Introduction to Thailand
As a devoted traveler who has been living in Thailand for over five years and spent nearly my entire time unraveling all its wonders, I’m thrilled to share my insights into this captivating destination.
Wrapped in vibrant traditions and buzzing with modern fervor, Thailand, also known as the ‘Land of Smiles,’ is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to unfold.
The truth is, there’s so much more to Thailand than meets the eye. A blend of captivating landscapes ranging from the majestic temples and palaces of Bangkok, the emerald rice paddies of Chiang Mai, to the surreal limestone islands of Phangnga Bay.
Via this spectrum of destinations, Thailand masterfully marries its past and future, tradition and innovation, tranquillity and adventure.
From tasting exotic flavors to diving into unparalleled adventures and interacting with the friendliest locals, traveling in Thailand is nothing short of a feast for the senses!
My Complete List of Thailand Travel Tips for 2023 (as a Local)
Planning a memorable trip to Thailand involves more than just packing your suitcase. It’s crucial to understand the cultural nuances, rules, and responsible travel practices to truly make the most of your Thai adventure.
That’s why I prepared 52 of the Best Thailand Travel Tips for your 2023 trip.
Let’s dive right in!
Prepare for your Trip to Thailand
1. Do I need a passport to travel to Thailand?
Yes, you do need a passport valid for at least 6 months to travel to Thailand. Check your passport expiration date well in advance, if you just have a few months left, you should make an appointment to get it exchanged.
Most countries have this 6-month rule, so you might as well get it renewed so you don’t have any issues on your travel day.
2. Are there any special visas required for Thailand?
Yes, Thailand does have visa requirements in order to enter the Kingdom. There are 3 main categories of countries:
- If you’re lucky enough to hail from one of the 57 visa-free countries, the process is pretty straightforward: You will receive a 30-day exemption stamp at the airport. This includes the US, UK, Canada, and most of the EU countries.
- If you are part of the 21 countries that can obtain a visa on arrival, you will also receive a 30-day entry, but you do have to fill out the Visa On Arrival form or pre-apply for it before you leave to expedite the process.
- For everyone else, you can apply for a visa at your local Thai embassy before traveling.
Should you want to extend your stay, there’s good news! You can extend your stay once at any Thai immigration office.
You can find out more details on the Thai Embassy website.
3. Do I need travel insurance for Thailand?
Yes, travel insurance for Thailand is highly recommended! No matter how healthy or cautious you are, insurance gives you the needed safety net when you’re in a foreign land.
For instance, SafetyWing is my go-to for travel coverage – quick, customized, and easy to get.
Good travel insurance will shield you against illness, injury, theft, or unanticipated cancellations.
4. Will my cell phone work in Thailand?
Yes, your phone will work just fine in Thailand. I suggest you enable a roaming plan with your home provider for emergencies and to call a cab to your hotel.
After you check in and drop off your bags, head to any mall or supermarket and get a tourist SIM card with a local number and data to use during your stay. It will be faster and much cheaper than using your roaming plan the entire time.
Don’t get a SIM card at the airport; it will cost 3x more than it should. Head to a local Big-C supermarket, 7-Eleven, or mall instead.
The three major providers in Thailand are AIS, True Mobile, and D-TAC. All of them are great, choose whichever one has the best offer at the time.
Money and Budgeting
5. What is the currency in Thailand?
The currency in Thailand is the Thai Baht (THB)! It’s the colorful currency that fuels all the thrilling experiences Thailand has to offer. A mere $1 USD converts to approximately 30 Thai Baht.
I always keep cash handy for those spontaneous street food adventures, taxi rides, and bustling market haggling.
Picture this – relishing an authentic Pad Thai from a local vendor. Mouthwatering and delicious, it usually costs around 50 Baht (less than $2 USD).
ATMs are your best buddies when you land in Thailand, as the country loves cash transactions.
Pro Tip: Withdraw larger sums (20,000-30,000 THB) to minimize that 220 Baht ATM transaction fee.
6. Should I bring cash to Thailand?
Yes, you definitely need cash when visiting Thailand! Mostly everything beyond luxury hotels, swanky restaurants, and posh malls, cash is the primary mode of payment.
You can choose to bring USD or Euro and exchange it at a local bank, or simply use an ATM to get Thai Bath. USD, GBP, or Euro are not accepted anywhere.
Here are my top tips for cash management:
- Bring cash for markets, local eateries, small accommodations, attractions, and taxis.
- Use the local ATMs, but remember even the smallest withdrawals can cost around 220 THB in fees. Go for larger sum withdrawals to save up!
- Don’t accept the conversion rate to your home currency at local ATMs. Decline the conversion and let your home back do it; you will save 5-10% in exchange rates.
- Keep most of your cash in your hotel safe and carry around only 3,000 – 4,000 THB. It will keep you out of trouble, trust me!
7. Can I use my credit cards in Thailand?
Yes, credit cards are accepted in some places in Thailand. While Thailand is largely cash-based, don’t leave your credit card tucked away in your suitcase.
Though your card might not be welcomed at local markets, smaller lodgings, and many attractions, places like posh restaurants, premium hotels, and high-end malls certainly cater to plastic money.
