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EMBASSY/CONSULATE ADDRESSES

Diplomatic Representation in US:

Ambassador: Kittiphong Na Ranong
Embassy: 1024 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
Telephone: [1] (202) 944-3600
Fax: [1] (202) 944-3641


Consulate(s) General are in:
Los Angeles
Royal Thai Consulate General
611 N. Larchmont Boulevard, Suite 1101
Los Angeles, California 90004
Tel. (323) 962-9574

Chicago
700 N. Rush St.
Chicago, IL 60611.
(312) 664-3129

New York
351 E. 52nd St.,
New York, NY 10011.
(212) 754-1770

US Diplomatic Representation:
Ambassador: Kristie A. Kenney
Embassy: 120/22 Wireless Road, Bangkok
Mailing Address: APO AP 96546
Telephone: [66] (2) 205-4000
Consulate(s) General: 387 Vidhayanond Rd., Chaing Mai 50300 (tel. 66-2-252-629/30-33)
Consulate(s): Udorn (Udon Thani)

Embassy and Consulate Web Sites for Thailand

U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand
Royal Thai Embassy in Washington, United States of America




FOREIGN RELATIONS

Thailand's foreign policy includes a close and longstanding security relationship with the United States. It also strongly supports ASEAN's efforts to promote economic development, social integration, and stability throughout the region. Relations with China are steadily increasing across the board. Thailand served as the chair of ASEAN from July 2008 to December 2009 and served as host to the ASEAN Summit (heads of government meeting) in February 2009, as well as the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, Post Ministerial Conference, and Regional Forum in July 2009. At the July 2009 meeting in Phuket, the United States acceded to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation with ASEAN.

Thailand participates fully in international and regional organizations. It has developed increasingly close ties with other ASEAN members--Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Brunei, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, and Vietnam--whose foreign and economic ministers hold annual meetings. Regional cooperation is progressing in economic, trade, banking, political, and cultural matters.

On the international stage, Thailand contributed troops and UN force commanders to the international peacekeeping effort in East Timor; in late 2010, it sent naval ships to the anti-piracy task force off the coast of Somalia and troops to the UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur. As part of its effort to increase international ties, Thailand has reached out to such regional organizations as the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Thailand has contributed troops to reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq. In May 2010 Thailand was chosen to serve on the UN Human Rights Council for a 3-year term; in June 2010 Thailand was elected as chair of that body for 1 year.

U.S.-THAI RELATIONS
On March 20, 1833, the United States and Thailand, then Siam, signed the Treaty of Amity and Commerce, the United States’ first treaty with a country in Asia.

Since World War II, the United States and Thailand have significantly expanded diplomatic and commercial relations, as reflected in several bilateral treaties and by both countries' participation in UN multilateral activities and agreements. Thailand and the U.S. became treaty allies in 1954 (Manila Pact). The 1966 Treaty of Amity and Economic Relations, the most recent iteration of the 1833 Treaty of Amity and Commerce, is the principal bilateral arrangement; the 1966 treaty facilitates U.S. and Thai companies' economic access to one another's markets. Other important agreements address civil uses of atomic energy, sales of agricultural commodities, investment guarantees, and military and economic assistance. In June 2004, the United States and Thailand initiated negotiations on a free trade agreement but these negotiations were suspended in September 2006 following the military-led coup against the government of then-Prime Minister Thaksin.

The United States and Thailand are among the signatories of the 1954 Manila Pact of the former Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). Article IV(1) of this treaty provides that, in the event of armed attack in the treaty area (which includes Thailand), each member would "act to meet the common danger in accordance with its constitutional processes." Despite the dissolution of the SEATO in 1977, the Manila Pact remains in force and, together with the Thanat-Rusk communique of 1962, constitutes the basis of U.S. security commitments to Thailand. Thailand continues to be a key security ally in Asia, along with Australia, Japan, the Philippines, and South Korea. In December 2003, Thailand was designated a Major Non-NATO Ally.

Thailand's stability and growth are important to the maintenance of peace in the region. The Thai-U.S. Creative Partnership proposed during 2010 will build on existing public-private and intergovernmental relationships, seeking to emphasize innovative industry and to identify new opportunities for collaborative ingenuity between the two countries. In alignment with the Thai Government’s Creative Economy policies, this formal partnership effort intends to spur increased productivity while re-emphasizing the beneficial aspects of American presence in Thailand. Economic assistance has been extended in various fields, including rural development, health, family planning, education, and science and technology. The formal U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) bilateral program, ended in 1995, was rejuvenated in 2010. There are also a number of targeted assistance programs which continue in areas of mutually defined importance, including: health and HIV/AIDS programming, civil society capacity-building, reconciliation efforts in southern Thailand, refugee assistance, and combating trafficking in persons. The U.S. Peace Corps in Thailand began operating in 1962 and has had over 5,000 volunteers since that time. Peace Corps currently has approximately 100 volunteers in country, focused on primary education, with an integrated program involving teacher training, health education, and environmental education. In late 2003, the Peace Corps also established an organizational development program aimed at promoting sustainable rural development in Thai communities. The United States and Thailand, through programs with USAID, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medial Sciences (AFRIMS), cooperate closely on a range of public health initiatives, including efforts to fight malaria, tuberculosis, dengue, HIV/AIDS, and avian/pandemic influenza.

Thailand has received U.S. military equipment, essential supplies, training, and assistance in the construction and improvement of facilities and installations for much of the period since 1950; since then more Thai have been trained under the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program than any other country. Over recent decades, U.S. security assistance included military training programs carried out in the United States and elsewhere. A small U.S. military advisory group in Thailand oversaw the delivery of equipment to the Thai Armed Forces and the training of Thai military personnel in its use and maintenance. As part of the mutual defense cooperation over the last 3 decades, Thailand and the United States have developed a vigorous joint military exercise program, which engages all the services of each nation and averages 40 joint exercises per year.

