As a veteran of 10 years of travel in Thailand and surrounding countries, I’ve come across a lot information you may not know as a first time traveler to Thailand. Ive made many of the same mistakes that many travelers made before me and learned my lessons. Here are some tips and tactics to traveling to Bangkok and Thailand which should help out.
The first suggestion is to determine what type of holiday you’re interested in. If visiting for the first time there certainly is a lot to take in and a lot to adapt to. The phrase used that Thailand is a third world country is completely inaccurate. I would certainly call Thailand a very quickly emerging country with infrastructure probably better than most other countries. They’re train systems, flight transportation systems, bus services are far and above much more organized and much more affordable then in many places in the states and in Europe.
If you’re interested in culture then there are so many historical sites here, from some of the oldest temples in Southeast Asia to prehistoric bones that date far earlier than any other country in the planet near Korat and Kalasin.
Get Off the Beaten Path
If you’re interested in adventure and seeing different sites, Bangkok is certainly a good place to start but there are so many destinations within reach affordably.
Keep an Open Mind
Some suggestions while you’re here is to keep an open mind and adapt to the culture and not try to insist on your own standards. If there’s one piece of advice that’s the first I would offer to make your stay most enjoyable. For the most part people really truly try to make your stay enjoyable here and they smile a lot. This is a general sense of ‘what is, is’ mentality which is a much more accepting way of being and the basis of Buddhism.
Toilet facilities are quite varied here, depending on where you are you could have a luxury electronic toilet like you’ve never seen in such shopping malls as emQuartier to your roadside restroom which will be literally a hole in the ground with a bucket of water. In the latter case I would suggest you adopt the Indian mentality which is eat with your right hand and wash with your left. I highly suggest you carry some handkerchiefs which are much easier to utilize for drying your hands.
Be sure to hydrate with a lot of water. One of the biggest mistakes people make especially in the hot season here is they forget to drink enough water. I recommend drinking a leader in the morning across a few hours, and make sure to drink throughout the day.
Where to Eat in Thailand
Food is plentiful and celebrated as a big part of life here. Flavors are plentiful as Thailand has adopted different foods from India and from the Eastern parts of the country more traditional with a myriad of flavorful dishes. I would suggest using TripAdvisor to find something within budget of your preference. Be cautious with street food, and I would certainly try places where you see a lot of locals eating at. Be sure to smell your food before eating it and then trust your senses. Getting food poisoning from undercooked or bad chicken is common.
Getting Around in Thailand
Travel throughout Thailand is such an easy and adventurous experience compared to other countries. There is the BTS SkyTrain in the general part of Bangkok, the MRT subway system which runs through Bangkok and suburbs, the SRT or state Railway Transit System, which has tentacles that reach to northern eastern and southern Thailand. VIP buses are quite comfortable, Vans can be hired out fairly reasonably for roughly 60 to $70 a day. Taxis are actually not too bad comparative to the states and Europe. Airfare is fairly affordable as well, with various No Frills options luke Nok Air and Thai Smiles.
Exchanging Dollars for Baht
Currency exchange is fairly simple but make sure you have your passport with you as they need to check it. There are some great apps for currency conversion which will help you understand the baht to dollar transfers. A general rule is 30 to 1, or 30 baht to $1.
Is Bangkok Safe?
Most areas are fairly safe in Bangkok but keep in mind that it is a city, and every city has its bad element. If you’re on your first time here, keep it safe but do try to make connections with people, who are usually quite friendly.
It’s a good idea to keep a photocopy of your passport. You could take a photo from your smart phone (both passport and immigration stamp) for safe keeping.
We hope these tips and tactics travel to bangkok and thailand are helpful to your stay. Feel free to message us here if you have any questions or need suggestions