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March 04, 2005

Thailand Tidbits

The time difference to Thailand from LA is +15 hours. This means when it is 9pm tonight here in LA, it is noon tomorrow in Thailand. That is, until US daylight savings time kicks in on April 3rd. Then it will be +14 hours. Here is a clock converter to play with. Click here for the current time in Thailand.

A few common Thai customs:
•Squat toilets are common but western style is increasing. Toilet paper is rare - cleaning by left hand is normal. Flush with hand bucket.
•Do not touch others with your left hand as it is considered dirty - see above.
•It is quite insulting to touch a persons head, especially a child's. Don't do it.
•It is acceptable for a male to touch a monk, or hand things to a monk, but a woman should not does this.
•It is the sole of the foot that is offensive to Thai people. You should never sit in such a manner that the sole of the foot is exposed for all to see. Do not 'point' with your foot.

For more customs and tidbits, click continue below:

More customs:
•Ensure that your hands are visible at all times and not in your pockets
•In a theater or auditorium, the front row is reserved for monks and high-ranking officials.
•Touching a Buddha is perceived only as a sign of disrespect
•You should not walk in front of Thais praying in a temple.
•Tipping Not customary. Except porters, and at high class hotels & restaurants.

Some common Thai foods:
•Pat Thai (fried noodle), •Tom Yam (hot, spicy, lemon soup),
•Yam neua (hot beef salad) •Kluay buat chii (banana in coconut milk)
•Khaaw niaw mamuang (sticky rice & mango) •Kluay tort (fried bananas)
•Drink - recommended fruit juices.
•Fruit - recommended Durian, Rambutan, Mango, Papaya, Water melon, Mangosteen, Custard apple, Pineapple, Star apple, Lychee, Jackfruit

Some pricing...things may have changed a bit, this was compiled in 2001. Today the rate is 38.45 bht/$. As everywhere, they make their money off the beer!
•Room from: single80+B, double100+B, a/c d300B
•Noodles: 20B (about 50cents)
•Meal: 40B, Big Mac 59B(set 104B) •breakfast(Cont.)50B, breakfast(Ame.)50B
•coffee(instant) 15B, coffee(real) 35B, Starbucks grande 80B (less than $1 for coffee, but $2 for Starbucks)
•Mineral Water(1 liter) 5-20B
•beer 45-65B, Coke 7-20 B
•toilet paper 6B (see customs, above) (!)
•Ice cream 5+B, T-shirt: 90B+, postcard 3-5B

Phone
The country code is 66. Calling back to the States seems really complicated. I've found calling cards from here with convoluted rate scales...basically you can buy a 100 min card (or whatever) then for Thailand the conversion is 8/1, meaning 8 mins on that card=1 US min. So say you get the 100 min card for $10, you are getting 12.5 mins to talk to home from Thailand, which is 80 cents/min. But you have to do all that math to figure out if the card is a good deal — and every card has a different conversion rate. Oh yeah — and if you call a cell phone the rates are times three, and if you call from a payphone, there is a two-minute surcharge. So now you're up to $1/min on a 10min card. And yes, that *is* AT&T. Oy. There are prepaid cards in BKK (Bangkok) that are more in the neighborhood of 50 cents/min, I'll probably try that....Internet cafes are supposed to be pretty common, you can get access for about $1.60/hour. I'm hoping that will allow me to update this site!

Posted by sedda at March 4, 2005 08:36 AM