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Postal Service and Mail Delivery

Thailand - Postal Service and Mail Delivery


The main postal service in Thailand is the Thailand Post Company Limited. This is a state-owned organisation which operates more than 3000 post offices. Each post office has a wide range of services available from simply posting an item to personal banking. There are also business services for companies. Post office branches also sell parcel packing materials and most have a desk so that you can wrap your parcel there and then.

The postal system in Thailand is considered to be reliable and fairly inexpensive, although there are limited services in rural areas. Most urban areas have several post offices and these are generally open from 8 am to 4.30 pm on weekdays, although you may find that your letters and parcels do not go the same day if you are there after 3.30 pm. Some offices in major urban areas will also open on a Saturday until 1 pm. In rural areas a post office may only have limited opening hours if there is a lack of demand.

While the post is considered to be reliable, the standard postal services offered in Thailand are also fairly slow. Even domestic mail can take up to a week to arrive. The post office does offer an express mail service which is much faster but costs more. International mail can take several weeks to arrive and receipt of international mail can also take some time.

Many post office branches offer an ‘on-hold’ service, where mail can be kept for you to collect. They simply file the post away and wait for you to request it. This is known as ‘post-restante’ and mail is sent with the branch address on it and your surname. In order to collect the mail you will need to take with you your passport as ID and be prepared to pay a small sum of money for each item that is held. Post offices will only hold items for up to 2 months before they are returned to sender and some will only keep them for a week or two. If your first name is also included on the item then you should ask staff to check if it has been filed away with that name rather than your surname.

A post office box is another option, particularly if you are expecting a lot of post or cannot get to the post office regularly. These are limited, however, and most office will only have a few boxes to rent out. These are only accessible during opening hours and an annual fee is payable. In some areas there is a waiting list for a box, so it is worth using the ‘post-restante’ service while you are waiting.

The address system is a little more complicated in Thailand than in many other countries. When you are trying to find a building then you will see that they are numbered in the order that they were built so if the number of the building you are looking for is 15, it could easily be next to number 30. This can cause some delays with deliveries although in most areas the delivery drivers are familiar with the unconventional layouts.

A postcode in Thailand is known by the American word ‘zipcode’. These are composed of five digits. The first two digits of the code are to show which province you are in, the middle number is the district and the last two numbers indicate the sub-district, so all homes in the same sub-district will have the same post code. There are several online post code finders available.

When writing an address in Thailand you can use both the standard ‘Roman’ script as well as Thai script. The name of the addressee should be first, followed by the house/apartment number and building name. This is followed by the street name, the sub-district, the town and postcode, then the country if this is necessary.

Courier services from international companies such as DHL are also available in Thailand, which is useful if you need to send something abroad quickly but these are generally not used for domestic mail.


Useful Resources

Online postcode finder
http://www.geonames.org/postalcode-search.html?q=&country=TH&adminCode1

Thailand Post Company Ltd
www.thailandpost.co.th
Tel: + 66 2831 31 31
Email: postalcare@thailandpost.co.th


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