Goods purchased in Thailand are VAT inclusive. However, foreign visitors (with a few exceptions) have the benefit to receive a 7% VAT refund on luxury goods. Goods must be purchased from stores displaying the ‘VAT Refund for Tourists’ sign, where tax refund application forms are available. VAT refunds only apply to products taken out of Thailand within 60 days from the date of purchase. Therefore, they must have a value of at least 5,000 baht (including VAT), a single purchase must have a value of at least 2,000 baht per day. Before airport departure, visitors must present a completed VAT refund form, plus passport information and purchase receipts, to a customs officer. Refunds may be in bank draft form or credited to a credit card. Source: Revenue Department of Thailand.
Thailand weather is good all year round. The climate is ruled by monsoons so it’s never certain how the sky will look like during the given month. Here is just a reference what in general you can expect when coming for a vacation.
The color code means:
|Temp in C||Rain||Hotel prices||Best time |
Rain and wind changes depend on the region, here is the map:
There is no mandatory requirement to tip anyone, but small gratuities for excellent service are very much appreciated. Therefore, there is a general acceptation for getting a tip whenever you are satisfied while having a massage, eating in the restaurant, using a taxi, or having a tour with a licensed tour guide. Although it is way more polite to tip with the notes (20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000) that with the coins.
You are not expected to leave a tip when you eat street food, but anyway it is nice to do so when the food is good. A 10-20THB tip is nothing that might change your travel budget but can make a big difference for the people servicing you.
At markets and souvenir shops, the prices are often inflated, partly because of the knowledge that tourists will want to try and reduce the amount. Haggling is generally expected in the absence of market prices. Although before you start bargaining, make up your mind on what you think is a fair price for the item of interest. If you don’t know the price level, have a look around and ask a few different shops about their rates on similar themes. You will quickly find out whether you can agree on a price. Mind out that is nasty form to go through the motions of haggling if you are not interested in making a deal at any cost. Likewise, if the seller agrees to your price, it is not cool to say you do not want the item or service.
Transportation, souvenirs, massages, etc. are the easiest to bargain. Especially when you are trying to make a deal for a group of a few of you or buying a few items from one seller. If you want to make it friendlier, it might be a good idea to teach yourself how to correctly say hello in Thai (Sawadee Kha/Khrap). Moreover, keep it in your mind that you are dealing with the prices in Thailand – The Land of Smile! Keep smiling than not only while haggling, but as often as possible. That is the easiest and international way to start the conversation with anybody around you.
Banks & ATM
There are 36 licensed banks in Thailand. ATMs are plentiful and located just about everywhere. Most Thai ATMs will deliver a maximum of 20 banknotes per withdrawal, so the practical limit of an ATM withdrawal is 20,000 baht. Most Thai banks now charge a 220 baht fee per withdrawal when you use their ATMs with a foreign card.
MasterCard and Visa are the most widely accepted credit cards in Thailand, followed by American Express. Most hotels, restaurants and western shops accept all of these, especially in tourist destination areas. Although it is impossible to pay by card while shopping in local markets, using a taxi (or local transportation) or staying in a small resort/beach bungalows so make sure you got enough cash to cover these kinds of spending