39 Things You Need to Know Before Traveling to Thailand

39 Things You Need to Know Before Traveling to Thailand

If you’re planning a trip to the Land of Smiles in the near future, make sure you register for travel insurance before you go.

You can also check out the guide book I used while in Thailand, as well as my list of essential items for backpackers!


In some ways, Thailand is where this whole crazy blog began. While by no means my first international adventure, my time in Bangkok was the first time I truly felt outside of my comfort zone.

Traveling to Asia brought me the kind of adrenaline rush that Western Europe or the Caribbean just hadn’t given me.

39 Things You Need to Know Before Traveling to Thailand

While I’ve been living with a severe case of Wanderlust since the age of 12, my trip to Thailand reignited my need to travel with a vengeance.

Today I wanted to share with you a list of things you should know before going to Thailand. I was aware of some of these before I arrived in Bangkok, while others were a more of a shocking surprise once I got there.

Ready?

39 Things You Need to Know Before Traveling to Thailand

One

Eat off your spoon, not your fork. Eating directly off a fork is considered crude; instead, use your fork to push food onto your spoon.

Two

Yes, the people really are *that* nice. Don’t be surprised if strangers offer you advice or strike up a conversation with you.

Three

People don’t stand in lines. This took me a few days (and many long waits for the ladies room) to figure out. Instead of queuing up, Thais form a crowd. Stand your ground, and get used to a lack of personal space in public places. It is good to know this before you visit Thailand.

Four

Take tuk-tuks during the day and taxis at night. Taxis are more comfortable, but tuk-tuks give you a better view. Both are terrifying.

If you go to Patpong road at night (Bangkok’s equivalent of the Red Light District), ask your taxi to come back and pick you up at a certain time. Otherwise, you’ll have a hard time fighting all the other drunk people to find a ride back to your hotel.

39 Things You Need to Know Before Traveling to Thailand
Five

Don’t talk about the king. Seriously, not a word.

This is very important for Thailand travel.

Six

Gambling is only permitted on certain days (by order of the king, whom you are still not talking about, right?). Hit up the horse tracks on a pro-gambling day for an awesome experience. Prepare for lots of yelling, drunk people, and general debauchery.

Seven

Eat as many mangoes as you possibly can when you travel to Thailand. The mangoes in Thailand are the most delicious in the world.

Eight

Cover up your elbows and knees when visiting temples, wats, monasteries, palaces, etc. I’d recommend bringing along a light jacket or cover-up even on days when a temple isn’t on the itinerary — you never know when you’ll stumble across a beautiful wat you’ll want to check out!

 

39 Things You Need to Know Before Traveling to Thailand

Nine

Many of the popular beer brands also make bottled water. If you order a “Chang” or “Singha,” the waitress will likely respond “Chang beer?” to clarify. Make it easy by ordering “Chang water” or “Singha beer” to begin with.

As a side note, I’ve tried doing this in Thai restaurants back home and I just get weird looks. Go figure.

Ten

Don’t take a taxi driver’s word on it if they say an attraction or site is closed for the day; many times they will use this tactic to try to “suggest” other destinations which earn them a commission. If in doubt, just thank them for the information and ask another driver.

Eleven

Use public transportation. The BTS (Subway) and MRT (Light Rail) are cheap, convenient, and fast. You can get just about anywhere using these systems and they are really easy to use.

The maps make sense, the token system is efficient and simple, and the trains are kept very clean. Get a day pass to save extra money.

Twelve

You will see some roaches. Some days I saw none, other days they were crawling over my feet while I was trying to drink a mojito. Yeah, they are a little gross, but it’s not a deal-breaker. Better than rats, am I right?

Thirteen

The best-dressed woman on any given train, boat, or sidewalk is probably a ladyboy. I say this without meaning offense to Thai women, who are absolutely gorgeous, but as a compliment to the styling prowess of ladyboys.

Fourteen

Stay in a five-star hotel when visiting Thailand. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better deal at a top-of-the-line hotel than in Thailand.

We stayed in some fabulous hotels for around $100/night — some came with our own private infinity pools.

39 Things You Need to Know Before Traveling to Thailand


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May 14, 2014 | Last Updated on May 5, 2020 by Linda

122 thoughts on “39 Things You Need to Know Before Traveling to Thailand”

  1. is it safe to bring kids to Thai land? I was thinking about taking my 4 year old son, but I am a bit scared due to the water issues etc.

    Reply
  2. 5 THAI LAWS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE TRAVELLING TO THAILAND

    1. Smoking ban at 24 beaches around Thailand
    Violators face fines of up to 100,000 baht (RM12,900) and/or up to a year in prison.

    2. Registration needed for drones brought on holiday to Thailand
    Violators could face a fine of up to 100,000 baht (RM12,900) and/or up to five years in prison.

    3. Vaping and e-cigarettes are illegal in Thailand
    Those arrested with e-cigarettes will be fined four times their prices and/or face a jail term up to 10 years.

    4. Submission of car registration and passenger details at customs when driving into Thailand
    The current penalty is capped at 1,000 Thai baht (RM130). If the proposal is passed to become a law, the penalty would be 50,000 baht (RM65,000) fine and/or up to 3 months’ jail.

    5. Get insured when driving into Thailand

    Reply
  3. What a great content, I really liked your content .Wish you all the best. I am a regular visitor of your website, please keep writing.

    Reply
  4. Wonderful article, Really interesting to read. I would like to go there with my family on my next vacation. Thanks for your valuable tips. It will be very helpful when I planned to go there.

    Reply
  5. I’m traveling there in November with a friend!! Would love to know what hotel you stayed at and your favorite sights!!

    Reply
  6. Waoo, Thailand is really awesome. I wish to visit there.
    Thanks for sharing such amazing images and information about Thailand.
    I appreciate your blog post.

    Reply

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