How to get a tax refund for foreign visitors?

Most shopping malls provide tax refund for any purchase over THB 50,000. There is a special counter for tax refund where shopper would need to give the credit card number for the refund to be reimbursed.  The tax refund slip must be kept together with the items purchased. There is a tax refund counter at the airport after the immigration. The tax refund slip is required to be shown for processing the refund and items purchased may required to be shown at the counter. Value added tax in Thailand is at 7% from all goods and service. Street stalls, markets, and bazaars does not provide tax refund.

Is there any guarantee in the goods and services purchased?

Just as anywhere else in the world, genuine brand named items and electronics are advisable to be purchased at a shopping mall where warrantee card is presented. As for jewelry, there are many reputable jewelry stores. It is important to see their license of trade and asked for a certificate for every pieces bought.  Service is more difficult to tell as it is an intangible item. As with other businesses, look for license of trade and the surrounding atmosphere of the service provider.

Can a tour operator in Thailand be trusted?

One cannot argue that there are many tour operators operating from a small counter along the popular tourist destinations. According the travel trade law in Thailand, all tour operators must acquire a license from the Tourism Authority of Thailand. This is in also referred to as a TAT license. Visitor who uses the service from a legal tour operator are automatically protected by law under the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

Is bargaining expected for every shop?

Bargaining or price negotiation can be done in markets, bazaars and local shops.  Shopping malls have fixed prices which cannot be bargained.

What is the operating hours for shopping malls?

Shopping malls starts at 10am and closes between 8pm – 10pm depending on the shopping mall. There are exceptional during the special event such as the Midnight Sales or the Thailand Grand Sales Festival. Shopping malls in Thailand operates seven days a week. After the shopping mall closes, there are other markets that continue to operate such as the nigh market or night bazaar and the street stalls.

What are items are Thailand famous for and is value for money?

Thailand is most famous for silk and it is also said that Thai silk is possibly the best in the world. As one of the world’s centre for gemstone trade, gemstones such as blue sapphire, ruby, and yellow sapphires are mined locally therefore offering it at its best value. Other products include silverware, bronze ware, woodcarving (especially teak wood), lacquer ware, pottery, leather goods, and tailoring.