Asian Clinical Tropical Medicine FAQs

Dates and Locations

The Golden Mount of Wat Sa Ket Ratchaworamaha Wihan, ThailandThe Golden Mount of Wat Sa Ket Ratchaworamaha Wihan, ThailandOpening Reception: Sunday, June 10th, 2018 Century Park Hotel, 9 Ratchaprarop Road, Pratunam - Victory Monument, Bangkok

Bangkok, Thailand: Monday, June 11th - Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

Siem Reap, Cambodia: Wednesday, June 20th - Friday, June 22nd, 2018

Thailand

Visas

Visas

U.S. citizens carrying a tourist passport and in possession of an onward or return airline ticket do not require a visa to enter Thailand. The passport must have at least six months validity remaining to be allowed entry. Upon entry, Thai immigration officials will place an immigration stamp in the passport permitting a 30-day stay in Thailand if arriving by air or land. Please find more information on the U.S. state department page here, or the embassy page here. If you are travelling from Canada you can find more information on the embassy page here, or the government page here.

Accommodations

Accommodations

We have negotiated a special conference rate at the Century Park Hotel. All rooms include breakfast, free wifi, a fitness center and pool access. The executive rooms include access to the top Club floor, which has a happy hour with drinks and snacks each afternoon. The exchange rate is currently approximately 34-35 baht to the US dollar. Please make sure you tell the Century Park Hotel you are an Asian Clinical Tropical Medicine participant with the Mahidol Faculty of Tropical Medicine to get this special rate. The phone number is (66) 02-246-7800 and e-mail address is century@samart.co.th.

We can also suggest the Picnic Hotel located just opposite Kingpower shopping complex.  We have not yet stayed there, but it is recommended by Mahidol University.  They have contract rates as below:
42 USD/night (Single room) 
45 USD/night (Twin room) 
48 USD/night (Superior single room)
54 USD/night (Superior twin room)
In order to make accommodations at these rates we can connect you to our contact at Mahidol University.

You are also welcome to make your own reservations in Bangkok, but transportation to and from our clinical sites will be from the Century Park Hotel. A few options are AirBNB or VRBO.

Transportation in Thailand

Transportation in Thailand

  1. After arriving at the Bangkok airport (Suvarnabhumi International Airport), and clearing customs, you will enter the receiving hall.

  2. The easiest way to get to the Century Park Hotel is by taxi (make sure it is metered).  It will take about 30-45 minutes from the airport to the hotel.  You can exchange money at the airport – very few taxis will accept foreign currency.  A Century Park Hotel shuttle is available for a higher fee and can be arranged through the hotel.  There are also trains and buses that you can take as well.

Note: In the receiving area you will be accosted by a bewildering number of people offering you either taxi or limo service. While these are safe, the price is usually several times what you will pay if you go outside to the taxi stand. Outside at the taxi area, please do not accept taxis that are solicited by anyone other than the official taxi stand area. If your taxi takes the express toll road, you will need to pay the toll, about 40 Baht. You pay this directly to the driver in cash at the time he pays the toll.

  1. There are overnight daybeds at the airport if you arrive late, and you can travel to your accommodations in the morning.

  2. In general, it is a 10-15 minute walk from the hotel to the hospital or you can get picked up with the van.

Curriculum

Curriculum

We are arranging for our lectures and labs as well as for our small clinical groups to visit and see patients in several hospitals throughout Bangkok and the surrounding area. The Faculty of Tropical Medicine of Mahidol University will be our host and logistically our home throughout the course in Bangkok.

To give you a taste, you may be visiting these clinical sites (and others):

  • Hospital of the Faculty of Tropical Medicine and intensive care units

  • Children’s Hospital infectious disease and dengue units

  • The Bamrajnaradura Infectious Disease Hospital

  • Ramathibodi General Hospital infectious disease wards

  • Thai Red Cross Society

  • Prapradang Leprosy Hospital

  • Suan Phung regional Hospital

  • Malaria Field and Research Station in Ratchaburi on the Myanmar border

You will have opportunities to see patients with tropical infectious diseases in each of these locations and will be able to question them and examine them. We will be holding our labs at the Faculty of Tropical Medicine in the laboratory classroom.

We will send you the course schedule once it is finalized. We can give you an idea of the day to day activities. We meet usually at 8:30AM to take the bus to the appropriate facility. Throughout the day, there are lectures, patient rounds or laboratory sessions, with the day wrapping up and return to the hotel around 5:30PM. Lunch and frequent snacks are provided by the faculty. We have a field trip on Friday and Saturday and this includes going to the malaria research station on the Myanmar border, and staying overnight. Sunday is a free day and a great time for touring and visiting the market.

