CyanSiam Phuket Guide



Work Requirements
Restricted Occupations
Work Permit conditions
Visas for Work Permits
Validity of Work Permits
Renewal of Work Permits
Necessary and Urgent Work
Thai Labour Law and Employment Contracts
Australians working in Thailand
Where to apply

Government & Legal System

The Monarchy
The Parliament
Provincial Divisions
The Law


Visas available
Tourist Visa Exemptions
Visa on arrival
Tourist Visas
Non-Immigrant Visas
Types of Non-Immigrant Visas
Non-Immigrant O Visa
Non-Immigrant B Visa
Non-Immigrant IB Visa
Non-Immigrant ED Visa
Non-Immigrant O-A Visa
Other Types


Phuket Offices


Foreign Investment
Exchange policy and Controls
Personal Income Tax
Personal Tax Return & Payment
Corporate Income Tax
Corporate Return & Payment
Corporate Tax Rates
Withholding Tax


Types of Bank Accounts in Thailand

Driving in Phuket

Buying a New Car
Buying a Used Car
Importing a Vehicle
Thai Driving Licence
Renewing Driving Licence
Where to go


Air Travel
Domestic Flights
Airline Offices
Travelling to & from the aiport


Getting around Phuket
Songthaew (bus)
Motorbike Taxi
Car & Motorbike

Customs and Etiquette

General Etiquette
Formal Situations
Business Etiquette
Driving Etiquette

Public Holidays 2012

Public & Bank Holidays

working in phuket
Work Permit PhuketLabour Department in Phuket
Working Requirements
Any foreigner wishing to work in Thailand in whatever capacity, paid or voluntary must have a work permit from the Department of Employment, Ministry of Labour. Diplomats, foreigners working for the United Nations and certain international agencies are not suvject to this rule.

The Ministry of Labour's definition of work is "to engage in work by exerting energy or using knowledge whether or not in consideration of wages or other benefits" Punishments for those ignoring this law include fines, imprisonment and deportation from Thailand. Any employer ignoring this law can also be imprisoned and/or fined.

The relevant law relating to Work Permits and employment in Thailand for foreigners is the Foreign Employment Act (2008). Below is the list of occuptations foreigners are not allowed to do.

Restricted occupations:
•  Manual work
•  Work in agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry or fishery excluding specialized work in each particular branch or farm of supervision
•  bricklaying, carpentry of other construction work
•  wood carving
•  driving mechanically-propelled carried or driving non-mechanically-propelled vehicle, excluding international aircraft piloting
•  shop attendance
•  auctio
•  supervising, auditing or giving services in accountancy excluding internal auditing on occasions
•  cutting of polishing jewellery
•  haircutting, hairdressing or beauty treatment
•  cloth weaving by hand
•  weaving of mats or making products from reeds, rattan, hemp, straw or bamboo pellicle
•  making of Sa paper by hand
•  lacquerware making
•  making of Thai musical instruments
•  nielloware making
•  making products from gold, silver or gold-copper alloy
•  bronzeware making
•  making Thai dolls
•  making mattress of quilt blanket
• alms bowls casting
• making silk products by hand
•  casting Buddha images
•  knife making
•  making paper or cloth umbrellas
•  shoemaking
•  hat-making
•  brokerage or agency excluding brokerage or agency in international trade business
•  engineering work in civil engineering branch concerning designing and calculation, organization, research, planning, testing, construction supervision or advising excluding specialized work
•  architectural work concerning designing, drawing of plan, estimation, construction directing or advising
•  garments making
•  pottery or ceramic ware making
•  cigarette making by hand
•  guide or conducting sightseeing tours
•  street vending
•  type-setting of Thai characters by hand;
•  drawing and twisting silk-thread by hand
•  office of secretarial work
•  legal or lawsuit services

Work Permit Conditions
Foreigners have to comply with conditions set out by the Director General of the Department of Employment to obtain a work permit under the Act, the exception being when a foreigner is permitted entry to work in Thailand under the Investment Promotion Act or other laws.

The current conditions came into force on 8 October 2004 but applications received prior to 8 October 2004 will be considered under the conditions in effect prior to this date.

The current conditions by which a work permit can be granted include, but are not limited to:

1. For foreigners working for an employer that has paid up registered capital of at least Baht 2 million, for every Baht 2 million in paid up registered capital one permit can be issued.

For foreigners working for a foreign juristic person carrying on business in Thailand that has invested money from abroad not less than Baht three million, for every Baht 3 million one permit can be issued. Where a foreign juristic person that entered Thailand to carry on business prior to October 30, 2002 has no evidence of bringing in money from abroad, consideration shall be based on the size of the investment indicated in bank statements for the last six months. Where the total amount is Baht three million or more, for every Baht three million one permit can be issued.

If the foreigner has a Thai spouse and the marriage is registered under the law and the couple cohabitate openly as husband and wife, the investment required per permit shall be reduced by one half.

A maximum of ten foreigners may be granted a work permit under the above conditions, except as may be appropriate in any of the following cases:

• Working for an employer who has paid at least Baht 3 million in income tax to the government in the past year.
• Working with an employer in the export business that has brought not less than Baht 30 million in foreign currency into the country in the past year.
• Working with an employer in the tour business that has brought not less five thousand foreign tourists to Thailand in the past year.
• Working for an employer that employs at least 100 Thai nationals.

2. For foreigners working for an employer that has paid up registered capital of at least Baht 2 million or a foreign juristic person carrying on business in Thailand that has invested money from abroad not less than Baht three million, in any of the following cases the limitations above regarding the number of foreigners shall not apply.

Foreigners using technology in their work that Thai people are unable to do or where the domestic labor market cannot meet the demand, whereby the technology shall be transferred to at least two Thai people within the prescribed period.

Foreigners working by applying specialized knowledge and skills for work to be accomplished within a definite period of time.

Foreigners working in the entertainment, theatrical or music business, where the work is occasional and for a definite period of time.

3. Foreigners working for a foundation, association or any other organization whose objectives are non-profit making and in the interests of the society as a whole.

4. Foreigners working for a representative office of a foreign company engaged in international trade may obtain work permits under the following conditions:

For giving advice in various aspects about the goods of the head office distributed to an agent or user, dissemination of various information about the goods or services of the head office and the reporting of business movements in Thailand to the head office: A maximum of two foreigners is permitted.

For sourcing goods or services in Thailand, quality control of goods that the head office buys or employs to produce in Thailand: A maximum of five foreigners may be permitted except in the case where the representative office can source goods or service for the head office to purchase and the head office has ordered goods or services from producers in Thailand with a value of not less than Baht 100 million in the past year.

5. The regional office of a foreign multinational can receive permission to employ not more than 5 foreigners unless the regional office has brought not less than 10 million into Thailand to meet expenses in the last year. The regional office must meet conditions similar to the rules for establishing a regional office contained in Regulations of the Office of the Prime Minister 1992.

6. Foreigners working for the government, a state enterprise or public organization.

7. For foreigners entering Thailand to work in financial institutions under the supervision of the Bank of Thailand or the Ministry of Finance or government agencies that supervises financial institutions, permission shall be granted according to the number allowed in the certificate issued by the relevant authority.

