Chiang Mai FAQs

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Area geography

Chiang Mai covers an area of about 20,107.0 square kilometres (7,763.4 sq mi) and is located about 700 kilometres away from Bangkok. The city is situated on the Basin of Mae Ping River and is surrounded by high mountains including Doi Inthanon, the highest mountain in Thailand. The Chiang Mai province is also home to several national parks including Doi Inthanon, Chiang Dao, Mae Phang and Sri Lanna, among others.

Notes currencies cards

The currency of Thailand is Thai Baht (THB, ฿). Most banks in the city exchange foreign currency. However, the time taken might differ from one bank to another. US and Australian dollars, Euros and British Pounds are the most widely accepted currencies in Bangkok.

Cellular service for tourists

A good mobile network operates in Chiang Mai with several international players operating their networks. Thailand has 3 main GSM mobile service providers: AIS, DTAC and Truemove. Tourists can easily purchase SIM cards on any of these networks to make local and international calls.

Wifi internet

There are several spots across the city where free public Wi-Fi is available.

Drinking laws

The legal drinking age in Thailand is 18 years. It is compulsory for bars to shut down by 2 am.

Tipping

Tipping is not customary in Thailand; however, small tips for good service are always appreciated.

Custom visa

On arrival at Thailand Immigration and Customs

Upon arrival in Thailand, foreign citizens must be in possession of a valid passport with a validity of at six months, a valid Thai visa and proof of onward travel.

Securing a visa on arrival in Thailand

The visa on arrival rule allows passport holders of about 19 countries to enter Thailand provided they meet the following requirements:

  • The visit should strictly be for tourism purposes.
  • The traveller must have a confirmed return ticket showing that he/she will be flying out of Thailand within 15 to 30 days of entry. Open tickets do not qualify in this situation. Travelling overland out of Thailand by train, bus, etc., to nearby countries like Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia (including en route to Singapore) and Myanmar is not accepted as proof of leaving Thailand.
  • When entering Thailand, you may be asked to show the flight ticket of your return journey within the stipulated period of 15 to 30 days. If you are unable to do so, you are most likely to be refused entry into Thailand.
  • Tourists are also required to provide proof to show that they have funds of a minimum of 20,000 Baht per person, during the visit to Thailand.

Declarations and Allowances

Duty Free

Thailand customs allows visitors to enter Thailand with personal effects, the value of which should not exceed 80,000 Baht, without paying import fees as long as:

  • items are only for personal or professional use;
  • amount of goods are reasonable; and
  • items are not restricted or prohibited

There are certain restrictions on the amount of alcohol and tobacco products that may be transported into Thailand under duty free regulations:

  • 200 cigarettes or 250 grams of cigars or smoking tobacco
  • 1 litre of wine or liquor

Prohibited and Restricted Goods

The Thailand Customs Department is responsible for halting the illegal transport of illicit drugs in and out of Thailand.  As such, Thailand Customs officials do frisk the luggage of passengers at the airports.  If you have nothing to declare, you can simply walk through the Green Channel, stopping only if asked to, by a customs agent.

If you do have goods to declare, you should hand a customs form to the Thailand Customs Department agent at the Red Channel marked “goods to declare”.

Please note that plants and animals, as well as products made from them may be subject to restrictions and quarantine.

Safety

This city has a low crime rate and therefore it is considered a safe city. However, petty crimes like pick pocketing or bag snatching are common. As such, it is important to always be cautious of the surroundings and avoid few dangerous areas.

General information

Languages spoken

Thai, English

Time zones

IST + 1.5 hours

Major religions

Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Sikhism, Christianity

Domestic international calling codes

02

Electricity standards

220 V; Plugs A & C

Common greetings

Good Morning: a-roon-sa-was

Good Evening: sa-yan-sa-was

Goodbye: la-korn

Thank you: kob-kun

Sorry: kho thot

Do you speak English?

I don't understand: mai khao jai

No: mai chai

Yes: chai

I don’t know: mâi sâap

How are you?: sa-bai-dee-mai

What is your name?: khun chue arai?

My name is: phŏm/dì-chăn cheu

Where is the washroom?: houng-num(bathroom)

How much does this cost?: an-nee-tao-rai

Too expensive!: phaeng pai

A little cheaper: thuuk kwàa

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Emergency numbers

Emergency: 191

Airport Tourist Police: 05 3- 922191

Ambulance Police: 199

Ambulance Service: 1669

Ambulance Radio Center: 053 - 121052

Disaster Rescue Unit: 053 - 259354

Fire: 199

Tourist Police: 1699

Traffic Accidents: 1193

Vehicle Theft Police: 1192

Immigration Bureau (Police): +66 53 277 510