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Entering Thailand

 

Most people arrive in Thailand via Bangkok's Don Muang International Airport, situated approximately 20 kilometres north of the city centre. There are two inter­national terminals at

 

Don Muang Airport. Arrival terminals are dependent on the airline flown. Currency exchange counters and ATMs are located in the Arrival Hall. A second international airport is currently under construction in the south o f Bangkok and is due to open in 2003.

Visas
Foreign visitors from 57 countries can enter Thailand without a visa for a period not exceeding 30 days; or get a Tourist Visa on Arrival for a period not exceeding 15 days.

Transit Visas allow up to 30 days of travel in the kingdom with proof of an onward ticket. Tourist Visas permit a stay of up to 60 days and can be extended once by 30 days. Non­Immigrant Visas allow a stay of up to 90 days.

Retirement Visas, aimed at encour­aging foreigners aged 55 years and over to stay longer in Thailand, can be applied for at Royal Thai embassies or consulates.

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For more information, contact the Immigration Department located at Soi Suan Plu, South Sathon Road, Bangkok. Tel: 0 2287 310 1.

Immigration
Arriving passengers are required to fill out a No. 6 (T.M. 6) immigration card. Passengers without entry visas from 90 Plus countries can obtain visas on arrival at International Passenger Terminal 1. A fee of 300 baht is charged and two 1" passport pictures are required (Express Photo Service fee, 120 baht for 4 photos). Permitted length of stay is 15 days, including arrival day.

Passengers departing Thailand must have their passport checked by an Immigration officer. The boarding pass and a completed No. 6 (T.M. 6) immi­gration card must also be presented.

Customs
All kinds of narcotics (hemp, opium, cocaine, morphine, heroin), obscene literature, pictures and articles are prohibited.

Cigarettes, cigars, or smoking tobacco, each or in total, must not exceed 250 grammes in weight. Ciga rettes must not exceed 200 in quantity. One litre each of wine or spirits may be brought in duty free.

Certain species of fruits, vegetables and plants are prohibited. Please contact the Agricultural Regulatory Division, Bang Khen, Bangkok, Tel: 0 2579 1581, 0 2579 3576. Entry permission for animals arriving by air can be obtained at the airport. If arriving by sea, application for entry must be made at the Department of Livestock Develop­ment, Bangkok. Tel: 0 2251 5136, 0 2252 6944. Vaccination certificates are required.

Health regulations
As in most countries, vaccination certificates are not required for people unless coming from or passing through a designated "contaminated" area. Some border areas of Thailand are malarial and appropriate precautions should be taken if visiting there. Bangkok, major cities and resorts have excellent medical facilities and most hotels have doctors on 24-hour call.

Thailand has altogether 455 private hospitals - 121 in Bangkok, 165 in the Central region and East Coast, 62 in the North, 57 in the Northeast, and 50 in the South. Visitors can be assured of round-the-clock interna­tional standard medical services.

Exchange Control
Any amount of foreign currency may be brought into the country. Visitors may take foreign currency out of Thailand, but no more than the amount stated in the customs declara­tion made on arrival. Travellers leaving Thailand may take out no more than 50,000 baht per person in Thai currency.

Baggage Clearance
Arriving passengers are required to complete a Customs Declaration Form before passing through Customs. Passenger with nothing to declare should proceed to the Green Channel. Those with articles to declare should proceed to the Red Channel with a completed Declaration Form. Failure to declare dutiable, restricted or prohibited articles may result in their confiscation and a fine amounting to four times their value.

Airports
Thailand currently has six international airports, at Bangkok (Don Muang Airport), Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Hat Yai, Ko Samui and Phuket.

Airport tax for international passengers is 500 baht/person. Domestic airports are at Mae Hong Son, Nan, Lampang, Phrae, Mae Sot, Phitsanulok, Udon Thani, Sakhon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Phetchabun, Khon Kaen, Ubon Ratchathani, Buri Ram, Nakhon Ratchasima, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Krabi, Trang and Narathiwat.

VAT refunds
Visitors entering the Kingdom on tourist visas are entitled to refunds of the 7%> value-added tax (VAT) paid on goods purchased at shops, department stores and other retail outlets display­ing "VAT Refund for Tourists" signs, where tax refund application forms are available. Prior to airport departure, visitors must present a completed VAT refund form, plus passport information and purchase receipts, to a customs officer. Certain luxury goods must be shown to an excise official. Refunds may be in bank draft form or credited to a credit card. For more information, please contact the VAT Refund for Tourists Office, Tel: 0 2272 9388 or VAT Refund Office at Bangkok International Airport, Tel: 0 2535 6576-79.

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Airport transport
Private airport-to-city transfer options include hotel services, airport limousine service (approx 650 baht from the airport to downtown), and taxis from public taxi stands located outside arrival halls.

Public transport options include train and Airport Bus.

Don Muang railway station is 500 metres across the road from the airport and provides services to Bangkok where connections can be made to all parts of the country. Timetables are available at the station.

Airport Buses (AB), from the airport to the city and back, operate from 0430 hrs to 0030 firs, at approximately 15-minute intervals (depending on traffic): For information, phone 0-2995-1252 or contact the Tourist Service Centre, Tel: 1155.

  • AB-1: Airport-Silom Road-Airport
    Inbound:
    From airport, take Don Muang Tollway exit Din Daeng Road, pass Century Park Hotel, Pratunam, Ratchadamri Road, Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel, Lumphini Park, Silom Road, Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza, Charoen Krung Road, and stop at Silom Road, opposite Lerdsin Hospital.
    Outbound: From Silom Road, pass Ratchadarnri, World Trade Centre, Pratunam, Indra Regent Hotel, along the same route and stop at Don Muang.
     
  • AB-2: Airport-Sanam Luang-Airport
    Inbound:
    From airport, take Don Muang Tollway exit Din Daeng Road, pass Ratchawithi Road, Victory Monument, Phyathai Road, Phetchaburi Road, Lan Luang Road, Princess Hotel, Tanao Road, Phra Sumen Road, Chakraphong Road, Bang Lamphu (Khao San Road), around Democracy Monument, Royal Hotel and stop at Sanam Luang.
    Outbound: From Sanam Luang, pass Rachinee Road, cross under Phra Pinklao Bridge, Phra Athit Road, Phra Sumen Road, Bang Lamphu (Khao San Road), along same route and stop at Don Muang.

     
  • AB-3: Airport-Thonglor-Airport
    Inbound:
    From airport, take Don Muang Tollway, Din Daeng Expressway, exit Sukhumvit Road, pass Nana, Ambassador Hotel, Grand Pacific Hotel,
    " Asoke intersection, Eastern Region Bus Terminal (Ekamai), New Phetchaburi ' Road, Thonglor Road and stop at Thonglor Police Station.
    Outbound: From Thonglor Police Station, pass Thonglor Road, Sukhumvit Road, Windsor Suites Hotel, Rembrandt Hotel, Asoke intersection, Nana, along same route and stop at Don Muang.
     
  • AB-4: Airport-Hua Lamphoug-Airport
    Inbound:
    From airport, take Don Muang Tollway, Din Daeng expressway, exit Ploenchit Road, pass Siam Centre, Siam Square, Phyathai Road, Mah Boon Krong, Rama IV Road, Mandarin Hotel, Bangkok Centre Hotel, Wong Wian 22 Circle, and stop at Bangkok Hua Lamphong Railway Station.
    Outbound: From Hua Lamphong pass Rama N Road, Phyathai Road, Pathumwan Princess Hotel, Mah Boon Krong, Siam Centre, along the same route and stop at Don Muang.

     

 

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