Insider Tip: Apply for a travel credit card with no foreign transaction fees if you do not have one already; those small transaction fees can add up quite a bit if you use a regular card.
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8. How much money do I need for a 7-day trip to Thailand?
For a 7-day adventure, you’ll need between $500-$2000, depending on your travel style. (not including flights)
- Backpacking? Budget $25-$60 per day. You’ll have a cozy hostel room and delicious street food. Stretch the budget further by reducing alcohol intake and using local transport!
- Mid-ranger? Prepare $50-$150 per day. Gorge on seafood, stay in a regular hotel room and relish some great activities. Stick to shared or public transport and avoid expensive eateries in tourist areas.
- Going luxury? Set aside $200-$300+ daily. Expect Western-style hotels, amazing restaurants, and plenty of tours.
My hidden gem of advice – head north! You could save 30-50% by heading to Chiang Mai instead of Phuket or Koh Samui.
Here are my go-to websites and apps:
- Find the best hotel deals on Booking.com.
- Book your Tours in advance on Viator.com.
- If you need to fly locally, use the local budget airlines: Thai Air Asia or Thai Vietjet.
- Ride-sharing apps are available: Grab, InDrive, and Bolt.
- For food delivery, use Grab and Food Panda.
Want to stay longer? Here is an Amazing 2 Week Thailand Itinerary.
9. Should I leave a tip at restaurants in Thailand?
It’s up to you! Tipping in Thailand is not expected, but highly appreciate it. It’s such a warm way to express your satisfaction with the food and service.
You might spot locals rounding up bills as a form of tipping. Say your bill is 53 baht, how about leaving 60, giving a friendly nod with an extra 7 baht tip?
When to Visit - Seasons and Weather
10. What are the seasons in Thailand?
Thailand is a tropical paradise that offers three distinct seasons:
- Hot Season (March to May): As the name suggests, expect high temperatures during this time. However, it offers the perfect excuse to explore Thailand’s breathtaking beaches!
- Rainy Season (June to October): Though rainfall is possible throughout the year, this season is marked by heavier showers, particularly in June and August.
- Cool Season (November to February): Popular amongst tourists, this season is typified by more moderate temperatures and lesser rainfall, making it the ideal time to fully explore the country.
11. What is the best time to visit Thailand?
The best time to visit Thailand is from November to February! Expect milder temperatures and less humidity, making it comfortable for those not used to tropical climates.
The lack of rain and amazing temperature also means that this is the busy season, so also expect larger crowds and higher prices.
Here’s why you don’t want to miss these months:
- Experience Bangkok at its “coolest,” still basking in a pleasant 85°F
- Enjoy the driest part of the year – perfect for exploring
- Visit the stunning west coast islands like Phuket and Ko Phi Phi at their prime
- Relish in Northern Thailand’s cooler evenings – make sure to bring a warm layer!
Don’t forget, even during this perfect travel window, the tropics never lose their inherent warmth. So pack your sunblock, bring your excitement, and get ready to uncover the many marvels of Thailand in this enchanting season!
12. When is the cheapest time to go to Thailand?
The cheapest time to visit Thailand is between May to October. This is considered the slow season due to the high likelihood of rain, but it also brings no crowds and low hotel prices.
I enjoy traveling during this time of year because the rains bring with them an explosion of colors in nature with the brightest greens you will ever experience.
Now, don’t let the term ‘rainy season’ scare you. The rain typically only lasts a few minutes to one hour each day, and this season often comes with fantastic bargains on flights, accommodations, and activities.
Here are a couple of bonus tips:
- Pay a visit to the islands off the east coast in the Gulf of Thailand, like Ko Samui, Koh Pha Ngan, and Koh Tao, from April to October.
- Keep in mind that prices are generally lower in the North, particularly during the rainy season.
- Want to avoid crowds? March to October is your best bet. Just bring a poncho for the occasional rainfall!
Remember to skip Chiang Mai in March and April due to the low air quality from the burning season, especially if you are asthmatic.
13. What should I pack for Thailand?
When packing for Thailand, expect warm weather, so bring lightweight and breathable clothing.
Here’s a quick-fire list of your Thailand essentials:
- T-shirts and Shorts for daily use
- Evening attire for clubs and parties
- Swimwear (at least 2 pairs)
- Flip flops or sandals
- A rain jacket and quick-dry towel
- Hats or Caps
- Lots of sunscreen (the one sold locally has bleach in it)
- A day bag or travel backpack
Remember, whatever you miss, you can always buy in Thailand. Happy packing!
For a complete list, check out my Ultime Thailand Packing Guide.
14. What fun events are there in Thailand?
If there’s one thing about Thailand I can’t rave enough about, it’s their seemingly endless roster of picturesque and heart-thumping festivals!
Here are the top festivals you absolutely can’t miss when you land in this tropical paradise:
- Between 13th and 15th April, you can throw water at anyone while participating in the Songkran, a Thai New Year custom to ward off bad luck. This happens everywhere in Thailand; it’s the biggest party of the year.
- On the last Sunday in November, head to Lopburi for the Monkey Festival, where you’ll find about 3,000 wild macaques enjoying over 4,440 tons of fruits and vegetables during their grand feast. Yes, it’s a sight to behold!
