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Useful information, Thailand travel planner, Holidays info, Advices on all you need to know about practical Thailand

  • Visa and formalities
  • What to bring on holiday?
  • Health
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  • Post offices and telecommunication
  • Local time
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    »» Your country's embassy in Thailand

    Passport validity

    To enter Thailand you must be in possession of a passport still valid minimum six months with a tourist visa or three months for a transit visa or without visa.

    For less than a 30 days stay, visa not required.

    You do not need any visa for a stay no longer than 30 days (transit visa). On your arrival at the airport, the immigration office will deliver you a free visa that will allow you to stay for 30 days in the country. You could extend it for a maximum of 7 days for the amount of 500 baht.


    Please pay attention to overstay, it will cost you 200 baht or 6 US$ fine per extra day to a maximum of of 20'000 baht to pay when leaving the country.

    An example of the Thai visa
     Thai visa

    Extend your visa

    If you want to protract your stay, there is another solution. Before the end of your allowed stay, show the following documents to the closest immigration office:

    • the passport (of course !)
    • 2 recent passport sized photos
    • 2 photocopies for each of the following documents : your passport, the visa, the stamps, the departure card stapled
    • and 500 baht.
    You only have to fill out a form, that's all.

    The immigration office is only on Samui Island!

    If you are in the area, the one and only immigration office of the archipelago (for the time being/at the moment) is situated on Samui Island, at nearly 1 km (0,6 mile) south of Nathon (in the Lamai direction), at the first set of traffic lights, on the right side at 20 metres. The office is open from 8:30 am till 4:30 pm non stop from Mondays to Fridays. Closed on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

    A good advice:

    If your visa expires on Saturday or Sunday (or on public holiday), go to the immigration office on Friday (or the day before a public holiday), otherwise if you go there on Monday, you must pay:

    If Saturday, 400 baht (200 for Sunday and 200 for Monday)
    If Sunday, 200 baht (for one day late)
    Same with the public holidays.

    Long stay = visa

    If you think of staying more than one month, get yourself a visa at the nearest embassy or consulate, it is easier.
    You could obtain a 2 months tourist visa or a two entries of 2 months each, also protractable three times on the spot, 1 month then twice 1 week for 500 baht (each extension).

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    Bring a few belongings, in Thailand you will find almost everything you need…. Bring light garments, natural fiber made. If you plan to visit Northern Thailand you would better think of bringing a long sleeves pullover or sweater, the nights could be a bit chilly.
    The clothes are really cheap over here (for example, a T-shirt = 100-150 baht) and there are several laundries everywhere available for washing your clothes.

    Protect yourself from the sun

    The sunglasses, indispensables in Thailand, for motorbike ride and to protect the eyes from sun rays.
    You will find sun lotion here also, mostly imported, therefore you will pay a higher price for it.

    The shoes

    Here everybody wears sandals or slippers, really practicals because the feet are in open air and quickly removed when you will visit a temple or before to enter a house.

    Bathroom items

    Soap, toothpaste, shampoo or others can be bought everywhere in the country, on the other hand, the shaving cream is a bit more expensive here though.

    Mosquito repellent

    There is no need to bring your mosquito net, in the tourist spots you won't really need it, and in any case, you could buy one here for an absurdly low price. You can find mosquito repellent sprays or creams also everywhere and they are very effective.
    Please consult our health rubric lower down or the very detailed page abouth health.

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    To take photos

    There are many photo developing labs, their prices are a little less expensive than in Europe, they are of good quality and have a fast service (from 1 to 24 hours maximum mostly), but on the other hand films are more expensive. About 130 - 150 baht for 36 exposures.
    Slides are almost the same price than in Europe, all the labs are not equipped to process this kind of films.

    For digital cameras, there are more and more places where you can have your photos printed. They can make prints from your memory card (any kind), CD-ROM, floppy disk, etc. on very good quality photographic paper.


    The Post office

    In the large cities of the country, post offices are generally opened from 8 am till 5:30 pm.

    On Samui island, post offices open from 8 am till 4:30 pm from Monday till Friday and Saturday from 8 am till 12 am, they are closed on Sundays and public holidays. The main post office of the island is in Nathon, situated at 100 metres from the port on the North, alongside the quays. There are other post offices of average importance in Chaweng, Lamai and Maenam. Service is very good, you can buy boxes and make your own packages, weigh and then send them by sea, it will take 2-3 months to arrive in Europe, by surface (for the country) or by air mail. It is also possible to send them by the EMS (Express Mail Service).

