries situated just north of the equator. An understanding of these weather patterns can help you choose beforehand the season best suited to your participants.

Monsoons, not latitude, determine the seasons in Thailand. Monsoons are seasonal winds that change direction during the year as a result of differences in temperature and pressure between land and sea.

The climate of Thailand varies widely from region to region. Rainfall patterns and temperature levels described apply only to the central plains, including Bangkok and the north i.e. Chiang Mai. These insular regions are subjected only to the summer monsoon, which brings three distinct seasons: dry (Nov – Feb), hot (Mar – Jun) and rainy (Jun – Nov). Variations within seasons and between years can slightly alter these monthly guidelines.

The exception to the ‘one monsoon, three seasons’ rule is the peninsular world of southern Thailand, especially the southeast coast, which experiences both summer and winter monsoons. Winter rains – uncommon in the north – are caused by winds from the northeast passing over the Gulf of Thailand and thereby accumulating humidity. As a result of alternating monsoons, which also dictate temperatures, southern Thailand has just two seasons - wet and dry.

The climate here is similar to that of its peninsular neighbor, Malaysia, which experiences few variations between seasons. Year round, the area is warm and humid, with rain falling at any time but heaviest during the summer months and during the so-called ‘dry season’ months of December and January.

There can be significant differences in rainfall levels between the west and east coasts depending on the strength of the storm. Travelers on Koh Samui surprised by sudden showers might find drier conditions across the peninsula on Phuket island.

Average Temperatures (ºC)

BANGKOK
High (Jan) 33 (Feb) 34 (Mar) 35 (Apr) 39 (May) 37 (Jun) 36 (Jul) 34 (Aug) 32 (Sep) 32 (Oct) 32 (Nov) 30 (Dec) 30
Low (Jan) 24 (Feb) 26 (Mar) 27 (Apr) 29 (May) 28 (Jun) 27 (Jul) 27 (Aug) 26 (Sep) 27 (Oct) 26 (Nov) 23 (Dec) 22

CHIANG MAI
High (Jan) 27 (Feb) 31 (Mar) 36 (Apr) 40 (May) 38 (Jun) 34 (Jul) 33 (Aug) 32 (Sep) 30 (Oct) 29 (Nov) 28 (Dec) 25
Low (Jan) 17 (Feb) 20 (Mar) 22 (Apr) 28 (May) 28 (Jun) 27 (Jul) 27 (Aug) 26 (Sep) 25 (Oct) 18 (Nov) 17 (Dec) 15

PHUKET
High (Jan) 32 (Feb) 33 (Mar) 35 (Apr) 38 (May) 36 (Jun) 34 (Jul) 32 (Aug) 31 (Sep) 30 (Oct) 31 (Nov) 32 (Dec) 31
Low (Jan) 26 (Feb) 28 (Mar) 30 (Apr) 30 (May) 29 (Jun) 28 (Jul) 27 (Aug) 27 (Sep) 26 (Oct) 28 (Nov) 29 (Dec) 29

KOH SAMUI
High (Jan) 30 (Feb) 31 (Mar) 33 (Apr) 35 (May) 34 (Jun) 33 (Jul) 31 (Aug) 32 (Sep) 31 (Oct) 30 (Nov) 30 (Dec) 29
Low (Jan) 23 (Feb) 25 (Mar) 28 (Apr) 29 (May) 28 (Jun) 27 (Jul) 28 (Aug) 28 (Sep) 28 (Oct) 28 (Nov) 28 (Dec) 27

Social Customs Thais are tolerant, easy going people with ready smiles and appreciate courteous behavior. They hold great reverence for the monarchy and their Buddhist religion, and will take offense at anyone making disparaging remarks about either institution. Visitors to temples or royal palaces must always dress with appropriate modesty. Females should not attempt to touch or hand anything directly to Buddhist monks as this is against their precept of celibacy.
Traditionally, Thais greet each other with a wai (pressing the palms together at the chest). If a Thai offers a wai to you, then it is proper to return the gesture. Please avoid touching people on the head as Thais dislike this action, believing the head to be the most sacred part of the body. It is also inappropriate to use the foot for pointing.

Cuisine The cuisine is unquestionably one of the highlights of a visit to Thailand. Forty years ago, Thai food was largely unknown outside the country. Today, the dramatic proliferation of Thai restaurants in every corner of the planet has made Thai food one of the most popular cuisines in the world. However, tasting authentic Thai food in the country of its birth, with all the regional variations and fabulous seafood, is an experience well worth savoring.

Dress Code Light, cool clothes are sensible and a jacket is needed for formal meetings and dining in top restaurants. Shorts (except knee-length walking shorts), sleeveless shirts, tank tops and other beach-style attire are considered inappropriate dress when not actually at the beach or in a resort area.

Electricity 220v, 50Hz. Two types of socket outlets are used in Thailand for the following types of plug: (a) plugs with 2 flat parallel blades and (b) plugs with 2 round pins - commonly known as a Europlug.
Some outlets are combination sockets and can accept both types of plug.

Official Holidays
January 1- New Year’s Day
March 7 - Maka Bucha Day
April 6 - Chakri Day
April 13,14,15 - Songkran Day
May 1 - National Labor Day
May 5 - Coronation Day
June 4 - Visakha Bucha Day
August 2 - Arsarnha Bucha Day
August 12 - Queen’s Birthday
October 23 - Chulalongkorn Day
December 5 - King’s Birthday
December 10 - Constitution Day

Health Advice Vaccination certificates are not required for visitors unless coming from or passing through a designated “contaminated” area. Bangkok and other major Thai cities and resorts have excellent medical facilities and most hotels have doctors on 24-hour call.
Bangkok has numerous clinics and hospitals catering for all conditions. Major public and private hospitals are equipped with the latest medical technology and internationally qualified specialists. Almost all pharmaceuticals are widely available.

Tipping Tipping is not standard practice in Thailand, although it is becoming increasingly common. Many larger hotels and restaurants add a 10% service charge to the bill. You should tip at your own discretion, however for FIT clients we recommend you allow $30 per day for your driver and guide (more for groups).

Communications
Emergency calls: 191 Police / Fire / Ambulance
Police: 191
Fire Brigades: 199
Ambulance: 1554
Tourism Police (English, French, and German spoken): 1155
Directory assistance: 1133
Dialing code from UK to Bangkok: 00 66 2 + local number
Dialing code from UK to Phuket: 00 66 76 + local number
Dialing code from UK to Chiang Mai: 00 66 53 + local number
Mobile phones with international roaming are fully operable in most parts of Thailand – however, some of the more remote areas may not have a network signal. Local SIM cards are available at a reasonable price whilst in Thailand.

Taxes Goods and services in Thailand are subject to a value-added tax of 7%. International visitors are entitled to refunds of VAT paid only on goods purchased at shops, department stores and other retail outlets displaying “VAT Refund for Tourists” signs. When making these purchases, ask the shop fill in the tax refund application form. Prior to check-in at the airport for departure, present the completed VAT refund form, plus passport information, tax receipts and your purchases to a customs officer for inspection. Certain luxury goods (jewelry, watches, gold ornaments, etc) must be shown to an excise official at the VAT refund office in the departure lounge.

 
 
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