Citizens of most countries don’t need a visa to enter Thailand. Thus, residents of most EU countries, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Turkey, the UAE, the UK and the USA are allowed staying in the Kingdom as tourists for up to 30 days. If the citizens of these countries enter Thailand from neighboring countries, the limit of their stay is reduced to 15 days.
Entering the Kingdom, travelers from the mentioned countries must prove their solvency (to show 10 000 THB per person or 20 000 THB per family in traveler’s checks or in cash) and to show a return ticket that proves the intention to leave Thailand within 30 days from the moment of entry.
Russian citizens who come to Thailand as tourists have a right to stay in the country without a visa for 30 days. It is enough to fill in an immigration card, to show a passport that is valid for at least six month from trip’s last day and a paid return ticket.
Ukrainian citizens, as well as citizens of some other CIS countries (such as Uzbekistan and Kazachistan) must get the so called visa on arrival, when entering Thailand. It allows staying in the Kingdom as a tourist for up to 15 days. To receive the visa you must show a passport that is valid for at least six month from trip’s last day, a paid return ticket that proves the intention to leave Thailand within 15 days from the moment of entry, and sufficient funds of 10 000 THB per person or 20 000 THB per family. Customs officers often additionally ask to show confirmation of hotel booking for the whole period of stay. Such visa rules are also valid for citizens of China, Cyprus, Estonia, India, Latvia, Lithuania, Saudi Arabia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Malta.
In addition, Thailand has special agreements with some states, whose residents are allowed entering the country for a period from 14 to 90 days. Citizens of Hong Kong, Laos, Mongolia, Vietnam and Cambodia can stay in Thailand for 14/30 days, the citizens of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Korea and Peru can stay for 90 days.
Citizens of other countries and citizens of mentioned states who plan to stay in Thailand longer than indicated above have to obtain a visa.
There are four basic types of visas to Thailand.
Tourist Visa is for those who intend to visit the Kingdom as a tourist or for medical examination/treatment in the country. It is issued for 60 days with an opportunity of extension for 30 days. Cost: 1 000 THB.
Transit Visa is for foreign citizens who transit through Thailand to the third country, and for those who enter the Kingdom to participate in sports events. Transit visa allows staying in Thailand for up to 30 days. Cost: 1 000 THB.
Non-Immigrant Visa is for those who come to Thailand to perform official duties, to conduct business, to study, to work on a contract and for other purposes. Such visa is issued for no more than 90 days. Cost: 2 500 THB.
Diplomatic Visa is granted to diplomatic or official passport-holders who wish to assume duties at a foreign Diplomatic Mission or Consulate or International Organization in Thailand.
All visa categories are issued by Thai Embassies and Consulate-Generals abroad. To apply for a visa, you should prepare the following documents:
- passport with validity of not less than 6 months from the end of intended trip;
- filled out visa application form (can be downloaded from the Thai Embassy’s website);
- two recent photographs (4 x 6 cm);
- copies of return tickets booking;
- certificate of employment stating position and salary for the last 6 months;
- evidence of adequate finance: bank statements showing the amount available in USD equivalent, or photocopies of traveler's checks (are accepted only upon presentation of the originals) of at least 20 000 THB per person or 40 000 per family;
- confirmation of trip’s purpose: letter from medical facility (if you visit the country for medical examination or treatment), visa of a third country or letter of invitation stating applicant’s participation in sports activities (if you apply for a transit visa), letter of invitation from a company that can hire foreign citizens (for non-immigrant visa);
- insurance policy that is valid for the entire period of stay in Thailand.
Consider that embassy and consular officers reserve the right to request additional documents they deem necessary.
The decision to issue a visa is usually made within five work days.
The extension of foreign residents’ term of stay in Thailand and the change of visa type is under jurisdiction of the Offices of Immigration Bureau. Bangkok’s office is situated in Soi Suan Plu, South Sathorn Road.
In order to extend a visa or a period of visa-free stay in the country, you have to address your request to one of the offices personally. You need to have an original and a copy of international passport, a metric picture (4x6 cm) and an application filled out in English (you can do this directly in the Office of Immigration Bureau or in advance by downloading the application form from its official site http://immigration.go.th).