- If you are visiting in late January – early February, ring in the Chinese New Year in Thailand’s major cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Expect lively dragon dances, mouth-watering street food, and resonating firecrackers.
- March 13th marks National Thai Elephant Day, when the country celebrates its national symbol, the elephant, with sugar cane and fruit banquets. A chance to witness Buddhist ceremonies aimed at bringing good luck to these gigantic creatures is not to be missed.
- Experience the serenity of the Loy Krathong, the Festival of Light, in late November. Purchase a basket, fill it with incense, candles, a hair or nail clipping, and coins, and set it afloat in a river to bid farewell to misfortune.
- Last but not least, catch the mesmerizing Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai, typically held every November. The release of hundreds of paper lanterns into the sky for good fortune is a sight to treasure forever!
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Travel and Transportation
15. What is the best way to get to Thailand?
The best way to get to Thailand is by flying into one of the many international Airports available around the country. You can book direct flights into Bangkok and Phuket from the US or Europe.
Flights to other major hubs, like Chiang Mai or Koh Samui, will usually connect through Bangkok International Airport, but you don’t need to remove your luggage and re-check them in.
16. Do I need to book my flights in advance for Thailand?
Based on my experience, yes, you should book your flights well in advance. It is going to save you a good chunk of change, trust me!
This goes for International and local flights. We got our tickets from Miami to Bangkok for $500 cheaper by booking four months ahead of time.
We also managed to snap up a flight from Chiang Mai to Phuket for just around $30.00 by booking early. Had we waited till the last minute, it could have cost us $100!
It’s all about those savvy savings. But remember to stay flexible with your plan because there’s so much to explore!
17. How do I get to my hotel once I arrive in Thailand?
There is a plethora of convenient transport options at your disposal to take you smoothly to your hotel.
Whether you prefer the affordability of public transportation or the comfortable ride of private minibusses, Thailand has got you covered!
Here’s a quick guide to getting you to your hotel:
- Before arrival, try to book your transport directly from your hotel or through a local agency.
- If that option is not available, use a ride-sharing app like Grab, Bolt, or In-Drive (I recommend downloading and setting them beforehand).
- If you don’t have Roaming Data or WiFi available, get a local cab; just make sure you use the official channels, and they use the meter. Airports like Phuket will make you pre-pay for the taxi ride based on the area where you are staying.
18. What is the best way to get around Thailand?
Getting around Thailand is exciting, diverse, and incredibly accessible! With a variety of transportation available from sky to sea, exploring the Land of Smiles is a breeze.
Thailand’s transport network is quite extensive, with planes, boats, buses, trains, and taxis all offering dependable service.
Yet, among these options, my personal favorite and the most authentic Thai experience would be traveling by Songthaews. They are widely available, especially up north in Chiang Mai.
Literally translating to ‘two benches’, these red pick-up trucks are a quintessential mode of daily Thai transport. Flagging down one is easy – simply sign with your hand and give the driver your destination.
If the path aligns with theirs, hop on the back! The price is always reasonable and depends on the distance traveled.
19. Can I drive a car in Thailand?
Yes, you can rent a car and drive in Thailand, but brace yourself for an unforgettable experience! It’s quite an adventure, considering Thailand’s roads are statically considered dangerous worldwide.
- In Thailand, they drive on the left, so make sure you are comfortable before you venture out in traffic.
- Be patient and follow the traffic rules strictly. Keep an eye out for motorbikes when turning and switching lanes; they pop out out of nowhere.
- Ensure you have the proper insurance coverage from your credit card or purchase insurance with your rental.
- Get an international driver’s license from your local AAA; the Thai police might ask for it.
20. Should I rent a scooter in Thailand?
Honestly, renting a scooter in Thailand may not be the best idea if you are not an experienced rider. That’s not to say I don’t love the thrill of riding one! I own 2 scooters and ride them almost daily.
But consider these points:
- Thailand’s roads are officially the second most dangerous in the world – quite a statistic.
- Scooters aren’t the best choice for long trips.
- The lack of driving experience can be hazardous.
- You must always wear a helmet and safety gear.
- Remember, you must hold a scooter license and insurance!
So unless you are an experienced rider and adamant about the scooter experience, my advice would be to find safer, more reliable transport options.
If you are an experienced rider, check out my article on the Mae Hong Son Loop, it’s motorcycle heaven!
Accommodations - Hotels and Resorts
21. Should I book my reservation for Thailand in advance?
Yes, you should book your accommodations in advance! While you may score some cheaper deals for tours and transportation once you’re there, securing your accommodation online will save you money and headaches.
You see, Thailand can get quite packed, especially during peak season, and it’s not uncommon for places to be fully booked.
If you want to stay flexible, book the first part of your trip in advance (first few days) and then book the rest once you get there.
Remember, getting a better rate in person could depend on the season and the flow of tourists at that time. I find the best hotel deals on Booking.com.
22. What type of accommodations can I find in Thailand?
Thailand’s got a dream accommodation for everyone, from bohemian bamboo huts to ultra-luxe resorts! No matter your travel style or budget, I guarantee there’s a bed made just for you here.
Choose from quirky independent hotels found online, or wing it backpacker-style and find a place on arrival. Hostels here are top-notch, perfect if you’re on a budget.
- Planning a luxury getaway? Head to Phuket for world-class resorts.
