Despite its propensity for military coups, Thailand is a delightful country in which to travel. The Thais are consistently charming, the food is unfailingly delicious and orchids grow like weeds. Above all, you are constantly aware of being surrounded by an utterly different culture. Thailand is a devoutly Buddhist country, and everywhere you see the spires of wats and lines of saffron-robed monks with their alms bowls. Few cities contain finer hotels than Bangkok. And to the south, the white-sand beaches of Phuket remain as alluring as ever.
To phone hotels and restaurants in Thailand, dial 011 (international access) + 66 (Thailand code) + city code and local numbers in listings.
November-February is the best time to visit, with sunny weather, moderate heat and low humidity. March-May can be unpleasantly hot. The annual monsoon begins in May-June, when Bangkok is enveloped by a blanket of humidity and is frequently drenched by heavy afternoon downpours. September and October are the wettest months.
11 ahead of New York (EST). (Time listed is for DST in the West. Difference is one hour more November to mid-March.)
Bangkok, Tel. 2-205-4000. Consulate: Chiang Mai, Tel. 53-107-700.
Baht (THB). Fluctuating rate valued at THB35.03 = US$1.00 as of October 2016.