Visa-free stay can be extended for no more than 7 days and you need to have a very good reason (for example illness) for that. As a rule, tourist visa is extended for 30 days. The cost of visa extension is 1 900 THB.
You should take care of extension of your visa-free stay or your visa in advance – ideally 5 - 10 days before the expiration of your stay in the country. Don’t leave this issue for the last day. Keep in mind that if you exceed the period of visa-free stay or of visa validity, you will have to pay a fine of 500 THB per each day of delay (but not more than 20 000 THB) upon departure from Thailand. The penalty is usually not charged if your visa expired just one day before.
Currency. Thailand’s custom regulations allow importing any amount of Thai currency into the country, as well as up to 20 000 USD equivalent of any foreign currency. If you import a greater amount, you must declare it.
Alcohol and tobacco goods. It is allowed to import 1 liter of any alcohol, 200 cigarettes or 250 gram tobacco to Thailand tax free. The penalty for exceeding the allowed amount of imported tobacco and alcohol products can be up to 1 000 USD.
Goods. Goods intended for personal use, including clothes, perfumery, cosmetics, photo and video equipment (one item per person) can be imported duty-free. The number of imported goods must be reasonable at that. The quantity must not indicate their commercial purpose and the total cost should be less than 10 000 THB. If imported goods cost more, you have to pay customs duties and taxes. If the total value of imported items is more than 80 000 THB, they are confiscated and placed in the warehouse for customs clearance procedure.
Medicines. All imported medicines must have original packing, original label and prescription from a doctor or medical reference.
It is prohibited to import to Thailand:
- any narcotic and psychotropic substances (punishment is the death penalty);
- weapon and ammunition without permission of the Police Department;
- explosive substances (including firecrackers and fireworks);
- pornographic materials;
- counterfeit products (that is items that violate intellectual property rights);
- pets without a veterinary certificate of international standard and a certificate of vaccination against rabies. Fighting breeds of dogs are banned, in particular American Staffordshire Terrier;
- rare flora and fauna species.
Currency. It is allowed to export no more than 50 000 THB (except for Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), Laos and Vietnam – to this countries you can export up to 500 000 THB) and an equivalent of 20 000 USD in foreign currency in cash or as traveler’s checks from Thailand. If you need to export national or foreign currency for the sum that exceeds this limit, you have to declare it. You are also allowed exporting foreign currency, which you have previously imported to Thailand.
It is prohibited to export:
- any narcotic or psychotropic substances (punishment is the death penalty);
- poisonous or explosive substances;
- pornographic products (including printed materials and videos);
- jewelry bought in Thailand, including worked up jewels, without the receipt and the certificate that you must get at the shop, where the purchase is made;
- antiques and works of art (regardless whether original or reproduction) without special license, issued by the Thailand Department of Fine Arts.
- depictions of Buddha and Bodhisattvas, or their fragments, which are larger than 13 cm, as well as monastic alms bowls. This prohibition doesn’t imply small medallions with Buddha’s image worn on the neck;
- raw corals. Treated corals in form of a souvenir or as a decoration piece can be freely taken with;
- raw elephant tusks and products of them, as well as leather and bones of protected animals.
Thailand has the Tax Free system, or as it is called here the VAT Refund, which enables foreign tourists who leave the country to refund 7%-tax, which is imposed on all goods and services.
In order to do so, you need to purchase goods for at least 5 000 THB (each item can’t cost less than 2 000 THB at that) in shops that participate in the VAT Refund system: as a rule, they have a logo with corresponding inscription. Then go to the special department – Customer Service and ask for VAT Refund Application for Tourist (P.P. 10 form, yellow A4 blank). You need to show your passport. Then fill in the form and attach it to the original receipt.
You can return the tax when you leave Bangkok. It is possible only at the international airports in the capital. Before registration and luggage check-in, show your purchases and receipts at the VAT Refund Counter. After checking the goods customs officials stamp your receipts. Then, after registration and passport control, you should go to the special VAT Refund counter (located in departure lounge), where you can get your money back.
