What To Know When Traveling To Thailand – Welcome to Thailand, also known as the Land of the South. We absolutely love this country, and I know you will too! Thailand was our first country in Southeast Asia, so as you can imagine, we experienced real culture shock. With that said, I have compiled a list of 15 things you should know before traveling to Thailand.
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What To Know When Traveling To Thailand
Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country. To show full respect for their culture and religion, there are many things you should not know before you visit.
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The head is considered the most sacred part of the body in Thai culture. This is why touching someone’s head, even out of pure desire, is said to be very bad.
Feet, on the other hand, are considered dirty and impure in Thai culture as they are the lowest part of the world. That’s why many “don’t” touch the foot. Even stepping on money causes suffering.
If there’s one thing you should learn before going to Thailand, it’s not to talk about the king… as always. Also stop if you are playing the national anthem.
They take their king seriously, and speaking ill of the king can have consequences. Unlike other countries where we complain about our leaders, Thailand is not one of the places that do this.
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Don’t be surprised when taxis and tuk tuks (similar to golf carts but with 3 wheels) stop by asking if you need a ride.
Honestly, if you’re not Thai, they’ll be backing up the street, yelling to ask if you need a ride!
If the taxi driver says the meter is broken, it is probably a scam. Always ask them to run the counter. If not, find another car.
If it’s a tuk-tuk, don’t forget to pull over. Any price they give you is usually high. If you don’t get the price quoted, go to another block and you’ll get another. They are everywhere.
Things You Should Know Before Travelling To Thailand
If you always close at your target price, you’re asking too little, so try to find a middle ground. If you want to rent a car with a car app, download Grab, which is the most used app in Asia.
Also, don’t always trust the driver if he says your destination is closed. Do your research before visiting any place.
True story – a man came out to us from the Bangkok Mansion and said it was closed. He said he has a great tuk tuk deal that will take us to many places and bring us back when the palace opens.
When we refused and said we’d rather leave, the tuktuk driver immediately got angry, saying, “There’s nothing for you to see.” He never took “no” for an answer. However, we continued our journey, and indeed the Great Building was open.
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Apart from local transport, for other places in Thailand, the best ways to travel are by plane, night train and night bus depending on your budget.
This is popular financial advice in Thailand, and is very common and expected. It’s easy not to want to splurge when everything seems to be cheap, but Thailand is a way of life. You don’t want to be seen with dollar signs hanging from your head.
We passed a man on the street selling these dyed silk scarves. He stopped us and asked for 600 baht, about $20. We didn’t want what he was selling, but he kept bringing things out to show us.
When we missed the last one it was down to $100 which was about $3. Although we still don’t buy it because it’s not our style, I’m sure a lot of people bought it more!
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That being said, people all over the world are trying to make a living so you have to be honest with your price.
If you want something, seriously anything, you can buy it at 7/11. You can buy groceries, get a SIM card, toilet, whatever. And the good thing about 7/11 is that they are everywhere. It’s like Starbucks in New York. 7/11 is not far away!
One thing you should know before going to Thailand is that asking the locals for help is not always helpful. This may sound difficult, but it is not unusual.
Don’t be surprised if you ask the locals a question and get the wrong answer. This doesn’t always happen, but it’s always good to do your own research.
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If you ask where the temple is and they don’t know or understand you, they can still point you in the wrong direction. Not because they want to deceive you. Thai culture does not like conflict.
Also, if there is a dispute for any reason, it is not customary to leave Thailand because the culture does not like conflicts.
This is a question I searched a lot before traveling to Thailand. The answer is no. However, the water and ice served in restaurants are safe to drink, but tap water is not. So brush your teeth in your hotel sink.
For a sustainable travel experience, consider reusable water bottles like Lifestraw or other water purification systems that kill bacteria and viruses. This is the best way to reduce plastic waste.
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You will see food stalls everywhere in Thailand. It’s part of Thai culture and the food is cheap! If there is a queue before visiting Thai food stores, you should know that the food is probably delicious and safe to eat. If the cart doesn’t have food and the food is just laid out… let’s go with a hard pass.
You may have come across squat toilets and toilets with a hose instead of toilet paper. Yes, you read this correctly. This means you won’t find toilet paper in the toilet.
You usually find a spray hose or even a bucket of water next to it. I suggest you bring paper or toilet paper if you don’t like wiping wet areas!
A common question for people before traveling to Thailand is how to get cell phone service and SIM cards. SIM cards are very cheap and easy to find. Make sure your phone is unlocked and can accept a SIM card.
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I recommend using an AIS SIM card. The service is exceptionally reliable. We were able to use our GPS throughout the trip.
You can buy it when you arrive at the airport, but it can be very expensive. You can also find them at your local 7/11 store, which usually has good deals.
Before traveling to Thailand, it is important to know that they have strict dress codes, especially in sacred places.
Above all, cover the knees and shoulders. “So you’re telling me I have to be completely covered in crazy humidity on really hot days?” I heard you say. Are you mad?!” Yes, but here are a few tricks I learned.
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For women, remember to bring a scarf, shawl or sarong to cover your shoulders and knees. So you can wear a tank top or shorts and take them out of your bag if you’re going somewhere that requires a dress code. I also find that wearing long dresses and light skirts is great when it’s hot.
For men, I suggest a simple t-shirt with shorts. If you have to buy the famous “elephant pants” that everyone wears and need to cover your knees, just put them in your bag or purse.
It’s easy to learn before traveling to Thailand! Wai is a Thai greeting with hands folded in a prayer position with a small bow. This is a common way to show gratitude and you will see it often. It’s good to be thankful and return the favor.
Before traveling to Thailand, we only saw cars driving on the right side of the road. In Thailand, cars are on the left. As an American, I had to get used to driving on the right for a long time!
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I wouldn’t be lying if I said I almost got hit by a car looking the wrong way! Also, most tourists don’t rent a real car around Thailand, but stick rentals are very popular. So, if you prefer not to rely on tuk tuks or Grab, you can rent a scooter for a very cheap price.
If you rent a scooter, you will be very comfortable riding the scooter and I recommend wearing a helmet.
I also want to make sure you have health insurance
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