Heading to Thailand for the first time and looking for some insider views about traveling in the country? Read on! Here are our brief reflections on daily life situations we have experienced during our fifteen months traveling in Thailand.
Always make sure you travel with travel insurance! Be adventurous, but not careless. Check out some of the most reliable insurance companies out there: True Traveller if you’re European and World Nomads if you’re from elsewhere.
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Traveling to Thailand? Get our Complete Guide to Thailand Independently
1. Fewer mosquitos than expected
Hold on, “fewer” means there are still some, but so far, citronella incense sticks and natural repellent have helped to keep bugs attacks under control.
2. Mind your head
If you are taller than 1.65 cm (5′ 5″), then take this warning seriously. Particularly while walking on the streets among the sunshades or roofs of the stalls and shops. Also, watch out for wooden sticks peeking out from the bottom of carton posters hanging on the street light poles.
Join one of the local tours in Thailand:
- Chiang Mai: Ethical Elephant Observation Nature Park Visit
- Bangkok: Full-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Walking Tour
- Erawan Waterfall & Kanchanaburi Highlights Tour From Bangkok
- Bangkok: Half-Day Thai Cooking Class with Market Tour
- Sukhothai: Historical Park & Countryside Cycling Tour
3. Honking transport is harmless
When you walk on the street and you hear from behind a car, a motorbike or a tuk-tuk honking vigorously, do not panic and jump away from the spot where you are. Here in Thailand, a sound of honk means “hey, mate, I can give a paid ride!” rather than “move out of the way, dude!” as we might be used to from western culture. Of course, if you are crossing the road at a red light and there are cars around, you had better run to save your life.
4. Ice is safe
Despite many warnings we found online or in guidebooks, to have a fruit shake or juice with ice is absolutely fine, with no side effects for your stomach.
Read more articles about Thailand:
- Bangkok Tips: How to Survive Your First Time In the Capital of Thailand
- Where to stay in Bangkok: the Ultimate Guide
- Adventures in Pai
- Things to Do in Chiang Mai: Your Ultimate List of Awesome Experiences
- Best Massages in Chiang Mai: Where to Get Yourself Pampered
- Fruits of Thailand: Healthy and Delicious Food You Must Try
5. Burning mouth
An expression like “a bit spicy” does not exist here. When ordering your food, do not ask for “just a bit of chili”. Your “little bit” is far away from their “little bit”. To keep your mouth safe, it is better to ask “no spice, please”. Then you might use your favourite amount of chili from the jar that is always available.
6. Thai trees are multi-functional
Here the trees serve not just to grow fruits, sustain a bird nest or to provide oxygen, but also as a holder for fans, neon lamps or an electrical socket! No kidding. Thais use trees in all possible ways, no matter if that tree is dry and rotten. The important thing is if it can hold the weight of a piece of plastic or metal.
Want to be fully prepared before traveling to Thailand? Check out our comprehensive guide THAILAND INDEPENDENTLY.
7. Sugar, sugar, sugar
Thai people use sugar basically everywhere: in soups, in meat dishes, in rice dishes, in smoothies, juices, too. On the other hand, be ready to find salt in typically sweet things like ice cream and some cakes.
8. Street food can be tedious
If selected mindfully, you can enjoy an amazing mixture of new textures, flavours and tastes. On the other hand, if eating only street food, it becomes quite repetitive after some time.
What goes around, comes around. 99% of Thai people smile back when you smile at them. 1% of non-smiling people are, strangely, the majority of Buddhist monks and some random people.
10. Less busier, more cheap
While doing fruits and veggies shopping at the street markets, it is always better to walk around before buying. It’s guaranteed that on a small side street next to the busier market you find cheaper stuff of the same quality, sometimes even less than half of the price of goods on the “main” street of the market.
11. Edible decoration
What we grow and care about in our vegetable gardens and fields in Europe, here they use as a decoration. We are talking about zucchini plants, which grow everywhere and produce beautiful yellow flowers to admire.
12. We are all humans
Oh, yes, we are, so do not forget to close your open mouth after you see a Buddhist monk smoking or eating chips here.
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