Tourism in Thailand

Tourism in Thailand

If any of you wish to travel in Thailand before or after the conference, please feel free. Find some things to visit below:

Cambodia

Visas

Visas

U.S. citizens carrying a non-Cambodian passport will need a tourist visa to visit.  Please find more information on the U.S. state department page here, and the embassy page here.  If you are travelling from Canada you can find more information on the government page here.

Accommodations

Accommodations

We would recommend the Prince d’ Angkor, but you are welcome to make other arrangements in Siem Riep as well.

Transportation from Bangkok to Siem Reap

Transportation from Bangkok to Siem Reap

This travel can be arranged after arriving in Bangkok (you are welcome to book beforehand). More details to follow. You should plan to have an extra 2-3 days if possible to visit the ruins of Angkor, as well as local artisans and, if interested, a temple which honors those lives lost during the Cambodia Khmer Rouge regime.

Curriculum

Curriculum

The schedule is being finalized, but will include outstanding lectures, hospital rounds and a visit to a satellite hospital.

  • Angkor Hospital for Children and their satellite clinic

Tourism in Cambodia

CME Credit

We are applying for AMA 1 category CME credit and you will be able to request this.  In 2016 we had over 50 hours of CME credit.

Pre-Travel Advice

  1. Please be certain to check the CDC, Trip Prep, British Fit For Travel, or the Canadian Government Travel page for travel advice to Thailand and Cambodia.
  2. Visit a travel clinic at least 6 weeks before your trip.
  3. We hold the course specifically during part of the rainy season so that there is a heightened incidence of dengue, malaria and arboviral encephalitis - good for us, bad for the local population. Bangkok is malaria free, but there is a lot of dengue in Bangkok. There is no malaria risk in the Siem Reap tourist zone. Zika has also been reported in Bangkok. We will be spending the night at the Ratchaburi malaria station on the Myanmar border; so yes, you will be in a malaria endemic zone and there is drug resistant malaria present there. That is why it makes a good location for malaria research.
  4. There is always some controversy about the use of malaria prophylaxis. There are valid points on both sides. Clearly everyone agrees that you need personal protective measures against malaria while at the Ratchaburi Malaria Research Station. That includes the use of DEET or similar product on your exposed skin, long sleeves and pants in the evenings and avoidance of bites. Avoidance of bites is difficult as we are in a jungle setting in open dorm rooms that invite mosquito presence. Many experts recommend if you are in a malaria area less than 24 hours that just being careful and using DEET and long sleeves is sufficient. Others point out that there is a high incidence of malaria, the malaria is about half falciparum and is chloroquine and mefloquine resistant. They recommend prophylaxis with either malarone or doxycycline saying “why take the chance?” The decision is yours, but in any case, if you are unfortunate enough to contract malaria, you can take comfort in knowing that you are in the presence of some of the world’s most respected malaria experts. Please make sure that you check on the recommended prevention methods – your health is your responsibility!
  5. You will need to bring on the weekend trip:
      • Hat (we will be walking outside to view villages and malaria breeding grounds)
      • Sunglasses
      • Towel/washcloth
      • DEET/Promethrian/mosquito net
      • Personal items
  6. SIM cards: If you bring your phone to Thailand, it’s fairly easy to buy a local SIM card. You can get SIM cards at the Bangkok airport. There are branches of all three telecoms companies – AIS, DTAC and True – in Bangkok Airport’s Arrivals Hall so you can get a SIM card as soon as you arrive. Ask them to install and set up the SIM card for you, just in case any settings need to be changed. Ensure the data connection is working and you can access your emails, Facebook etc. before you leave the shop. These shops stay open late so check them out even if you arrive in the small hours of the morning. If you don’t get your Thai SIM card at the airport, you can find branches of all three mobile carriers in Siam Paragon mall, where the staff will most likely speak English. The mall is located right next to Siam Square BTS Station – very easy to find.  There are also numerous other branches dotted around the city for each carrier if you prefer to try there instead. See their respective websites for complete addresses of each of their outlets. You will want to make sure that your phone is unlocked in the settings so that it can use another company's SIM card. They do not cost much (expect to pay somewhere around $20.00).
  7. WhatsApp: WhatsApp is another easy way to communicate while you are abroad – all you need to do is download the app and have access to wifi on your phone. With a large course like this, communicating unexpected last minute changes and social events can be challenging. To this end we will be using WhatsApp as a text communication tool during the course.  WhatsApp works similar to typical text messages but is easier to use in international settings over either wifi or cellular data.   We encourage participants who are not already using WhatsApp to download it onto their phones prior to departure.