- Fancy living on the wild side? Sleep on a mat on the floor in a remote village up north.
- For beach bums, lush bungalows await on Koh Samui or Koh Tao.
- Traveling with a larger group of family? Use Airbnb to rent entire villas or homes.
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23. Where are the best beach resorts in Thailand?
Craving for sand, sun, and sea? Thailand’s beach resorts are like no other!
- Koh Samui is your high-end paradise, brimming with luxury resorts and pristine beaches. A favorite for resort-goers, this island offers an ultra-comfortable retreat amid nature’s bounty.
- Koh Phangan offers more than its renowned Full Moon Party. Venture outside the party zone to find serene beaches and small-scale resorts offering tranquil escapes.
- Koh Tao is a divers’ delight and possibly the most economical place to get your scuba diving certification. Besides, you can enjoy seeing diverse marine life in calm waters.
- And then there’s Phuket, a sun-seekers utopia, perfect for a well-catered, laid-back beach holiday. Don’t miss out on the seemingly less-trafficked beaches in the northern part for some quiet time.
Remember, each island is uniquely fascinating. Make sure to choose one that best suits your travel style!
24. How can I find budget accommodation in Thailand?
Finding budget-friendly accommodation in Thailand is a breeze, with so many options available – from bamboo huts to hostels.
Here are my insider tips to help you bag a great deal:
- Utilize booking platforms like Agoda.com and Booking.com. They have a wide range of independent hotels and are especially popular in Asia.
- Try ‘winging it’ or booking on the spot. Although not always efficient, you can land some great deals this way.
- Look into hostels on HostelWorld.com. They’re not only budget-friendly but also offer a fantastic quality in Thailand.
25. Is Thailand safe to visit?
Absolutely! Thailand is one of the safest places to visit. With millions traveling here annually, Thailand has mastered the art of ensuring tourist safety.
Here are my Top Tips for a safe and fun trip:
- Be respectful and follow Thai laws, especially those about the monarchy.
- Stay vigilant in crowded areas to avoid petty theft and scams.
- Exercise caution during parties and in dubious areas. And don’t drink too much!
- Be smart on the roads—Thai driving is fast-paced! Check vehicles for safety measures, and if you’re on a scooter, gear up appropriately.
- Purchase travel insurance because it’s better to be safe than sorry. I ended up at a hospital once, and insurance covered the entire bill.
Remember, use common sense, and you will be safe. Keep your belongings secure and enjoy the thrilling adventure that is Thailand!
26. What is the legal drinking age in Thailand?
The legal drinking age in Thailand is 20 years old. That means you will be asked for an ID or Passport if you look young to enter clubs or to be served alcohol at bars.
Thailand also has restrictions on the time when alcohol can be served. Officially, you’re allowed to buy alcohol from 11 am-2 pm, and then again from 5 pm to midnight.
Trust me, I’ve stood looking longingly at a beer bottle at 2:30 pm in a convenience store, only to be politely told, “No!”.
Clubs are an exception, most being allowed to serve alcohol until closing time (3-4 am).
Although the enforcement of these rules can be hit or miss, it’s best to respect local laws. A booze-free hour or two never hurt anyone, right?
27. Is weed legal in Thailand?
In late 2022, Thailand legalized the green herb, and you can find cafes and dispensaries virtually anywhere around the country. Anyone over 20 may purchase it and consume it at home, but smoking in public is not allowed.
28. How are the medical services in Thailand?
As an expat living in Thailand for many years, I needed to use the medical services, and they are superb!
The quality of Private hospitals (like Bangkok Hospital – a chain found everywhere around the country) is amazing – sometimes even better than what’s available at home in the US.
Here are some more details:
- Firstly, expect to pay a modest amount – showing travel insurance could be an exception, and you will pay nothing.
- Private hospitals will offer A-grade care at a heftier price than public ones, but it’s worth it.
- I recommend you keep the contact of your insurance company handy; you might need it to keep the costs in check.
- Medical tourism? Oh, it’s huge in Thailand. For procedures, especially dental, you are in for a treat.
29. What are the things NOT to do in Thailand?
We all have a long bucket list of things to do in Thailand, but here is a short one of things NOT to do:
- Take off your shoes when visiting temples or people’s home
- Wear modest clothes on temple grounds and cover up your shoulders
- Do Not disrespect the Buddha (goofy pictures, loud noises, and touching are considered inappropriate near the Buddha statues)
- Do Not touch the Buddhist monks (no shaking hands or hugs with the monks)
- Do Not make fun of the Thai King (this is a serious no-no, with penalties as heavy as jail time)
- Do Not drink and drive, especially on a motorbike (you will end up in jail or worse)
- It’s okay to bargain with street vendors but maintain a respectful demeanor (remember they make about $300 per month)
- Do Not overstay your visa (you can extend it at any immigration office). Overstaying will get you fined and banned.
Stay safe, respect local norms, and enjoy every moment!
30. Are there any scams I should be aware of when traveling to Thailand?
Oh boy, traveling in Thailand is a blast and generally very safe, but beware! There’s always the chance of being scammed if you’re not alert.