If the refund amount is less than 30 000 THB, you can receive it in cash, as a check or on your credit card account (Visa or MasterCard). If the amount of compensation is higher than 30 000 THB, it is given only as a bank check, which is sent per post, or is transferred on your credit card. Consider that a 100 THB processing fee is subtracted from the total refund amount.
Remember: in order to refund 7%-tax you must leave Bangkok no later than two month after making a purchase. Items, from the cost of which you want to return the 7%-tax, should not be used in Thailand.
Thailand’s national currency is Thai Baht, which equals 100 satang. International designation is THB.
There are coins at par value of 25 and 50 satang, and banknotes at par value of 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 baht in circulation.
You can pay only with local currency in Bangkok. Foreign currency can be exchanged for Thai Baht in banks or in Licensed Money Changers, which can be easily found in any district, especially in popular tourist centers.
Branches of large banks work Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Small banks and Licensed Money Changers work from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on work days. Be alert and try to exchange money only in official (licensed) exchange points. You can also exchange currency in hotels and guest houses, but they usually have worse exchange rate than banks and Licensed Money Changers.
Consider that exchange rate depends on par value of banknotes: banknotes at par value of 1 to 20 USD have the lowest rate and new banknotes from 50 to 100 USD have the highest one. The difference is up to 2-3%. In addition, keep in mind that US Dollars issued before 1993 are accepted not everywhere.
It is common to tip for services in Bangkok. It is the way to say thank you. If the service markup is not included in the check, it is common to tip 5 to 10% from total sum.
A porter in a hotel usually gets 20 - 50 baht (depending on quantity and weight of luggage). The same amount is usually given to the maid cleaning the room. Taxi drivers and tour guides usually don’t expect a tip, but if you are happy with the service rendered, you can tip 20 - 30 baht.
Please note that tipping change is not accepted in Bangkok – it could be perceived as an insult.
It is possible to cash traveler’s checks in all Bangkok banks and specialized exchange offices. Given that banks charge a fee of about 30 THB (1 USD) for this operation, it pays to use traveler’s checks of high par value (500, 100 USD). Passport is required in order to cash traveler’s checks.
American Express and Thomas Cook checks, issued in US Dollar, are the most frequently accepted ones in Bangkok.
Credit cards are widely spread in Bangkok: they are accepted in most hotels, restaurants, and shopping malls. Cards of almost all major international payment systems are accepted here: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club. However, remember that that you might be charged a fee of 3-5% for paying with credit card in some places – as a rule, in small shops and cafes. Therefore, ask seller/waiter about this fee if any and its amount before paying with a card.
It is not a problem to withdraw cash in Bangkok – cash machines are installed literally on every corner: near banks, on bus stations, at the airport and in most shopping centers, even in non-tourist area. Consider that most of them allow withdrawing a limited amount at a time: 10 000 to 20 000 THB depending on a bank.
A fee of 150 THB per transaction, which is added to the withdrawal interest and conversion fee, set by the bank – the card issuer bank and the ATM bank – is imposed when you withdraw cash.
Offered at the so called street kitchens, Thai dishes are the cheapest ones: you can have a lunch for 50 – 100 THB (1.6 – 3.2 USD). They are followed by Food Courts that can be found at any large shopping mall. They offer a wide selection of dishes at affordable price: a lunch costs 100 – 150 THB (3.2 – 4.8 USD). Fast food restaurants have a little higher price range: 200 – 250 THB (6.5 – 8 USD).
An average bill at economy-class restaurant makes up 400 – 600 THB (13 – 190 USD) per person without drinks, at middle-class restaurant – 600 – 900 THB (19 – 30 USD). The cost of dinner at an elite restaurant is higher: from 1000 – 1200 THB (from 32 – 38 USD).
A 0.6-liter bottle of local beer costs from 30 – 60 THB (1 – 2 USD), the same amount of imported beer costs 60 – 100 THB (2 – 3.2 USD).