    Telephone, mobile phone

    You can make phone calls from almost everywhere, from the hotel (a little more expensive, but no need to move), from the several agencies which propose you " overseas call ", from the post offices or from telephone booths which accept credit or prepaid cards. You can also make a collect call. Having said that, the post office remains very good value.

    About cellular mobile phones, Thailand has an up-to-date mobile telephony network that covers almost totality of the surface area of the country. You can find SIM cards in the thousands of mobile phone specialist shops and buy prepaid refill cards everywhere.

    Thailand 066
    Koh Samui = 077 Bangkok = 02
    Koh Pha-Ngan = 077 Phuket = 076
    Koh Tao = 077 Chiang Mai = 053

    For more informations:

    » Samui - Important numbers
    » Thailand: provinces and area dialling codes

    Dialling codes to make phone calls - Thailand country code 066
    FROM THAILAND » 001 + country code+regional area code WITHOUT the 0 + number
    FROM ABROAD » 00 + 66 +regional area code WITHOUT the 0 + number
    Phone call in Thailand
    (all over the country)
    » regional area code (with the 0) + your correspondent's number
    CALL TO A MOBILE PHONE - Dialling codes 01 or 06 or 07 or 09
    FROM THAILAND » 01 or 06 or 07 or 09 + your correspondent's number
    FROM ABROAD » 00 + 66 + 1 or 6 or 7 or 9 + your correspondent's number

    Even less expensive!
     Only 4 baht per minute !

    Even less expensive!
    There is a new practical and cheap way to phone in the country, if you want to call Chiang Mai or Bangkok for example, but not your neighbour (very good value only if you call outside you local area code).
    You will often see a small table on a sidewalk with a Thai person seated behind and a panel mostly written in Thai on which you will recognize only the number 4. It means that you can phone from 4 baht per minute with his/her mobile phone, instead of about 20 baht per minute with a stationary telephone. Good to know.

    Your mobile phone on the beach?

    Yes, you can carry it, the network is well developed on Samui and Phan-Ngan Islands (and moreover the whole country), but, at the moment, it doesn't work with some companies on Koh Tao. Before leaving, inquire with your operator if they signed an international roaming contract with Thailand. Pay attention however, when you will receive a call on your mobile phone, it is you who pay and not your friend, and at the international rate! Concerning the phone calls which you make on the local area network, ask your supplier to know about the rates, generally they are relatively "reasonable".

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    Time zone

    Thailand is 7 hours ahead of GMT.

    Example: if it is 8 am in London, it is 2 pm in Bangkok in summer and 3 pm in winter.


    One finds it everywhere!
     One finds it everywhere!
    To surf, no problem!

    While in Europe, depending on where, you can hardly find an Internet cafe, well here in Thailand, there are (almost) everywhere! On the islands, on tourist beaches and spots, almost all the travel agencies offer an internet access as well.
    Well, notice that there are no high output connections (a few ADSL's are coming out though), almost all of the Internet cafes use 56 Kbps modems, and depending on certain hours, it could be really slow, an advice, surf on the morning time.
    The rate on Samui is of 1 baht per minute for the least expensive, and 2 baht for the others.


    An adapter?

    The electric current in thailand is of 220 volts. There are often irregular electric tension or short power cuts of one second maximum, so pay attention depending on the devices which you use. During the heavy rains, it happens that there are downright more or less long power cuts.
    About the electricity sockets in Thailand, many european plugs fit them well. In brief, if you want to be sure, bring an adapter.

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    In Thailand there are two different police units in the tourist spots, the tourist police who, as showed by its name, is meant mainly for tourists, and Thai normal police unit.

    In case of any kind of concern, apply to the tourist police first if there is an unit available in your area as they usually speak English well enough and are on duty to take care of foreigners. On Samui Island it is situated just at the exit of Nathon town on the way to Lamai beach on the right hand side.

    We are quite sure you will not need their services because, generally speaking, Thailand is a safe country for its guests, therefore you will be able to travel with an easy mind, free from anxiety, by naturally respecting their customs and traditions and their way of living.

    For police emergency phone numbers, it's here..

    P.S. We are anxious to clarify that these informations are given as a rough guide and that Koh Samui Info is not, in any case, responsible for changes or "differences".

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