Thailand can best be described as tropical and humid for the majority of the country during most of the year. The area of Thailand north of Bangkok has a climate determined by three seasons whilst the southern peninsular region of Thailand has only two.
In northern Thailand the seasons are clearly defined. Between November and May the weather is mostly dry, however this is broken up into the periods November to February and March to May. The later of these two periods has the higher relative temperatures as although the northeast monsoon does not directly effect the northern area of Thailand, it does cause cooling breezes from November to February.
The other northern season is from May to November and is dominated by the southwest monsoon, during which time rainfall in the north is at its heaviest.
The southern region of Thailand really has only two seasons -- the wet and the dry. These seasons do not run at the same time on both the east and west side of the peninsular. On the west coast the southwest monsoon brings rain and often heavy storms from April through to October, whilst on the east coast the most rain falls between September and December.
Overall the southern parts of Thailand get by far the most rain with around 2,400 millimeters every year, compared with the central and northern regions of Thailand, both of which get around 1,400 millimeters.
Thai food is known for its enthusiastic use of fresh (rather than dried) herbs and spices as well as fish sauce. Thai food is popular in many Western co untries especially in Australia, New Zealand, some countries in Europe such as the United Kingdom, as well as the United States, and Canada.
Instead of a single main course with side dishes found in Western cuisine, a Thai full meal typically consists of either a single dish or rice with many complementary dishes served concurrently.
Often Thai food is served with a variety of spicy condiments to embolden the dish. This can range from dried chili pieces, sliced chili peppers in rice vinegar, to a spicy chili sauce.
Currency and Currency exchange
The Thai unit of currency is the Baht which is worth a little less than 4 US cents. One US dollar = approximately 40 baht. The baht is divided into loo satang. "Copper" coins are valued at 25 and 50 satang. "Silver" coins are in denominations of 1' 2 and 5 baht. A 10 baht coin is composed of both "silver" and "copper". Banknotes are valued at 10 baht (brown), 20 baht (green), 50 baht (blue), 100 baht (red), 500 baht (purple) and 1,000 baht (khaki).
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Major currency bills and travelers cheques are cashed easily at hotels, tourist shops, all provincial banks, shopping malls and money changers. Travelers cheques are best changed in banks (you will need your passport). Rates of exchange at banks or authorized money changers are better than those at hotels and department stores.
Any amount of foreign currency may be brought into the country. Visitors may take foreign currency out of Thailand, but no more than the amount stated in the customs declaration made on arrival. Travelers leaving Thailand may take out no more than 50,000 baht per person in Thai currency.
Credit cards are widely accepted.
Visitors entering the Kingdom on a tourist visa are entitled to refund of the 7% V.A.T. on goods purchased at registered retail outlets.
Last Updated (Saturday, 26 December 2009 20:48)