Business Practices in Thailand

Punctuality, Appointments, and Local Time

  • Business hours are generally 8:30 A.M to 5:00 P.M Monday through Friday. Shops are usually open from 10:00 A.M to 6:30 or 7:00 P.M., Monday through Saturday. Smaller shops open earlier and close later.
  • Punctuality is a sign of courtesy. Foreigners are expected to be on time.
  • Traffic is extremely heavy in Bangkok, and floods make travel even worse. Allow  plenty of time between appointments, especially during the rainy season.
  • The best time to schedule a visit to Thailand is between November and March. Most business people vacation during April and May. Avoid the weeks before and after Christmas, and the month of April. Thailand’s Water Festival (Songkran) is held in April, and business close for an entire week.
  • Call and e-mail as far in advance is it is as possible for you to arrange appointments.
  • Arrange for a letter of introduction, and try to have an intermediary.
  • Thais write the day first, then the month, and then the year (e.g., December 3, 2010, is written 3.12.10 or 3/12/10).
  • The country of Thailand is seven ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (G.M.T. +7), or twelve hours ahead of U.S Eastern Standard Time (E.S.T.+12)

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