A nice shiny row of British GPT Marconi Sapphires. Space age! IPM Italy payphone
The yellow telephone which is used for ringing a country outside of Thailand. (a British GPT Marconi Sapphire, in this case) The green box for local card-phone telephone. The card-phone local telephone.
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1994 - Phuket. Photo by Chas Dye.
Row of coin phone booths Woman using public coin phone Close-up of coin phone
(IPM Italy payphone)
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An interesting green German Landis and Gyr cardphone
There are three different kinds of public phones depending upon the type of call being made. Phones for making international calls are bright yellow. Phones for local calls and domestic, long distance calls can be a variety of colors. Look at the signs on the phone to determine the type. International phones take a special phone card available at post offices and convenience stores. Phones for local calls and domestic, long distance take either coins or cards. Phone numbers have 3-digit area codes, plus 7-digit local numbers in the form 123-4567. Within the local calling area, it is not necessary to dial the 3-digit area code.
International Calls:

All major hotels and most guesthouses offer international dialling services but will add a surcharge of 30-40 percent. Business centres in small towns offer fax and phone services which are accompanied by high surcharges.

Bangkok Central Post Office on Charoen Krung (New) Road and some major post offices around the country have a CAT centre which can arrange reverse-charge and credit card calls. In Bangkok these are open from 7 a.m. to midnight, with reduced hours in the provinces.

To dial directly from a hotel room, either contact reception, or dial 001 (for an international line) followed by the country code and telephone number. Alternatively, dial the international operator on 100. Fullrates are charged from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., with a 30 percent discount between midnight and 5 a.m., and 20 percent discount at other times.
Blue and yellow international payphones can be found on the street, in shopping malls and in airports. These take some credit cards and Lenso phonecards which are sold in the post office and by agents displaying the Lenso logo.

Local Calls:

Local phone calls can be made from any public payphone other than the blue and yellow Lenso phones, which can be used for international calls only.

Domestic calls can be made from blue and silver coin phones or green card-phones. All coin-operated phones accept one baht and five baht coins; and some of them will also accept ten baht coins. Hotel phones may accept only five baht coins. Local calls (within the same area code) cost one baht a minute. There are also some red coin phones, from which it is possible to make only local calls, but these are being phased out.

The long-distance domestic service covers Malaysia and Laos as well as regional Thai calls. These countries can be dialled directly using the appropriate area code.

Green card-phones can be found in department stores and airports throughout the country. Cards for these can be bought at most post offices, bookshops and hotels, and come in several denominations: 50 baht and 100 baht.

Comprehensive telephone directories are published by Shinawatra. An English edition can be found in major hotels and most restaurants in Bangkok. Such directories are to be found in most province capitals but outside these there is unlikely to be an English edition available. Phonebooks in Thailand are sorted by first name.

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Page last updated: 13th April 2016