How to prepare before visiting Thailand
Despite Thailand being one of the world’s most popular destinations for tourists, too many times are people caught out by some common mistakes. As with any other country, there are certain things you need to watch out for – prepare yourself for your upcoming trip by preparing yourself with the knowledge of the following things.
Unfortunately, scams are rife in Thailand. It isn’t a pleasant thing to have to prepare for, but having this knowledge beforehand and therefore being vigilant will make your trip a lot safer and more enjoyable.
These scams come in many different ways, some of which more common than others – avoid taxis when you can, for example. A few drivers try and trick their passengers with a “broken meter”, which effectively allows them to charge extortionate prices for the journey.
Elsewhere, be careful when browsing markets as vendors often hike their prices up for tourists unbeknownst to the tricks. Haggling is necessary in many situations, so don’t hesitate to try your hand at a negotiation.
Perhaps it’s not a surprise, but Thailand is hot. Really hot, in fact. Visit at certain times of the year and you could find it difficult coping with the sheer humidity and rising temperatures – make sure you don’t forget your sunscreen. The cooler season happens between November and April, so if you feel that the heat may be too much for you to handle, a winter/spring getaway could be the one for you. Between July and October, common months for people to travel, the blistering temperatures are accompanied by heavy downpours quite frequently – a summer holiday to Thailand may sound desirable, but tourists are commonly washed out by the rain during this time of the year.
Thailand relies heavily on cultural tradition – there’s a prevalent level of Buddhist spirituality throughout the country, and that’s reflected in the way locals conduct themselves and practice their religions and beliefs.
One thing you can expect to see a lot of is paying respect to the country’s national anthem. Phleng Chat Thai is played twice a day on television and in public spaces, with citizens expected to stop and stand in respect. Thai people truly do respect their country – you’ll realise that almost immediately.
Other things to look out for whilst travelling in Thailand include:
- Taking your shoes off before entering certain buildings. Feet are considered to be the least important and dirtiest part of the body, so don’t tread your bad energy inside.
- Refraining from bad-mouthing the monarchy. Doing so could land you in prison.
- Remaining positive during your trip. Thai people are big on positivity and good energy, rarely displaying any negative emotions and staying chilled and laid-back. Don’t dampen their spirits.
Wearing the right clothing
As previously mentioned, shoes aren’t meant to be worn indoors in many Thai buildings. But the importance of clothing goes a lot further – don’t expect to be able to enter any religious or spiritually relevant buildings in the country if your shoulders and/or legs are exposed.
Be sure to bring clothes that you can cover up in if you expect to be exploring any temples or religious sites. Even something like a shawl will do. Just remember to be respectful of the Buddhist religion here, otherwise locals won’t take to you kindly.
It’s no secret that Thai food is fragrant, diverse and delicious. Just be sure you don’t dive in at the deep end with an extremely spicy or risky dish as soon as you arrive. The ingredients and content of the dishes here could prove to be difficult for your stomach to handle, and being too quick to eat a particularly hot dish could make you ill for a long portion of your trip.
Stay safe and choose something mild when you arrive. Build up a tolerance to the ingredients and spices in the Thai dishes and then you’ll be able to work your way up to something a bit more exciting – like a pad thai, as recommended by 1Cover.
There’s a reason Thailand is so popular with tourists from across the world. The experience you’ll have in the country is incomparable to any other destination – the magic of Thailand’s spirituality, culture and local people make for one of the most unforgettable trips you’ll ever have.
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