System Compatibility in Thailand

The predominant video format in Thailand is PAL a system compatible with that used in most of Europe (France’s SECAM format is a notable exception) as well as in Australia. This means if you’re bringing video tapes from the USA or Japan, which use the NTSC format, you’ll have to bring your own VCR to play them! Some video shops (especially those that carry pirated or unlicensed tapes) sell NTSC as,well as PAL and SECAM tapes. A ‘multisystem’ VCR has the capacity to play both NTSC and PAL, but not SFCAM (except as black & white images).

Electric current is 22OV, 50 cycles. Electrical wall outlets are usually of the round, two pole type; some outlets also accept flat, two bladed terminals, and some will accept either flat or round terminals. Any electrical supply shop will carry adapters for any international plug shape as well as voltage converters.

Film & Equipment
Print film is fairly inexpensive and widely available throughout Thailand. Japanese print film costs around 1OOB per 36 exposures, US print film a bit more. Fujichrome Velvia and Provia slide films cost around 225B per roll, Kodak Ektachrome Elite is 200B and Ektachrome 200 about 280B. Slide film, especially Kodachrome, can be hard to find outside Bangkok and Chlang Mai, so be sure to stock up before heading upcountry. VHS video cassettes of all sizes are readily available in the major cities.

Photographing People
Hill tribe people in some of the regularly visited areas expect money if you photograph them, while certain Karen and Akha will not allow you to point a camera at them. Use discretion when photographing villagers anywhere in Thailand as a camera can be a very intimidating instrument. You may feel better leaving your camera behind when visiting certain areas.

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