- One common scam is the “friendly local”. They might try to dissuade you from visiting the place you’re heading to, claiming it’s closed or you’re not dressed appropriately. They then offer to guide you to a different destination – at a price, of course. Avoid this by just blissfully ignoring them and going to your intended location.
- Watch out for tuk-tuk or cab drivers who refuse to put on the meter. Always agree on a fare before hopping into one. But my insider tip is to get the Grab app – it’s the Uber of Southeast Asia and way more trustworthy.
- Beware the pickpockets! Especially in busy areas. Keep your flashy stuff tucked away and hold your belongings tight! No one wants a vacation defined by lost valuables.
- Do Not leave your passport anywhere. If a rental agency, scooter rental, or any other person asks to hold your passport as collateral, politely decline and offer cash instead.
- Be careful when renting any vehicles (cars, scooters, or jetskies). Take pictures or a video of any existing damage so they will not pin it on you later on.
Remember, awareness is your best travel partner in this beautiful country.
Language and Local Customs in Thailand
31. What language do they speak in Thailand?
The official language in Thailand is Thai. One fact that may surprise you is that you’ll find English spoken widely, especially in popular tourist destinations like Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai.
It’s easy to navigate your way around these bustling cities because most signs are in English, too.
However, don’t worry if you plan on venturing off the beaten track. Thai people are incredibly helpful; using Google Translate and learning a few basic Thai words can go a long way.
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32. What are some common phrases used in Thailand?
Traveling to Thailand can be an enriching experience, especially when you immerse yourself in the local culture!
Learning a few basic Thai phrases will not only help you navigate more easily but also open doors to warm interactions with the locals.
- Thai people use different endings depending on their gender. Males end scenes with “Khrup”, and girls with “Kaa”
- Say “Hello” with a warm “Sawadee khrup/kaa.”
- Express gratitude by saying “khop khun khrup/kaa”, meaning “Thank you.”
- Affirm something with a “Yes” or “Chai khrup/kaa.”
- Politely disagree with “No” or “Mai khrup/kaa.”
- Enquire about prices with “How much?” or “nee tao rai?”
These phrases aren’t just about communication; they are a respectful nod toward the local Thai culture. Explore, engage, and enjoy Thailand in its true essence!
33. Is there a dress code for visiting Temples in Thailand?
Temples are holy places, and yes, you are expected to dress accordingly when visiting.
- The first rule: ladies show no shoulders, cleavage, or knees – shun those shorts, tanks, and skimpy tops.
- Ditch the leggings or skinny jeans; they’re a big no-no! Instead, bring out those super comfy Pilazzo’s or loose pants.
- Toss the tattered jeans or ripped clothes. Wear modest pants and shirts.
- And hey, leave your sweats and athleisure for the workout sessions!
- Remember, temples are sacred spaces, so kick off those shoes before stepping in.
Here’s a tip – bring a stylish scarf or a shawl. It’s great for covering up and looking stylish.
If you want to visit the most Amazing Temples, head to Chiang Rai.
34. What local customs should I be aware of in Thailand?
Traveling to Thailand? Get immersed in the local traditions for a Thai experience like no other. Let me share some customs you need to be aware of as a visitor in Thailand:
- Respect is key, my friends. Always be courteous to locals and fellow travelers, and don’t dare raise your voice in public. The Thais value serenity over a commotion.
- Respect extends to clothing, too; despite the warm weather, scanty clothing is a no-no. For temple visits, cover your shoulders and get ready to take off your shoes.
- The Thai Wai is a must-know in Thailand. It’s a prayer-like greeting with a bow. The deeper the bow, the more respect you’re showing.
- Ask Before Photographing People. We all take lots of pictures on vacation, and if you want some locals in your shot, be respectful and ask.
- Respect the King. Thailand is still a kingdom, and making fun of the King is considered rude and can get you in trouble.
Experience Thailand like a local, being attentive to these customs and more. It’s an enchanting adventure, I promise you!
35. What are some cultural NO NO'S I should know in Thailand?
When you’re packing to explore the Land of Smiles – Thailand – it’s not just about what you put in your suitcase, but also about learning a few local customs to avoid embarrassing ‘faux pas’.
Here are quick pointers you must keep in mind:
- Thai people greet each other with a “Wai”, which is like a prayer. If some will “Wai” to you, be sure to “wai” back.
- Heads are valued; feet are not! Don’t touch people’s heads, and don’t point your feet at anyone, especially toward images of the Buddha or the King.
- Have huge respect for the Royal Family. Criticizing them can mean serious prison time.
- Stand for the National Anthem. The National Anthem is played a lot in Thailand; you must stand and be quiet until it ends.
- Monks and women do not make contact; ensure to keep a respectful distance when in public.
Remember, Thailand is a blast if you respect its customs!
Food and Drinks
36. How is the local food in Thailand?
As a major foodie and subject matter expert, I can’t help but be thrilled about Thailand’s exhilarating street food.
The aromatic flavors, the intricate mix of spicy, sweet, sour, and bitter tastes, and the variety of textures from crunchy to creamy all contribute to a truly unique culinary experience.
Thai food is renowned for its fresh ingredients, so get ready for robust flavors in every bite!
Must-try dishes include:
- Pad Thai, a popular noodle dish bursting with flavors from shrimp, chicken, and bean sprouts stir-fried in a delectable sauce.
