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10/4/07 - 30/5/07
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JPGU Meeting 2007


Avoid paying with large denominations in public! It attracts pickpockets, & exorbitant tuk tuk rates.

To be extra-safe, you can obtain an itemised receipt for property left in hotel safes.

Hotel rooms should be locked at night, & cheap, thin-walled rooms checked for strategic peepholes.

When you're on the road, lock all zippered luggages.

The denomination used in Thailand is the Thai baht (THB/Bht/B). There are 100 sàtàang in one baht; coins include 25-sàtàang, 50-sàtàang, 1-baht, 5-baht & 10-baht.

Cash is necessary for eating & shopping in the markets & small retail shops. You would require some small change if you are travelling by tuk-tuks & other forms of public transport.

When changing money, head to a bank or a legal moneychanger with your traveller's cheques. US Dollars are most readily accepted for exchange, but traveller's cheques get better rates. Of course when you are in Bangkok, you can easily depend on your credit, Plus & Cirrus cards to get some baht from the ATMs. Many money changers accept cash advances on your credit card as well.

Credit cards are becoming increasingly acceptable in quality shops, hotels & restaurants. Visa is the most useful, followed by MasterCard. Expect a surcharge between 3-5% in some outlets, especially with travel agents. When it comes to tipping, it is not compulsory in Thailand, because service charge is already added to most bills from fancy restaurants catered for foreigners & in hotels. But a 10 – 15% tip is very much appreciated in ordinary restaurants outside of tourist zones & it is becoming a common practice in many international upmarket hotels. There is no tipping for taxis or tuk-tuks but the drivers would usually round the fare to the nearest 5 or 10 Baht.

If you're travelling on a budget, you should be able to get by on around THB500.00 a day anywhere in Thailand. Participants enjoying room service in comfortable hotels & eating out at restaurants should budget on around THB1200.00-THB2000.00 a day. (Not inclusive of hotel room rates.) If money is no object, you can spend to your heart's content in Bangkok, since the capital has several of the world's most sumptuous hotels and some unbeatable shopping diversions.


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