Southeast Asia’s Thailand is a diversified and cosmopolitan tourism destination. This tiny nation is home to imposing mountains, thriving cities, charming beaches, precipitous cliffs, rich woods, and much more. Thailand is undoubtedly a tropical paradise vacationer’s dream. Even so, this country also has a few small rules that you should know to have a good time while traveling here. Join us to find out through today’s article: “Useful Thailand travel tips for tourists.”
Table of Contents
General Thailand travel tips
Check Visa requirements
Prior to your trip to Thailand, find out if you require a visa. For stays of less than 30 days, some nationalities do not require a visa; for stays of less than 30 days, some nationalities can receive a visa at the airport; and for stays of less than 30 days, other nationalities must apply for a visa in advance. Make sure you can enter Thailand by checking the visa requirements for your nation!
Check the weather
The weather in Thailand is considered to be quite hot and humid. So you just need to bring comfortable, cool, and breathable clothes to avoid bulking up your suitcase and save space for other essentials for your trip.
Prepare some cash
In Thailand, paying by card is not very common, and paying by cash is much more convenient. Street markets, local restaurants, and tourist attractions usually only accept cash payments, so it’s better to prepare Thai cash before departure to avoid a hassle. Even so, in touristy areas, there are also some ATMs for foreign visitors. That are some General Thailand travel tips.
Cultural tips in Thailand
Take off your shoes
In Thai culture, the feet are considered the dirtiest part of the body and they seem to hate shoes. So you should take off your shoes when entering any places such as temples, houses, some shops or other places. A small tip for you is to choose shoes that are easy to take off to avoid wasting time and hassle on taking off and putting on shoes.
In addition, it is also considered very impolite to point your feet at anyone and especially if you point your feet at the Buddha. You will see people sitting in the temple with their legs bent to the side and feet facing away from the Buddha. You should also not rest your feet on a table or chair while sitting anywhere in Thailand. It’s also one of the Thailand travel tips for you.
Ask permission before taking pictures
Ask someone’s permission before taking their picture. This can be an excellent photo opportunity if you find a native wearing traditional clothing or a monk praying in a temple. Thai people are usually very friendly, so if you ask them to take a picture, they will most likely agree. so don’t hesitate to ask someone’s permission before taking their picture, otherwise, it will annoy others.
Respect the Royals
Thailand is a monarchy, and just like the United Kingdom, they have kings. Maha Vajiralongkorn is the reigning monarch of Thailand at the moment. The Thai people adore their king and display pictures of him everywhere, including in temples and public spaces as well as along city streets. hanging from frames in hotels and restaurants. It is preferable to avoid disparaging the royal family because they are protected by anti-slander laws and because the Thai people adore the King so much. Thus, criticizing or insulting the king is forbidden in Thailand.
Another tip on Thailand travel tips list is to dress respectfully. A person’s absence of fabric in their attire is inspected, regardless of gender. Particularly while traveling to temples, places of worship, or remote locations. You must follow the dress code when visiting the temple.
You must remove your shoes and wear clothes that cover your abdomen, chest, shoulders, and knees. In daily life, there is no set dress code, but Thais typically wear casual attire. It’s recommended to take the effort to bring a towel or anything in your pocket to cover if you’re dressed a little too short or don’t have any clothing. Some temples in Thailand have sarongs available at the entry that you can borrow if necessary.
Eat with a spoon
Contrary to Vietnam when using chopsticks to eat in every meal, Thailand prioritizes using spoons as a main tool. They frequently press rice or meat onto a spoon with a fork before putting the spoon in their mouth. Instead of using a fork to stab their meat or veggies, people scoop them up with spoons. When you set the table for a meal in Thailand, you’ll probably only have one fork and one spoon because chopsticks are seldom ever used and are mainly used for meals like Pad Thai and other noodle dishes. You should get used to this and don’t be too surprised when you can’t find chopsticks on any of the tables when you come to Thai.
Bargain whenever buying something
Bargaining goods at the street market is an important part you should remember when traveling to Thailand. See what the original price is, then bid low slowly, but don’t overpay as it may upset the seller. This is also considered a cultural feature in Thailand, so don’t be afraid to try it.
Learn a little about the Thai language
You should definitely learn a bit of Thai before traveling through this country. Locals will be delighted to hear foreigners speak their language even if only a little. If you’re a woman, you pronounce “hello” as “saw-wad-i kaaaa” (and they actually pull out kaaaaa with nasal intonation). And for men, it sounds like “saw-wad-i kap.” The female equivalent of “thank you” is “ka-pune-kaaaaa” (again with long kaaaaa and nasal intonation). And similarly, you would say “ka-pune-kap” for a male.
