Thailand is a tropical country and experiences a hot, humid climate with temperatures ranging from 80°F to 95°F year round. Temperatures are cooler in the mountains of northern Thailand.
In essence, there are three seasons. The cool season is from November to February and is the most popular time to visit since it does not rain much. The hot season is from March to June and temperatures can reach as high as 105°F. The rainy season is from July to October with tropical monsoons hitting the entire country around September.
The official language of Thailand is Thai. It is a tonal language with its own script. There are many dialects that can be found in Thailand, in addition to many languages unrelated to Thai that are spoken by the minority hill tribes people.
National Holidays and Festivals
April 6 – Chakri Memorial Day May – Royal Ploughing Ceremony Day October 23 – Chulalongkorn Day December 5 – King's Birthday December 10 – Constitution Day
April 13-15 – Songkran Festival (Water Festival) 15th day, 7th Chinese lunar month (August) – Ghost Festival 15th day, 8th Chinese lunar month (September) – Moon Festival New moon, 10th Thai lunar month (September/October) – Sat Thai Day Full moon, 12th Thai lunar month (November) – Loy Krathong
The official currency is the baht (THB). There are six coins and six bills. The exchange rate as of March 2010 is 32.7 baht to US$1.
Bring small denominations of cash with you wherever you go to avoid problems with changing larger denominations and counterfeit large bills. Credit card fraud is somewhat common so use it sparingly.
ATMs can be found throughout the larger cities and will get the best rates when exchanging your money via your debit card. A nominal fee will apply.
Bargaining is commonly practiced as prices are usually inflated, especially with street vendors and tourist areas.
Tipping is not necessary but is highly appreciated; however, tipping to tour guides, tour bus drivers, and porters are customary.
220V/50Hz (American and/or European plug)