There’s no place like Thailand. It’s a very popular tourist destination with stunning beaches, temples and friendly, welcoming locals. There’s plenty of opportunity for outdoor adventures and trying delicious local cuisine, but there are many things to keep in mind while enjoying your Thai vacation.
Just like when you travel to other countries, there are few things to keep in mind when preparing for the trip to ensure you have a great time and are able to do everything that you want to. Being prepared and having a plan of attack is going to make you feel confident and help you enjoy yourself more.
Here are a few of the best tips to follow when getting ready for your trip to Thailand:
Don’t Try to Do Everything
With so many incredible places and sites to see in Thailand, a lot of travelers will make the mistake of attempting to do too many things that they don’t really get to enjoy them. If you go through a place too quickly, you’ll end up feeling exhausted and stressed about trying to get to the next spot.
If you’re attempting to visit multiple cities, this tip especially applies to you. It’s best to focus your time on a specific area of the country or city so that you’re not spending too much of your time traveling from place to place and able to spend enough quality time in each place and are able to enjoy yourself.
Be Aware of Cultural Differences
If you aren’t familiar with some of the cultural norms of a country, it’s easy to offend the locals and really make yourself stick out. The best way to have an authentic experience in any foreign country is to try to do things the like a native.
For instance, in Thailand, it’s common to use your spoon to eat most things. Forks and knives are still used, but instead of using them to stab or pick up food, their used to guide the food onto the spoon. You can try using chopsticks for noodles dishes.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you’ll probably experience slow services when eating out. It’s very common for peoples meals to come out at different times, so if you’re with a group of people, be prepared to be there for a while. There’s no issue happening, this is normal.
You’ll find plenty of great markets while on your trip and will probably want to buy souvenirs. Most of these merchants will be willing to negotiate a price with you. Especially if they know you’re a foreigner, they’ll likely try to offer you a higher price at first. This goes the same for taxi rides, tours and many other places.
Plan For Emergencies
Anything can happen when traveling. You could become sick or injured; there might even be a natural disaster. It’s important to have a plan in place should anything happen. Get information on the U.S. Embassy on Thailand in case you need to reach them for any reason.
Also familiarize yourself with where you can get medical assistance – addresses and phone numbers to hospitals or clinics. You can also check the areas you’re going to be in to see if any of them offer assistance to tourists that speak English.
Have Cash on Hand
The majority of the local attractions, markets, street food and restaurants in Thailand are going to only accept cash. It’s quite rare to find a place that accepts cards aside from the higher class malls, restaurants and hotels. It’s even common for most of the tourist-centered attractions and accommodations to accept cash only.
If you’re worried about getting a large amount of cash when you get there and carrying it around, don’t worry. There are plenty of ATMs you withdraw cash from as you need it. However, if you’re planning to visit more remote areas, you should definitely withdraw enough cash while you still can so you don’t risk running out.
Learn Some Basic Phrases in Thai
You should definitely begin practicing some useful words and phrases before going to help you out in certain situations. Learning how to ask for help during an emergency should be first and foremost. But it’s also helpful to practice ordering food and simple greetings.
There are plenty of resources and courses that you can find online to help you learn these phrases and the proper pronunciation. Have a friend practice it with you so that you feel comfortable speaking out loud.
Be Wary of Scammers
Stay alert and watch out for scammers. In most foreign countries it’s very common to take advantage of tourists. Since Thailand is typically a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, it can be really easy to fall victim to a con-artists. Do some research of the areas you’ll be travelling, sometimes even airport pose a risk to your safety since airports are a very busy public place full of people and it’s hard to identify threats so be mindful of your environment. Our safety and the security of our personal details should always be a major concern for us.
Travelling to Thailand is an amazing, once in a lifetime experience that should be enjoyed to its fullest. The best way to make sure you get the most of your trip is to properly prepare by familiarizing yourself with the culture and knowing what to expect.
Having everything in order and getting as much information as possible is essential to ensure that it all goes smoothly and your trips is everything you hoped it would be.
Ben Brown is the owner of The Prepping Guide. Involved in Military for many years and write about Personal Security, Preparedness, Prepping, Survival, Self-Sufficiency and Readiness for Safety, both physically and digitally.