Visas for Work Permits
Foreigners wishing to take up employment in Thailand must enter Thailand on a non-immigrant visa and then apply for a work permit and relevant category of visa.

There are various categories of non-immigrant visa currently available to suit the needs and qualifications of individual business people.

These include the business visa (category B), the most common visa used to apply for work permits, and yjr investment and business visa (category IB) for foreigners working under investment projects promoted by the Board of Investment.

Non-Immigrant visas can be obtained from all Thai Embassies and Consulates provided that the relevant documents are submitted.

Validity of Work Permits
A work permit is normally issued for one year and can be renewed on a annual basis. If the duration of employment is less than one year, a work permit will be granted only for the period requested. Two year work permits are available in certain circumstances and at extra cost.

A work permit validity cannot exceed the the visa's "permit to stay"validity.

Foreigners residing in Thailand for more than 90 consecutive days are required to register their address with the Immigration Bureau every 90 days. This requirement applies to all foreigners, including holders of work permits and long-term visas if you are not required to leave Thailand every 3 months.

Renewal of Work Permits
An application for renewal of a work permit must be submitted before the expiration date of a valid work permit. If a work permit has expired, another application must be completed for a new work permit.

If a work permit is not granted or extended, or is not allowed for a change of work or location, the applicant is entitled to appeal the decision to the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare within 30 days. A decision will be rendered within 60 days.

Necessary and Urgent Work
A foreigner who is permitted to enter Thailand temporarily under the immigration law in order to engage in work which is necessary and urgent for a period not longer than fifteen days does not require a work permit. The foreigner can commence work only after he has notified the Director General of the Department of Employment or his entrusted official in writing in the form prescribed by the Director General. Guidelines have been issued to define work that is necessary and urgent.

working in phuket
Work Permit PhuketLabour Department in Phuket
Thai Labour Law and Employment Contracts
The rights of all employees working in Thailand and the obligations of all employers are described in the Labour Protection Act of 1998 (B.E.2541). This covers areas such as working hours, holidays, notice, overtime, sick pay, where summary dismissal is permitted without severance pay or notice and the calculation of severance pay in a case where summary dismissal is not permitted, among other things. If dismissal is not for one of the reasons permitted under the LPA, then generally the employee has a right to claim severance pay at fixed rates based on completed years of employment. The Act also describes additional rights of employees where dismissal is based on changes of technology in the business or where the business is relocated or closed down. Under the Labour Courts Act, it may be possible to claim additional compensation for unfair dismissal, which is discretionary and based on the actual facts of the case.

The Acts cover Thais and foreign employees working for Thai or international companies doing business in Thailand. There are various penalties, both civil and criminal, for employers that fail to adhere to the rules.

The special rules that apply to foreign employees are set out in the foreign Employment Act (1978) and regulations issued under that Act as amended by the Foreign Employment Act of 2008.

Employment contracts do not have to be in writing, except in the case of homeworkers. Foreign employees are best advised to request a written contract for the sake of certainty. For foreign employees the contract can be in English, but may need to be translated into Thai if the Department of Employment require a copy for a Work Permit application, or if the contract must be presented in court proceedings.

Australians working in Thailand
Under the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement ("TAFTA") that came into effect on 1 January 2005, Thailand has relaxed a number of conditions relating to visas and work permits for Australian business people. Australia is the first country to receive such privileges. The 39 occupations currently restricted to Thais only are not affected by TAFTA.

Business visitors

Thailand will grant a visa and work permit for up to five years' stay for all Australian citizens being transferred to work in Thailand within the same company (to be renewable annually).

Thailand will grant a visa and work permit for up to three years' stay for all Australian citizens entering Thailand to work on the basis of a contract with an Australian or Thai company other than their employer in Australia (to be renewable annually).

Thailand will not require a work permit for Australian citizens who are business visitors conducting business meetings in Thailand for up to 15 days, and up to 90 days for APEC Travel Card Holders.

Thailand will consider applications for visas and work permits submitted by an employer on an applicant's behalf and advise in advance of approval and (with visa to be granted on arrival subject to identity verification).

Thailand will permit all Australian business visitors access to the one-stop visa and work permit service (previously restricted to visitors representing or employed by major investors).

Thailand will permit all Australians who hold work permits to participate in business meetings anywhere in Thailand, including locations not specified in their work permits (previous work permits had to be changed if any work was to be conducted in a location not specified in the permit).

Thailand will reduce the number of documents required from Australians for work permits and renewals and work permits.

A contractual service supplier is defined in TAFTA to include an Australian national that is a qualified manager, executive or specialist service provider, working as an employee of a Thai company with substantive business operations.

Where to apply for a Work Permit in Phuket
Provincial Employment Office
38/27 Rattanakosin 200 Years Road,
Talad Nua Muang,
Phuket City
Telephone: 076 219 660
It is advisable to employ a local lawyer/accountant or one of the many Visa Services Companies to deal with the application for you. Unless you speak Thai the process is extremely difficult.

One-Stop Service Centre for Visas and Work Permits located in Bangkok
18th Floor, Chamchuri Office Tower,
319 Phayathai Road,
Bangkok 10330
Telephone: +66 (0)2 209 1100 Fax: 02 209 1198
The One-Stop Service Centre for Visa and Work Permits helps facilitate foreigners by granting visa extensions, re-entry permits and work permits within 3 hours.

Persons that may apply at the One Stop Service Center for Visas and Work Permits include:

•  Executives or experts that have privileges under the Investment Promotion Act of 1997, the Petroleum Act of 1971 or the Industrial Estates Authority Act of 1979
•  General investors, who bring in not less than Baht 2 million for investment, may obtain one year approval.
•  General investors, who bring in not less than Baht 10 million for investment, may obtain approval for two years.
•  Executives and experts working at a company with registered capital or total assets of not less than Baht 30 million.
•  Journalists that come to work as the foreign press, shall submit a letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a copy of ID Press Card issued by the Department of Public Relations.
•  Research and development experts concerning science and technology.
IT experts.
•  Bank officials of foreign banks with a branch or representative office certified by the Bank of Thailand.
•  Foreigners who come to work in Thailand on a necessary and urgent basis for a period not longer than 15 days.
•  Foreigners working for representative offices of international trading firms or regional offices of trans-national corporations.
•  Foreigners working in regional operating headquarters.
•  Foreigners approved by Cabinet by publication in the Government Gazette.

Business Hours

Business offices are usually open from 8.30 am to 12 noon and 1.00 pm to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. Government offices are open from 8.30 am to 12 noon and 1.00 pm to 4.30 pm, Monday to Friday. Banking hours can vary but are typically 9.30 am to 3.30 pm, Monday to Friday.

Thailand ParliamentThe Parliament
Government & Legal System
The Monarchy
Thailand is governed by a constitutional monarchy with a democratically elected government. Thailand is currently ruled by King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the ninth reigning sovereign of the Chakri dynasty. The Thai monarchy is revered by Thai people and regarded as the central, unifying element of the nation.

The Parliament
The parliament consists of a Senate and a House of Representatives. The government is headed by the Prime Minister who is an elected member of the House of Representatives. The judicial arm is headed by the Supreme Court.

Provincial Divisions
The country is divided into 76 provinces, each administered by a governor. The 76 provinces are divided into four regions: central, northern, north-eastern and southern. The provinces are sub-divided into districts, sub-districts, tambons (groups of villages), and villages.

