Thailand is one of the most visited countries in South East Asia – and for good reason. Whether you’re looking for rich history, buzzing nightlife, natural wonders or gorgeous food, Thailand can offer it all. As with any foreign country, there are dangers and cultural differences to be wary of. To keep you out of trouble and make your trip a fun adventure, here are 10 tips worth noting.
Give yourself enough time
Thailand is a huge country with a lot to see and do. Unless you’re happy staying in one place, you’re going to want to stay over two weeks. A month or two could be necessary if you’re planning on backpacking.
You won’t find many card readers in Thailand, except in more developed city areas. As a result, it’s best to have some cash on you. This is particularly important when taking tuk tuks and eating street food.
Use bug repellent
Parts of Thailand are rife with mosquitoes – especially rural areas. Spraying yourself with insect repellent could stop you from getting bitten alive. It could also save your life against the small but present risk of zika virus.
Drink bottled water
Thailand’s tap water generally isn’t very clean and whilst some locals still drink it, it has been known to give foreigners a bad stomach. It’s much safer to drink bottled water and avoid tap water when possible. Be wary that ice cubes may use tap water (so you could be better off asking for drinks without ice).
Gambling is strictly prohibited in Thailand so be careful of saying yes to betted card games with other backpackers. In fact, you may want to leave your playing cards at home as some authorities will confiscate them even if you’re not gambling.
Invest in pocket wi-fi
Using your phone’s data could result in high roaming charges. You can save on roaming fees with a pocket wifi in Thailand. This will give you on-the-go internet access rather than having to hunt for places that offer free wi-fi.
Pack for all weathers
The temperature in Thailand is predominantly hot, but if you’re planning on doing some mountain trekking you could find that it gets very chilly. Packing some clothing for cooler weather could be worthwhile. A jacket for the rain could also be worthwhile, especially if you go out in a monsoon.
Cover up when visiting temples
It’s respectful to cover up shoulders legs when in a temple. Taking some long clothing with you in a day bag to slip on when you visit a temple could be worthwhile – otherwise you may not be able to enter.
Stay wary of scams
There are a lot of scams targeted at tourists. Keep your wits about you and you should be fine – don’t trust ticket touts that say they can get you discounted tours and always check that taxis have a meter or pay before.
Learn some key Thai phrases
Most people in Thailand speak good English, but occasionally you may find yourself talking to a non-speaker. A few key phrases like ‘hello’, ‘thank you’ and ‘I don’t want it’ could be useful to learn for these situations.