Medical treatment in Thailand is good, principally in Bangkok, all tourist areas and major towns have hospitals and clinics. General practitioners are readily available. Doctors and staff in the larger hospitals are well-trained and generally speak good English.
The Thai word for private hospital is “long-piya-barn ekachon“. In 1989, there were 11,000 private clinics and 180 private hospitals in Thailand.
Emergency numbers are useful if you can speak Thai, if you have an urgent situation, you should contact the Tourist Police or contact your embassy or insurance company.
There are numerous pharmacies in Thailand, they sell a wide range and array of products and medicines, both locally and internationally produced, generic drugs are notoriously cheaper that ‘brand name’ drugs. In some cases, pharmacies are able to sell you medications that would require a prescription.
Common Ailments :
Being a tropical area, Thailand has its fair share of tropical diseases. HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Infections are common, resulting generally from unprotected sexual contacts; all casual sex must be protected with the use of condoms.
Currently there is no compulsory immunization required in Thailand, visitors do not require vaccinations except those coming from or passing through a designated infected area.
The Kingdom of Thailand borders four countries: Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Laos and Malaysia, numerous boundaries follow natural features such as the Mekong River. Thailand has a number of border crossings, all border crossings must be at an official international crossing where you will obtain a passport stamped / visa validated, all accept payment in either U.S. Dollars or Thai Bath. There are also local border crossing places, where local inhabitants cross the border.
FROM MYANMAR (BURMA)
Historically Burma and Thailand have fought many wars over territory. Today, many border areas are disputed, the few crossing points are frequently closed and Thailand’s relationship with Burma can generally be described as wary. Nowadays, tourists are allowed to obtain a one-day visa from the Thai side to visit Burma.
Some border crossings link Thailand and Myanmar, they depend of the current state of relations between the two countries and the legal crossings are:
- Tachileik in Shan State (Myanmar) / Mae Sai in Chiang Rai province (Thailand).
- Myawaddy (Myanmar) / Mae Sot in Tak province (Thailand) with Moei River as natural boundary.
- Three Pagodas Pass which links Payathonsu in Kayin State (Myanmar) to Sangkhlaburi in Kanchanaburi Province (Thailand).
- Taninthayi Division (Myanmar) / Prachuap Khiri Khan Province (Thailand).
- Victoria Point in Kawthaung (Myanmar) / Ranong (Thailand).
Myanmar Embassy in Thailand
Address: 132 Sathon Nuea Road, Bangkok 10500
Telephone: +66 (2) 234 0278
Thai Embassy in Myanmar
Address: 91 Pyay Rd., Yangon
Telephone: 21713, 21715, 21716
Cambodian visas are available on arrival and cost $20. You need to provide one photo. There are six legal border crossings:
- Poipet in Banteay Meanchey Province (Cambodia) / Aranyaprathet in Sa Kaeo Province (Thailand), this is the most direct access from Siem Reap to Bangkok, you should expect long waits, the border is open from 07:00 till 20:00 hours, visa on arrival to Cambodia costs 1,000 baht.
- O’Smach in Oddar Meancheay Province (Cambodia) / The Chong Chom pass in Amphoe Kap Choeng in Surin Province (Thailand), border is open from 07:00 to 20:00 hours.
- The Cham Yeam Checkpoint in Koh Kong Province (Cambodia) / Hat Lek in Trat Province (Thailand), is the most convenient way to travel between the Sihanoukville area of Cambodia and Thailand’s Koh Chang, the border is open from 07:00 to 20:00 hours, there is a casino on the Cambodian side and an ATM on the Thai side.
- Anlong Veng, in Oddar Meanchey province (Cambodia) / Chong Sa-Ngam (Thailand).
- Phsa Prum in Pailin city (Cambodia) / Ban Pakard in Chanthaburi province (Thailand), this route allow fast trips from Phnom Penh to Bangkok overland.
- Daun Lem in Battambang Province (Cambodia) / Ban Laem in Chanthaburi province (Thailand).
Cambodian Embassy in Thailand
Address: 185 Ratchadamri Road,Lumphini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Telephone: +66 (2) 254-6630, 253-9851
Thai Embassy in Cambodia
Address: No.4, Boulevard Monivong, Sangkat Srass Chork, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh
Telephone: (85518) 810860
Demarcation is complete except for certain Mekong islets. There are seven legal border crossings between Laos and Thailand:
- Ban Houayxay in Bokèo province (Laos) / Chiang Khong in Chiang Rai Province (Thailand). The border is open from 08:00 to 18:00 hours, seven days a week.
- Nam-Hueng (Laos) / Amphoe Tha Li in Loei Province (Thailand).
- Vientiane (Laos) / Nong Khai (Thailand), Nong Khai is only 20km from Vientiane, the capital of Laos; the First Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge is a good choice to cross the border, the border office is open from 06:00 to 22:00 hours, seven days a week, most visitors can get visas on arrival at the border.
- Savannakhet (Laos) / Mukdahan (Thailand), the Second Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge connects Savannakhet to Mukdahan, there is a regular bus service between these cities, Savannakhet has a Thai Consulate which is in one of the older colonial buildings which this town seems to have many. Savannakhet also has an airport. The border office is open 09:00 to 16:30 hours.
