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Thailand Travel FAQ | Thailand Weather Information

▶ Thailand Weather Information: Bangkok | Pattaya | Chiang Mai
▶ Thailand Weather Information: Krabi | Ko Samui | Phuket
▶ Traveling during Hot Weather Conditions

The body works hard to maintain a constant temperature so the body’s systems can function normally but when the weather gets hot, the body must compensate. Heart rate increases, blood vessels near the skin open to get rid of the heat, and your body sweats to cool the skin. Thus, these compensations can be maintained only for a certain amount of time before breaking down or they themselves lead to problems, such as dehydration, kidney failure or confusion. Many people with arthritis report fewer symptoms when it is hot than when it is cold. Recent research shows a strong association between high temperature and humidity and increased risk of gout attacks. In a study of 197 people with gout, researchers found that the risk of recurrent attacks almost doubled when the day’s high temperature increased from zero to 53 degrees Fahrenheit to 87 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Increases in humidity had similar effects. The reason, researchers suspect, is that depletion of body fluids due to excessive perspiration lead to higher concentrations of uric acid, which precipitates gout attacks.

Who is at Risk
Although anyone can be adversely affected by the heat, the most at risk are the young and old, who have the least effective sweat mechanisms. Others include:
  • Have heart disease. Excessive sweating causes blood volume to drop, which forces the heart to work harder.
  • Take certain medications that affect either the circulation or ability to sweat, such as treatments for high blood pressure, nausea or depression.
  • Are overweight. Excess fat causes the body to retain more heat.
  • Live in cities. Cities get hotter than rural and suburban areas. Buildings and pavement absorb heat during the day and radiate it at night, so it never really cools off.
  • Live in cool climates. Ironically, heat has its greatest effect in places where it is uncommon, because people’s bodies do not become accustomed to it.
Keep Cool
There are actions we should take when summer temperatures soar and the weather is not providing any relief via cloudy days or afternoon thunderstorms to cool temperatures. Heat illness, in almost all cases, can be prevented by ensuring access to an air-conditioned environment. Other things you can do to stay cool:
  • Drink plenty of cool, nonalcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages. Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink.
  • Avoid big meals and hot foods.
  • Take cool showers or baths. Swim in an unheated pool.
  • Stay indoors. If your home is not air-conditioned, use ceiling fans and window fans to circulate air. Keep a spray bottle of water close by and mist yourself frequently.
  • If you must be out, do not do anything strenuous during the hottest part of the day.
  • If you regularly exercise outdoors, do so early in the morning or in the evening when the temperature drops. Reduce your exercise intensity and slowly build back up.
  • Wear light-colored, light-weight clothing.

▶ Travel Insurance - under construction

▶ Electricity

Thailand uses 220 Volts at 50 Hertz. Two plug types are common; the US two prong plug and two round prong plug common in Singapore. If you wish to bring appliances to Thailand you need to first check that they are compatible with the voltage. Many portable appliances are now dual voltage meaning that they can use 120 or 220 - 240 Volts. They can also work with different frequencies. Laptop computers should have no problems in Thailand but check on the transformer to ensure that they can use 220 Volts.

▶ Drinking Water

In general, people don't drink tap water, with bottled water being the norm. While it has been reported that tap water exceeds world standards for drinking water in many parts of the city, and the Metropolitan Water Works Authority has made a strong effort to exceed World Health Organization standards by 1999, in some places the water that comes out of the tap is still questionable, usually as regards the pipe network that carries the water to some old places. Hauling large quantities of bottled water from the store is not necessary. Large containers of bottled water can be delivered to your door on a regular schedule by water vendors. Ask your building manager, a neighborhood official, or a neighbor for information on who serves your neighborhood. In central Bangkok, you can just call the company Sprinkle at 02-712-7272, one of the best organized. Water is usually delivered in large heavy bottles. Handling these is an issue.

Some people buy a standup water dispenser. Picking up a big bottle and putting it onto a dispenser is a challenge for a lady. The vendor will usually do so happily, but he may not be around when the bottle empties. Some vendors offer a battery operated pump, like the one in the photo to the left, either free with a subscription or at a small price. You just replace the two D-size batteries periodically. The water delivery guy can put a few bottles anywhere in your kitchen or house that you request, so you never need to lift them, just open them and put on the pump. Some people use water directly from the pump, but I also reuse small plastic bottles, filling them up from the pump

Some people boil the tap water and drink that. However, you should be advised that if there are any toxins in the water, your body may still react to the toxins after it is boiled, even if the toxins are dead already. Freezing water into ice does not kill all the bacteria and viruses. Brushing your teeth with tap water is generally safe. When eating out, the water is generally safe. In cafes and restaurants, you have an option of buying a small bottle of water for your table or getting a glass of water without the bottle. The latter generally comes from a big bottle in the back, i.e., is the same as if you order your own small bottle. However, many street vendors will give you water that has a pale color. The coloring is due to a tea leaf, and signifies that it is boiled tap water.