The Law
Thailand has a codified system of law. The major codes are the Civil and Commercial Code, Penal Code, Civil Procedure Code, Criminal Code, Revenue Code and Land Code. The current constitution of Thailand was promulgated on October 11, 1997. The interest of Thais and foreigners alike are protected by the law.

 Visas in Thailand
tourist visaVisa Thailand
Visas Available
Below are the different types of visas available - "permission to stay" and "extension of stay" stamps that are issued by the Thai government for visits or long-term stay.

Tourist Visa Exemption:> certain passport holders are exempt from holding a visa and will be granted a 30 day "permission to stay" stamp on arrival.

Visa on Arrival: certain passport holders are granted up to 15 days "permission to stay" on arrival. Tourist Visa : for before departure for Thailand, this allows the holder a 60 day (plus further 30 on application) "permission to stay".

Non-Immigrant Visas: for a stay longer than two months (application requirements vary depending on the reason for the stay).

Retirement Non-Immigrant Visas: granted to those over 50 years who can demonstrate financial security (among other things).

Permission to Stay: This is the stamp that is stamped in to a passport on arrival in Thailand, regardless of which type of visa that has been issued. It shows the date of entry and the required date of departure.

Extension of Stay: This is a stamp that is issued by Thai immigration under specific circumstances that allow the holder to stay longer than 90 days.

Note: Contact your home Embassy or Consulate for up-to-date information as requirements can change.

There is often confusion over the difference between a visa, permission to stay and extension of stay.

A visa is usually be issued outside of Thailand (apart from in the case of a "Visa on Arrival") and will show the dates when the holder can enter Thailand.

On entry into Thailand a "permission to stay" is stamped in the passport and shows the entry date and the date by which the passport holder must leave unless granted an "extension of stay".

Thailand's Immigration Bureau does have some information in English, including details of the relevant offices.
Tourist Visa Exemption
Passport holders from some countries are granted a "permission to stay" stamp in their passport on arrival at an international airport, under the "tourist visa exemption" rule for tourism purposes only. They are granted "permission to stay" for not longer than 30 days and must have a confirmed flight ticket for departure within that time. If arriving by land, "permission to stay" is granted for not longer than 15 days except for Malaysian nationals who will be granted a "permission to stay" for not longer than 30 days. After entry into Thailand, and at the immigration officer's discretion, it is sometimes possible to get a seven day "extension of stay".
Visitors under the tourist visa exemption rule may stay for longer than 90 days in any six-month period.

Click below for a list of countries
Visa on arrival
Passport holders from a further 20 countries are granted a visa on arrival which is valid for only 15 days. They are granted "permission to stay" for not longer than 15 days and must have a confirmed flight ticket for departure within that time.
Click below for further information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
Tourist Visas
For longer stays it is possible to apply for a tourist visa from a Thai Embassy or Consulate overseas. This allows a 60 day visit for tourism only, with a possible 30-day "extension of stay". The tourist visa will have a three or six month validity during which time it is possible for the holder to enter Thailand and get a 60 day "permission to stay" stamp.

Click here for information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
Those wishing to extend their visa for a further 30 days must contact the Immigration Bureau.
Non-Immigrant Visas
If you wish to stay in Thailand for more than two months you must apply for a Non-Immigrant Visa. Either a one-year multi-entry visa with a maximum 90-day stay is issued or a single entry 90-day visa. If you intend traveling outside of Thailand during your stay a multi-entry visa must be obtained. The visa indicates the dates between which the holder can apply to enter Thailand and does not necessarily show the length of time the holder will be granted "permission to stay". This is shown by the stamp in the holder's passport on arrival.

It is possible to apply for an "extension of stay" after 90 days from within Thailand, although the rules are different for each type of visa. Requirements for an extension vary; for a retirement visa it is normally a straightforward process, but a business visa has more strenuous rules. Contact the Immigration Bureau for full details.

If an "extension of stay" is granted, you should register your address with immigration every 90 days. Failure to do this can result in a fine of 200 baht/day up to a maximum of 5,000 baht. It could be possible to register by post, check with your local immigration bureau.

Form TM47 (For Alien to Notify of Staying Longer Than 90 Days) is available from the Immigration Bureau:

If an "extension of stay" is not available you will need to complete a "visa run" to stay longer than 90 days.

If you do not have a multi-entry visa, you must obtain a re-entry permit at the airport or at the Immigration Bureau before leaving the country, otherwise the Non-Immigrant visa will not be valid on your return to Thailand.

For further information and for a list of required documents see the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website or the Thai Embassy or Consulate website for the country you intend to visit for the visa click below

 Visas in Thailand
business visaVisa Thailand
Types of Non-Immigrant Visas
Those who can apply for Non-Immigrant Visas include, but are not limited to, the following:

Foreigners who wish to work in Thailand
Foreigners who wish to invest in Thailand
Family of the people in the above categories
Foreigners married to Thai nationals or with relatives who are Thai nationals
Foreigners who wish to spend their retirement in Thailand
If intending to travel in and out of Thailand during the validity of the visa it will be necessary to get a multi-entry visa.
Non-Immigrant O (Other) Visa
This allows visitors to enter for the following reasons
Visiting Thai spouse or family (Copy of marriage certificate required)
To look for work
Voluntary work
Visiting non-Thai family members

For the purpose of retirement (Type "O-A", see below)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs website gives details of requirements.
Non-Immigrant B (Business) Visa
If you intend to work or start a business in Thailand, you require this visa. It is best to apply outside of Thailand and you will need a letter from the company stating your position. If you are granted this visa on arrival in Thailand you will need to apply for a work permit. You will also need this visa if you intend to teach but the rules are different.

Click below for the procedure:
Non-Immigrant IB (Investment & Business) Visa
Foreign employees working on a project that has been approved by the Board of Investment (BOI) must have this type of visa.

Click here for details:
Non-Immigrant ED (Education-Unpaid Work) Visa
This type of visa is granted to those who would like to study in Thailand, to attend a conference, for training or to study as a Buddhist monk. An acceptance letter from the educational establishment or training establishment is required.

Retirement Visa - Non-Immigrant O-A type
If you are 50 years old or more you can apply for a Non-Immigrant O-A visa before arrival in Thailand. It will be valid for one year. On arrival in Thailand retirement status must be applied for at the local Immigration Bureau. Once retirement status is granted it can be extended on a yearly basis as long as adequate financial funds are still available. You must report to your local Immigration Office every 90 days. Those in Thailand with retirement status cannot not work in any capacity.

The current requirements are:


Applicant must be aged 50 years and over (on the day of submitting application).
Applicant not prohibited from entering the Kingdom as provided by the Immigration Act B.E. 2522 (1979).
Having no criminal record in Thailand and the country of the applicant's nationality or residence.
Having the nationality of or residence in the country where applicant's application is submitted.
Not having prohibitive diseases ( Leprosy, Tuberculosis, drug addiction, Elephantiasis, third phase of Syphilis) as indicated in the Ministerial Regulation No. 14 B.E. 2535.