Bangkok offers accommodation to fit any taste and purse: it has a lot of cheap guesthouses and economy-class hotels for tourists with limited budget as well as fashionable hotels for those who prefer luxury and high-quality service.
A guesthouse costs about 5 to 11 USD per night, a hostel – 11 to 20 USD per night. A double room with breakfast in an affordable hotel costs from 25 to 50 USD per night, in a middle-class hotel – from 50 to 100 USD, and the same room in a top-level hotel costs 125 USD and higher.
At the same time, local hotels often offer discounts on their services. Therefore, inform yourself about special offers before booking a room. Travelers, who look for cheap accommodation and convenient access to city’s main attractions, usually choose hotels located near Khaosan Road.
A taxi is a convenient and a relatively cheap mode of transportation in Bangkok. Due to frequent traffic jams on capital’s roads, it is not the fastest one, though. Local taxis are air-conditioned autos, which can be easily spotted on the city streets thanks to bright color (they can be yellow, green, red, pink, orange) and a sign ‘Taxi – Meter’ on the roof.
Payment is made by the meter. If a driver refuses to turn on the meter and offers to drive you for a fixed price, look for another auto. Boarding in a taxi costs 35 THB (a little more than 1 USD), this price includes the first kilometer of journey. Total cost depends on the distance, which you need to travel. Taxi ride costs 5 THB per kilometer at a total distance of 2 to 12 km, 5,5 THB per kilometer at a total distance of 12 to 20 km, 6 THB per kilometer at a total distance of 20 to 40 km, 6,5 THB per kilometer at a total distance of 40 to 60 km, 7,5 THB per kilometer at a total distance of 60 to 80 km, and 8,5 THB per kilometer at a total distance of more than 80 km. However, if you stuck in jam, the price is calculated differently: at the speed of less than 6 km/h you have to pay 1,5 THB per minute regardless of kilometers.
In addition, the price of a taxi ride includes road tolls, which vary from 30 to 80 THB depending on a road. There is also an airport toll (50 THB), which is paid if you travel from the airport to Bangkok. In total, a taxi ride from the international airport to the city center costs approximately 300 – 400 THB (10 – 13 USD). The meter is not used for trips outside the capital – suburbs or neighboring cities, such as Pattaya. There are special fixed tariffs in this case.
It is easy to catch a taxi in the street in Bangkok. They are especially plenty in the downtown, where you’ll wait for a free car no more than half a minute. In addition, there are special taxi terminals almost near all major shopping malls and hotels, and near main sights.
Auto rickshaws (tuk-tuks) are very popular in Bangkok. This transportation mean is convenient only for short trips or more frequently leisure drives around the city. The price depends on the distance and is about 30 – 140 THB (1 – 4,5 USD).
Bangkok’s tap water goes through necessary sanitary treatment, however, considering that not all water pipes are in a good state and are often contaminated, it is not recommended to drink it without additional treatment. You should boil tap water or purify it with filters, iodine or chlorine, before consumption. An even safer solution, though, is to drink bottled water, which is cheap and plentiful. We don’t recommend buying bottled water in street outlets (it might be just tap water in a bottle). It is better to go to a supermarket or a shop.
At the same time, you may safely brush your teeth or wash fruits and vegetables in tap water.
A medical insurance policy is required to get an entry visa to Thailand. However, even if you don’t need a visa, it is strongly recommended to obtain medical insurance for the whole period of stay in Bangkok.
All health care services for foreign citizens are paid, and their cost is quite high. Therefore, it is advisable to obtain an international health insurance policy with minimum insurance coverage amount of 30 000, or better 50 000 US Dollars, before going to the country.
If you regularly take certain medications, you should take them with in the first place. At that – in order to avoid possible problems at the customs – take special prescription from a doctor confirming necessity of continued use of these medicines.
Otherwise, the most needed medicines – light analgesics, antipyretics, antiseptics, dressings, as well as much needed in Bangkok’s hot climate sunscreen and insect repellents – can be always purchased on-site without prescription. A lot of pharmacies work around the city – at hotels, supermarkets, and shopping malls.