Thailand and the U.S. have longstanding cooperation in international law enforcement efforts. The large-scale production and shipment of opium and heroin shipments from Burma of previous years have largely been replaced by widespread smuggling of methamphetamine tablets, although heroin is still seized along the border. The United States and Thailand continue to work closely together and with the United Nations on a broad range of programs to halt illicit drug trafficking and other criminal activity, such as trafficking in persons. Thailand cooperates fully in efforts to return felons fleeing justice to the U.S. In addition to bilateral civil law enforcement and security capacity-building through the Transnational Crime Affairs Section and the Regional Security Office, the U.S. supports the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Bangkok, which provides counter-narcotics and anti-crime capacity-building programs to law enforcement and judicial officials from a number of regional countries.

Trade and Investment
The United States is Thailand's third-largest single-country trading partner after Japan and China; from January to November 2010, merchandise imports from Thailand totaled $20.7 billion, and merchandise exports totaled $8.1 billion, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, the U.S., and the European Union are Thailand's largest foreign investors. U.S. investment, concentrated in the petroleum and chemicals, finance, consumer products, computer components, and automobile production sectors, is estimated by the American Chamber of Commerce at over $35 billion.

Many U.S. businesses enjoy investment benefits through the U.S.-Thailand Treaty of Amity and Economic Relations (AER), originally signed in 1833. The 1966 iteration of the treaty allows U.S. citizens and businesses incorporated in the U.S., or in Thailand that are majority-owned by U.S. citizens, to engage in business on the same basis as Thai companies, exempting them from most of the restrictions on foreign investment imposed by the Foreign Business Act. Under the treaty, Thailand restricts American investment only in the fields of communications, transport, fiduciary functions, banking involving depository functions, the exploitation of land or other natural resources, and domestic trade in agricultural products. Notwithstanding their treaty rights, many Americans choose to form joint ventures with Thai partners, allowing the Thai side to hold the majority stake because of the advantages that come from familiarity with the Thai economy and local regulations. In recent decades, Thailand has been a major destination for foreign direct investment, and hundreds of U.S. companies have operated there successfully.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials
Ambassador--Kristie A. Kenney
Deputy Chief of Mission--Judith B. Cefkin
Management Counselor--Gregory Stanford
Political Affairs Counselor--George Kent
Economic Affairs Counselor--Julie Chung
Public Affairs Counselor--Kenneth Foster
Consul General--Ronald Robinson
Commercial Counselor--Cynthia Griffin
Chiang Mai Consul General--Susan Stevenson

The U.S. Embassy in Thailand is located at 120/22 Wireless Road, Bangkok (tel. 66-2-205-4000). There is a Consulate General in Chiang Mai, 387 Wichayanond Road (tel. 66-53-252-629).


TRAVEL ADVISORIES

To obtain the latest Travel Advisory Information for Thailand check the U.S. State Department Consular Information Sheet.


TRAVEL TIPS

Driving U.S Driving Permit accepted
Currency (THB) Baht
Electrical 220 Volts
Telephones Country Code 66, City Code, Bangkok 2+7D, Ban Pong 32+6D, Central Region 3+7D



Electricity: The electric system is 220 Volt AC, 50Hz. American and European-style rounded and flat pin plugs can be used in sockets. Travellers with shavers, tape recorders and other appliances will require a plug-adapter kit, these can be bought in many supermarkets here on Samui. Power failures are not uncommon on Samui especially during the rainy season; so it's a good idea to keep a torch handy.

Local Time: Thailand time is 7 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and 6 hours ahead of British Summer Time (BST). It is 12 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST) and 15 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time (PST).

Water: Drink only bottled water, most hotels will supply at least one or two bottles daily inside your room. Bottled water is on sale in various sizes in all supermarkets. Nearly all restaurants use clean factory-made ice cubes.

Language: Thai is the national language. English is widely understood in Samui. It is useful to learn a few simple Thai phrases as Thai's will be delighted that you made the effort.

Business Hours: Banking hours are Monday to Friday 8.30am-3.30pm, exchange kiosks are open until 7pm in Nathon and 10pm in Chaweng and Lamai. Shops and stores usually open seven days a week from 10am-6pm in Nathon and 10am-11pm in Chaweng and Lamai. Office hours are usually Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.

Postal Service:
The main post office is in Nathon, there are sub branches in Chaweng, Lamai and Maenam - all are located on the main road. Opening hours are from 9am to 4pm, Monday - Saturday. The Thai postal service is very reliable and airmail takes around 7 days to reach Europe. A postcard stamp costs 14 baht and goes by airmail, stamps can be purchased in most hotels or supermakets. Parcels can be sent by surface mail (cheapest) but takes about 3 months, or by air-mail parcel service which is almost 3 times as expensive and takes about 1 week. A poste restante service is operated in Nathon.

Telephone:
IDD (International Direct Dialing) is available from most hotels and travel agents around the island. The outgoing international code is 001 followed by the relevent country code. The cheapest way is to phone from a post office or to buy a 500 baht international phonecard. These cards can be used at public cardphones - usually located outside the supermarket where you can buy a card. Recently the telephone system on Samui has been upgraded and all local numbers are now prefixed by 077.


CUSTOMS/DUTIES

Tobacco....................200 cigarettes

Liquor.......................1 litre

Cameras....................No restrictions

Film...........................Reasonable amount for personal use

Perfume.....................Reasonable amount for personal use

Gifts...........................No duty free allowance

Currency....................Must be declared on arrival

Agriculture items.......Refer to consulate



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