THAILAND (Find our partner stores here)
Thailand is an independent country that lies in the heart of South East Asia.
It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern extremity of Burma.
Its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast and Indonesia and India in the Andaman Sea to the southwest.
The largest city in Thailand is Bangkok, the capital, which is also the country's center of political, commercial, industrial and cultural activities.
The currency of Thailand is the "Baht". One Baht is divisible into 100 Satang. Major credit cards are accepted by hotels and large shops, but "hard cash" is the preferred tender almost everywhere. Travelers checks are not widely accepted outside of hotels, so change them for cash at a bank exchange, which you'll find in any and every tourist destination.
Coins come in six denominations: 25 and 50-Satang coins are very small and made of brass. They're practically useless, and as a tourist you're unlikely to encounter them unless you shop at a supermarket or department store. The other coins come in one, two, five and ten-Baht pieces. The one, two and five-Baht coins are silver, while the ten-Baht coin consists of a silver ring around a brass center.
Bills vary in size and color according to denomination: 20-Baht is green, 50-Baht is blue, 100-Baht is red, 500-Baht is purple and 1,000-Baht is white/bronze. All bills and all coins have a picture of His Majesty the King, and are therefore supposed to be shown some respect.
Thailand's cool season runs from November until the end of February. With its low humidity, relatively low temperatures and clear skies, the cool season is the best time to visit, though regular days of high 20s and low 30s might leave you wondering just who came up with the term ‘cool’. It is also the peak tourist season, so expect lots of new friends at the more popular spots like the islands and major towns.
Diving In Thailand
Scuba diving is Thailand's most popular water sport, and it's an experience you cannot forget. With magical apparatus allowing you to breathe underwater, a whole new universe opens up to you. Some of the most extravagantly beautiful creatures in creation await you in this weightless, watery world
Explore brilliantly-coloured coral reefs and be dazzled by fish of a thousand hues. Expect close encounters with giant barracuda, manta rays, sea cows and even sharks!
Thailand is the central focus for scuba diving in Southeast Asia. Thousands of people learn to dive in Thailand every year and become avid divers for life. There are world-class locations for every level of expertise and scores of professional. Well-established dive shops are located all over the southern peninsula. Diving in Thailand is competitively priced, and once you have achieved your certification in Thailand, you can use it to go scuba diving all over the world.
Diving is available at all times of the year, although visibility changes according to the season. In the Andaman Sea the best time to dive is from October to April, and in the Gulf of Thailand from May to September — in other words, first-class diving all year round! All reputable dive shops are affiliated with PADI or other international dive bodies, and most hold courses in multiple languages. All over Thailand, you can expect modern amenities, international-standard boats and professional facilities.