You don’t need to have specific immunizations in order to enter Thailand. Sanitary and epidemiological situation in Bangkok is mostly favorable, and the vast majority of infectious diseases, typical for the Southeast Asia, are either absent altogether or under control of epidemiological services. Nevertheless, it is useful to get a vaccination against hepatitis A and B, tetanus, diphtheria, poliomyelitis and typhoid fever before going there.
There are virtually no insects that carry severe diseases, such as malaria or dengue fever, in Bangkok. The only insects that can cause discomfort are mosquitoes. In order to avoid problems it is advisable to treat open skin with special repellents against insects, when visiting city parks. In addition, it is better to put on clothes that fully cover arms and legs, as well as closed shoes, in such places.
Try not to contact any animals, reptiles and insects in countryside. In particular, avoid scolopendras and scorpions, whose bites are not as dangerous as painful.
Thailand’s leading post operator that provides internal and international postal services is Thailand Post. Bangkok has over 100 post offices, conveniently located throughout the city. Most of them are open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (some to 6 p.m.), and on Saturdays – from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Thailand Post is one of the cheapest posts in the Southeast Asia. It costs 16 – 24 THB to send a postcard or a letter by airmail anywhere in the world. Exact cost of postal services can be found on the official website of Thailand Post www.thailandpost.com. Letters reach Europe and America generally within 7 days, Russia – within 10 to 12 days.
Many international courier express-services, including DHL, FedEx, UPS, have their branches in Bangkok.
Stationary connection. Card-phones are widely spread in Bangkok: they are installed in shopping malls, near different institutions, on public transport stops. There are two types of public phones: for international connection (as a rule yellow-and-green) and for local calls (mainly red-and-blue). You will need a telephone card in order to make a call. They are sold in round-the-clock 7-Eleven shops.
It is convenient to call abroad from the phones, installed in post offices, which work around the city. Special international telephones are even cheaper. They can be found in many Bangkok internet cafes and in tourist offices (look for a sign “Overseas Call”). The calls are made using IP-telephony technology and therefore are inexpensive. To make an international call from Bangkok’s stationary phone, dial 001 (the access code for international line), then dial country code, city code, and telephone number. To make a local call, it is enough to dial a city telephone number.
You may also use international telephone services in your hotel. However, you’ll need to find out an access code for the call and rates separately. In addition, some hotels charge an additional fee for successful connection.
Mobile connection. As a rule, after arriving in Bangkok, your cell phone will be automatically registered in the network of a local cellular operator. However, considering that roaming is pretty expensive on the territory of Thailand, it is cheaper and more convenient to buy a local SIM-card. You can do so at the airport, in mobile connection shops and virtually in all supermarkets; you don’t need to show any documents when buying a local SIM-card. The cost varies from 50 to 100 THB, and from 200 to 250 THB at the airport.
There are three basic cellular operators in Bangkok: AIS, DTAC and True Mobile. Each of them offers cheap tariff plans for overseas calls.
Consider that SIM-cards have a limited validity period in Thailand. In order to extend it, you have to top up your account after certain period of time.
It is easy to get an Internet access, both wired and wireless, in Bangkok. Most local hotels have Internet access points that give an opportunity to use Internet in their halls, as well as in the rooms. Guests who don’t have laptops and other devices with Internet access can use public computers, installed in some hotels. Many cafes and restaurants, large shopping centers, clubs and bars also provide wireless Internet access, free or for a reasonable price.
You can also access Internet from your cell phone, given that it supports GPRS or one of 3G standards. In order to do so, you need to buy a SIM-card from one of Thailand’s cellular operators: there is a wide selection of tariff plans with unlimited Internet access. The most advantageous tariffs are Happy from DTAC cellular operator and 1-2 Call from AIS.
In addition, numerous internet-cafes, providing wired and wireless Internet access, work around the city. It is recommended to be careful when using public computers, while they are often infected with viruses, may contain spyware and other harmful software. Working on such computers, it is better not to enter confidential data, that is, not to use your user name and password to enter the mailbox, forums, etc.
