Hours of Operation
Hours of Operation
Thai business hours generally follow the 9 to 5 model, though the smaller the business, the more eclectic the hours. Nearly all businesses either close or slow to a halt during lunch hour—don't expect to accomplish anything important at this time. Many tourist businesses in the north and on the beaches and islands in the south often shut down outside the main tourist seasons of November through January and June through August.
Thai and foreign banks are open weekdays 8:30 to 3:30 (sometimes longer), except for public holidays. Most commercial concerns in Bangkok operate on a five-day week and are open 8 to 5. Government offices are generally open weekdays 8:30 to 4:30, with a noon to 1 lunch break. Generally speaking, avoid visiting any sort of office during the Thai lunch hour—or bring a book to pass the time.
Gas stations in Thailand are usually open at least 8 to 8 daily; many, particularly those on the highways, are open 24 hours a day. Twenty-four hour minimart-style gas stations are growing in popularity. Many also have fast-food restaurants and convenience stores.
Each museum keeps its own hours and may select a different day of the week to close (though it's usually Monday); it's best to call before visiting.
Temples are generally open to visitors from 7 or 8 in the morning to 5 or 6 pm, but in truth they don't really have set hours. If a compound has gates, they open at dawn to allow the monks to do their rounds. Outside of major tourist sights like Wat Po in Bangkok, few temples appear to have fixed closing times.
Most pharmacies are open daily 9 to 9. You'll find a few 24-hour pharmacies in tourist areas.
Most small stores are open daily 8 to 8, whereas department and chain stores are usually open from 10 until 10.
Thailand: New Year's Day (January 1); Chinese New Year (January 23, 2012); Makha Bhucha Day (on the full moon of the third lunar month); Chakri Day (April 6); Songkran (mid-April); Labor Day (May 1); Coronation Day (May 5); Ploughing Day (May 9); Visakha Bucha (May, on the full moon of the sixth lunar month); Buddhist Lent day (July); Queen's Birthday (August 12); Chulalongkorn Memorial Day (October 23); King's Birthday (December 5); Constitution Day (December 10). Government offices, banks, commercial concerns, and department stores are usually closed on these days, but smaller shops stay open.
Cambodia: New Year's Day (January 1); Victory Day (January 7); Meak Bochea Day (February); International Women's Day (March 8); Cambodian New Year (mid-April, depending on the lunar cycle); Labor Day (May 1); Visak Bochea (the Buddha's Birthday, early May); King Sihamoni's birthday (May 13-15); Visaka Bochea (May 19); Royal Ploughing Ceremony (May); International Children's Day (June 1); Queen Mother's birthday (June 18); Pchum Ben (September); Constitution Day (September 24); Anniversary of Paris Peace Agreement (October 23); Coronation Day (October 29); Sihanouk's birthday (October 31); Independence Day (November 9); Water Festival (November); Human Rights Day (December 10).
Laos: New Year's Day (January 1); Pathet Lao Day (January 6); Army Day (late January); International Women Day (March 8); Day of the People's Party (March 22); Lao New Year (Water Festival, April 13-15); Labor Day (May 1); Buddha Day (May 2); Children's Day (June 1); Lao Issara (August 13); Day of Liberation (October 12); National Day (December 2).
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- Indochina Experience IExplore
- Intriguing Indochina (18-Day) IExplore
- Thailand & Cambodia Experience — $5,299 IExplore
- Intriguing Indochina (22-Day) — $10,250 IExplore
- Thailand & Laos Experience — $5,439 IExplore