Thailand is undoubtedly one of the most visited destinations in Asia and beckons travelers from all over the world. It is filled with vibrant temples, spotless beaches, mouthwatering street food, rich cultural heritage, and incredible wildlife. It is also a big hit with partygoers and adventure seekers living up to its moniker of “Land of Smiles.” If you plan to travel to Thailand for the first time, here are some of the most important tips that will come in handy during your stay.
Thailand’s local currency is called Baht. It is better to carry cash in hand as local establishments like stores, hostels, restaurants, cafes, etc., do not accept credit or debit cards. If possible, withdraw tiny amounts from an ATM as getting change is also problematic.
Best time to visit
Thailand is predominantly a tropical country and experiences hot weather from March to June. The best months to visit Thailand are January and February. If you want to do island hopping, water sports, and participate in the famous water fight festival – Songkran, November to April is the best time. Rains are extremely common in the country so remember to carry a jacket or umbrella.
Know the social etiquettes
Like any other country, there are certain social etiquettes that you need to abide by when in Thailand. Dress modestly, especially while visiting temples and places of worship. Refrain from buying Buddha statues or idols as it is illegal. Don’t touch anyone’s head as it is considered offensive. Also, take off your footwear when you visit religious places or anyone’s home.
Passport and Visa
Your passport must be valid for at least six months to visit Thailand. Several countries are eligible for a free 30-day visa, so check the Thailand visa rules with the embassy for your nationality.
Safety and security
This may sound unbelievable, but Thai laws against drugs and gambling is stringent, so avoid consuming drugs or gambling. Scams are prevalent, especially among tourists, so beware and be alert. Avoid drinking a lot in public, and don’t leave your drink unattended anywhere, as chances of spiking are common. If you are a solo traveler, do not walk alone in dark alleys or roads. In case of emergency, it is better to keep your travel agent’s number handy.
Check vaccination requirements
Many vaccinations are necessary to travel to Thailand, such as Hepatitis A & B, Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Malaria, Diphtheria, Rabies, Measles, and Mumps. It is better to check with your GP or a local clinic beforehand.
Respect the King
The citizens of Thailand love their monarch and are very sensitive in speaking about him. So, make sure that you don’t speak disrespectfully about the King.
Medical and healthcare facilities in Thailand are pretty good. Still, travel insurance is critical while visiting any new country so make sure you have it covered.
Keep away from animal tourism.
Animals are oppressed and tortured in Thailand so refrain from riding elephants, clicking pictures with tigers in Tiger temples, feeding monkeys, etc. Fortunately, many reserves nowadays are rescuing these animals and giving them a protected environment to live in.
What to pack?
A few essential things for your Thailand trip include prescribed medicines, a power bank, a travel adapter, a torchlight, a padlock, insect repellants, a hat, scarves/shawls, comfortable flip-flops, or footwear, sunscreen, beachwear, and a rain jacket.
SIM Card and internet
Wi-Fi is readily available in most public places, including restaurants, clubs, hotels, and bars. It is better to get a local SIM Card to always be in touch with your family and friends.
Tuk-Tuk drivers and taxi drivers tend to fleece the customers by taking longer routes or charging a higher fare. Fix a rate in advance or google for the shortest way to reach your destination. You can take the bus if you are traveling short distances.
Get a Thai massage
Get an authentic Thai massage to pamper your body and rejuvenate your mind. Thai massages are extremely popular and a great way to say goodbye to sore muscles.
Thailand is famous for its delicious street food, and the portions are very filling and reasonably priced. Thailand also serves a lot of non-vegetarian food, so inform the restaurant in advance if you are a vegan or vegetarian. Eating with a fork is considered rude in the country so eat with a spoon. Drink bottled water as tap water is a significant source of diseases like hepatitis and typhoid.
Thailand is a paradise for shopaholics, and there are numerous shopping malls and street markets. If you are shopping in street markets, walk around and browse through products before buying. There is a high possibility of finding better products at great prices. Try learning a few local phrases to bargain well with the vendors. Floating markets are trendy in Thailand and an excellent option to buy fresh produce and organic food.
Many tourists go to Thailand to party and enjoy its fantastic nightlife. Bangkok, Krabi, and Phuket are the best places to enjoy the nightlife. There are countless clubs, bars, and sunset bars, where you can party and dance the night away. Apart from these, there are plenty of night cruises, cabaret shows, night markets, night-food walks, live theatres, street performances, and the likes that you can experience.
Thailand is an ideal destination for every kind of holiday. Whether it is backpackers, couples, families, or a group of friends, there is something to do for all age groups here.