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Defense & Security – Bangkok, Thailand

Coverage in SADJ
Defense & Security 2008
Defense & Security 2009

IMPACT Exhibition Center, Muang Thong Thani
99 Popular Road, Pakkred,
Nonthaburi 11120, Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2504 5050
Fax: +66 (0) 2504 5050 ext. 5107

CMP Media (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
Contact Person:
Ms. Anna Vichvech
503/23 KSL Tower
14th Floor Sri Ayuthaya Road
Phyathai Bangkok 10400

Tel: +66(0) 2642 6911 Ext. 121
Fax: +66(0) 2642 6919-20


Next Show
November 6-9, 2017

Military and Law Enforcement needs. Small arms are prevalent as well as all the kit needed for functioning units. Naval and air power are covered as well.

Business clothing is preferred. Be aware of the relatively high temperatures and the generally high humidity in your clothing choices. Most attendees who are the buyers are in business suits or military uniforms – Dress, not BDU style. Inside the show may be cool enough, but getting there can be a different story for your heavier cloth. Bangkok has some of the finest tailors around, so stop in for a fitting for inexpensive, well made clothing that suits the climate.

Hotel Hints
Bear in mind that the Impact Center is not near downtown Bangkok, so staying in the town center cluster of hotels will lead to long travel times to and from the convention center, but it might be worth it for location. Attendance is free for qualified persons – they must be government or defense business related. It is recommended to start the process of signing up as soon as possible.

Power & Plug Types
220volt AC, 50 cycle, European style electricity. The older Thai plugs used two flat blades that don’t interchange with others, but in most hotels built in the last few decades, European style two pin, and U.S. style three pin will fit (only use if your devices are dual voltage, if not, use converters), and UK plugs are usually available as well.

Country Warnings
There are troubling situations in the region. The army is on alert much of the time as Myanmar/Burma has had a civil war situation for 50 years along the Western border, and Cambodia has unrest to the East. It is best to consider where you will be traveling and ask at your hotel or Embassy. Thailand itself is generally very safe unless your goal is the legendary Bangkok nightlife scene. In that case, you need a different type of “tour guide” to stay out of trouble. As far as the recent (November 2008) overthrow of the Prime Minister, it was done in a normal Thai manner, all with courtesy to foreigners (aside from the inconvenience caused by closing the airports by demonstrators) and they concentrated on changing their government through non-violent protest. At presstime, the government is facing challenges from protesters, but appears stable and is anxious to repair any damage to the tourism industry.

Cultural Hints
The Thai people are generally very courteous, and most helpful to strangers. Buddhism is the main religion, with Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam as well. It is recommended to pick up a traveler’s guide book before going. Traditionally, Thai greet each other with the “Wai,” placing the palms together at chest height or higher and bowing slightly – height of hands depending on social rank or deference – but in practice it is from younger to elder or to customers. “Sawatdee” (sa-wat-dee) is said at the same time generally, as a greeting. The response is an acknowledgment, placing the hands together in the same manner but not bowing. In business, the Thai are savvy to many forms of arrangement, but will try very hard to not say “No” even when it is very difficult – try to be sensitive to this – sometimes “Maybe” is a very polite “No.” Four more items of note. Holding your hands with fingers up is considered rude so when hailing taxis, keep your hand horizontal, fingers facing down. The soles of the feet are considered dirty and pointing them at others is very insulting. When you visit temples dress conservatively – covered shoulders, no shorts or short dresses, no sandals, and don’t take flash pictures. And lastly, the King is revered by all, so remember the above in relation to the King.

Unlike many countries, tipping is customary. Tipping is modest in comparison to Western standards, most workers in food and hotel service (excepting top establishments) receive very low pay and a small tip goes a long way. Public taxi rates are metered and it is customary to “round up” to the next denomination as a tip. You will probably see a 10% gratuity on more expensive hotels and restaurant bills, so look before adding. Tip 10-20 Baht per bag for the bellboy. Many people tip at the end of a visit via envelope for the staff. Tips to waitstaff should be in cash.

Currency Type
The Thai Baht (THB) is the currency used, which took a tremendous beating in the “Asian Tigers” economic crash in the late 1990s but has recovered as the second strongest currency in Southeast Asia. At press time for SADJ, there were approximately 36 Baht to the US Dollar, 46 Baht to the Euro, and 51 Baht to the British Pound. Check current rates at

Getting Around
Your hotel should be able to book you reasonably priced tours and limo transport around the countryside, and if you arrange your hotel properly, it will have shuttles to the Exhibition Center. Remember, when people who haven’t been to Thailand say “Bangkok” they think in terms of a closer community. In fact, many of the downtown hotels are very distant from the exhibition center, requiring paid taxi journeys of up to 45 minutes. It may be a cost trade-off you are willing to make to be closer in to downtown for evenings and days off. Bangkok’s shopping districts are legendary. The three-wheeled motorbikes with the “Rickshaw” look to them are referred to as “Tuk-Tuks” because of the sound they make, and Tuk-Tuk rides should be reserved for tourist moments and short hops. If you manage to talk one into going a long distance, you may regret the discomfort as well as the heart palpitations as they navigate traffic. There is an excellent Skytrain system in Bangkok, if you are traveling it, make sure you have plenty of 10 Baht coins (about 25 cents US) because most fares are at machines and are in multiples of 10. It’s fast and safe. Traveling around the country is very good on the trains, but check ahead because if you want to cross into Cambodia or Vietnam, you need visas and that particular trip is interrupted in Cambodia by a “get off the train, take the bus for hours, get on another train” scenario.

Military Museums
The Bangkok National Museum near the palace should not be missed: There is also an extensive small arms collection at the Royal Thai Army Museum that is only open by appointment. The Royal Thai Air Force Museum is out at Don Muang Airbase:

Tourism is probably the best place to start. There are thousands of temples, battlegrounds, holy places to see; but you shouldn’t miss the canals and the floating markets. A trip to the original Bridge on the River Kwai (It’s not, it’s on the Mae Klong) and the graveyard there can be very moving. There are a lot of Thai crafts that range from fantastic wood carving to paintings. If you can, book three or four extra days to explore Thailand.

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