Travel advice & practical information for travelogue:
'Bicycle vacation North Thailand'
Royal Thai Consulate-General
351 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10022
Tel: (212) 754-1770, (212) 754-1896
Fax: (212) 754-1907
29–30 Queen’s Gate
London SW7 5JB
Telephone: (020) 7589 2944
Fax: (020) 7823 9695
Consular Section: (020) 7589 2944/ ext. 117
Office Hours: Monday–Friday 09.30–12.00
Ambassade de Thailande
8 Rue Greuze 75116
Tel.: +33 (0)1 47 04 32 22
This embassy does not have a web site
But it has a
Bureau de Tourisme
90 Avenue Champs Elysées 75008 Tel.: +33 (0)1 45 62 86 56
Practically nobody speaks English. A phrase book is necessary.
It's a good idea to read about Buddhism before you visit the country, because it seems to have a great influence of daily life.
People are very friendly. One feels at home and never unsafe. In the islamic provinces women can feel discriminated against.
Never immediately agree on a price, even if it is a decent amount in terms of your own country. One has to negotiate. It is normal to negotiate until the lowest possible price is reached. This goes for merchandise as well as for tours.
You will find ATMs in Thailand, but only in the big cities, at airports or in tourist resorts. Traveller checks can be cashed everywhere, but that is relatively expensive. Changing cash is cheaper.
"Paying by credit card is inadvisable in Thailand. Fraud is in some places more the rule than the exception. 40 percent of payments for fraud related claims by the largest credit card companies is for tourism related fraud in Thailand." (source: Lonely Planet)
In January it can be relatively cold. You need to bring some warm clothes.
Bicycling in Thailand
Every village has its bicycle repair shop. The standard size of wheels is small: 26 inches. Bring spare parts for 28" wheels (spokes, inner and outer tires). The same thing goes for brake pads: the choice is limited.
One gets used to bicycling on the left quickly. Cars are very much aware of bikes.
In general the roads are good; sometimes one has to bicycle along a crowded thruway. Where available, trains are a good and cheap alternative.
There are no detailed roadmaps; also, the Thai script makes reading maps difficult.
Food and drink
Everywhere in little carts along the road. A phrase book is necessary.
Big cities and towns not a problem. In small villages it's hard to find accomodation. Sometimes there isn't a hotel or anything for tens of kilometers. It's a good idea to have a route description which also has the hotels, etc.
For up-to-date information see the web site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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