I could write about how wonderful Thailand is, what I’ve seen there, about all the sights in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Khao Lak. I’m not going to do that though, since I think that the world does not need another travel diary thing. Instead I want to give you a little traveling advice and humor you with one or two fun stories.
So here are a couple of things, that one should consider before traveling to Thailand.
Local customs and habits
Thailand is a beautiful country full of very nice people. As in many south-eastern Asian cultures, Buddhism is the prevalent religion. So, you’ll find signs about Buddha not being a decoration item on every corner. Of course, if you really think that a little Buddha figurine is what you need to make your life perfect, go ahead and buy it. Nobody will flock you for it, but keep in mind what Buddha means to a lot of people all around the world and consider those feelings when choosing souvenirs.
Rumor has it, that there are countries, where people actually love and respect their leaders. Thailand is of them. Recently their King has passed away and many Thai people are very sad about it. Not that I am an expert in foreign politics, but he seemed like a good person that has done a lot for his country and the Thai people consider him to be the Nation’s father. So until autumn 2017 the country will be mourning him. I was visiting Thailand right after the Kings death and decided to wear a black ribbon out of respect for the Thai people. They appreciate the gesture and some of them told me stories about their personal feelings and grief.
Of course, nobody will force you to wear a black ribbon (although you can get them at any corner for free) and if you happen to wear black or white it is absolutely not necessary, since both are considered “mourning colors”. Never the less show some respect, by leaving the sequin party dress in the closet, if you choose to leave the privacy of your hotel room.
We all know that life without Google maps can be difficult. Especially if you are traveling to a country for the first time. But no need to fear, since Thailand is full of Seven-Elevens where you can get a travellers sim card for your phone. You can even do it at any bigger airport. There are stands with people that can help you with that. You can get an internet-only card or a combined thingy with which you’ll be able to use your phone normally. All of that is also a very cheap affair, since the sim card will likely cost you less than 10 Dollars/Euro/British Pounds. 4G works quite well in the Jungle as well by the way.
Travel meds for Thailand
Yeah, this one’s kinda really important. Take diarrhea and constipation meds and really hope for the best. I had a very unpleasant morning at some point during my time in Thailand, because after all, our Western bowels need to get used to the food. Now, we all know, that in my opinion, ginger tea is the solution to errthaang, so get a nice big pot of ginger tea every day, it’ll keep the doctor away. Beforehand you should go see your doctor and check your current vaccination status. A Hep-A vaccination is highly recommended, but if for some reason you can’t get one, just keep in mind to only drink bottled and sealed water and refrain from eating fish and crabmeat and seafood in general. Happy pooping, everybody!
The Thai language is a very friendly sounding tonal language and I strongly suggest to put the emphasis on the tonal. Thai people appreciate it, if one makes the effort to learn a couple of words and expressions, two of them are particularly important:
Sawasdee is how you say Hello/Good morning/good evening, any sort of greeting really, in Thai. Female speakers, who aim to be polite say Sawasdee khá, male speakers say Sawasdee krab. The important thing to remember here is that the expression depends on the speaker and not on the person that is being addressed.
Same goes for Khap khun khá/krab, which means thank you in Thai. You can get by quite well with these two sentences only, but I’d categorize them as mandatory to master.
I mean, aren’t we super happy, when tourists in our country smile at us and say thank you in our language? See…
One word: Elepants. Pants with elephant prints are a must-buy, when you’re in Thailand. So even if you think that they’re tacky and corny, get a pair or two at the local market and be happy that you have something light to wear, that’ll cover up your sweaty behind. Because you will sweat… a lot. It’s super hot in Thailand and the humidity in the air is around 362634%. So, with this info in mind, you should be able to rule out long, tight jeans, the super cute but long-sleeved crop top thing and the Lurex designer dress, that you wanted to take with you (to pay tribute to the fashion gods). Trust me, they’ll laugh at you!
What you should bring: