VALIDATE Annual Meeting 2024: Travel and Safety Guide

VALIDATE Annual Meeting 2024 Travel and Safety Guide

VALIDATE Annual Meeting 2024 Travel & Safety

VALIDATE is eagerly anticipating your arrival in Bangkok, and we are excited to host a productive and safe Annual Meeting. Thailand is well-known for its safety and hospitality, making it one of the safest countries in Southeast Asia. Each year, millions of tourists visit the country, the vast majority of whom encounter no issues. However, it's always prudent to familiarise yourself with the local environment and take common-sense precautions, as you would anywhere else. With this in mind, we have provided guidance to ensure your safety and comfort throughout your stay. You might want to print this document and bring it with you on your trip.

Please note that this document serves as a basic guide and may not encompass all the essential information required for your trip to Bangkok. We strongly advise consulting your respective government resources, insurance providers, and travel agencies for comprehensive guidance regarding visas, safety protocols, and other pertinent recommendations tailored to travellers from your country planning a visit to Thailand.

Contents

 

Travel

As a major tourist hub, Bangkok has a decent public transport system and there are plenty of affordable taxi options. The city is notorious for traffic jams at rush hour or when it rains, so keep this in mind when planning your trip to and from the Airport.

Getting from the Suvarnabhumi Airport to the Avani+ Riverside Hotel

The venue for the Annual Meeting will be the Avani+ Bangkok Riverside- a 5-star hotel with excellent facilities, both for your stay and for the Annual Meeting events. The hotel features modern conference spaces, comfortable and luxurious accommodations, and stunning views of the Chao Phraya River. 

The address is 2(in Thai 257 (map)

The address is written below in both English and Thai (download a printable version)

 

Avani+ Bangkok Riverside Hotel

57 Charoen Nakhon Rd

Samre

Thon Buri, Bangkok 10600, Thailand

โรงแรมอวานี พลัส ริเวอร์ไซด์ กรุงเทพ

ถ. เจริญนคร แขวงสำเหร่,

เขตธนบุรี, กรุงเทพฯ,

ไทย 10600, แสดงบนแผนที่)

 

Avani+ Airport Shuttle

The Avani+ is more difficult to reach via public transport from Suvarnabhumi Airport, however, the hotel has an Airport Transfer Service which can meet you from your flight (you can see the brochure here), so please do book this facility with the hotel if it would be useful to you. If you get in touch with us and confirm your arrival time and flight number, we might be able to link you up with fellow delegates who are also using the Airport Transfer so that you can share a transfer. If VALIDATE is covering the cost of your travel for the Annual Meeting, get in touch to confirm that you would like us to arrange an airport pickup.

 

Bus
There are public buses that run from the airport to various parts of Bangkok. However, these can be less convenient if you have luggage or if you're unfamiliar with the city. If you choose this option, look for the bus terminal at the airport and check the route that best suits your destination in the city using Google Maps or the Via App.

 

The Grab App (like Uber)
Uber is not available in Thailand. However, the Grab app is available in Bangkok and offers a convenient, affordable and safe way to travel to and from the airport or just around the city. Make sure you have internet access on your phone to use these apps. If your trip to Bangkok is funded by VALIDATE, we will not be able to reimburse Grab rides as it counts as a taxi. You can pay extra (around 50 baht), to take the airport toll road, which is quicker.

 

Other Airport Transfers service
Apps and sites like Viator and GetYourGuide can arrange a private airport transfer for you from as little as £13 per person. You can also find decent offers when you book flights. Again, VALIDATE will not be able to cover these services as part of an expenses claim.

 

Taxi
Taxis are readily available at the airport. You can find them on the first floor outside the arrivals hall. Make sure to use the official airport taxi service. You'll need to go to the taxi queue and speak to the staff at the counter to get a taxi. Always insist on using the meter, as this is the most reliable way to ensure you're charged a fair rate. You can pay extra (around 50 baht), to take the airport toll road, which is quicker.  A reminder that VALIDATE cannot pay for the cost of a taxi as part of an expenses claim. 

  • Important note for expenses claims:  If your Annual Meeting attendance is funded by VALIDATE, please use public transport (listed below) when you are in Thailand. VALIDATE cannot refund a taxi, private hire, or Grab ride from the airport to the venue/hotel unless you are arriving extremely late/early (e.g. between 10 pm and 5 am). Our funders do not allow us to reimburse taxi journeys unless safety is an issue (i.e. late at night) or there is no public transport available on the route.

Getting around

If you're looking to explore Bangkok during your free time, there are safe and convenient options available. Always opt for metered taxis or use the Grab app for reliable transportation. Many areas of the city are also safe and easy to explore on foot. For those interested in public transit, the Via app provides real-time information on local buses, the Metropolitan Rapid Transit (MRT), and riverboat services.

Tuk-tuks are a common sight in Bangkok, but they may not always be the safest or most cost-effective mode of transport. Often, tuk-tuk drivers will offer seemingly cheap fares, only to divert you to souvenir shops where they earn commissions. It's best to approach tuk-tuks as a tourist experience rather than a practical means of transportation. Our advice is to stick to metered taxis, Grab, or public transit for more reliable and secure travel options.

Visas

64 countries are visa exempt for entering Thailand (for short stays of 15 – 30 days). Other countries are eligible to apply for an “e-visa”. You can check this site to see your eligibility - https://www.thaievisa.go.th/

VALIDATE can’t provide detailed advice on obtaining visas. We can, however, provide a formal invitation letter and you can pass on the VALIDATE email address in case the Thai authorities need any further information – VALIDATE@ndm.ox.ac.uk.

Currency and cards

Most major credit and debit cards are accepted in large businesses, chain stores (like 7/11), hotels and restaurants in Thailand. However, many local shops and food stalls in night markets are entirely cash-based. We recommend that you have at least a small amount of Thai Baht on you when in Thailand. You can get currency at the airport. 

Nearby things to do

The Annual Meeting will be hosted in the very heart of Bangkok, with most major attractions only a short taxi or bus ride away. However, your time in Thailand may be limited, so we have listed a number of nearby places to see that are easily accessible from the hotel (and open in the evening).

Asiatique Riverside: The Asiatique Riverfront in Bangkok is a vibrant open-air night market and shopping complex Chao Phraya River from the hotel. It features over 1,500 boutiques and 40 restaurants across four themed districts: Charoenkrung for fashion and souvenirs, Town Square for diverse dining and entertainment, and riverside dining. Popular attractions include the Calypso Cabaret Show and Muay Thai Live, making Asiatique a must-visit for shopping, dining, and entertainment. The Avani+ Riverside offers a free shuttle boat service across the river for easy access. The last service back is 23:30.

ICONSIAM: A 7 minute taxi ride from the venue is ICONSIAM, a premier waterfront complex offering a blend of luxury shopping, cultural immersion, and entertainment. With a wide array of high-end boutiques, flagship stores, and upscale dining options, ICONSIAM caters to discerning shoppers and food enthusiasts alike. The complex also features immersive cultural attractions, including the ICONSIAM Heritage Museum, performances and events, and the 15ft indoor Alangkarn Waterfall. You can also take advantage of the Avani+ Shuttle Boat Service, which arrives on the hour from Antara Pier, takes about 20 minutes and runs till 20:00. 

Chinatown: A 20-minute taxi ride from the Avani+ Riverside is Bangkok’s famous Chinatown. Chinatown’s narrow streets are lined with an array of traditional Chinese shops, street vendors, and authentic eateries offering a broad range of cuisine. VALIDATE members can explore ornate temples like Wat Mangkon Kamalawat, browse through colourful markets for souvenirs and exotic goods, or simply soak in the lively atmosphere.

Safety

Thailand is a safe and friendly country, but as with anywhere, there are a few safety concerns you should be familiar with before you arrive.

Political Issues in Thailand

Political unrest during the VALIDATE Annual Meeting is highly unlikely. However, Thailand is not immune to instability, and there have been a number of successful and attempted military coups, the most recent being in 2014. There have also been terrorist attacks that have, on very rare occasions, impacted foreign visitors.

Unrest
Political instability rarely threatens visitors to Thailand, but there are a few things you can do to mitigate the risk to yourself. Avoid protests, political gatherings, demonstrations, and marches. Stay Informed about the Situation in Thailand and make a note of your own country’s embassy and its contact details (you will find a list of embassies at the end of this document). Most governments issue travel advisories for their citizens visiting Thailand on their respective official websites.

We strongly advise consulting your local government resources before your journey.

Get in touch with details of your own country’s travel advisories and we will add them here – VALIDATE@ndm.ox.ac.uk

The Royal Family
The Thai Royal Family holds a central role in the national identity of the country, and any form of insult directed towards them is not only taboo but also illegal. The law of Lèse-majesté in Thailand strictly prohibits any actions that “defame, insult or threaten” the Royal Family. While we trust that VALIDATE members would not intentionally engage in behaviour that could lead to defaming or threatening anyone, including the King, it is crucial to understand that authorities take this law seriously and that foreigners have faced imprisonment under this statute.

Dangerous areas
VALIDATE is not planning on organising any excursions outside of Bangkok. However, if you are travelling on after the VALIDATE Annual Meeting, please note that the UK Foreign Office advises against all but essential travel to the following provinces (mostly in the south) due to regular terrorist attacks:

  • Pattani province
  • Yala province
  • Narathiwat province
  • Southern Songkhla province
  • Hat Yai and Padang Besar

Keep in touch
VALIDATE will monitor the ongoing situation in Thailand and let delegates know if there are any concerns that may impact the Annual Meeting. If you spot anything in your own research, let us know – VALIDATE@ndm.ox.ac.uk.

Insurance 

We strongly recommend that you have travel insurance to cover your visit to Thailand, as it is a legal required for all visitors. Many delegates will receive insurance coverage through their employers. We advise all delegates to inform their institutions about their planned trip to Thailand. If your organisation does not provide insurance, we strongly recommend purchasing it as soon as possible. If VALIDATE is funding your Annual Meeting attendance, we can cover the cost of personal insurance as part of your expense claim.

Carry your passports (or copies)

All Thai citizens and visitors are expected to be able to produce ID if requested by the police. For foreigners, the only legitimate form of ID is usually a passport, which will include visa information. We recommend that, where possible, when you are out and about, you should keep your passport securely on your person, or at least keep a printed copy which includes a picture of your entry stamp or visa.

Protect Your Valuables 

Like most major cities, Bangkok has issues with petty theft. Rooms at the hotel have safes and we recommend using these safes to securely store valuables such as travel documents, electronics, cash, and other important items (but don’t forget them on checking-out!). When out and about, limit the amount of cash you are carrying, avoid displaying valuables, and be cautious with your mobile phone, as bag and phone snatching do occur in Thailand, as it does in other countries.

Important note: VALIDATE cannot take responsibility for lost or stolen items.

Violent Crime & Terrorism

Thailand is a safe country for visitors, but like everywhere, incidents do happen.

Earthquakes (very unlikely)

Though rarely serious in Bangkok, earthquakes and tremors can happen, though the more serious events occur in Northern Thailand. We might experience some earth tremors. See the US Federal Emergency Management Agency for what to do in an earthquake.

Avoid Scams

Like many other major cities around the world, Bangkok sees its share of scams targeting visitors. From tuk-tuk tours that only take you to souvenir shops, fake goods, and overpriced un-metered taxis, it's important to stay vigilant while exploring its bustling streets and markets. The general rule is that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

 

Health

Water

Drinking tap water in Bangkok is technically safe, however, even most locals opt to drink bottled water and we recommend you do the same. Consider purchasing a Travel Water Filter Bottle to help save on plastic.  Thailand is a hot and humid country, especially in July, and you should keep hydrated. We will make sure there is plenty to drink during the Annual Meeting and you should ask either the staff at the Avani+ Riverside or the VALIDATE Team if you need water.

Malaria and Mosquitos

Bangkok is a low-risk Malaria area. However, you should still take basic precautions against malaria is crucial. Protect yourself by wearing long sleeves and trousers, especially after sunset, to prevent mosquito bites. Use insect repellents on exposed skin and sleep under a mosquito net when needed. %50 DEET is recommended for mosquito repellent, and you can find various lotions and sprays on Amazon or similar online stores.

If you are travelling on to other part of Thailand, beware of the high risk areas for malaria  - https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/asia-east/thailand/thailand-malaria-map

Vaccines

Please consult a medical practitioner in your own country for advice on what vaccines you will need for Thailand. Recommended vaccines include tetanus and hepatitis A, and yellow fever.

