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Best Travel Tips for Thailand

Thailand is one of the easiest, cheapest and most diverse countries to travel around in the world. The Thai people are extremely friendly, helpful and kind and they really appreciate when tourists learn a couple of key phrases; hello – sawadee ka (for females), sawadee krap (for males), thank you – kop pun ka (for females), kop pun krap (for males), the bill - check bin ka (for females), check bin krap (for males). Although English is widely spoken by the locals, it can be very basic and quite broken, so not always the easiest conversation. Therefore, these phrases and learning your numbers 1-10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 and 100 will help you when you are in less touristy and more rural parts; as not all Thai people know English, even if they would like too. The Google translate App is a highly recommended app to have, as you can translate a photo or voice recording as well as text. This can come in handy when looking at menus or trying to ask for directions or help, but remember the translation isn’t perfect.

Image: Beautiful landscape of Railay Beach in Krabi, Thailand

Over the years, Thailand has become one of the most visited countries in the world and there are many ways to get into Thailand. You have planes, private taxis, buses, minivans, trains, tuk-tuks, ferries, speedboats and motorbikes. Grab is another app that you must download – it is Thailand’s (Asia’s) version of Uber, but much cheaper and includes a motorbike option. Grab isn’t available in every town or Province (the Thai version of county or area), so you can always check on the app when you get to a new place. Taxi’s and tuk-tuk’s will try to overcharge you and people don’t always understand the money exchange rate and just agree to that price. When people convert the cost, they will see it is cheaper in comparison to getting a taxi at home but they forget the fact that they are in Asia and costs are much cheaper. Some people are also on their one major holiday for the year and therefore have a higher budget and agree to that price. Most people genuinely do not know what the cost should be or that it is a common custom to barter in Thailand. If you can get away with charging more money, why wouldn’t you? Therefore, if you check the Grab App in each destination you are in you will get an idea of how much a journey costs and can barter with motorbike taxis, tuk-tuks and taxis. Motorbike taxis are the cheapest, followed by tuk-tuk’s and then taxis are the most expensive for local travel.

Image: Tuk-tuks are the Thai Traditional Taxis

When you arrive in Thailand, whether it is by crossing the border by land, or boat or flying into the airport the first thing you need to do is buy a Sim Card. Most English contract Sim Card’s offer what they call great International Deals when travelling, but it is much easier and cheaper to buy a Thai Sim Card. You can get a deal for 1 week, 10 days, 2 weeks or 30 days with most Sim Card options. Choose the best option for you depending on how long you are staying in Thailand, but you want to try and get the deal that has the most GB of data rather than calls or messages. A lot of Sim Card options have a fixed amount of data and then you can use WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram and Line. You don’t need to pay more money for a larger amount of data as nearly everywhere has Wi-Fi and if it doesn’t, you probably won’t have very good signal anyway, as this is mainly in more rural places. AIS, TrueMove and Dtac are the 3 main phone providers in Thailand and the ones recommended. Just remember to take your passport with you when going to the phone shop otherwise you won’t be able to get a Sim Card. Your other option is to get an E-Sim, which in some countries is a better deal than a local Sim Card, but it isn’t cheaper in Thailand unless there is a deal on.

The best places to eat throughout the country are not always the nicest looking or most expensive restaurants that cater towards the tourists, but the small little ‘hole in the wall’ restaurants that have a lot of hustle and bustle from locals. This food is authentic, incredibly cheap, extremely tasty and gives you a real feel for Thailand. The noodle soup is a must-try!

Image: Thai Noodle Soup with Pork Meatballs and Vegetables
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