You’ll hear both of these words frequently, and it’s rather simple to master quickly. Simply press your palms together as if you were praying and slightly bowed your head when speaking Thai if you feel shy. Wai is the name of this respectful salutation that Thai people utilize.
Bring Toilet paper
Nowadays, all cities and high-end restaurants and hotels in Thailand have toilet paper, but when you go out on the street or go to popular markets, you probably won’t find paper in the toilet. In Thailand, it’s usual to come across a few squat toilets, and many of them are equipped with a nearby faucet that hangs on the wall in place of toilet paper. So, always carry some toilet paper with you in case the toilets in Thailand don’t have it.
Safety tips in Thailand
Be careful with petty theft
One of the most common masks when traveling in Thailand is petty theft. To keep your belongings safe, it is better to lock your belongings in a safe or locker at your hotel and try not to carry too many valuables with you when you go out. Carry your belongings and personal possessions in a single bag, remember to always have it on hand and keep an eye on it, especially when passing through crowds. Avoid wearing a lot of expensive jewelry as you will become the target of pickpockets.
Be careful with Public Transport
Also, try to keep your luggage safe when taking local public transport like buses. Especially on late-night or overnight buses, your luggage is thrown on the roof. Carefully lock the bag and store important items with you in another bag to keep with you.
Go with a group
Try to avoid walking alone at night. Of course, this is very common knowledge that everyone tells you anywhere, not just in Thailand. Go with your group of friends and don’t go too far from the tourist areas unless you are already very familiar with the area. If you’re traveling alone, you’ll be able to see the sights during the day or explore the tourist areas on your own at night.
It is a fact that drivers in Thailand are quite brazen and there seem to be no rules when locals drive super fast. You will probably see images of about 10 motorcyclists on the same lane and swerving around the corners. It’s horrible, but that’s what happens here all the time. so if you intend to drive in Thailand on your own, make sure to drive carefully and always wear a helmet. Or choose to take a taxi or take a bus to ensure safety on the road.
Things not to do in Thailand
Do not ride elephants
It is a sad fact that there are many tour companies in Thailand that exploit animals excessively to hurt them. Over the years, animal cruelty has come into the spotlight and it is definitely something you should avoid during your travels. Elephants used for tourism and work have been abused and live in miserable conditions chained to an electric pole.
A wild elephant would never let a human sit on its back. So, to tame a wild elephant, it would be tortured as a baby elephant to be able to completely overpower its instincts. The baby elephants will be separated from the mother and locked in a very small space, like a cage or hole, where they cannot move. The baby elephants were subdued by beatings with mace, stabbed with sharp hooks, and starved and deprived of sleep for days.
There are several elephant sanctuaries that rescue elephants and keep them in a safe environment. Here, you can tour with the elephants, take pictures and observe them without harming them. So if you want to see Asian elephants in their natural habitat, do your research first to make sure you are choosing an ethical tour company, and never book a tour that allows you to ride an elephant.
Do not disrespect the Buddha
Buddha is greatly revered by the locals because Buddhism is the predominant religion in Thailand. One thing to remember is to refrain from taking unauthorized photos of the Buddha and from touching the sculptures of the Buddha when visiting temples. Additionally, as the feet are regarded as the dirtiest portion of this place, you are not allowed to point them directly toward the Buddha. Because of this, when locals pray to Buddha, they frequently kneel with their feet facing backward.
Do not overstay your Visa
In Thailand, immigration rules are quite strict. Therefore, you must not stay here longer than the allowed period of your visa. Usually in your passport, they will state the visa end date, so make sure you leave before that time. If you love this country and want to stay longer, apply for a visa extension so you can legally stay longer and explore this country.
Avoid sex tourism
According to a 2014 report by UNAIDS, there are more than 123,500 sex workers in Thailand, three times more than in Cambodia. When walking down the street in the evening, it is not difficult to see that every bar on a street has Thai women in skimpy clothes sitting alone at the tables in front of each bar.
Girls often wear numbered shirts so that others can easily choose who they want. Thailand’s Tourism Minister announced that he wants to eliminate sex tourism and does not want to bring this type of sex tourism out to attract tourists. So if you come to Thailand, avoid this type. This is the last tip in the “Useful Thailand travel tips for tourists” article.
In conclusion, have you been to Thailand? Are the Thailand travel tips that we have just given you use for your trip? Do you have any other essential tips you’d like to add? We’re always learning about the culture and other travel tips, so if there’s anything new, feel free to add it below! Wish you have a memory Thailand trip.