Visiting an Asian destination might seem a little overwhelming. But in fact, it could be one of the most fun trips you ever took in your life. When it comes to Thailand, it is one of the most welcoming countries in Asia that you can go to. Even then, it would be great to have a few tips that could help you a long way.
So from those who loved Thailand during their visits, here are the best Thailand travel tips to help the first timers among you. With these under your sleeve, you are sure to nail your Thailand tour, undoubtedly. Oh, and if you fall in love with the place a little too much, here’s how to move to Thailand and become a digital nomad there!
So first things first. You definitely need to exchange your currency to Thailand Baht before you go. You can withdraw money at the ATMs for sure, but that would include charges and ATM fees. The most convenient way would be to exchange your currency at the airport, Cash for Cash.
There is no exchange fee charged at the airports. Though you might find it little unsafe to carry that much cash, you could keep it in separate bags that have locks instead of keeping it together.
When in Thailand you cannot completely avoid the famous tuk tuks. It is fun and highly recommended to try once at least. But they tend to overcharge the tourists, and they convince you to visit places and shops that are not even worth just to charge you extra and get a commission.
You can always go for a short ride in a tuk tuk instead of hiring it for a whole day or ask them clearly to take you only to the destinations you want to visit.
Also, when you get into taxis, make sure the meter is running. Ask the driver specifically to turn on the meter and if they refuse, feel free to get out and go for another one.
If you do not try the Thai Street Food, then the whole trip is actually a failure. The country has mouthwatering spicy food that you will find yourself craving for every day. There are many street food markets that you will come across everywhere you go in Thailand.
This food is way too inexpensive compared to restaurants, and they serve the most authentic flavors of Thailand. You will find crazy and weird items like the scorpion to surprisingly good desserts.
You will be most probably landing in Bangkok first. The city has many beautiful canals that are fun to take a boat tour in. But beware of the tourist traps, as many will not be worth the money you pay. Instead look for the local ferries with an orange flag. These only cost you 14 Baht for a round trip. Exploring these waterways could be the highlight of your Bangkok visit.
Even though the hygiene is of a good standard in Thailand, there are still warnings about malaria and other mosquito contaminated diseases. So prevention is better than cure. Carry a bug spray and mosquito repellent with you at all times. You will need it often and is much better than taking any pills.
While in Thailand, you will find yourself approached by many tour operators. Many attractions and things to do can easily be self-guided. But if you think, you could use some help please do not hesitate to avail it.
Do a bit online research and read reviews before you choose your tour package. In places like Phi Phi Island, going with a package could help you see and do a lot more than what you could do alone. Also, you will learn more about the history of the place with a guide rather than by yourself.
There are many fake animal sanctuaries that even abuse animals to make them do things that hurt them just for the amusement of tourists. Riding on an elephant is actually bad for the animal.
So if you do want to visit an animal sanctuary, yet again search online and find some authentic ones. You will surely find those who do rescue animals from such camps and where you can do them some good.
The toilets in Thailand are not what you would want them to be. Most of them won’t even have toilet paper or soap. You might even come across toilets that are just holes in the ground with a bucket of water to wash.
So for your own good, it is better to always carry a hand sanitizer with you and if you can even toilet paper or paper towels. Trust us, you will be better off with those in hand.
Don’t bother to buy sunscreen once you arrive in Thailand. Most of them have beech and are ridiculously overpriced. So why buy a new one when you can bring your favorite brand from home anyway.
While the street food is highly recommended, if you are not used to the spices, your tummy might revolt against you. The types of vegetables and meat are all different and you might or might not like it.
To be on the safer side, bring a few snacks or fruits from home. Also carry coke bottles and charcoal pills, as they will help you calm down your stomach whenever you feel a little squeamish.
Even though you might not use it otherwise, learning to say just “hi,” “thank you,” and “bye” in the local language. It would definitely please the locals, and you will feel more confident to start a conversation with a smile.
The markets are all fun, but they are also very expensive especially to tourists. The first price they tell you is always overpriced. So do not hesitate to bargain if you really want that item. Start with half the asking price and negotiate up the way. Don’t worry they would still make a profit.
So this is not a slogan or an advice. Thailand has very strict policies regarding drug uses. Many people might approach you on the street offering drugs. Do not give in to your temptations. Not just for your health; because Police in Thailand dress up as locals to sell drugs to tourists to get them arrested.
The moment you even ask them something about it, you will be taken to the station.
Muay Thai is a traditional Martial art practiced in Thailand. It is gracious to watch and even learn. You could sign up for some serious lessons or also participate in fights.
If not, see a fight as a spectator. It is a cultural experience that is truly worth it. The effect of being in the middle of an energetic crowd, watching traditional dance performances and the fight will make you a fan of Muay Thai in Thailand.
Thailand has excellent shops that make custom clothes for you whether it is traditional or western. The cotton and silk are of excellent quality, and you will only be paying half you what you pay in the US.
So if you find yourself staring at one of a kind pieces in a shop, don't hesitate to go inside and check the prices.
There is no question about this. You must indulge in a little bit of pampering with a Thai massage. From foot massage on street markets to full body massages that involve a lot of stretching and twisting of your limps, you and your body will love all the experiences. And they are super cheap compared to anything you pay for any massage back home.
Most of the Temples in Thailand are still primarily religious places. It is suggested to follow Thailand temple dress code when you visit one. Remove our shoes and women cover your shoulders can knees. These are tiny things, but it shows that you respect their tradition and culture.
7/11 are shops that you can find almost in every corner and has virtually everything. Now, if you are looking for places to buy alcohol, a 7/11 is your best option in this too. You can find local beer bottles, and they are really good too. If you ask, they will even open the bottles for you, and this is definitely a better option than the other shops' overpriced alcohol.
Scooters are the most economical and popular transportation in Thailand. You are mostly going to rent a scooter for your days, but the driving might not be as easy as renting. The roads do not have proper lines, and you will have to be careful to avoid colliding with pedestrians and tuk tuks as pedestrian walks are not everywhere.
If you are not confident about your skills, it is better to avoid renting them in busy cities like Phuket and Bangkok. In quiet rural areas, it might be a bit easier without crowded roads.
If you are choosing to fly inside Thailand, then the best way is to use the national Bangkok Airways. For your domestic transportation from city to city, these are the cheapest and efficient than other airlines. The service and food are a lot better than you would expect them to be.
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