Thailand is a well known destination for tourism and also hosts the most visited city in the World – Bangkok.
Having some fundamental information on what’s in store before you show up in the Kingdom will be useful both for you and for your overall experience whilst on this beautiful country, full or colors, culture and amazing gastronomy.
Let’s get started!
Here is a list of 13 things you should know before you go to Thailand! Of course there are a lot more to add still it’s a place to start.
1 – Monarchy
The Monarchy of Thailand is an established government of the Kingdom of Thailand. The previous King, Bhumibol Adulyadej was King for a long time, it was the longest reign ever. The name of the current King is Maha Vajiralongkorn.
2 – No cutlery knives on the table
It is standard to utilize kitchen knives when cooking, but in any case, when the table is set, the blade is saved. They were considered possible weapons and abolished at the meal table. The dinner is made with a spoon and fork.
3 – Baht/Respect the cash
The currency in Thailand is the Thai Baht (THB). 40 THB are about 1 euro. Banknotes and coins must be respected, as they contain pictures of sovereignty. Treating the money with respect will get you a long way with locals.
4 – Criticizing the Monarchy
Most will say the King is the spirit of the country and particularly loved by all the Thai individuals. Affronting the King or in any even scrutinizing him can bring you a substantial punishment. Punishments fluctuate somewhere in the range of three and 15 years in jail, and this law reaches out to any resident, of any nationality.
5 – Drugs
6 – The water
In general, the water coursing through the channels in Thailand is drinkable. Be that as it may, because of the system and pipes being very old, the pipes discharge particles that could be unsafe to public safety. Water machines are basically everywhere throughout the nation. This water is treated with reverse osmosis. You can however buy bottled water in any 7 eleven.
7 – Respect the Culture
The temples and shrines are beautiful places where you can encounter a feeling of harmony and oneness. These should be respected and women cannot enter with shoulders showing. Normally you have somebody at the entrances that will lend or rent you a small scarf. Also remember to enter shoeless, either in shrines or entering a Thai house. Small tip – just look at other locals and follow their move.
8 – Mosquitoes
Depending on the location, mosquitoes can be a problem. You should prefer natural repellents as the regular ones have a chemical substance called DEET. If you have skin issues you should advise yourself with your doctor to know which products should you use. Also, a simple fan will do the trick! In rural areas and up in the north, refrain yourself from moving around at sunset and sunrise as they tend to be most active.
TIP – If you get bitten, DON’T SCRATCH IT. Get a cigarette (or any other source of heat) and get it as close as possible to the skin bite. You have to feel the heat, do be afraid to quick burn yourself. Do it a couples of times. The heat breaks the molecule of the substance that makes you want scratch the bite.
9 – To bargain or not to bargain
Simple rule of thumb – If you are in Touristic places, then you have a margin to bargain. Most of the time locals will start the bargain themselves. However, if you like to explore and find places, you might find yourself in such a place where there is crowd movement and opportunity to bargain, but normally those locations have locals has their target market so prices are pretty much not negotiable. Use the good sence and if you see that you don’t see many tourists around, don’t bargain.
10 – Travel light!
Even in a 20 day stay, you won’t need much clothing. Except for some northern areas, Thailand has a regular range temperature of 25 to 35 degrees Celsius and 70 to 95% of relative humidity. You can bring a raincoat but a light one, just to protect you from the rain. If you have more than 20KG in your luggage, drop some.
11 – Religion or philosophy
Depending on the point of view, Buddhism can be seen as religion or a philosophy, or a “way of life”. The big majority of the population in Thailand is Theravada Buddhism, practiced by more than 95% of the individuals. Theravada Buddhism and some variations of the doctrine are also practiced by others who reside in Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos. At the south, mainly where the beaches are located – Krabi and Surat Thani – muslims are also predominant. But these locals are mostly a mix with muslim religion and Buddhist ways.
12 – Learn basic words
Use Google translator and Google Lens. They are your best friends. Nevertheless, here are the most used:
- Hello = Sawadii Krap (for him)/Ka (for her)
- How are you? = Sabaaidii mai?
- I’m fine = Sabaaidii
- I’m not well = Mai sabaii
- I come from (America) = Pom/Chan maa jaak (ameerigaa)
- What country are you from? = Kun maa jaak bprateet arai?
- Thank you = Khop kun krap / ka
- Sorry = Khot hort krap / ka
- No problem = Mai bpenrai
- Goodbye = Bai
- Can you speak English? = Kun pood paasaa anggrit dai mai
- What is your name? = Kun chuu arai?
13. Unlucky 13 in Thailand
The number thirteen is almost a forbidden number. So much so that more than often it’s replaced for the reading “12A”, like for example on building floors. Just a curiosity.
Remember – Thailand is very different from many countries around the World, even compared with its neighbouring countries. Follow the law, respect others and you will have the time of your life!
Contact us if you need support in your adventure at south Thailand, we are happy to help!
Do you know more curiosities about Thailand you can share? Or maybe correct some of the statements above? Make sure to share it with us below and comment!