Planning your first trip to Thailand? Here are my tips for a perfect first-time experience.
CHECK YOUR DOCUMENTS AND CREDIT CARDS
US and EU citizens usually don’t need a visa to enter Thailand if staying for less than 30 days. But be sure your passport is valid for at least six months after the beginning of your trip. Another good piece of advice is to inform your bank and the credit-card company of your travel plans (so you aren’t going to have your card blocked out of the blue). Moreover, even if you are healthy and fit, remember to buy travel insurance covering medical emergency expenses plus medical evacuation & repatriation.
DON’T MISS A THAI MASSAGE
The traditional Thai massage is a unique massage you must have while in Thailand. You’ll be wearing cotton pants and a blouse and your masseuse will stretch you, massage you using her feet, elbows, knees, and hands. Sound like torture? Believe me: it’s not! And once your massage is over, you’ll feel like a new person. Oh, also, a 60 minutes massage in Bangkok can cost you less than $10.
PACK PLENTY OF MOSQUITO REPELLENT
Mosquitoes are active 24/7 in Thailand! Don’t forget to pack spray-on repellent with at least 40% DEET like this one: use it both during the day and especially at night. Diseases like Dengue are still common in all Southeast Asia and you definitely don’t want to experience something also known as the “breakbone fever”.
DRINK BOTTLED WATER
Drinking tap water in most of Asia is never a good idea. If you don’t want to spend your time in the restroom instead of touring the country, I strongly suggest you use bottled water even when brushing your teeth. By the way, diseases like typhoid and hepatitis A can also be contracted through contaminated water in Thailand, so I wouldn’t risk it.
A great – and also safe – alternative to bottled water is fresh coconut: you can buy it for a few Bahts basically on every corner in Thailand and they’ll open it in front of you.
CHOOSE YOUR STREET FOOD WISELY
Thailand can be relatively safe in terms of street food if compared with other Southeast Asia countries. However, be aware that not all of the Land of Smiles vendors are concerned with cleanliness and that one, little mistake like trying that mango sticky rice displayed on the street can ruin your vacation. Also, remember to always wash your hands with soap or use a hand sanitizer before eating.-TIPS FOR A PERFECT FIRST TIME IN THAILAND
NEVER, EVER TALK ABOUT THE MONARCHY
Insulting the monarch is criminalized by the Thai Criminal Code. It is illegal to defame, insult, criticize, or threaten the king, queen, heir-apparent, heir-presumptive, or regent. So be very careful with what you do and say.
BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL WHEN CROSSING STREETS
Especially in Bangkok, or any other big city, crossing a street can be very dangerous. Don’t expect cars to stop to let you pass so try to follow locals and be fast.
The most common scams in Thailand are usually the “Gem Scam” with strangers approaching you and convincing you about this great deal you can’t refuse. Or the “It’s closed today” scam when you’re entering a Wat and someone tells you it’s closed but they do know a nice one open and you find yourself looking at gems or other products instead of visiting temples and monuments.
TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES
While entering a Temple, or a local home or some small shops, you’ll see plenty of shoes “parked” outside: that means you have to take off yours too. This is something very important for Thai people and a matter of respect. TIPS FOR A PERFECT FIRST TIME IN THAILAND
Is Thailand on your bucket list?
Comment below if you have more questions!
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⚖️ Lawyer turned into Explorer ✈️ Luxury Travel & Content Creator 📧 firstname.lastname@example.org