- Thakhek in Khammouan province (Laos) / Nakhon Phanom (Thailand), border crossing open 08.30 till 15:00 hours.
- Vang Tao near Pakxe (Laos) / Chong Mek near Ubon Ratchathani (Thailand), there is an ATM in Chong Mek, border crossing open 06:00 till 19:00 hours.
- Paksan in Bolikhamsai Province (Laos) / Amphoe Bueng Kan in Nong Khai Province (Thailand), it is a ferry crossing point, border crossing open from 08.30 till 16.30 hours.
Laotian Embassy in Thailand
Address: 520, 502/1-3 Wang Thongland, Bangkok 10310
Telephone: +66 (2) 539-6667-8, 539-6679
Thai Embassy in Laos
Address: Route Phonekheng Vientiane, P.O.Box 128
Telephone: 2508, 2543, 2765
The Malaysia-Thailand border consists of both a land boundary across the Malay Peninsula and maritime boundaries in the Straits of Malacca and the Gulf of Thailand/South China Sea. As you cross into Thailand you gain an hour so remember to adjust your watch, this can also cause confusion about the opening and closing times of the border crossing.
There are at least seven border crossings between Thailand and Malaysia which are open to foreigners:
- Wang Kelian in Perlis state (Malaysia) / Wang Prachan near Satun (Thailand). It is a road crossing.
- Padang Besar in Perlis state (Malaysia) / Padang Besar also known as Pekan Siam in Songkhla province (Thailand). It is a road and railway crossing.
- Bukit Kayu Hitam border pass in Malaysia / Dannok village, Amphoe Sadao in Songkhla Province (Thailand). It is a road crossing.
- Pengkalan Hulu, known Keroh, in Perak state (Malaysia) / Betong in Yala Province (Thailand). It is a road crossing.
- Bukit Bunga in Kelantan state (Malaysia) / Buketa in Narathiwat Province (Thailand). It is a road crossing.
- Rantau Panjang in Kelantan state (Malaysia) / Su-ngai Kolok in Narathiwat Province (Thailand). It is a road and railway crossing.
- Pengkalan Kubur in Kelantan state (Malaysia) / Tak Bai in Narathiwat Province (Thailand). It is a ferry crossing.
Malaysian Embassy in Thailand
Address: 33-35 Sathon Tai Road, Thung Mahamek,Sathon, Bangkok 10120
Telephone: +66 (2) 679-2190-9
Thai Embassy in Malaysia
Address: 206 Jalan Ampang 50450 Kuala Lumpur
Telephone: (03) 2488222, 8350, 8420
Embassies in Thailand
Embassy of The United States
95 Wireless Road, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel : +66 (0) 2205 4049
Embassy of Australia
37 South Sathorn Road, Bangkok 10120
Tel : +66 (0) 2344 6300
Embassy of France
35 Charoen Krung 36 Bangkok 10500.
Tel : +66 (0) 2657 5100
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
9 South Sathorn Bangkok 10120
Tel : +66 (0) 2287 9000
Embassy of Canada
15th Floor, Abdulrahim Place, 900 Rama IV Rd., Bangkok 10500
Tel : +66 (0) 2636 0540
Embassy of Belgium
Sathorn City Tower – 17th floor, 175 South Sathorn Rd., Tungmahamek, Bangkok 10120 Tel : +66 (0) 2679 5454
Embassy of Chile
83/17 Wittayu Soi 1, Wireless Road, Bangkok, 10330
Tel. +66 (0) 2215 3470-4
Embassy of Brazil
34th Floor Lumpini Tower, 1168/101 Rama IV Rd., Thungmahamek, Sathorn, Bangkok Tel : 66 (0) 2679-8567-8
Embassy of the Philippines
760 Sukhumvit Road cor. Soi Philippines (30/1) Klongtoey, Klongtan, Bangkok 10110 Tel : +66 (0) 2259 0139-40
Embassy of Switzerland
35 Wittayu Rd., Bangkok 10330
Tel : +66 (0) 2253 0156
Embassy of the People Republic of China
57 Ratchada Rd., Bangkok 10330
Tel : +66 (0) 2260 3870
Embassy of Italy
339 Nunglingee Rd., Tungmahamek Bangkok.com
Tel : + 66 (0) 2285 4090-3
Embassy of Ukraine
87 All Seasons Place, CRC Tower, 33 rd Wireless Road, Lumpini, Patumwan, Bangkok 10330
Tel : +66 (0) 26853215
Embassy of New Zealand
M Thai Tower, 15th Floor All Seasons Place, 87 Wireless Road Lumpini Bangkok 10330
Tel : +66 (0) 2654 3444
The Diplomatic Mission of the Republic of Kazakhstan
4301, 43rd floor Jewelry Trade Center Building 919/501 Silom Road Bangrak, Bangkok 10500
Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
15 Soi Tonson, Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Tel : +66 (0) 2309 5200
Getting Along In Thailand:
Thailand is known for its tolerance and hospitality, and the average tourist will have no difficulty in adjusting to the local customs All the same, as when coming into any unfamiliar society, a visitor may find it helpful to be aware of certain do’s and don’ts and thus avoid making accidental misunderstanding. Basically, most of these are simply a matter of common sense and good manners not really all that different from the way one would behave in one’s own country but a few are special enough to be pointed out.