Required Documents

Passport with validity of not less than 18 months.
3 copies of completed visa application forms.
3 passport-sized photos (4 x 6 cm) of the applicant taken within the past six months.
A personal data form.
A copy of bank statement showing a deposit of the amount equal to and not less than 800,000 Baht or an income certificate (an original copy) with a monthly income of not less than 65,000 Baht, or a deposit account plus a monthly income totalling not less than 800,000 Baht.
In the case of submitting a bank statement, a letter of guarantee from the bank (an original copy) is required.
A letter of verification issued from the country of his or her nationality or residence stating that the applicant has no criminal record (verification shall be valid for not more than three months and should be notarised by notary organs or the applicant's diplomatic or consular mission).
A medical certificate issued from the country where the application is submitted, showing no prohibitive diseases as indicated in the Ministerial Regulation No.14 (B.E. 2535) (certificate shall be valid for not more than three months and should be notarised by notary organs or the applicant's diplomatic or consular mission).

In the case where the accompanying spouse is not eligible to apply for the Category ‘O-A' (Long Stay) visa, he or she will be considered for temporary stay under Category ‘O' visa. A marriage certificate must be provided as evidence and should be notarised by notary organs or by the applicant's diplomatic or consular mission.

Click here for the current requirements:
Other Types of Non-Immigrant Visa
D: Diplomatic Visa
BA: Business visa for approved companies
M: Media visa for journalists or film crews
EX: Expert visa for those doing work of a specialist nature
IM: Investors visa
F: For officials working with the Thai government
R: For missionaries or those wishing to complete religious studies
RS: For those who conduct scientific research.

Visas for Thailand
If you are 50 years old or more you can apply for a Non-Immigrant O-A visa before arrival in Thailand. It will be valid for one year. On arrival in Thailand retirement status must be applied for at the local Immigration Bureau. Once retirement status is granted it can be extended on a yearly basis as long as adequate financial funds are still available. You must report to your local Immigration Office every 90 days. Those in Thailand with retirement status cannot not work in any capacity.

Ministry of Foreign affairs website:

immigration in Phuket
immigration officepassport stamps
The Immigration Bureau is one of the bureaus under the Royal Thai Police Department, Ministry of Interior. It is responsible for the inspection of persons and conveyances coming in and going out of the kingdom in accordance with the provisions of the Immigration Law, including the investigation, suppression and detention of offenders against women and young girls who are the victims of white slave trafficking and other criminal offenses which lead to illegal immigration. The bureau is divided into 4 divisions and one sub-division level unit.

Opening hours for both offices:

Monday to Friday 8.30 am to 4.30 pm
Closed Saturday, Sunday and Holidays

Phuket Immigration Bureau
482 Phuket Road, Talad Yai, Phuket Town
Telephone: +66(0)76 340 477

Patong Branch
Thaweewong Road, Patong Beach, Kathu, Phuket 83150
Telephone: +66(0)76 340 477

Economy in Thailand
foreign exchangethe seal of the bird of paradise
Thailand's strong manufacturing base is reflected in its top exports. Hi tech industries producing computers and components is the number one export. Cars and auto parts come in at number 2, and highlights the focus on efforts to develop the eastern seaboard of Thailand as the Detroit of the East.

Thailand is focused on increasing the competitiveness of its economy and free trade agreements is a step towards achieving this goal.

Thailand has comprehensive free trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand and is currently negotiating free trade agreement with Japan and the US.

Thailand is 1 of 5 net exporters of food in the world. It is the number one exporter of several products including rubber and canned and frozen seafood.

Foreign Investment
To attract foreign investment into Thailand, incentives are offered to meet investors needs and to further national development objectives.

These incentives are contained in Thailand's Investment Promotion Act, which protects and provides guarantees to foreigners investing in Thailand.

The Board of Investment (BOI), is chaired by the Prime Minister, and is responsible for the Investment Promotion Act.

The BOI is a very pro-active agency and is constantly reviewing investment policies to adapt to the global investment climate.

Thailand promotes itself as a regional hub for many activities in Asia.

Thailand offers incentives to foreign companies to establish their regional headquarters in Thailand, to compete with such as Singapore and Hong Kong.

Thailand has a law that prohibits foreign participation in certain business activities for example, national security reasons, to protect traditional customs and also requires certificates or licenses to be obtained before engaging in others. 100% foreign equity is allowed in most manufacturing businesses – there are no license or joint venture requirements.

Service businesses will require a license and many foreigners structure their companies so the foreign business law will not apply. Nominee structures are illegal and advice should be sought on this area of the law.

To be a fair trading partner one must honour the intellectual property rights of foreign parties. Thailand has laws based on international standards to protect IP rights, such as patent, copyright and trademark laws.

Exchange policy and controls
Thailand adopts a managed-float exchange rate regime, of which the value of the baht is determined by market forces, namely demand and supply in both on-shore and off-shore foreign exchange markets, to let the currency moves in line with economic fundamentals.

For foreign currency movements there are no restrictions on non-residents remitting foreign currency into Thailand or converting funds into foreign currencies for remittance abroad. Capital controls came into effect in December 2006 requiring a 30% reserve to be set aside in certain circumstances and this should be taken into account when remitting foreign currency into Thailand of USD 20,000 (or its equivalent) or more for conversion into Thai baht.

Documentation such an invoice or contract to prove the obligations to make a payment offshore is normally required by residents. No special tax clearance is required before making payments.

income taxthai baht
Personal Income Tax
Personal Income Tax (PIT) is a direct tax levied on income of a person. A person means an individual, an ordinary partnership, a non-juristic body of person and an undivided estate. In general, a person liable to PIT has to compute his tax liability, file tax return and pay tax, if any, accordingly on a calendar year basis.

Taxpayers are classified into “resident” and “non-resident”. “Resident” means any person residing in Thailand for a period or periods aggregating more than 180 days in any tax (calendar) year. A resident of Thailand is liable to pay tax on income from sources in Thailand as well as on the portion of income from foreign sources that is brought into Thailand. A non-resident is, however, subject to tax only on income from sources in Thailand.

Income chargeable to the PIT is called “assessable income”. The term covers income both in cash and in kind. Therefore, any benefits provided by an employer or other persons, such as a rent-free house or the amount of tax paid by the employer on behalf of the employee, is also treated as assessable income of the employee for the purpose of PIT.

The following Tax Rates apply:

0 – 150,000 – Exempt
150,001 – 500,000 – 10%
500,001 – 1,000,000 – 20%
1,000,001 – 4,000,000 – 30%
4,000,001 – and over – 37%

Filing of Returns and Payment of Personal Tax
A Taxpayer is liable to file a Personal Income Tax return and make a payment to the Revenue Department within the last day of March following the taxable year.

Corporate Income Tax ("CIT")
Under Thai law companies and juristic partnerships are subject to CIT on their worldwide income and those established under a foreign law but doing business in Thailand are subject to CIT only on the net profits arising from their business activities in Thailand. Limited partnerships, registered partnerships as well as unincorporated joint ventures are included in the term "company or juristic partnership".

For tax purposes net profit is calculated by taking into account all revenue arising from or as a consequence of the business carried on in a tax year, and there from deducting all allowable expenses. Expenses and revenue are computed on an accruals basis. Dividends received by Thai companies, either from another Thai company or from a foreign company, may qualify for exemption from CIT if certain prescribed conditions are met.

