Thai Culture and Other Information
Thailand has three distinct seasons: hot, wet and dry. During the hot season (March through June), temperatures regularly soar about 40 degrees Celsius during the daytime and humidity is often high. In the wet season (June through October), temperatures are cooler and there are short, heavy bursts of rain once or twice each day. The dry season (November through February) is the most pleasant, with cool sunny days with relatively low humidity.
The country is often referred to as the “Land of Smiles” and with good reason. The Thai people are famous for their friendly demeanor, welcoming attitude towards foreigners and, of course, warm smiles. Politeness and cleanliness are highly valued. The traditional greeting is a wai, or a gentle bow, although it is not expected of Western visitors.
Visitors are advised to refrain from making any disrespectful comments about the Thai Buddhist traditions or culture. It is also best to avoid touching a Thai individual on their head or to touch people with feet, as both gestures can be perceived as insulting. In general, as long as visitors are courteous and respectful of local customs, they will be graciously received.
Bangkok’s public transportation system consists primarily of the underground MRT and overground BTS Skytrain. Both are modern, efficient and provide easy access to all downtown areas, including Samitivej Hospital’s branches. Taxis are plentiful and very affordable by international standards. Tuk-tuks are also available and can be convenient for short stretches. Some drivers may attempt to charge international visitors extra; be sure to negotiate a fair price before you enter the tuk-tuk. Motorcycle taxis are also widely available, although Samitivej does not recommend them due to safety concerns.