Bangkok is quintessential Asia with the enigmatic Thais
at the center of it all. The promise of Asia is the religious and historical
insistence on maintaining an even, calm comportment during any situtation
- no matter how benign, heated, or even tragic. The Thai's (as opposed
to the louder, busier Chinese and Japanese, for example) seem perfectly
suited for the task. A soft, disarming charm abounds - you will be seduced.
Though Bangkok is anarchy with cars, buses, taxis, tuk-tuks, and two-stroke
motorcycles battling it out for space under the perpetual 95 degree sun,
the Thai's take it all in and you should, too. But, if it's all a bit
much, hop in the new SkyTrain and be above it all - literally. At the
end of the day, the food, the people, great prices, and big smiles will
keep you coming back again and again. You'll love it! A must Asian destination.
Similar to Europe, it is 220 volts and 50 cycles. The United States is
110 volts and 60 cycles. There will be built-in adapters for shavers in
almost all hotel rooms. Sockets for 220 volts will accommodate two-pronged
or three-pronged plugs, but NOT both - the former is more prevalent. If
you intend to get an adapter, its better to see what kind of sockets are
in your hotel first. Waiting until you get here to do so not only ensures
you get the right one, but it will be much cheaper.
Internet cafes are EVERWHERE, and filled with the hip and trendy checking
their email, listening to Thai pop songs, and chatting non-stop. Connection
speeds vary but are generally good.
English language newspapers are readily available throughout Bangkok including
local publications the Nation and The Bangkok Post. International offerings
include the Asian Wall Street Journal, the International Herald Tribune,
and USA Today International. Other major European and U.S. city newspapers
are also available in many areas, particularly from large news stands
Thailand has a population of about 60 million people of which about 10
million live in sprawling Bangkok. Ethnic Thais form the majority, though
the area has historically been a migratory crossroads, and thus strains
of Mon, Khmer, Burmese, Lao, Malay, Indian and, most strongly, Chinese
stock produce a degree of ethnic diversity. Integration is such, however,
that culturally and socially there is enormous unity.
The country code for Thailand is 66.
Dialing Out Code
Dial 001, followed by your country's telephone code, and then the area
(or city) code, and then your number. For the U.S., the country code is
"1", for the U.K. it is "44" and for Australia, it
Local calls are free from homes, stores, and businesses but most hotels
will charge for this, sometimes a lot. Make sure you check with the hotel
beforehand especially if you will be getting on the internet. A local
call from a public telephone is a few baht.
1.) Though most hotel rooms now have International Dial Direct (IDD) thus
saving guests some of the exorbitant charges that used to be levied at
all hotels, it's still cheaper to use a phone card at an IDD phone outside
Police, Fire, or Ambulance - 191
Bangkok is fully served with cable TV (CNN, HBO, ESPN, CNBC, among dozens
of others) available almost everywhere.
Bangkok is seven hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). There is no
daylight savings time. During summertime in the United States, Bangkok
is the same time as: New York City + 11 hours, Chicago + 12 hours, Denver
+ 13 hours, and Los Angeles +14 hours. In the winter, when daylight savings
time, or D.S.T., is in effect in America, simply add one hour to those
times. Ex. When it is 7:00 p.m., August 23rd (therefore, no D.S.T.
is in effect) in Chicago, it is 7:00 a.m. August 24th in Hong Kong. When
it is 7:00 p.m., February 23rd (D.S.T. is in effect) in Chicago, it is
then 8:00 a.m., February 24th in Bangkok.
Bottled water is recommended and available everywhere.
Thai people have a deep, traditional reverence for the Royal Family, and
a visitor should always show tremendous respect for H.M. the King, H.M.
the Queen and the Royal Children.
Visitors should dress neatly in all religious shrines. They should never
go topless, or in shorts, hot pants or other unsuitable attire. It
is acceptable to wear shoes when walking around the compound of a Buddhist
temple, but not inside the chapel where the principal Buddha image is
The Kingdom of Thailand, covering an area of 514,000 square kilometres,
lies in the heart of Southeast Asia, roughly equidistant between India and
China. It shares borders with Myanmar ( Burma ) to the west and north, Laos
P.D.R. to the north and northeast, Cambodia to the east and Malaysia to
the south. Bangkok
occupies a total area of 1,568 square kilometres on a flat alluvial plain
divided by the Chao Phaya River. Bangkok, Composed of about 50 districts
(khets), it is home to one-sixth of the country's population.