Expenses incurred for the purpose of acquiring profits or for conducting business in Thailand are deductible. Usual business expenses, qualifying bad debts and depreciation are deductible for tax purposes and must be claimed in the tax year in which they are incurred.

Incentives are contained in the tax law that allow for accelerated depreciation and capital write offs in respect of certain types of assets. If an asset is acquired during a tax year, the depreciation allowance must be pro-rated.

Tax losses may be carried forward for a maximum of five years and set off against net profits of any nature. If a company is promoted by the BOI and receives exemption from corporate income taxes it can carry forward tax losses and deduct them as expenses for up to five years after the end of the income tax holiday period.
Filing of Returns and Payment of Corporate Tax
Thai and foreign companies carrying on business in Thailand are required to file their tax returns (Form CIT 50) within one hundred and fifty (150) days from the closing date of their accounting periods. Tax payment must be submitted together with the tax returns. Any company disposing funds representing profits out of Thailand is also required to pay tax on the sum so disposed within seven days from the disposal date (Form CIT 54).

In addition to the annual tax payment, any company subject to CIT on net profits is also required to make tax prepayment (Form CIT 51). A company is obliged to estimate its annual net profit as well as its tax liability and pay half of the estimated tax amount within two months after the end of the first six months of its accounting period. The prepaid tax is creditable against its annual tax liability.

As regards to income paid to foreign company not carrying on business in Thailand, the foreign company is subject to tax at a flat rate in which the payer shall withhold tax at source at the time of payment. The payer must file the return (Form CIT 54) and make the payment to the Revenue Department within seven days of the following month in which the payment is made.
Corporate Tax Rates
The corporate income tax rate in Thailand is 30% on net profit. In the calculation of CIT of a company carrying on business in Thailand, it is calculated from the company's net profit on the accrual basis. A company shall take into account all revenue arising from or in consequence of the business carried on in an accounting period and deducting therefrom all expenses in accordance with the condition prescribed by the Revenue Code. As for dividend income, one-half of the dividends received by Thai companies from any other Thai companies may be excluded from the taxable income. However, the full amount may be excluded from taxable income if the recipient is a company listed in the Stock Exchange of Thailand or the recipient owns at least 25% of the distributing company's capital interest, provided that the distributing company does not own a direct or indirect capital interest in the recipient company. The exclusion of dividends is applied only if the shares are acquired not less than 3 months before receiving the dividends and are not disposed of within 3 months after receiving the dividends.

For a small company or juristic partnership with paid up share capital not exceeding Baht 5,000,000 at the end of its tax year, the following tax rates apply:

Net Profit (Baht)

Tax Rate 0 to 150,000 – Exempt

150,001 to 1,000,000 – 15%

1,000,001 to 3,000,000 – 25%

3,000,001 and over– 30%

Withholding Tax
Certain types of income paid to companies are subject to withholding tax at source. The withholding tax rates depend on the types of income and the tax status of the recipient. The payer of income is required to file the return (Form CIT 53) and submit the amount of tax withheld to the District Revenue Offices within seven days of the following month in which the payment is made. The tax withheld will be credited against final tax liability of the taxpayer.

The Revenue department website has more detailed information on all the above subjects.

banks thailand
atmsus dollar

Opening a bank account in a Thai bank or a foreign bank based in Thailand can be relatively simple. For a personal account (called Savings) you will require your passport and money to pay for the Debit Card and to deposit into the account. You will receive a Passbook and card immediately. No cheque book is given with this type of account. You can ask for internet banking which will require forms to be completed and your login details will be sent by post. You may want to ask for the cash withdrawal limits to be raised. This process may differ from bank to bank, take your work permit if you have one and proof of your address. In Thailand the more documents you take the easier the process.

If opening a Business account you will need more documents usually including a letter from your accountant. Check with the Bank you have chosen first. Again request internet banking when you open the account.

Foreign banks only have branches in Bangkok.

Most banks have good websites in English and it's advisable to study the details before deciding on which bank to use.

Bangkok Bank
Bank of Ayudhya
Export-Import Bank of Thailand
Kasikorn Bank
Krung Thai Bank Public
Siam Commercial Bank
Deutsche Bank
Merrill Lynch International Bank
Standard Chartered Bank
TMB Bank
Types of Bank Account in Thailand
There are four types of accounts available to foreigners in Thailand:

Thai Baht Savings Account
Current Account
Foreign Currency Deposit Account
Business Bank Account
Thai Baht savings account
The most common type of bank account is the savings account. It is possible to get Internet banking and an ATM card and passbook will be issued. The minimum amount of money required to open a Thai Baht Account can be as little as THB 500.
Current account
This account can be more complicated to open as a cheque book is issued. A passport is needed and it will not be possible to open the account without a work permit. A larger minimum opening deposit is required.
Foreign currency deposit account
This is a bank account usually offered in a range of currencies with a minimum deposit required.

A passport must be presented when opening a foreign account. Other documentation may also be requested, such as an official letter of recommendation from the person's Embassy, employer or overseas bank, pay slips, loan documents or a bank statement from the person's home country.
Business bank account
To open a business bank account in Thailand it is necessary to have all the company papers, a passport with valid visa and a work permit. Although it should be a straightforward process it is recommended that an accountant prepares all the paperwork before visiting the bank. A business bank account will normally issue a cheque book. Some offer Internet banking.

garages in phuketgreen book
Driving in Phuket

Buying a New car
There are a number of car dealerships in Thailand and most major makes are sold. Cars manufactured in Thailand have a much lower rate of tax added than imported cars and are often good value compared to luxury imported vehicles.

All registration procedures and transfers of vehicle ownership are completed at the Phuket Provincial Land Transport Office in Phuket City. The car dealerships will deal with this and issue all the necessary paperwork to the DLT.

Those who are not Thai citizens need to produce the following paperwork for the DLT with copies:

Current passport
Non-immigrant visa
Work Permit or Certificate or Letter of Residence issued by Thai Immigration or the Embassy

A temporary black text on red number plate will be issued, which will be replaced by a black text on white permanent plate when the registration process is completed. This should take only a week but can take as long as six weeks, depending on how quickly the car dealership submits the paperwork and the DLT processes it.

The Blue Book (Lem Tabian)
The most common type of bank account is the savings account. It is possible to get Internet banking and an ATM card and passbook will be issued. The minimum amount of money required to open a Thai Baht Account can be as little as THB 500.
Compulsory Motor Insurance (CMI or Por Ror Bor) must also be bought from the DLT, the car dealership or an insurance company. CMI must be renewed annually. Three additional levels of motor vehicle insurance are available in Thailand, 1st Class, 2nd Class and 3rd Class. The three levels indicate level of coverage with 1st Class being fully comprehensive.
Car Tax
All cars must display a tax sticker on the windscreen as proof that car tax has been paid. When a car is bought the tax sticker stays on the window and remains valid until it expires regardless of the owner of the car. Tax must be paid annually at the local DLT office, take the Blue Book and proof of the CMI.
Buying a Used Car
There is a large used car market in Thailand. Classified sections of local and national newspapers (printed and online) have private advertisements and there are also some online forums. Although most of these are in Thai you can check vehicle values and what is available.

