Practical information about Bangkok
Streets full of the aromas and flavours of Thai street food, a population that is friendly, welcoming and fun, hidden treasures around every corner or river bend. A fast and modern transport system and shopping from souk-style markets to upmarket boutiques all blend together to give Bangkok its own multifaceted personality. It can be a city of contrasts Buddhist monks carry smartphones, giant air-conditioned shopping centres sit beside tiny temples but one thing is for sure, the City of Angels is never dull.
The capital of Thailand, it's a bustling hive of exploration for a traveller with a buzzing nightlife. Despite being a large and busy city, Bangkok is surprisingly safe provided sensible precautions are taken. Check out the overview below on the things every traveller should know when travelling to Bangkok!
Essential Bangkok information for visitors
Emergency numbers: Should you require emergency assistance dial 191. For minor problems or advice, the tourist police can be contacted at 1155. Please note: Making jokes or disparaging comments about the Thai royal family or treating objects depicting the king (such as currency) with disrespect are seen as serious offences that can carry a severe penalty.
Government and tourist offices: Most countries have an embassy or at least some consular services in Bangkok. The Canadian Embassy is on Abdulrahim Place. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has three offices in the city. The main one is on New Phetchaburi Road. There is also one at Suvarnabhumi International Airport and one Ratchadamnoen Nok Road.
Temperature and weather: Bangkok is hot all year round with summer temperatures that average 30 °C and can rise to over 40 °C. The 'cool' season is from November until February but temperatures can still go over 30°C. The 'wet' season runs from May until October when flash floods and thunderstorms are common. Travel sensibly in extreme heat with light clothing, plenty of water, a sun hat and suntan cream.
Currency: The basic currency unit in Thailand is the Thai baht (THB). There 100 satangs in one baht and coins come in denominations of 25 and 50 satangs, 1, 2, 5 and 10 bahts. Paper currency denominations are 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 baht. ATMs are available in most areas of Bangkok but less widely available once you leave the city.
Local time: Bangkok is on Indochina time in the GMT+7 time zone. Bangkok is six hours ahead of London and eleven hours ahead of New York and Ottawa. It is three hours behind Sydney. Thailand does not use daylight saving time.
Electricity: Thailand uses 220V AC electricity with power outlets usually being two-prong or flat. International power adapters are widely available at airports.
Language: Thailand has one official language, Central Thai. Many language variations and dialects, however, can be heard in Bangkok and around the country. English is a common second language and is usually spoken and understood at major tourist attractions.
Required travel documents: For arrivals from most countries a 30-day visa exemption can be collected at the airport or a 15-day exemption visa at land borders. For longer stays, a 60-day tourist visa is available from the Thai consulate in your home country. There is no charge for visas. Thailand, however, has a reputation for changing its entry requirements at short notice so always check out the latest information at Thaivisa.
Health: It is vital that you have fully comprehensive travel insurance with worldwide coverage. Check the small print to ensure it covers a wide range of medical emergencies as well as ambulances and an emergency flight home should it be necessary. Vaccinations for Tetanus, Diphtheria, Polio, Measles, Mumps and Rubella are recommended while Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccinations are sometimes required. Check the latest advice at least eight weeks before you travel.
Tipping and taxes: While tipping is never expected in Bangkok, it is always appreciated. Most people round up taxi fares and restaurant bills. It is always worth checking your bill in restaurants, especially upmarket ones, as sometimes a 10% service charge is automatically added.
Thailand has a tropical climate and Bangkok is said to be one of the hottest places on earth. The peak tourist season when hotels are in most demand is from November to March. This is when humidity and heat are at their lowest making sightseeing more enjoyable. To guarantee a flight or hotel room for this period visit BudgetAir now. We make sure you always get our best deals!