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Notes for first time visitors to Thailand

Notes for first time visitors to Thailand

Are you travelling to Thailand for the first time from India?

I just completed my first trip to Thailand recently and I have realized a few things about the country in regards to travelling, eating, staying, the people and the culture. I will share some of them below;

  • You are travelling to a foreign country representing India. Show respect towards their culture, the people, and the environment. As I have noticed during my stay, the respect locals have towards Indians is 10/100 and that is only because Indians have historically behaved badly without respect towards Thai culture in every sense for a very long time now.
  • Do not talk to them as if you were talking to a child, Thai locals deal with more foreign nationals who speak English compared to any Indian and they perfectly understand English. Speak to them in a clear and respectable manner, I repeat, DO NOT speak to them like you will speak to a child by iterating each word over and over again. I have noticed in many instances that doing so only makes them laugh, shrug it off and still help us.
  • Try the local food, it is amazing. What is the point of travelling if you are still going to eat the same food you have been eating at home? Not all of their dishes involve weird ingredients or half or semi-cooked food. Eating at a Punjabi restaurant will cost you 5 times when compared to eating like a local. Chicken with rice, Fried Chicken with rice, Chicken livers, Duck with rice and much more are some items that the most orthodox travellers can try. While two of my friends spent about ฿ 1000, I ended up spending ฿ 150-200 and eating much better food than them.
  • If you are more than 2 members and have travelled before. ditch the packages and go ahead and do your bookings yourself. You might end up spending 10%-20% more but the amount of flexibility you will have will give you peace of mind which is invaluable.
  • When you are travelling locally, walk if possible whenever the distance is close. This gives you a chance to take in the local culture and you will spend time observing things you might not.
  • Use Grab IOS App | Android App This is very similar to Uber or Ola in India, only that at the end you will pay cash. When you book, make sure you can see the meter. Sometimes, the cab drivers will cover the meter with a cloth so they can ask you the max amount that the app shows. Pay them the amount that is shown on their meter after the ride is ended.
  • Take a Tuk Tuk if you are travelling in Pattaya along the main road line. In the nights, be wary that these Tuk Tuk drivers could scam you. When I say night, I do not mean 9 or 10 PM, I mean 1 AM or later. Make sure you ask them clearly how much per person and if possible record that conversation on your phone. We ended up opposing such a scam and ended up at the police station where I fought it out of the scam.
  • Corruption in Thailand (Source) is almost on par with India and when you do end up at a station and when the police have to take a side, do remember that they will take the locals side, so try to avoid getting into a situation. If you do, you have to be strong and talk your way out of it.
  • When you book a hotel in Pattaya, search, search and do more research before you make the call. You might find a great property for much less. Trust nothing but Tripadvisor reviews. When you visit the Tripadvisor page of the property, make sure you go through the most recent reviews and also look through the traveller’s photos which are submitted by travellers and will provide the actual situation of the property.
Jeewan