Are you giving many thoughts on travelling to Thailand? Brush up your knowledge about the country and its cities before you set for this thrilling journey!
Did you know that the mangoes of Thailand are the best, or they have 4 meals in a day, or touching someone on head in the country is offensive, or the biggest Chinatown is located here? Thailand is the happiest country with beautiful landscapes, magnificent shrines and lip-smacking cuisine. The locals are friendly and greet you with smiles. We have heard so much about this ‘Land of Smiles’ and to make the trip even more enticing, here is the insider guide-
- The validity of the Thailand visa ranges from 3 months to 6 months
When your purpose to visit Thailand is leisure and entertainment and not any business, apply for the tourist visa. The Thailand visa can be extended when necessary. Overstaying can get you fined. With proper documents, a valid passport holder can register for a visa and receive it within days. For catching all the picturesque views, partying in pools and staying at 5-star hotels, contact an agent on the Visa on arrival who will make things easier.
- Visit from December to April
It is not scorching heat in Thailand; the islands face breeze and oceans are a respite. And this tropical climate is one factor to get onto the board to Thailand. Rains can be sudden and relishing in dry and winter season. the official rainy season is from July till the end of October, and after a plentiful shower, the tourists are awestruck by the scenes. But whoever needs the best of all - the views, the memories and the Instagram pictures, travel in between December and April.
- Abide by the local rules and customs
- There are simple and simpler things that can help you be accepted by the new Thai friends.
- Firstly, the Thai bow which is named as Wai is really appreciated all around. You bring both the palms closer keeping the fingers straight just like during the prayer and bow slightly. Use Thai phrases like ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Remove your shoes before entering temples and most houses as keeping your shoes on are considered rude. Do not touch anyone's head as it is the most sacred part of the body and do not point feet towards anyone.
- Respect the Royal Family
When you enter the country, you would soon realise that there is utmost regard to the King and his legacy. There are photos of the King everywhere and all you have to do is not mock or harm these in any way. Many people consider the highest and reverend monarch as the father figure and thus, no negative comments would be tolerated. There is National anthem played twice at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily in public places through radio or TV and to be well received by the locals, stand still during the song as they do.
- Thorough research on animal tourism
Elephant trekking, playing with orang-utans or visiting the tiger temple, Thailand is flourishing with options to explore the exotic animals. Moreover, getting up close and personal with these unique species is one of the top things in itineraries. But many travellers are not known to the truth behind the wall, as the animals are mistreated and neglected. So, before you find all this fascinating and are really craving to see elephants, do your homework on whether you are going to an ethical place or not.
- Dining in here is a new picture
The question that often pops up when you sit to eat is, “ What are you having’, which is replaced here with, “What are we having”. That means in Thailand the food that you order, is first to be agreed by everyone, and second, when served on the table, it is shared. That means no regret and more options to savour. It is like a mini buffet with your and other favourites lined up. To be polite, always eat with the spoon and not the fork. The fork could be used as a dining accessory that pushes the food on the spoon. Also, Thai people are fast-paced and thus they would expect you to order as you sit on the table.
- Dress appropriately in temples
With over 40,000 temples and wats dotting the landscape of Thailand, even when they are not in your itinerary, you may stumble upon any beautiful temple and later decide to explore it. It is safer that you carry a light jacket to cover up. Because these religious places demand clothes that cover the shoulder and knees.
- Street dogs are common
Also called as soi dogs, the streets in cities of Thailand has many stray dogs roaming and lying around. To be precise, there are 300,000 of them and, few are found to have lesions, fleas, and rashes. The locals take care by providing them with food and water at times. If you run into any of them, you can help whenever you can, but also stay responsible and vigilant.
- Standing in lines is not a thing
Too tired to stay on your feet? Well, Thailand has a unique way to be in the queue or wait for something. Rather than people standing, they line up their shoes in their places and sit along. There are several off-beat Thai ways of doing things and since you are not at home, you need to lose up, be a part of the crowd, avoid arguments, and get used to the lack of personal space.
- Don’t rush for cheap deals
It might be attractive to see cheaper prices and loads of services but you must know that Thailand doesn’t come very expensive. Unlike the USA and Singapore that boasts the exorbitant range for everything, this country is manageable on your budget. So, better be focussing on the quality of service than ruining it with unfriendly and unreliable deals. Perhaps, you would be spending less if you could manage the holiday yourself with advance preparations.
- Do not rely on taxi driver’s words
Often when you will ask the drivers to take you to particular sightseeing, they would claim it to be shut/ closed on the day and would recommend a new destination. Do not fall in such traps as these locations could be far off and the drivers are only intended to earn money on commission. You can skip the taxis, and choose to rent a tuk-tuk or hop on the public transportation as the BTS (Subway) and MRT (Light Rail), which are cheap, convenient, and fast.
- Get a bug spray
This is going to be your best friend for the time you stay in the country. This could even replace the perfume or cologne. There are too many bugs and mosquitoes on a hunt that can bite your feet if you are in flip flops, especially in outdoors. So, invest in bug spray to thwart this team of bitters. A handy tip- carry your own bunch of toilet paper.
- People are happy and relaxed
When you will be in Thailand, the most common phrase that you will hear is "Mai Pen Rai”. It translates to, “Everything is okay, or don’t worry, or don't sweat it, or no problem”. It is also the philosophy of Thai life and representation of Thailand as a whole. There could be traffic for 15 minutes and you will not find any sound of frustration or anger around. The people here are very patient and laid-back. It is socially unacceptable to find Thai people losing their cool. So, if you adopt this lifestyle here, the trip would be more exciting.
- Other things you must be aware of-
- Tap water is not safe to drink.
- Tuk tuk is expensive than taxis.
- There are no such things as traditional Thailand breakfast.
- Those well-dressed, beautiful ladies on the sidewalk could be Ladyboy.
- Be alert of the scams.
- Alcohol is not available in the afternoon.
- Gambling is permitted on certain days.
Pack your bags, absorb these facts, and fly for an adrenaline rush trip to Thailand.