Bangkok, the same as the whole Thailand though, is considered to be a paradise for LGBT tourists and has an unpublished status of Southeast Asia’s gay-capital. It can boast about one of the highest tolerance levels in the region. On the contrary to many other Asian countries, there is no criminal liability for homosexuality, and it is not considered to be a mental disorder in Thailand.
The distinctive feature of Bangkok’s LGBT life is a big number of representatives of the so-called third gender or, as they are called there, kathoeys or ladyboys. These are men who made a sex change operation. They mostly work in shops, bars, restaurants or take part in drag queen and transgender shows.
In general, homosexuals can feel themselves quite comfortable in Bangkok. LGBT tourists will hardly experience uncovered blame or aggressive homophobic manifestations there. Numerous bars, cafés, restaurants and clubs for representatives of the LGBT community can serve as an evidence of tolerant atmosphere in Bangkok.
Police, Ambulance Service, Fire Brigade - 191
Touristic Police - 1155
The voltage in Bangkok electricity network is 220 volts with current frequency 50 hertz. As a rule, there are two types of sockets: for double pin plug (without ground) and for triple pin plug (with ground). They are suitable for both European (round pin) and American (flat pin) types of plugs. If necessary, you can take adapters at hotel reception, or buy them at local supermarket.
Bangkok, as well as Thailand in general boasts of its own rules and laws knowing and obeying which will contribute considerably towards avoiding of awkward situations, and sometimes big fines and even imprisonment.
Here are some of them:
- It is forbidden to smoke in indoor public sites and several open air public facilities like market places. The one who violates this law can be charged up to 2000 THB.
- It is illegal to consume and sell any narcotic drug. There is a threat of imprisonment for it in Bangkok.
- It is not advisable to speak loudly in public. It can be considered rude and taken negatively in Thailand. Especially refrain from doing so whilst in temples.
- One may not say offensive things about King and members of Royal family. Moreover, it concerns not only ruling monarch, but also everyone who ever was in charge of Thailand in the past. By criticizing the King, one can be seriously penalized.
- Women are prohibited from touching Buddhist monks. If you have a desire or necessity to give something to monk, you should do this via intermediary man or putting it on the fabric.
- It is not allowed to mount Buddha monument whether they are big, small, new, or ruined, for example to take a photo. The locals can take it as disrespect.
- It is advisable to avoid greet and say goodbye to Thai people by shaking hands. There is widely accepted gesture “Wai” – the palms pressed together in a prayer-like fashion at the chest level.
Thailand is considered to be one of the safest countries in Southeast Asia. The crime rate is relatively low. The grave crime such as robbery and murders take place seldom, and rarely have to do something with tourists.
The Bangkok guests often face pickpockets. As a rule, the newcomers – Burmese, Cambodian, etc. – prefer to make their living in such way, the Thai people, the majority of which are Buddhist followers, don’t commit burglary as the religion prohibits it. So, be very watchful while on a walk. Don’t take all your cash with you: count necessary amount for one day, and it is better to leave the rest of the precious things and documents in a safe of a hotel. Be very vigilant in crowded places as railway stations, markets, public transport and popular touristic sights.
Moreover, take into account that Thailand makes the list of countries with high risk of plastic card frauds. Pay with credit card seldom and only at reliable facilities that arouse trust. Don’t cash money in street ATM because swindlers might install special devices that read card secret codes. Use ATM located in bank offices.
While visiting bars and nightclubs, don’t accept alcoholic beverages from strangers. There were some cases when beverages contained different medications once tasted they would provoke amnesia and result in loss of money, documents and precious things. Also, be attentive with people who you’ve met at a touristic sight and who are actively even obtrusively offering you something – they might turn out to be swindlers.
The winter season is undeniably the best time for visiting. The weather is dry and comfortably hot. The high makes +28–31 °С during the day. It drops down to +21-23 °С at night.
It is mostly sun with occasional raining (it is very rare). Low humidity helps fight the heat and it is pleasantly warm outdoors. This period is called the "high season" because the capital is visited by tens of thousands of tourists.
