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Thailand

Gateway of Paradise
Beautiful Beach
White Beach
Long tail
Beach
Island Hoping
Beach Bar
National Park Scape
National Park Scape
Elephant on the way!
You are watching..!
Beautiful Sunset
Nightlife!

Known as Siam until 1939, Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country to have not have never been colonised by a European Country. After a bloodless coup in 1932, a constitutional monarchy was formed and since 1946, King Bhumibol Adulyadej is the highly revered head of state.

Key Facts about the Kingdom of Thailand
Calling Code +66
Time GMT plus 7 hours
Size 510,000 sq km
Population 65.5 million (2008)
Capital Bangkok
Geography Bordered by Myanmar, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos
Language Thai but English is spoken in most tourist areas
Ethnicity Thai (75%), Chinese (11%), Malaysian (3.5%)
Religion Primarily Buddhist, but also Muslim (5%), Christian and Hindu
Electricity 220 Volts AC, 50 Hz - 2 pin plugs
Currency Thai Baht (1 Euro = 50 baht)
Economy GDP US $246billion (2007) Second largest in South East Asia
Main Exports are rice, precious stones, jewellery, office equipment, textiles and clothing.
Main trading partners are USA, Japan, Malaysia, China and the EU


Important information

Visas

Most foreigners will be granted a 30 day stay upon entry provide they arrive by air (14 days if you walk across a border checkpoint) provided you passport is valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry. If you wish a visa for a longer period these can be easily gained at a Thai consulate outside of Thailand but these usually take at least one working day.

Health

Mosquitoes are prevalent in Thailand and so Repellent is a must as Malaria (although not recorded in Koh Lanta) and Dengue are in Thailand. Jelly fish stings and snake bites, whilst rare, do also occur.

Weights and Measures

The metric system is used throughout Thailand except for agriculturally where Thai measurements are used.

Money

Banks, ATMs and money changing facilities can be found throughout Thailand and major credit cards are accepted in larger shops but they usually incur a surcharge of between 3 and 5%.

Etiquette

You will find Thai nationals very friendly and welcoming but they are also quite shy and adhere to strict customs and rituals. Whilst foreigners are not expected to follow all customs, please remember:

- To take your shoes off before entering somebody’s home
- Do not place your feet on a table or show the bottom
- Do not touch a Thai persons head
- Dress appropriately whilst in Thai villages
- Cover up at religious locations
- Avoid topless sunbathing on the beach.

Holidays

It seems that every day is a holiday in Thailand, but they have some pretty fun festivals throughout the year;

January That Phanom Festival - A Buddhist festival that celebrates one of the most important Stupas (Wat Phra That Phanom) located in Nakhom Phanom Province. Attended by people from all over Thailand and Laos
February Magha Puja - Celebrates Buddha’s sermon to 1,250 Monks. Feasts end with a Torch lit procession
February/March Chinese New Year - Celebrated by the large community of Chinese in Thailand. Best processions in Nakon Sawan
April 13-15 Songkran Festival - The famous water festival, expect to be very wet and have a lot of fun
Mid May - Mid June Rocket Festival - Celebrated in the North provinces (Yasothon, Ubon Ratchathani and Nong Khai). Villages make bamboo rockets in the hopes of encouraging rain for their rice fields
Mid July Khao Phansaa - National Feast that denotes the start of a 3 month Buddhist fast
November Loy Krathong - On Full Moon night, small baskets made of flowers and leaves (containing incense, candles and money) are placed in rivers, lakes and canals. Thais believe that the basket takes away the bad parts of themselves and brings good luck

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Blue Planet Divers
3, Moo 1, Ban Saladan, Koh Lanta, Krabi 81150, Thailand

Tel/Fax: +66 (0)75 668 165
Mobile: +66 (0)85 472 3450
blueplanetdivers@gmail.com
Contact us

Professional Association of Diving Instructors SSS Recompression Chamber Network Tourism Authority of Thailand Tourism Authority of Thailand

More information about Koh Lanta


A special thanks to James Hoyland for providing us with some of its spectacular underwater images
and to Stephan from Andaman Graphics for his creativity in designing this website.