Experiences - Asia

Tips for First-time Travellers: Thailand

Where the traditional holds its own alongside the modern, where superstitious practices are juxtaposed with cutting-edge technology, where the West seamlessly blends in with the East – this just a preliminary mélange of sights that meets the eye the minute you step foot on Thai soil. A cornucopia of exotic foods, indigenous bronze ware, fashionable malls and all things big and small, Thailand will leave you breathless from the word go.

thai night market

Photo courtesy of Karl Baron used under the Creative Commons Licence

Tips for First-time Travellers: Thailand

During your first tour of this magical country, you need to be equipped with a survival kit of sorts – one which is an instruction manual carrying tips on how to go about enjoying your stay in Thailand. With the following tips, Thailand will seem more welcoming than it already is.

Before you get on that Thailand-bound flight, make sure you have packed light, because in this tropical country, you do not need jackets or wools. If you intend to visit Thai temples, though, do carry long pants, and something that will cover your shoulders and arms (if you’re a woman). Also with plenty of night markets, you are bound to bring back souvenirs

Life abroad is a challenge, and Thailand is no easy maze to navigate. Right from bargaining for street-side wares to demanding that the tuk-tuk driver use the meter, travellers should make good use of their talking skills here.

A few Thai phrases will not go amiss to ease your stay in Thailand. Since it’s all new to you, do not be shy to make mistakes and laugh it off. There’s so much to get accustomed to and learn fast, the country will make you feel like an infant once more.

Thai food is fun food. Street food is cheap and delicious, and there is no problem with eating from an alleyway. Don’t just stick to Pad Thai. Try the curries, the soups, the duck and the succulent crabs.

Enjoy the feel of waves on your feet on Thailand’s beaches, but make sure the magnificent Ayuthhaya is also on your check list. Chiang Mai is Thailand’s second largest city, but it is quiet and relaxed, with lots of festivals, music, art and rich culture.

If you’re in the mood for a party, visit the island of Koh Phi Phi. But parties in this place tend to get wilder as the night progresses, so if a family vibe is more your speed, you can head to Koh Lanta, which is far more relaxed.

Living in Thailand will be an outlandish experience, but truly rewarding. It is important to bear in mind that although they have a tolerant culture, the Thais are a fairly conservative people. So, while in public, do as the Thais do, dress accordingly, and remember to have a good time.

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