The currency used in Thailand and Bangkok is called Thai baht. It is hard to say the exact value of ti, since the currencies change their value every day, but in average 1 USD equals around 35 Thai bahts. Currencies like Euro, USD and British pound are the easiest to exchange and make sure you exchange the money in banks and exchange offices, do not do it with dealers on the street, you’ll probably get ripped off. There are also ATMs in the city and some restaurants and shops take credit cards.
Phones and Internet
When it comes to phone calls in Bangkok for tourists, you have a few options. There are phone booths throughout the town, actually two types of phone booths, one for local and another for international calls. If you are using your mobile phone, it is the best that you don’t make calls because of the roaming, even though some companies have agreements with other international companies about the roaming prices. You have a simple option of buying a pre-paid card and you can make local and international calls on very low rates. Internet is in many places charged, but if you are booking or searching for a hotel room, make sure that they have the complimentary Wi-Fi.
Business Hours and Holidays
Business hours in Bangkok and Thailand do not differ much from other parts of the world and in general it is from 8.30 a.m. till 3.30 p.m. Banks work on weekdays from 9.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. Gas stations and emergencies are available 24/7 and when it comes to shops, most of them work from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. the entire week. Holidays in Thailand can vary, since some of them depend of the lunar calendar and change dates, but public holidays in Thailand and Bangkok are: 1 January, 4 March, 6 April, 13 – 15 April (12,16 and 17 in some areas) , 1 May, 5 May, 1 June, 30 July, 12 August, 23 October, 5 December, 10 December, 31 December.
Local Laws and Tips
Bangkok is a safe city in general; you don’t have to be afraid that someone will attack you, but beware, like in every big city, of pick-pocketing. When it comes to their customs, they might differ from yours. For example, they consider the head of a man the most sacred part and legs and feet the dirtiest part, so don’t touch someone’s head and avoid touching someone with feet or pointing at them with feet. They find it very insulting and disrespectful. Also, if you are entering someone’s home, take off your shoes.
Essential Phrases in Thai Language
Thai is the official language in the country and city of Bangkok. They have their own script that many tourists don’t understand, but there are many people who speak English. Either way, here are some useful phrases in Thai that can help you communicate with your hosts.
สวัสดี means Hello and is pronounced Sa-wat-dii.
คุณสบายดีไหม/หรือ means How are you? and is pronounced sabaai-dii mái/rue?.
ผม/ดิฉันชื่อ means My name is ____ and is pronounced phŏm/dì-chăn cheu _____ .
ขอบคุณ[มาก] means Thank you (very much) and is pronounced khop khun [mâak].