Before You Go To Thailand
by Delia Toh
Your passport, valid for at least 6 months, is an entry requirement, as with all other countries. However, by law, your passport must be with you at all times while in Thailand. If your period of stay is longer than the time declared upon arrival, you must obtain a visa or an extension of stay or risk a fine of 500 baht for each day of overstay.
It is against the law to carry more than 200 cigarettes per person into Thailand, and more than 20 grams of a class A drug when entering or leaving Thailand. A breach of the latter will result in a death sentence. The duty free limits for Thailand are as follows:
- 250g of tobacco or equal weight of cigars
- 1L of alcoholic liquor.
The currency used in Thailand is the Thai baht, current exchange rate is 24.1408 baht to 1 SGD.
For tourists, to claim a VAT (value-added taxes) refund, your goods must have been purchased within 60 days of departing Thailand. They must have been purchased from stalls with the “VAT refund for tourists” sign and the total price of all purchased goods must be 2000 baht or more. The refund can be claimed at stores when displaying your passport and at airports, when you submit your VAT refund application form and produce the goods for inspection.
A departure tax of 700 baht has been included in the price of air tickets.
The following Airlines reach Thailand from Changi International Airport:
-Singapore Airlines (to Bangkok)
-SilkAir (to Chiang Mai and Phuket)
-Tiger Airways (to Changkok and Phuket)
-Jetstar Asia Airways (to Phuket)
-Thai AirAsia (to Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket)
-Thai Internation Airlines (to Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket)
-Myanmar Airways (to Bangkok)
Health and Safety
Take caution when traveling in Thailand due to the common occurrence of Dengue Fever and Malaria (approximately 115000 reported cases of dengue fever in 2010). There have also been cases of infection from the Chikungunya virus, especially in Phuket. H1N1 is also present.
Demonstrations are currently occurring in Thailand. The Thai Patriots Network, Pitsanulok Road in front of Government House, Bangkok, may be closed. They are also on-going at the Makh awan Bridge, near Government House. Beware of anti-government demonstrations on the 10th of every month at the Democracy Monument (near Khao San Road) and on the 19th of every month in the central shopping district of Ratchaprasong. Apart from these locations, the political situation in other cities in Thailand are considered relatively stable. Nonetheless, it is strongly advised that you follow the news closely and change your plans if the need arises.
Thailand is a country vulnerable to terrorism. Random and indiscriminate attacks have occurred in poplar tourist attractions such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai. You are highly advised to exercise caution and vigilance when in these areas: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Khon Kaen, Ubon Ratchathani and Udon Thani.
Be especially careful when walking around in crowded areas and take care of your belongings. Avoid unnecessary walking in dark and secluded areas at night.