Thailand general information
There are numerous Thai and international restaurants in the neighboring areas on Phayathai, Rama 1 and Petchaburi roads as well as in food courts in nearby department stores and shopping malls.
The national language of Thailand is standard Thai, which is spoken by an estimated population of 62 million as of the year 2005 (Department of Provincial Administration, the Ministry of Interior). Thai is a tonal language. Authentic Thai words are largely monosyllabic while loan words from Pali and Sanskrit are multi-syllabic. Thai has its own orthography which was developed from the Khmer writing system by King Ramkhamhaeng in 1283 AD. Thai people speak standard Thai and different Thai dialects in daily conversation. Despite the fact that Thai is predominant, English is used in both spoken and written communication in major business and tourist areas. In addition to Thai and English, some instructions are provided in European and Asian languages. Signs, especially street signs, are mostly in Thai and English.
The time in Thailand is seven hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
The Thai currency is called Baht(฿). The Thai baht is based on the decimal system. One baht equals 100 satang. The Thai bank notes are divided into five denominations: 20 baht, 50 baht, 100 baht, 500 baht, and 1000 baht. Coins are available in 25 and 50 satang and 1, 2, 5, and 10 baht.
Voltage is 220 Volt AC with generally either 2 round pins or flat blade plugs.
Health and Medical Facilities in Bangkok:
There are many public and private-owned hospitals in Bangkok and its vicinities. They offer medical/ health care services catering to a variety of needs. Pharmacy stores are widely available, selling prescription and non-prescription drugs. According to the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority, tap water is safe for drinking. However, for your own safety, ice flakes should be avoided. Apart from hospitals’ services, Thailand is well-known for its traditional massage and spa therapies. Those interested in these can find a lot of places that offer traditional massage and spa treatments at affordable prices.
The following information involves means of transportation to get around Bangkok with the Ambassador Hotel Bangkok, the FLLT conference venue, as the starting point. The Ambassador Hotel Bangkok is 10 minute walk to the nearest metro station (Sukhumvit subway station), 2 km to the nearest fair site (Queen Sirikit Convention Centre), 5 km to the nearest station (Makasan Railway Dtation), 5 minute walk to the nearest bus stop.
Taxi, especially metered taxis, can be found easily. They line up in front of hotels or tourist attractions or can be flagged down as they go along the Bangkok streets. All are air-conditioned. Metered taxis’ fares start from 35 baht for the first two kilometers and 5 baht for each subsequent two kms. There is also a charge per minute when the taxis travel at a speed less than 6 km/h. The ones available have a red lighted sign ‘ว่าง’meaning ‘empty’ by the front passenger’s seat. Tipping is not necessary; however, it is common to round up the fare to the nearest 10 or 20 baht. Buses One can reach nearly everywhere in Bangkok by bus. Buses run frequently, so there is no need to get a bus schedule. There are mainly two types of buses: non-air conditioned and air conditioned buses. The non-air conditioned buses are operated by the Bangkok Metropolitan Transportation Administration (BMTA) and private companies. We recommend BMTA (in Thai ‘ขสมก’)buses since they operate throughout Bangkok and its vicinities and are available with air and non-air conditioners.
One can reach nearly everywhere in Bangkok by bus. Buses run frequently, so there is no need to get a bus schedule. There are mainly two types of buses: non-air conditioned and air conditioned buses. The non-air conditioned buses are operated by the Bangkok Metropolitan Transportation Administration (BMTA) and private companies. We recommend BMTA (in Thai ‘ขสมก’)buses since they operate throughout Bangkok and its vicinities and are available with air and non-air conditioners.
For non-air conditioned buses, the fares range from 7-9.50 baht for the whole trip. For air conditioned buses, the fares are subject to zones, starting from 11-12 baht with an increment of 2 baht per subsequent zone. The maximum is 24 baht for the whole trip. Air conditioned buses that pass tourist destinations usually have bus stop signs in English and bus conductors have adequate English to communicate with non-Thai passengers.For more information about bus routes, visit http://www.bmta.co.th/en/index.php
The Bangkok Transit System (BTS) operates an elevated rail (the so-called Sky train) system. It connects major business and shopping areas in Bangkok, starting from the Northeastern bus terminal, Morchit station, to Siam, which is the central point. From Siam, it splits into directions toward Silom, the National Stadium, and Sukhumvit. Trains run frequently at 3-6 minutes apart. A variety of fare payments are available. The BTS is considered friendly to foreign visitors with all English sign posts, announcements, convenience stores, and the like. For more information visit http://www.bts.co.th/en/index.asp
The Mass Rapid Transit Network (MRT) operates mainly an underground rail system. Similar to the BTS, it is a convenient and rapid means with limited destinations in the major business areas. Starting from Bangsue train station, it stretches along Ratchadapisek Road and intersects with the BTS sky train at stations on the Silom and Sukhumvit lines. For more information visit http://www.bangkokmetro.co.th