- Pad Krapow Moo, a spirited stir-fry with pork or chicken, basil, garlic, and chilies.
- Som Tum, a vigorous shredded papaya salad tossed in a tangy vinaigrette with a generous sprinkle of peanuts.
- Tom Yum, a quintessential Thai soup with a tantalizing spicy and sour broth packed with shrimp, mushrooms, and traditional Thai herbs.
- Kao Niew Ma Muang, a heavenly dessert of sweet mango with a sticky coconut rice that’s a joy to devour.
37. Do they have seafood in Thailand?
As a seafood lover, I can confidently say that Thailand is a paradise for seafood! With an impressive coastline and networks of rivers and canals, seafood here is not just abundant but incredibly fresh.
A bucket list dish is definitely Tom Yum Goong, a hot and sour soup brimming with succulent shrimp. Or, try the seafood Pad Thai – imagine stir-fried noodles loaded with various shellfish, it’s absolute perfection!
Frequented local markets offer an authentic buffet of everything from fish to crustaceans.
So satisfy your seafood cravings in Thailand – I promise you won’t be disappointed!
38. Can I take a cooking class in Thailand?
Yes, cooking classes can be easily found in Thailand and are quite delicious.
Imagine soaking in Thailand’s rich culture through a hands-on cooking class! This immersive approach transcends mere tourism, plunging you into the heart of Thai gastronomy.
- Thai cuisine is globally acclaimed, and learning to craft these dishes offers a delectable exploration of their flavors.
- You can select from an abundance of cooking classes, with Cookly serving as an excellent resource akin to Airbnb for these culinary adventures.
- Experience varies with location, each offering a unique twist, from the Thai Island to Northern Thailand.
- Much more than cooking, many classes include market tours for a wholesome cultural experience.
- Brushing against the vibrant street food scene, you’ll uncover jewels of local culinary treats.
Immersing in a Thai cooking class is undeniably an enriching and appetizing journey of culture and taste. You appreciate the artistry that goes into each dish and learn to recreate the culinary delight back home.
39. What are the best places to party in Thailand?
If tropical vibes and wild parties are what you’re after, then Thailand is your go-to. Get ready to let loose and have the time of your life with my insider tips on the top places to party in this Southeast Asian paradise.
- Do the Full-Moon Party at Koh Phangan! With up to 40,000 party-goers, it’s the beach party of a lifetime and a must-have experience for any party animal.
- If jungles amuse you more, there’s a Half-Moon Party as well, often set in a jungle backdrop.
- If you are looking for world-class clubs, there’s the ever-bustling city of Bangkok, where the night is always young.
- And finally, if you just want to chill on a beach, beer in hand, watching fire dancers, head to Koh Tao, a backpackers paradise.
Remember, every Thailand trip is incomplete without a crazy beach or jungle party. Take it from me: these night-outs lead to stories you’ll recount for years.
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Fun Activities and Trips
40. What are the best things to do in Thailand?
As an avid traveler, I can confidently say Thailand offers a multitude of inspiring experiences. Whether you’re a history buff, an adventurous spirit, or a food connoisseur, this charming country has so much in store for you!
- First off, immerse yourself in the impressive history by visiting Bangkok’s Grand Palace or explore Wat Pho, known for its large golden reclining Buddha statue and renowned massage school. It’s striking, unique, and a perfect introduction to Thai culture and history.
- Why not experience local charms at the vibrant markets in Chiang Mai? It’s also a great start-point for jungle treks.
- For nature lovers, Khao Yai National Park should be on your list. It’s serene, visually stunning, and relatively untouched by tourism.
- Join in the massive three-day Songkran water fight to welcome the Thai New Year if you visit in April.
- Don’t forget to unwind at the beautiful tropical islands like Koh Lanta and Koh Samui. Their picturesque white sand beaches and abundant marine life are a sight to behold.
- Lastly, experience the famous Full Moon Party, it’s unlike any other night you’ll spend in Thailand!
Related Article: Best Things To Do in Bangkok.
41. Are there any festivals in Thailand I should be aware of?
Thailand is a culturally vibrant country with numerous festivals that are as exciting as they are diverse.
These events offer an exhilarating way to immerse yourself in Thai culture, and here’s a handy list you wouldn’t want to miss:
- Water Festival (Songkran): Celebrated nationwide from April 13th to 15th, Songkran marks the Thai new year. Evolved from a Buddhist water purification ritual, expect to be soaked in water fights – be ready with your water gun!
- Monkey Festival (Lopburi): Witness the unique co-existence of humans and 3000 wild macaques. The highlight is the monkey banquet – you’ll see them feasting on 4,000 tonnes of fruits and veggies!
- Vegetarian Festival (Phuket): Razorblade ladder climbing and fire-walking steal the show. It might be hard to watch, but that’s what makes it all the more intriguing.
- Chinese New Year: Best experienced in Bangkok’s Chinatown, anticipate dancing dragons, tasty street food, and loud firecrackers.
Remember, each festival involves the local community deeply, so participate respectfully and immerse in the joy and togetherness they bring!
Related Article: Best Things To Do in Phuket.