 

Weather – Pack an Umbrella

July in Bangkok is the official “Rainy Season”. You can expect hot and rainy weather. The average temperature ranges from around 26°C (79°F) to 32°C (90°F). However, it can feel much hotter due to high humidity levels. You can expect frequent afternoon showers and occasional thunderstorms. It's advisable to carry an umbrella or raincoat when exploring the city.

Despite the occasional heavy rain, July will still be a good time to visit Bangkok. There will be sunshine and, as it is less crowded compared to the peak tourist season, you can experience the city's vibrant culture and attractions with fewer crowds.

Extreme Weather
Heavy storms during the rainy season can cause disruption including flooding, and landslides. Lakes, caves and waterfalls are particularly at risk of dangerous flash flooding. Follow the Thai Meteorological Department for weather warnings (especially if you are travelling outside of Bangkok after the Annual Meeting).

Useful Numbers 

  • Tourist Police: 1155.
  • Thailand Emergency Number: 191 / 911
  • Avani+ Riverside Hotel: +66 2 431 9100‎
  • Bangkok tourist assistance Centre: +66 2-281 5051

 

Expand All

Embassies

 

Argentina

Website: https://etail.cancilleria.gob.ar/en

Tel: +66 2 259 0401 / +66 2 279 9198

Address: Suite 1601, Vasu 1 Bldg., No. 1 Soi 25, Sukhumvit Road - Bangkok 10110

 

Australia

Website: https://thailand.embassy.gov.au/

Tel: +66 2 344 6300

Address: 181 Wireless Road Lumphini, Pathumwan Bangkok 10330 Thailand

 

Bangladesh

Website: https://bangkok.mofa.gov.bd/

Tel: +66 (0)2 390 5107 to 8

Address: 47/8 Soi Ekkamai 30, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

 

Belgium

Website: https://thailand.diplomatie.belgium.be/

Tel: +66 2 108 18 00

Address: 16th Floor, Sathorn Square Building - 98 North Sathorn Road - Silom Sub-District, Bangrak District, 10500 Bangkok, Thailand

 

Brazil

Website: http://bangkok.itamaraty.gov.br/en/

Tel: +66 02-285-6081 / +66 02-679-8567

Address: 1168/101 Lumpini Tower, Rama IV Road, 34F, Thung Maha Mek, Sathon, Bangkok 10120, Thailand

 

Colombia

Website: https://tailandia.embajada.gov.co/

Tel: +66 2168 8715

Address: 63 Wireless Road (Witthayu) Athenee Tower, Floor 18, Unit 1807 Lumphini, Pathumwan

 

Côte d'Ivoire

Tel: (+66) 2-240-2688

Address: 123 123/1 Sitthi Prasat Alley, Thung Maha Mek, Sathon, Bangkok 10120, Thailand, Bangkok 10330

 

Gambia

Tel: (+66) 2224-0091

Address: 610, 5-6 Songwad Road, Chakkrawat,Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100, Thailand

 

Ghana

Tel: (+66) 26415214

Address: 976 Phrom Suwan Building, RIMKLONGSAMSEN ROAD, Huai Khwang, Bangkok 10310, Thailand

 

India

Website: https://embassyofindiabangkok.gov.in/

Tel: 02 2580 300 / 6

Address: Embassy of India,46, Prasarnmitr, Sukhumvit, Soi 23, Bangkok - 10110

Iran

Website: https://thailand.mfa.ir/

Tel: +66 2 390 0871

Address: No. 215, Soi Sukhumvit 49/11, Klongton-Nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110

Embassies.net Web Page: https://embassies.net/iran-in-thailand/bangkok

 

Ireland

Website: https://www.ireland.ie/en/thailand/bangkok/

Tel: +66 2 016 1360

Address: 208 Wireless Road 12th Floor, Unit 1201, Lumphini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330

 

Italy

Website: https://ambbangkok.esteri.it/ambasciata_bangkok/th/

Tel: +66-2-250 4970

Address: CRC Tower, All Seasons Place, 87 Wireless (Withayu) Road, Lumpini, Phatumwan, Bangkok 10330

 

Japan

Website: https://www.th.emb-japan.go.jp/

Tel: +66 2 207 8500 / 66-2-696-3000

Address: 177 Witthayu Road, Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330 Thailand

