Brief Info On Bangkok

Population: 62 million, with 10 million residing in Bangkok. International Dialling Code: +66

Money: Thailand uses the Thai Baht (THB), which comes in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000. At press time, S$1 is equivalent to THB24.

Electricity: 220 volts. Most receptacles are two flat pins, so bring an adaptor.

Tipping: Not usual but becoming common. Most hotels and restaurants add a 10 per cent service charge to the bill. It is acceptable to give porters THB10 to THB20.

VAT Refund: Tourists are entitled to 7 per cent value-added tax refund. It may be claimed if the purchases at the same store on the same day totals THB2,000 and more. Fill out a PP10 form supplied by the sales staff. At the airport, present it together with receipts at the VAT refund desk. Refunds may be in bank draft form or credited to a credit card.

Etiquette: Instead of shaking hands, the Thais greet one another with a prayer-like gesture by pressing their palms together, which is known as a wai. Also, avoid touching others on the head in Thailand, because it is considered the most important part of the body.

10 Common Phrases

  • Hello: Sa-wa-dee krup/kaa*
  • Thank you: Kop-koon krup/kaa
  • Sorry: Khor-toat
  • Yes: Chaff krup/kaa
  • No: Mai-chaff krup/kaa
  • How much is this: Ra-kha-thaorai
  • Can you make it cheaper: Lotnoi-dai-mai
  • Where is ... ?: ... yoo tee nai
  • I don't want: Mai-ow krup/kaa
  • May I take a photograph: Tai-roop-dai-mai
*Krug is used by men; kaa by women.