All used cars are accompanied by their registration book, Blue Book (Lem Tabian), which shows the owner's name and address. This book contains information on the previous owners and will show whether all taxes have been paid on the vehicle. If the vehicle was purchased using finance, the Blue Book will have been retained by the finance company, so if the seller cannot produce the Blue Book, you need to check with the finance company that all payments are up tp date.

Transferring ownership of a used vehicle is very similar to buying a new vehicle. The purchaser and the seller must both complete the transfer of ownership at their local DLT office, although the seller can give power of attorney to a third party. The DLT will check the engine and chassis serial number to make sure the car has not been stolen. Do not make any payments for the vehicle until this point.

The following documents must be provided by both parties:

Signed copy of the previous owner's passport
Visa and work permit or a Certificate or Letter of Residence issued by Thai Immigration or their Embassy, The vehicle's Blue Book

Signed copy of the buyer's passport
Visa and work permit or a Certificate of Residence issued by Thai Immigration or your Embassy.

If the car is over seven years old, an up-to-date tax sticker will prove that it has passed the roadworthiness test. If either the previous owner or purchaser is Thai they have to provide an ID card and House Registration Document (Tabien Baan)

Note: As all documents will be in Thai it is advisable to have them all thoroughly checked by a Thai-speaker or solicitor and the relevant authorities before making payment for any used vehicle.

The procedure for buying or selling new or used motorbikes is also carried out at the local Department of Land Transport office. The paperwork required is similar, although a tourist visa will be accepted for those who have a Certificate of Residence issued by Thai Immigration or their Embassy. Owners will be issued with a registration book (Green Book) when the paperwork is complete.

If a motorbike is over five years old it must have passed a roadworthiness test. If the motorbike has an up-to-date tax sticker this will prove that the roadworthiness test has been carried out.

If buying a new motorbike, the dealership will deal with all the paperwork for you.

Importing a New or Used Vehicle
Privately importing either a new or used vehicle into Thailand is expensive. The import taxes total around 200 percent of the car's value making this exercise very expensive. It is possible to import Classic Cars without such high import taxes but there have been problems with customs

driving licence thailand
transport officelicence fee
Driving in Phuket

Thai Driving Licence
Documents Required:

Passport with non-immigrant visa (original and photocopy)
Residence Certificate from Immigration Department ( Blue House Book or Letter from Landlord and Passport needed + photocopies and photograph)
2 Photos 2.5 inches
Doctors Certificate (not accepted if over 1 month old) - available from any Doctor's clinic
Own Country's Driving Licence (must be for same type of vehicle) translated and guaranteed by Embassy or Consulate.
International Driving Licence - original and photocopy
If your Driving Licence or International Driving Licence is expired you will have to attend the Training session, do a written test and a practical driving test for each category of driving licence you apply for. If you have both the above documents you will be required to take just the eye test.

Motorcycles: 55 Baht per year
Cars: 105 Baht per year

The Licence is issued for 1 year.
Renewing Driving Licence
You can renew your licence within 1 year of expiry otherwise the tests will have to be taken again.

Documents Required:
Passport + one signed photocopy of photo page
Visa + 1 signed photocopy
Two 1" photos
Old Driving Licence


Motorcycles: 55 Baht per year
Cars: 105 Baht per year

You can have all your documents copied and photographs taken at stalls outside the Transport and Immigration Departments.
Where to go
Phuket Provincial Land Transport Office
42/1 Rattanakosin Song-Roy-Pee Road
Phuket 83000

Telephone: +66 (0)76 214 930 ext.102

phuket airport
airport in phuketcheck in desk

Air Travel
Phuket International Airport is in the north of the island and is the second largest hub in Thailand, Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi Airport) being the largest.

Domestic Flights
Air Asia fly to Bangkok, Chang Mai, Isaan, Udon Thani and Udon Ratchathani.
Thai Airways flies daily to Bangkok, all other areas in Thailand are via Bangkok
Bangkok Airways fly to Bangkok, Ko Samui and U-Tapao (Pattaya/Sattahip)
Nok Air flies to Bangkok
Happy Air flies to Ranong and Bangkok.
Qatar Air - all flights stop in Kuala Lumpur for approx 1 hr before traveling via Doha to your destination
Thai Airways - all flights are via Bangkok
Malaysian Air - all flights are via Kuala Lumpur
Silk Air - daily flights to Singapore
China Airlines - to Taipei
Asiana Airlines - to Seoul
Air Berlin - nonstop to Munich and Berlin (until April)
Air Asia - nonstop to Jakarta and Bali
Firefly - direct to Penang, Malaysia
Jetstar - direct flights to Australia and Singapore
Strategic Airlines - direct flights to Australia
Dragonair - direct flights to Hong Kong
Tiger Air - direct flights to Singapore
Airline Offices
AIR LANKA  Telephone: +66 (0)76 212 892
AMERICAN AIRLINES  Telephone: +66 (0)2 263 0225-7
ASIANA AIRLINES  Telephone: +66 (0)2 263 8333
BANGKOK AIRWAYS  Telephone: +66 (0)76 225 033-5
CANADIAN AIRLINES  Telephone: +66 (0)2 670 0400
CHINA AIRLINES  Telephone: +66 (0)76 327 099
DRAGON AIR 076  Telephone: +66 (0)76 217 300-1
EMIRATES AIR  Telephone: +66 (0)76 212 892
EVA AIR  Telephone: +66 (0)76 212 892
LOT POLISH AIRLINES  Telephone: +66 (0)76 342 597-8
LTU  Telephone: +66 (0)76 327 432
MALAYSIA AIRLINES  Telephone: +66 (0)76 216 675
NOK AIR  Telephone: +66 (0)2 251 1812, 1318
PHUKET AIR  Telephone: +66 (0)2 679 8999
SILK AIR  Telephone: +66 (0)76 304 018-9
SINGAPORE AIRLINES  Telephone: +66 (0)2 353 6000
SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAY  Telephone: +66 (0)2 638 1413-4
THAI AIR ASIA  Telephone: +66 (0)2 515 9999
THAI AIRWAYS INTERNATIONAL  Telephone: +66 (0)76 360 444

During high season there are Charter Flights from Europe and Asian countries such as Sweden, UK, Taiwan and Japan.

All major airlines fly into Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore making it relatively easy to travel from Phuket to anywhere in the world.

Please note: The above routes are subject to change, check with the appropriate airline.
Traveling to and from the airport:
Shared Minibus - transport to major beaches and hotels (beware on arrival, there will be a 10 minute stop at an agent to try and sell accommodation, say you have already booked and tell them hotel or villa name)

Taxis - always use the yellow metered taxis, turn left on exiting the airport building and there is a stand at the end of the walkway. If you are happy with the driver, take his number for the return trip.

Limousine - usually a saloon car. A more expensive way to travel and again there may be stops on the way. Be firm before paying and insist on being taken directly to your hotel or villa.

Most hotels and private villas will arrange transport for you and this may be included free with your booking. When booking a holiday rental through CyanSiam, return transfers are included in the price.

train phuket
phuket portsmarinas
Travel to and from the Island

There are no direct train services to Phuket. The nearest station is in Surat Thani province and the bus journey takes approx 5 hours to get to and from Phuket.
The main bus terminal is in Phuket City. You can travel to Bangkok, Chumphon, Hat Yai, Krabi, Phang Nga, Ranong, Satun, Sungai Kolok and Surat Thani.