42. Where are the best beaches in Thailand?
Thailand has so many beautiful beaches it’s hard to choose just a few. Here are my favorite ones:
- Railay Beach (Krabi): Absolutely stunning, with rock formations that seem out of this world. A sealed-off gem, only accessible by boat!
- Nai Harn Beach (Phuket): A classic and popular spot, Phuket offers vibrant nightlife and great services, aside from the serene coastline.
- Long Beach (Koh Lanta): This island is ideal for tranquillity and untouched beauty. Absolute must-visits for some island hopping!
- Chaweng Beach (Koh Samui): A more luxurious experience boasting top-notch resorts and breathtaking views.
- Tonsai Beach (Krabi): One for the adventurers, featuring lush green cliffs and a vibe that’s so laid back, you’ll forget time.
- Sairee Beach (Koh Tao): A haven for backpackers and scuba divers. A unique blend of sociability and marine splendor!
Related Article: The Best Beaches in Thailand.
43. How is the surfing in Thailand?
Surfing in Thailand is an absolute dream, creating memories that last a lifetime! Conquer the waves amidst Thailand’s breathtaking beaches, guaranteed to boost your surf vibes.
- Kata Beach in Phuket, known for its consistent waves, best from May to October.
- Bang Tao Beach, Phuket, serves an awesome surf season from April to October.
- Rayong, a top pick for professionals, with the best surf from June to September.
- Kalim Beach, Phuket offers reliable summer surf from May to November.
Insider tip: Early morning surfing is a favorite amongst die-hard surfers.
44. Where are the best scuba diving sites in Thailand?
If you’re a fan of scuba diving, then Thailand should be at the top of your travel bucket list. Known for diverse marine life, clear waters, and outstanding dive schools, Thailand has some of the best diving sites globally.
- Sail Rock near Koh Tao offers an awe-inspiring underwater experience. It’s an exceptional site for experienced divers looking for an adrenaline-filled dive journey.
- Chumphorn Pinnacle close to Koh Tao is another site that offers a spectacular view of marine life in all its grandeur.
- The Similan Islands are known for their Liveaboard dives, offering an unforgettable deep-sea experience.
- If you’re interested in learning to scuba dive, Koh Phi Phi, Phuket, and Koh Tao are top-tier and affordable destinations to start your underwater journey.
Remember, whether you’re a seasoned diver or an enthusiastic beginner, Thailand’s underwater world guarantees a diving experience like no other.
45. What are the best places for snorkeling in Thailand?
Thailand is an underwater paradise, boasting clear and calm waters perfect for snorkeling. The richness and diversity of marine life in Thailand make it one of the best and most affordable places in the world for snorkeling.
- Check out Koh Tao, a picturesque island renowned as the top scuba diving location but also great for snorkelers. Enjoy exploring its vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life.
- Koh Phi Phi is another excellent choice, known for its crystal clear waters and colourful underwater ecosystem.
- Phuket, the country’s largest island, offers numerous breathtaking snorkeling sites around its shores.
- The Similan Islands are famed for their untouched beauty and diversity of sea creatures.
- Lastly, don’t miss snorkeling in the serene waters of Koh Lanta, it’s an experience that will stay with you forever!
These gems make snorkeling in Thailand an unforgettable aquatic adventure. Dive in and explore the underwater wonders!
Related Article: Best Things to Do in Krabi.
46. Can you go hiking in Thailand?
Yes, you can go hiking pretty much everywhere in Thailand. Imagine gasping at marvelous peaks or trekking amidst the thick jungle trails – that’s hiking in Thailand for you!
Even as a seasoned hiker, the country’s dynamic terrains left me awestruck.
Here are my favorite sports so far:
- Doi Inthanon and Khao Sok are among the 127 national parks that offer fantastic trails.
- For lovers of high altitudes, hiking Doi Mon Jong or Phu Chi Fa is delightful.
- When I lived in Chiang Mai, rolling up to Doi Inthanon or Doi Pui for a weekend camping became a cherished hobby.
- If you’re short on time, Khao Sam Roi Yot, near Bangkok, is a good choice.
Think you’re adventure-ready? Don’t forget hiking shoes, a sturdy backpack, a refillable water bottle, and suncream are musts.
Related Article: Amazing Things to Do in Chiang Mai.
47. What are the best excursions or tours in Thailand?
Are you ready to fall head over heels for Thailand’s thrilling adventures and breathtaking beauty?
Get set to embark on a lifetime experience by diving into the mystical realm of Thailand’s unique excursions.
- The chaotic yet charismatic charm of Bangkok unfurls itself by offering temple explorations, tantalizing Thai food, amazing markets, and a buzzing nightlife!
- Embrace the tranquility of Chiang Mai. Besides its serene temples and street markets, it offers thrilling jungle treks and an unforgettable experience at an elephant sanctuary.
- Don’t miss out on the ethereal Khao Yai National Park, boasting a lush, untouched wildlife paradise, home to wild elephants and a fascinating range of flora.
- Join in the vibrant three-day water fight during Songkran, marking the Thai New Year as a cleansing ritual.
- Go island hopping and discover famous movie locations in Phuket, Phanga Bay, or Koh Phi Phi.
- Lastly, take a thrilling jungle trekking adventure in Northern Thailand and be awestruck by the lush wilderness.
Related Article: Best Places to Visit in Thailand.