 

Kenya

Tel: +66 2 712 5721 / +66 2 185 3679

Address: 29 1 Sukhumvit 68 Aly, Bang Na Nuea, Bang Na, Bangkok 10260, Thailand

 

Madagascar

Type: Honorary Consulate

Tel: (+66) 2 634 5838 / (+66) 88 961 6178

Address: Itf Palace, 30Th Floor, Room 774, 160/774 Silom Road, Bangkok 10500

 

Mexico

Website: https://embamex.sre.gob.mx/tailandia/

Tel: +66 (0) 2-2850995

Address: 11th Floor, Unit 1101, Edificio Q House Lumpini,1 South Sathorn Road, Sathorn, Bangkok, 10120

 

Morocco

Tel: (66) 2 679 5604/05/06

Address: Sathorn City Tower, 12Th Floor 175 South Sathorn Rd Sathorn, Bangkok, 10120, Thailand

 

Nepal

Website: https://th.nepalembassy.gov.np/

Tel: +662 3902 280 / +662 3917 240

Address: 4/1, Soi 27, Sukhumvit 71 Road, Klong Ton, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

 

Netherlands

Website: https://www.netherlandsandyou.nl/web/thailand

Tel: +66 230 952 00

Address: 15 Soi Ton Son, Lumphini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330

 

New Zealand

Website: https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/countries-and-regions/asia/thailand/new-zealand-embassy/

Tel: +66 (0)2 2542530

Address: M Thai Tower, 14th Floor, All Seasons Place, 87 Wireless Road, 10330, Bangkok, Thailand

 

Nigeria

Website: https://bangkok.foreignaffairs.gov.ng/

Tel: (+66) 2391 0833 / 0835

Address: Embassy of Nigeria, 79/1 Sukhumvit 61, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

 

Pakistan

Website: https://bangkok.foreignaffairs.gov.ng/

Tel: (+662) 2530 288, (+662) 2530 289

Address: 31, Soi Nana Nua, Sukhumvit-3 Road, Bangkok 10110

 

Portugal

Website: https://banguecoque.embaixadaportugal.mne.gov.pt/

Tel: +66 (0) 22342123 / +66 (0) 22340372

Address: 26, Bush Lane, Bangkok 10500, Thailand

 

South Africa

Website: https://dirco1.azurewebsites.net/bangkok/

Tel: (+66) 02 092 2900

Address: Floor 12A, M Thai Tower, All Season Place, 87 Wireless Road, Lumpini, Pratumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

 

Spain

Website: https://www.exteriores.gob.es/Embajadas/Bangkok/en/Paginas/inicio.aspx

Tel: +66 2 661 8284 / 85 / 86 / 87

Address: 193/98-99 Lake Rajada Office Complex, 23rd floor. Ratchadaphisek Road. Klongtoey, 10110 Bangkok.

 

Sri Lanka

Website: https://bangkok.embassy.gov.lk/

Tel: +66 2 105 4851

Address: 13th Floor, 75/6-7 Ocean Tower2 Soi 19, Sukhumvit Rd, Wattana, Bangkok 10110

 

Sweden

Website: https://www.swedenabroad.se/sv/utlandsmyndigheter/thailand-bangkok/

Tel: +66 2 263 72 00

Address: 20th Foor, Pacific Place One 140 Sukhumvit Rd, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

 

Tunisia

Tel: (+66) 08 6341 1375 / (+66) 26925071

Address: 10310 Ratchadaphisek Rd, Khwaeng Din Daeng, Khet Huai Khwang, Bangkok 10310, Thailand

 

United Kingdom

Website: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-bangkok

Tel: +66 (0) 2 305 8333

Address: British Embassy, AIA Sathorn Tower, Floor 12A, 11/1 South Sathorn Road,Sathorn, Bangkok 10120, Thailand

 

United States

Website: https://th.usembassy.gov/

Tel: +66 2 205 4000

Address: 95 Witthayu Rd, Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

 

Vietnam

Website: https://vnembassy-bangkok.mofa.gov.vn/

Tel: +66 2 267 9602

Address: 83/1 Wireless Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok, Thái Lan

 

Ethiopia, Malawi, and Paraguay currently do not have any embassies or consulates in Thailand. If your country is not listed above, let VALIDATE know.