It is common for vendors to purchase large quantities of ice rather than produce it themself. Ice is produced in factories that are licensed and inspected by the government. This ice is distributed to vendors all over. There are occasionally hygiene problems in packaging, transportation and storage, but it's rare that anyone gets sick from it. Perhaps the greatest risk with water is the glass it's poured into. Is it clean?

▶ Budget

The budget of visitors to Pattaya varies enormously. It is really up to you how much you spend. Some people get by on a budget of 2000 Baht a day, after paying for accommodation, while others spend 10s of thousands of Baht a day. Those on low budgets tend to not drink or only do so at the cheapest of places. Taking ladies ‘short time’ (short time means for an hour or two) helps to reduce costs.  It is not advisable to try to stick to a budget this tight. It is your holiday and you should be out to make the most of your time. At the other end of the scale are the ‘one week millionaires.’ These people spend up big. They do so by buying many drinks for the ladies and customers in bars (‘ringing the bell’ – this will be explained in the next section.) Also they may take more than one lady a day and eat at expensive restaurants. Giving large tips to the ladies in bars is another way to spend up big. A very good time can be had on a budget between these two extremes. By limiting the number of drinks you buy others you can cut your expenses enormously. There is nothing wrong with only buying drinks for yourself and the lady you are talking to in a bar. Don’t get suckered into buying a lot of drinks for her ‘friends.’ Likewise eating the very tasty local food will cut costs. For a good trip a budget of between 5,000 and 7,000 Baht a day after accommodation costs is adequate. As this is your first trip keeping some extra funds available would be advisable. You don’t want to spend your last few days in the hotel because you went over budget a little

▶ Money

The basic unit of Thai currency is the baht. There are 100 satang in one baht; coins include 25-satang and 50-satang pieces and baht in 1B, 2B, 5B and 10B coins. Older coins have Thai numerals only, while newer coins have Thai and Arabic numerals. The 2B coin was introduced in 2007 and is confusingly similar in size and design to the 1B coin. The two satang coins are typically only issued at supermarkets where prices aren’t rounded up to the nearest baht, which is the convention elsewhere. Paper currency is issued in the following denominations: 20B (green), 50B (blue), 100B (red), 500B (purple) and 1000B (beige). In the 1990s, the 10B bills were phased out in favour of the 10B coin but occasionally you might encounter a paper survivor.

Banks or the more rare private moneychangers offer the best foreign-exchange rates. When buying baht, US dollars are the most accepted currency, followed by British pounds and Euros. Most banks charge a commission and duty for each travellers cheque cashed.Current exchange rates are printed in the Bangkok Post and the Nation every day, or you can walk into any Thai bank and ask to see a daily rate sheet.

▶ Avoid Tourist Traps

  1. Use taxi meters: If they say the meter has broken, get another taxi. Alternatively, you could establish the price before leaving (not when you arrive) but this is unlikely to be a fair price.
  2. Ask where to go shopping at your hotel: They will generally not get a commission and will know some good places.
  3. Understand that this is a very “Thai love Thai” society: When going to a temple, always dress respectfully - shirts (not sleeveless) and long trousers. Leave your shoes at the door. Don’t point your feet or touch the head of a Buddhist monk or even a statue of Buddha. The head is the highest point of the body and the feet the lowest and therefore highly disrespectful.
  4. Be careful when buying gems in Thailand: If you are unsure about the reputation of a particular establishment, check with the Jewel Fest Club or the Thai Gem and Jewelry Traders Association on (66 2) 267 5233-6. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
  5. If going to Patpong avoid going to upper floors of the establishments unless it is crowded with other people: Some places are known to corner foreigners in empty rooms and later present them with a false hefty bill, refusing to let them leave unless the bill is paid. If you do get into such a situation, pay the bill and then go to the police immediately.
  6. Bar girls may be eager to leave with you, but keep in mind that they only want your money: They will ask you to buy them stuff (mobile phones, jewelry, etc.) and they will ask for your e-mail address so they can keep milking you for money once you're back home. Typical excuses include sick parents/siblings who need surgery, money for education, etc. Be careful to let them down gently, however as it is common politeness and just in case the girl actually likes you.
  7. Do use or buy drugs: Please check our insider report
Friday, April 23, 2021