Ferry Services run from Rassada Port in Phuket City to Ko Phi Phi, from there you can travel on to Krabi.

Speedboats leave from Rassada Port, Chalong Pier, Boat Lagoon, Yacht Haven and the Royal Phuket Marina to Ko Racha, Similan Islands, and Ko Phi Phi.

Yachts and boats can be chartered all year round from the above places except Rassada Port.

Major Car Rental companies have offices at the airport. You will need an International or Thai Driving Licence. There are also many small private car rental companies in Phuket. It is advisable to have a recommendation and to check the vehicle carefully before signing the contract. Please read about Driving Etiquette (Facts & Figures)before deciding on this option.

AVIS  Telephone: +66 (0)2 251 1131-2
BUDGET  Telephone: +66 (0)2 203 0250

Phuket is connected to the mainland by bridge. The total distance to Bangkok is 862 km. Driving off the Island is not as hectic but you still need to be extremely careful but it is a good way to see Thailand. Unless you are heading to a more established areas such as Khao Lak or Krabi take note that toilet facilities are not up to western standards (Tip: alway carry tissues and check for a disabled toilet to find a western style toilet).

yransport phuket
phuket taxilongtail
Travel around the Island

Getting around Phuket
Songthaew (bus)
This is a cheap way to travel, the main lines connect from Phuket City to Patong, Kata, Karon, Chalong, Rawai, Nai Harn, Surin, Kamala, Cape Panwa and Mai Khao. Be aware that if you catch the bus in Patong to go to Surin (15 mins distance) it will go back to Phuket City before traveling to Surin so adding a good hour to your journey. Service stops at 6 pm and you may not be taken back to the main station in Phuket City but rather be dropped at a random stop to be jumped on by taxi and tuk-tuk drivers.

Beware! prices can be stupid. Always agree the price beforehand, they will always try to take advantage. At Central and Big C there are boards with prices to give you some reference. Taxis rarely use the meters, again agree a price beforehand.
Motorbike Taxi
Drivers wear bright numbered vests and are a cheap option. Do not use for long trips and do not try to fit more than one person onto the bike. Helmets are not provided.
Car & Bike
Major Car Rental companies have offices at the airport. You will need an International or Thai Driving Licence. There are also many small private car and motorbike rental companies in Phuket. It is advisable to have a recommendation and to check the vehicle or motorbike carefully before signing the contract. There is no insurance for motorbikes so please check your travel or health insurance if applicable. Please read about Driving Etiquette (Facts & Figures) before deciding on this option. Roads are busy, especially the main artery from the Airport to Rawai. Phuket City is known for getting lost in, people have to hire a motorbike taxi to show them the way out. The coast roads are winding and hilly and extremely dangerous when raining. CyanSiam strongly advises against using motorbikes. If you do wish to travel by bike, please wear proper helmets, stop during rainstorms, do not travel with children and go slowly.
The best way to see the beaches of Phuket and the surrounding islands is to hire one of the many longtail boats. Negotiate the price beforehand.

customs phuket
wai in Thailandbuddhist monks
Customs and Etiquette

Thai Culture
Thailand is approximately 94% Buddhist, therefore many of the customs are based on Buddhist values. Southern Thailand has a larger Muslim population and In Phuket you will find many of the villages are predominantly Muslim.

The Thai people are quite easy going and relaxed especially in tourist areas like Phuket. However following these rules will help you not to cause offense:

Do not make any negative comments about the King, the Royal Family or the country, this applies not just to foreigners but Thais and could well lead to legal action.

Respect all images of the Royal Family.

Respect all images of Buddha and never have the soles of your feet pointing towards a Buddha.

Do not touch a Thai person's head and do not pass anything over their heads, even stepping over their pillows can can offense. The head is regarded as sacred.

Feet are considered dirty so do not use your feet to point or stand or sit with your feet near to anything associated with the head.

Always take your shoes off when entering a thai house unless specifically told not to. If you see shoes outside a building then take yours off!

Stepping over the threshold is considered polite especially with older and more conservative Thais.

Do not pass anything using your left hand and do not point with one finger.
General Etiquette
Being respectful and courteous is extremely important to the Thai people. Always try and speak politely and smiling helps to show calmness, this will help relations to stay positive.

Generally in Asia it is not wise to cause someone to lose face, telling them off or criticising them for doing wrong is seen as an grave insult and to them it is you who have lost face. Thais will rarely accept responsibilty for any wrong doing anyway. Compromise is the way to deal with the situation.

Showing any emotion in public is considered rude. Again it is seen as a lose of face and will not receive a positive response.

Avoid any physical contact with a person of the opposite sex until you know them better.

Thai society is very class and age orientated and so a Thai will be asking a number of questions you may find personal, this is not meant to offend they just want to know your standing.

Family is considered of great importance and is structured with the parents at the head of the family providing support all round. Other members of the family will support each other as well. This can extend to friends in the form of not just emotional but financial support
The Thai people greet each other by way of the Wai (pronounced why). To wai put your hands together lightly touching the body between the chest and forehead, like praying, and bow the head. The difficulty comes when having to decide how high your hands should be, and how much to bow!

As a foreigner you are not expected to wai first but if you do Thais will appreciate it and they can be quite tolerant if you get it wrong. In general the wai is a sign of respect towards people who are older or in a superior position than yourself within Thailand. The lower the head is bowed towards the hands and the higher the hands are, the more respect you show. You can wai whilst sitting, standing or walking. Not returning a way is classed as being rude but if there is a big difference between the social classes the wai will not be returned for example do not return the wai to shop assistants or waitresses. If you are in doubt do not initiate a way to avoid embarrassment to the Thai person plus some Thais consider it unlucky for an older or more senior person to wai first.
Formal Situations
Smart and appropriate dress is important.

Wait to be introduced by your host or hostess.

Due to honoring the oldest or most important guest, wait to be shown to your seat.

Use the honorific title 'Khun' followed by the first name when addressing Thais, surnames are rarely used.

Gifts are rarely given but if you do give a gift the wrapping is important. Gold and yellow are auspicious, green, black and blue are colours associated with funerals. Gifts will be opened later in private so as to not cause embarrassment. If attending a wedding or ordination you should give money using the envelope the invitation came in.

customs phuket
businessdriving etiquette phuket
Customs and Etiquette

Business Etiquette
Dress should be conservative, suits in dark colours, smart shoes and socks remembering that shoes are removed so no holes, skirts below the knee and shoulders covered.

Business cards should be in English and Thai. Exchange after the greetings, usually to the most senior Thai first, offered with the right hand and thai side up and then show interest in the cards you have been given, a comment about the card is considered polite.

Be prepared to attend a lot of meetings before being able to discuss the business at hand. Thais like to establish a relationship before doing business with you and even then more meetings will be necessary before a decision is made.

Politeness and respect is necessary and reading the body language of Thais can help you understand the situation. Saying no is impolite and therefore you will need to understand an indirect no!

Meetings need to be arranged well in advance and confirmed the day before. Send information regarding your company, attendees and the agenda beforehand. Arrive on time although you may be kept waiting.
Driving Etiquette
When you travel in Phuket and other parts of Thailand do drive carefully, the Thais are a kind and smiling people until they go out in the car or on the motorbike.

