Thailand is a very interesting country, mainly for Indians. Many people visit Thailand due to its budget-friendliness. But, with all this, there are certain things you need to know about before visiting Thailand. This article is about 10 things to know before visiting Thailand.
Everyone gets very excited and hyped when traveling to an International Destination, especially if it is our first visit. During all this, we sometimes forget to learn about some very important things you need to know before visiting any country and then regret when we go there.
If you are planning a trip to Thailand, make sure you glance at this before going there.
Let’s get started,
The currency is a very important part of any country. You need to have good knowledge about the currency and the conversion rate of the denomination of whichever country you are about to visit.
The currency of Thailand is the Thai Baht (THB). For 1 THB you get around Rs.2.23 or $0.03.
The denomination available in notes is THB 20, THB 50, THB 100, THB 500, THB 1000. There are no THB 10 notes unlike in India, you will only get coins of THB 10 and below.
2) ATM Fees.
This is a thing which most people don’t know about. People mostly prefer getting their money exchanged before they go to any foreign country. For such people, this won’t be any problem. But, for people like me who do cash withdrawals in a foreign country, this is a piece of very important information.
For every withdrawal, the ATM charges you around THB 225 (Rs.504). Yes, that’s right, you have to pay THB 225 for every ATM withdrawal you make. This might not be an amount for some people, but for budget travelers like me, this is a fairly big amount. In that much money, I could stay in a hostel for one night.
So, keep this thing in mind. Make sure you carry enough cash beforehand if you don’t want to pay these charges while you are in Thailand.
This is a very common thing in Thailand. I am pretty sure many people are already aware of these scams. The most known scams to be seen in Thailand are –
Tuk Tuk/Taxi Scam
Railway Station Scam
Grand Palace Scam
There is a very good possibility that you will land in Bangkok if you are coming to Thailand. Bangkok is a place where the majority of the scams happen. I have a full detailed article on The Top Scams in Bangkok. Give that a look as well.
4) Dress Codes while visiting Temples.
This is a very strict thing to follow in Thailand. Thai temples are very strict and they follow this rule very thoroughly. If you are visiting a temple, then your shoulders and legs should be covered. No shorts and sandos are allowed in any temple in Thailand.
Make sure you dress properly before going to any such places. This rule has also turned into a healthy way of earning money for some people. Many tourists who visit these temples without the knowledge of the dress code have to buy these cloths which you could wrap around your legs and then go inside.
They charge you a lot for just a 15 min rental. If you don’t want to get ripped off then make sure you dress properly before entering any temples.
5) Best time to visit.
Thailand is a very versatile country and if you ask me then there is no ideal time to visit this place. You will find many articles telling you to visit Thailand only during certain months.
If you want insight about the best time, then I’ll break this down in a different way rather just talking about the best months you can visit in.
Check the calendar for festivals.
Songkran – April
Lantern Festival – November
Music and Arts Festival -December
Chinese New Year – Jan or Feb
Candle Festival – July
I would always suggest visiting Thailand during any festival time.
If budget is your top concern then April and May would be the months you need to target. During this time, the hostels and hotel rates are fairly low as compared to the other months.
6) Don’t Disrespect or Talk about the King
The Royal Family is very much respected in each and every part of Thailand. There is a history where they have united many Thai people and every person living in Thailand respect them and The King a lot.
It is considered very rude and you could also be punished if you disrespect The King. Although Thai people are very fun and friendly this is the one thing they are very strict about and don’t listen about them in whatever situation.
7) Famous Destinations are not always great.
I have seen this many time. The most famous places are not that great always. You would listen about the place that it has this and it is that great and one of the most famous places in Thailand but when you reach there it would get you disappointed.
This is not the case with every place but all those places which you will see advertised are not worth visiting. Maybe due to the overcrowding, the place would have been spoiled or it could be any other reason.
8) 80% of the hostels are travel agencies.
Yes, you have to know this. Mostly, every hostel out there has some link up with the travel agencies or are travel agencies. Now, don’t take this the wrong way, it is not that it is a bad thing.
Sometimes, the hostel could hook you up on a very good day trip or also could give you discounts on the trips as compared to all the other travel agencies out there.
Just do the research after you reach your hostel. Ask the hostel first and then ask outside about the same trip. You could get an idea then if your hostel is ripping you off or the other travel agencies.
9) Breakfasts are a little expensive.
Yes, I have observed this in both the central and southern Thailand. The breakfast is very tourist-oriented and a little on the expensive side.
During my visit to Krabi, there was no breakfast included on the first day, so I went out to a nearby café. The price for some pancakes and a fruit juice was around THB 150 and the same café would provide lunch for around THB 120.
So, whenever you book your accommodation then make sure you have breakfast included with your room. There is a chance that it could a very basic breakfast like bread/jam/butter, tea/coffee, and some fruits, but it is far better than nothing.
10) Sim Cards.
The most popular and reliable networks in Thailand are
After researching a lot about sim cards in Thailand, these are the 3 main networks which are very popular in Thailand.
During my past visit Thailand, I have used AIS and True Move sim cards and they both work pretty well in most of the parts.
While I was in Krabi, I used AIS sim and it even worked when I used to go on further islands away from Krabi. While in Bangkok and Pattaya, True Move was my go-to sim and it didn’t disappoint as well.
You can choose any one of them and you will be good to go.
As far the prices are concerned, I bought both sims for around THB 170 and THB 150 with a validity of 7 days.
Here are some extra ones
While you are in Thailand and if you see a Calendar in your hostel or hotel which says it is the year 2562, then don’t freak out.
According to the Thai Calendar the current on-going year 2019 is actually 2562.
Yes, they are my favorite. Nothing is better in Thailand as a 7-Eleven for a budget traveler. They are heaven for those who are on a tight budget. Not just for the budget travelers but for every category of travelers.
The best part about this store is that it is open for 24 hours. One thing I like in particular about 7-Eleven is that if you buy something for THB 10 and you don’t have change and even if you give them THB 1000, they won’t say a word and give you the change of THB 1000. Coming from India, we are not used to this. In India even if we buy something for Rs.300 and give the person Rs.500, he will still ask for change. This is how things work in India.
I have seen this thing in almost every 7-Eleven around the corners wherever I used to live. During my 15 days in Thailand, I must have been to around 30 – 40 different 7-Elevens and not one of them ever asked me for change.
These are the 10 things to know about before visiting Thailand. Hope you liked them.
Do share it if you find them useful.
See you in my next article.
Keep Traveling. Keep Budgeting.