48. Where can I see elephants in Thailand?
If you’re as nuts about elephants as I am and you’re planning a visit to Thailand, you’re in for a real treat! However, let’s remember to keep our gentle giants’ best interests at heart, shall we?
Here’s your quick guide to responsibly seeing elephants in Thailand:
- First things first: observe the elephants in their natural environments at Sanctuaries and no riding!
- If you are in Phuket, visit the reputed Phuket Elephant Sanctuary. This place is big on my “to visit” list due to its dedication to rescue and care for elephants.
- If you’re gonna be in Chiang Mai, you absolutely have to check out the Elephant Nature Park. They have a no-riding policy, and you get to bathe and feed the elephants.
- Burm and Emily’s Elephant Sanctuary is another gold star option. Not only does it rescue these magnificent beasts, but it’s also very passionate about spreading awareness against animal cruelty.
Just remember folks: we’re here for a fun yet compassionate experience. Say no to riding and any form of animal abuse.
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49. Which are the best islands to visit in Thailand?
Thailand’s idyllic islands offer an unparalleled experience of azure waters and stunning natural beauty. These gems not only promise breathtaking views but also pack in adventure, culture, and nightlife.
Here is my list:
- Let’s start with Phuket, the party hub famous for vibrant nightlife and water sports. Expert tip: Don’t miss out on the sunsets at Patong Beach!
- Koh Phi Phi is a must-visit for its fascinating underwater life. Tip: Diving here is an absolute must-do!
- Koh Pha Ngan is known for its legendary full moon parties on the beach. Remember to take it easy on the bucket cocktails!
- If you crave serenity, head to Koh Tao, with gorgeous, less crowded beaches. Tip: Great spot for snorkeling!
- Koh Samui is probably Thailand’s most famous island, filled with amazing resorts, beaches, and great food.
- Lastly, there’s Koh Lipe, rightly called the ‘Maldives of Thailand’. Tip: Visit during November-April for the best experience!
So, pack your bags and get island hopping!
Related Article: Best Things to Do in Koh Samui.
50. Do they have nightclubs in Thailand?
Yes, Thailand has many world-famous nightclubs. The country’s nightlife is a legendary fusion of rhythm, dance, and adventure.
From high-spirited beach parties to electrifying discos in Bangkok, it’s an experience to tick off your bucket list!
Here’s a sneak peek into some of the top night spots:
- Bangkok’s raucous hangout, RCA (Royal City Avenue), where night owls swarm to join the fun.
- Illusion Nightclub in Phuket, famous for its happening live DJ sets.
- Famed Full Moon party in Koh Phangan, the paradise of dusk till dawn beach frolics.
Here’s an insider tip – Bangkok’s Chinatown transforms into a spectacular nightlife scene after sundown, mingling traditional vibes with urban chic like nowhere else.
Related article: Best Things to Do in Koh Phangan.
51. What are the best places to party in Thailand?
Craving for a wild tropical party? Thailand’s hotspots are sure to get those dancing feet moving, with unforgettable nights from dusk to dawn!
Here’s the ultimate line-up:
- Bangkok is your must-go for a unique blend of its crazy nightlife and cultural immersion. Plus, it has an amazing Thai food scene!
- Koh Phangan, best known for the infamous Full Moon and Half Moon parties, which is a fantastic jungle fiesta. Backpacker’s heaven!
- Koh Phi Phi is a cause for celebration if you’re after a beach party vibe that’s laid-back yet vibrant.
- Koh Chang’s Lonely Beach perfectly combines a serene setting with an energetic party scene.
Pro tip from my travels: Beach parties in Koh Phangan or Koh Phi Phi will leave you with timeless memories! Don’t forget to get your funny festival outfits ready for these crazy nights.
52. What are some activities to AVOID in Thailand?
As a seasoned Thailand traveler and current resident, I’ve rounded up some must-avoid activities for an optimal, safe, and respectful experience in this beautiful country.
- Always favor train or plane travel over buses due to Thailand’s treacherous roads. They’re statistically the second most dangerous in the world!
- Resist the temptation to hop on a scooter or quad bike after a few drinks, especially if you’re inexperienced. The repercussions aren’t pretty.
- Keep an eagle eye out for pickpockets in tourist areas. Lay low with the bling and secure your belongings.
- Be careful about smoking in public. Buying weed is legal, but smoking it in public is not. Also, vapes are readily available but illegal to own.
- Don’t ride the elephants or support businesses that make them do unnatural activities, like playing soccer, or make them pain.
- Finally, if someone invites you to a Ping Pong show, don’t go! Trust me on this one, I don’t know anyone who liked it. Also, it’s not what you think.
You’ll have the time of your life exploring Thailand by keeping these pointers in mind.
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There you have it folks, my ultimate collection of insider Thailand Travel Tips from my personal adventures in the country over the last fantastic years.
My final nugget of advice? Embrace the unexpected. Thailand has a habit of tossing up delightful surprises around every corner. So, keep your eyes wide and your hearts open, and let this beautiful country show you its magic.
Go ahead, pack those bags, and leave the rest to the Land of Smiles. Here’s to your incredible Thai journey, it’s going to be a trip like no other.
And if there is anything that I missed, please let me know in the comments below!