March is dry and hot in Bangkok. The weather is sunny and fine. The average makes up to +33 °С during the day (+25 °С at night). It seldom rains and the level of humidity is low. This helps fight the heat.
April and May are very hot in the capital of Thailand. The thermometer can reach up to +35 °С or even more than +40 °С. Expect weak to none precipitation. It starts raining in the end of May. It is the very beginning of the raining season that can last up to the middle of September. The weather becomes stuffy and moist during this period.
It is a bit less hot in June, when the thermometer shows +32–33 °С during the day (+25-26 °С at night). However, the weather is still rainy. The raining season is in full swing, meaning that showering with thunderstorms is frequent. In fact, it can rain day after day. Precipitation makes the weather less stuffy and hot, giving a short break from scorching heat.
The weather is almost identical in June and July. August is one of the rainiest months of the year. It can pour almost every day (rains usually last for one hour). It will not spoil your vacation because the weather gets sunny again several minutes after it stops raining. However, the sky can remain clouded for the rest of the day on some occasions. The temperature makes up to +32 °С during the day. Expect +24 °С at night.
The peak of the raining season falls on September and October, meaning that it showers hard in Bangkok during this period. However, this does not mean that it rains every day. The rains are more frequent, often with thunderstorms or squalls. The weather is cloudy. The level of humidity increases as well. The high is +31–32 °С (+24-25 °С at night).
It rains less often in November. The raining season ends in the middle of the month. The weather is dry and warm. It is excellent for exploration of the city. The thermometer shows up to +31 °С (+23 °С after sunset).
Bangkok offers an impressive selection of souvenirs and mementos, which you can buy to decorate your own apartment or to present them as gifts to close people. These items include magnets, original statuettes, trinkets, interior decorations and much more.
The most popular things purchased by tourists leaving Bangkok are the famous Thai cosmetic and healthcare items. They are made from local herbs and oils, mainly coconut and jasmine ones. The items on sale include creams, balms, scrubs, masks and natural soap with exotic flavors (the latter is wrapped in thin paper with an elegant silver seal on tops). These goods are sold in dozens of department stores and in specialized healthcare shops. Other purchases include Thai coconut oil, which can be used as a cosmetic means or for cooking. It is an excellent-quality product that is sold at a rather reasonable price. We recommend you to purchase the oil at local pharmacies. Of notice are black tooth paste (its original color makes it a very popular gift) with ground charcoal and the famous Tiger balm. The latter is made from healing herbs and can help ease pain in joints and muscles. It was invented by a Chinese apothecary in the 1870s. There are several types of the balm: white, green, yellow and black ones. It is sold freely all around the place, including shops, pharmacies, markets and even gift stores.
The most precious items to buy are quality accessories made from snake and crocodile skin (belts, wallets/purses, handbags and more). Please note that these items must be purchased in official stores. The majority of these is concentrated around the Ratchaprasong Square. Bangkok also has a large collection of jewelry items on offer, featuring golden and silver pieces with precious and semi-precious stones: diamonds, rubies, topazes and jade stones. It would be wise to buy personal jewelry at specialized jewelry stores as well. For instance, there are several of these on Khaosan Road. Do not purchase jewelry offered by street vendors because they often sell fakes.
Other souvenirs that you can add to your wish-list include hand-made Thai silk wares, interesting bamboo decorations, wall mosaics, wooden figurines, ceramics, metal statuettes, and decorative candles. Quite popular are local beverages, namely Thai blue tea made from orchid leaves, rice wine Siam Sato, Sang Som rum, and Ya Dong. The latter is a stiff drink made from healing herbs with a spirited crawler inside (a scorpion, a snake, or a gecko). These beverages are available in many shops all around the city.
Tourists often purchase exotic fruit and bring them back home. Noteworthy are starfruit (carambola), jack-fruit, litchi, mangosteens, and rambutans. In case you want to buy some, it is a good idea to pick under-ripe fruits. Some supermarkets sell these packed in special baskets. However, it will not be a problem to buy a container for the fruits on your own.