Drive on the left although Thais drive anywhere they like. Motorbikes are anywhere including traveling towards you in your lane.

Flashing headlights means Don't go!

When overtaking, the car or motorbike behind will probably overtake you at the same time so check mirrors.

Many Thais overtake on bends and blind spots such as the brow of the hill so do not be surprised to meet a car coming towards you in your lane!

Cars and motorbikes always pull out of side roads in front of you.

Cars and motorbikes never stay in lanes especially on bends and islands.

Drive slowly, most accidents happen when traveling in excess of 65 kph on the highway and 30 kph in built up areas, conditions in Phuket rarely warrant going faster.

Most insurance policies do not cover injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents.

As a matter of practical etiquette, larger vehicles have right-of-way. This means that, if a truck pulls into your lane traveling in the opposite direction because he wants to pass slower traffic, you should pull to the left. Also, at intersections with traffic circles, vehicles in the intersection have right-of-way; you must stop and let them enter your lane.

Use your rear-view mirrors frequently to monitor the situation behind, and pull to the left for faster vehicles trying to overtake you. Look over your shoulder when changing lanes.

Motorcyclists should use the left-shoulder motorcycle lane where available, and always wear crash helmets. Watch out for dogs and other animals--if you hit one on a motorcycle, chances are you'll be hurt more than the dog!

It rains here often, making roads slippery. This is especially dangerous for motorcyclists slowing to a stop at intersections. Beware of potholes hiding beneath puddles of water after heavy rains.

Drive defensively. Put no faith in stop signs, traffic lights, or the rules of the road; honor them yourself, but don't be surprised when others don't.

Always use your seatbelts.

Road rage is pointless and dangerous.

If you have an accident do not move your vehicle, contact your insurance or rental company as soon as possible. The Police will usually arrive and you may have to go to the police station. Above all stay calm and do not say anything. It is not unusual for a crowd to appear.

If you get stopped by the police it is most likely you will have to pay a fine. Just pay and leave as soon as possible, it is best not to go to the police station or the fine will be greater.

Don't park by a kerb that is painted red and white or in front of railings painted red and white. If you see one side of the street has no parked cars but marked parking spaces it means no parking there on that day. Do not rely on this being a regular occurrence.

public holidays phuket
phuket bank holidaysholidays phuket
Public Holidays 2012

January 1 (Sunday) – New Year's Day
January 2 (Monday) – substitution day for New Year's Eve
January 3 (Tuesday) – substitution day holiday New Year's Day
March 7 (Wednesday) – Makha Bucha Day
Makha Bucha Day
Makha Bucha Day marks the event where 1,250 of the Lord Buddha's disciples spontaneously gathered to hear him preach. This particular holiday usually falls in February or March, but like many Buddhist holidays the date varies depending on the lunar cycle.

In the morning, Thai Buddhists may make merit by giving alms to monks. In the evening, temples will be busy and many Thai Buddhists will perform the candle ceremony known as wian tian (wian=circle tian=candle). This involves a person holding a lighted candle, incense and flowers as they walk around the main bot of the temple.

Banks and government offices are closed and many bars and clubs will tone down their activities for the day which could mean no music and no alcohol.
April 6 (Friday) – Chakri Day
April 13-15 (Friday-Sunday) – Songkran Festival
April 16 (Monday) – substitution day for Songkran
Chakri Day
April 6th marks the founding day of the royal Chakri Dynasty of which the present Thai monarch, HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej, is the ninth king (Rama IX).

On Chakri Day, the king and other members of the royal family preside over a religious ceremony honouring the previous kings. Thai people are generally very patriotic and Chakri Day is a holiday which gives many people the opportunity to pay respects to the various monarchs who played important roles in shaping Thailand.
Songkran Festival
Songkran is now a nationwide party celebrating the traditional Thai New Year and is associated with water throwing by means of buckets, hoses and water pistols. The celebrations can go on for three days in some parts of Thailand. On the first day, firecrackers are often lit to send the old year on its way and ward off evil spirits, whilst homes and gardens are given a good cleaning.

As well as marking the New Year, Songkran is also a time for thanksgiving and reflection. Lustral water is gently poured over the hands of elders and other important people. Family is important in Thai life and never more so than at Songkran which is a time for family gatherings and reunions.
May 1 (Tuesday) – Labour Day
May 5 (Saturday) – Coronation Day
May 7 (Monday) – substitution day for Coronation Day
Coronation Day
The present king of Thailand, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, came to the throne in June 1946 following the death of his brother. Because he was only 18 years old, a decision was taken to allow the new monarch to complete his studies before he undertook the coronation ceremony. The official coronation took place on May 5, 1950.
June 4 (Monday) – Visakha Bucha Day
Visakha Bucha Day
The holiest of all Buddhist holidays is commemorated on the full-moon day of the sixth lunar month (known as the Visakha month) which normally falls in May. Three defining events in the life of the Lord Buddha all took place on the Visakha full-moon day: he was born, 35 years later he achieved enlightenment and 45 years after enlightenment he died and entered Nirvana.

Thai Buddhists will visit the temple and make merit and many will make an extra effort to uphold the Five Precepts of Buddhist teachings which include abstinence from alcohol. Some bars and clubs are closed for the day.
August 2 (Thursday) – Asahna Bucha Day
August 12 (Sunday) – H.M. Queen's Birthday
August 13 (Monday) – substitution day for H.M. Queen's Birthday
Asahna Bucha Day
This public holiday in Thailand marks the day when the Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon at Benares in India over 2,500 years ago. The exact date of the holiday is determined by the waxing moon and the lunar months, but is usually held in July. The Buddha preached his first sermon at a deer park and from this sermon the Dharma (doctrine) of the Buddha was symbolized as a wheel. The Dharmachakra is also known as the Wheel of Life which can be seen on flags in temples and buildings all across Thailand.
H.M. The Queen's Birthday
August 12 is a public holiday in Thailand in honour of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit's Birthday and the date also marks Wan Mae (Mother's Day) in Thailand.
October 23 (Tuesday) – Chulalongkorn Day (Rama V Day)
Chulalongkorn Day
This public holiday commemorates one of Thailand's most revered kings, King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), who passed away on October 23rd 1910 at the age of 57. He had ruled what was then Siam, for 42 years.
December 5 (Wednesday)- H.M. The King's Birthday
December 10 (Monday) – Constitution Day
December 31 (Monday) – New Year's Eve
H.M. The King's Birthday
Thais celebrate this day with the King who is seen as the father of the nation, so much so, that the date also marks father's day in Thailand). Yellow is the colour associated with the king's birth date (a Monday) and is the reason why so many Thais wear this colour on Mondays.
Constitution Day
Constitution Day is celebrated on 10th December, the significance of the date goes back to 1932 and a time of great upheaval in Siam (the former name for Thailand) which resulted in the end of the absolute monarchy. The Peoples Party led a bloodless coup and presented the then king, King Prajadhipok (Rama VII), with an ultimatum and a provisional constitution. This was initially refused but was eventually signed ending absolute monarchy in Siam. A new and revised permanent constitution was agreed and signed by King Rama VII on December 10, 1932. The monarchy would no longer have any say in government and instead would be a constitutional monarchy. However, the sacred and inviolable nature of the monarchy was established.