The Thai people have a deep traditional reverence for their Royal Family, and a visitor should also be careful to show respect for the King, the Queen, and the Royal Children. In a cinema, for example, a portrait of the King is shown during the playing of the royal anthem, and the audience is expected to stand. When attending some public event at which a member of the Royal Family is present, the best guide as to know how to behave is probably to watch the crowd and do what it does.
Thai law has a number of special sections concerning religious offences, and these cover not only Buddhism, the religion of the majority of the people, but also any other faiths represented in the kingdom. It is, for instance, unlawful to commit any act, by any means whatsoever, to an object or a place of religious worship of any community in a manner likely to insult the religion. Similarly, “whoever causes any disturbance at an assembly lawfully engaged in the performance of religious worship of religious ceremonies” is subject to punishment, as well as “whoever dresses or uses a symbol showing that he is a monk or novice, holy man or clergyman of any religion unlawfully in order to make another person believe he is such person.”Social Customs:
The don’ts of Thai social behaviour are less clearly defined than these concerning the monarchy or religion, especially in a city like Bangkok where western customs are better known and more widely accepted. However, what is acceptable in Bangkok may not be in the countryside where the old ways are still prevalent. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Thais do not normally shake hands when they greet one another, but instead press the palms together in a prayer like gesture called a wai. Generally, a younger person wais an elder, who returns it. Watch how the Thais do it, and you will soon learn.
- It is considered rude to point your foot at a person, so try to avoid doing so when sitting opposite anyone, and following the conception that the foot is a low limb; do not point your foot to show anything to anyone but use your finger instead.
- Thais regard the head as the highest part of the body both literally and figuratively. As a result, they do not approve of touching anyone on that part of the body, even in a friendly gesture. Similarly, if you watch Thais at a social gathering, you will notice that young people go to considerable lengths to keep their heads lower than those of the elder ones, to avoid giving the impression of “looking down” on them. This is not always possible, of course, but it is the effort that counts.
- Public displays of affection between men and women are frowned upon. You may see some very westernised young Thai couples holding hands, but that is the extent of the displaying of affection in this polite society.
- Losing your temper, especially in public, will more than likely get you nowhere. The Thais think that such displays denote poor manners, and you are more able to get what you want by keeping calm and concealing your emotions.
- Do not be surprised if you are addressed by your first name: for instance, Mr. Bob or Miss Mary instead of by your surname. This is because Thais refer to one another in this manner, usually with the title “Khun” (Mr., Mrs. or miss) in front. Follow the customs of the country as far as possible, and you will make more friends during your stay.
In less legal language, here are a few tips on what to do and what not to do on a visit to a religious place:
- Dress neatly. Do not go topless, or in shorts, or other unsuitable attire. If you look at the Thais around you, you will see the way they would prefer you to be dressed which, in fact, is probably not very different from the way you would dress in a similar place in your own country.
- It is all right to wear shoes while walking around the compound of a Buddhist temple, but not inside the chapel where the principal Buddha image is kept. Do not worry about dirt when you have to take them off, the floors of such places are usually clean.
- In a Muslim mosque, men should wear hats and women should be well-covered with slacks or a long skirt, a long-sleeved blouse buttoned to the neck, and a scarf over the hair. All should remove their shoes before entering the mosque and should not be present if there is a religious gathering.
- Buddhist monks are forbidden to touch or to be touched by a woman or to accept anything from the hand of one. If a woman has to give anything to a monk or novice, she first hands it to a man, who then presents it. Or in the case of a woman who wants to present it with her hand, the monk or novice will spread out a piece of saffron robe or handkerchief in front of him, and the woman will lay down the material on the robe which is being held at one end by the monk or novice.
- All Buddha images, large or small, ruined or not, are regarded as sacred objects. Therefore, do not climb up on one to take a photograph, or generally speaking, do anything that might show a lack of respect.
Wild life Crisis:
Many wildlife species are becoming extinct, all because of human’s insatiable greed. This sad trend will continue unabated unless every effort is made to check or reverse the process. We must together put a stop to all these harmful practices and cruelties. You can help protect wildlife in all its forms.
1. Keep the environment clean. Styrofoam, plastics, and other synthetics thrown into the sea or discarded in the forest are harmful or even deadly to animals. When Styrofoam is eaten by turtles, its buoyancy keeps them from diving and they starve to death.
2. Do not support all manners of wild animal abuse. Never buy and keep wild animals as pets in which condition they are never meant to be. Never purchase any products or souvenirs made from wild animals including reptiles like crocodiles, snakes, monitor lizards, and also turtle shell and ivory.
3. Avoid patronizing local restaurants and other public places that specialise in or serve wild animal delicacies. It is against the law to slaughter wildlife for food in Thailand, especially many endangered species. Take no part in this act.