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ATMs -- ATMs are everywhere in Bangkok and those associated with Thai banks will take Visa, MasterCard, and other international cards. 

Banks -- Many international banks also maintain offices in Bangkok, including Bank of America, 87/2 CRC Tower, Wireless  Road. ([tel] 02305-2800); JP Morgan Chase, 20 Sathorn Nua Road (tel. 02684-2000); Citibank, 82 Sathorn Road. (tel. 02232-2000). However, even if your bank has a branch in Thailand, your home account is considered foreign here and conducting personal banking will require special arrangements before leaving home.

Business Hours -- Government offices (including branch post offices) are open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm, with a lunch break between noon and 1pm. Businesses are generally open 8am to 5pm. Small shops often stay open from 8am until 7pm or later, 7 days a week. Department stores are generally open 10:30am to 9pm.

Currency Exchange -- Most banks will exchange foreign currency (at some banks you may need proof of ID) Monday to Friday 8:30am to 3:30pm. Exchange booths affiliated with the major banks are found in all tourist areas, open daily from 10am to 7pm.

Dentists -- Major hospitals offer dental services and there are clinics dotted around Sukhumvit and Silom roads in surprising frequency. Expat-centric Thonglor (Sukhumvit Soi 55) has several top operations, especially the upmarket Thonglor Dental Hospital (www.thonglordentalhospital.com; tel. 02382-0044). Pricing is commonly posted outside the building and major work, like a root canal, is much more affordable than in Western counties. In recent years, medical and dental tourism has been on the rise in Thailand. 

Embassies & Consulates -- Your embassy in Thailand can (to an extent) assist you with medical and legal matters. Contact them immediately if there is a medical emergency or imminent death, if you've lost your travel documents, or if you need urgent legal advice. The following is a list of major foreign representatives in Bangkok: Australian Embassy, 37 S. Sathorn Rd. (tel. 02344-6300); British Embassy, 1031 Witthayu (Wireless) Rd. (tel. 02305-8333); Canadian Embassy, 15th Floor, Abdulrahim Place, 990 Rama IV Rd. (tel. 02636-0540); New Zealand Embassy, 14th Floor, M Thai Tower, All Seasons Place, 87 Witthayu (Wireless) Rd. (tel. 02254-2530); and the Embassy of the United States of America, 120-22 Witthayu (Wireless) Rd. (tel. 02205-4000). Listen carefully to the phone prompts for after-hours help lines.

Emergencies -- In any emergency, first call Bangkok's Tourist Police, who can be reached at a direct-dial four-digit number, tel. 1155, or at 02678-6800. Someone at both numbers will speak English. In case of fire, call tel. 199 or 191, both of which are direct-dial numbers. Ambulance service is handled by individual, private hospitals. For operator-assisted overseas calls, dial tel. 100.

Hospitals -- All hospitals listed here offer 24-hour emergency service. Be advised that you may need your passport and a deposit of up to 20,000B before you are admitted. Make sure you have adequate travel insurance before you leave home. Major credit cards are accepted. Bumrungrad Hospital, 33 Soi 3, Sukhumvit Rd. (tel. 02667-1000; www.bumrungrad.com), has respected -- but costly -- health practitioners and is the destination of choice in Bangkok for cosmetic surgery and (comparatively) affordable procedures. BNH Hospital (Bangkok Nursing Home), at 9 Convent Rd., between Silom and Sathorn roads (tel. 02686-2700; www.bnhhospital.com), is extremely central; Samitivej Hospital, at 133 Sukhumvit Soi 49 (www.samitivejhospitals.com; tel. 02711-8000), is recommended for dentistry for young children, and for its maternity and infant wards.

Internet & Wi-Fi --Cafes such as Starbucks offering free Wi-Fi are everywhere, especially along Sukhumvit and Khao San roads. Internet cafes are a dying breed but are common in backpacker-specific areas like near Khao San Road. Almost all hotels in Bangkok have free Wi-Fi.

Lost Property -- If you have lost anything or have had your valuables stolen, call the national police hot line at tel. 1155. If you lose something in a taxi, try to recall the color of the cab, the time and place where you picked it up, and the time and place it dropped you off. Even better, remember the cab registration number. Most hotel front desk staff will know which cab company to call to report the loss and make an appeal based on those details. You will need to make a police report at the closest station to the place of loss.

Luggage Storage -- Suvarnabhumi International Airport offers luggage storage for 100B a day, 24 hours a day, on both the Arrivals and Departures level. Most hotels will allow you to store luggage while away on short trips.

Pharmacies -- Bangkok has many local pharmacies. Drugs dispensed here differ widely in quality and authenticity; if in doubt, visit a doctor and get prescribed drugs at a hospital or pick them up at an international store such as Watson's or Boots. Pharmacies are generally open from 9am to 6pm.

Police -- Call the Tourist Police at tel. 1155 or 02678-6800, open 24 hours, for assistance. English is spoken.

Post Office -- The main General Post Office (GPO) is a huge post and telegraph office on Charoen Krung Road (tel. 02236-3066), opposite Soi 45. It's open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, and weekends 8am to 1pm.

Safety -- In general, Bangkok is a relatively safe city, but be aware, at night, of drug-spiked drinks and, in daytime -- especially on transport -- of pickpockets. Do not incite trouble; avoid public disagreements and hostility (especially with locals), and steer clear of gambling-related activities. If traveling alone at night, be alert, as you would in any city, and rely on your gut instincts; if you get a bad feeling about a place or situation, remove yourself from the scene. A Thai temper is virtually unheard of, but on rare occasions, it erupts, seemingly out of nowhere, and makes for (potentially lethal) confrontations.

 

 

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.