Okay, so you’re sick and tired of living the same mundane life day in and day out, and you want to try something new before you’re too old and past what you consider to be your prime? It’s great that you’ve decided to do something different, but now the biggest problem is deciding what to do.
Travelling is a fantastic way to broaden your horizons and see the world, and if you decide that travel is for you, the next step is deciding on where to visit. You could hit up all of the usual suspects like Spain, Greece, Italy, and France, or you could go further afield. Somewhere like, oh we don’t know, Thailand?
Each year, over 30 million people visit Thailand and have the time of their lives, and you could be next. Before you do head out there, though, there are some things you need to know first.
Here are se7en important things to know before travelling to Thailand.
Avoid all-inclusive accommodation
When you go on holiday to somewhere like Spain, all-inclusive accommodation can be useful because it means that all of your food and drink is included in the price of your stay. This means that you can drink as much watered-down alcohol as you like, and eat deep fried processed food until you feel sick. Okay, that’s a little unfair as plenty of all-inclusive places offer amazing food and drink, but you get the idea of what we’re getting at.
In Thailand, prices are much cheaper than you’re likely used to anyways, so financially, going all-inclusive isn’t very appealing. The problem with going all-inclusive in Thailand is that you will likely miss out on authentic Thai food and drink because you’ll eat and drink so much at your accommodation.
Thai street food tastes absolutely amazing, and it is incredibly cheap to purchase. Do the right thing and pay a bit of attention so that the eatery you chose is sanitary and you should be fine. Seriously, if you’re visiting Thailand, you need to experience it properly, and all-inclusive accommodation will restrict you from doing that.
Eat from your spoon
Over here, you’re probably used to eating your main meals with a knife and fork, and eating soups and desserts with a spoon. However, in Thailand, things are very different. In Thailand, you should eat your meals from your spoon instead.
The Thai people are easily some of the friendliest and most hospitable people on the face of the earth. With that said, eating from your fork instead of your spoon is considered to be bad manners and a little crude and common. You likely won’t offend anybody if you do eat from a fork, but it’s always best to respect other people’s traditions.
When eating a main meal, use your fork to push the food onto your spoon, and enjoy.
Don’t expect to stand in a queue
Normally, when you’re waiting to get into a venue, to speak to somebody, or to purchase an item, you will be required to stand in line in a queue, until it is your time to pay/enter/speak.
In Thailand, though, queuing is not the norm. Instead, what likely will happen is that people will form a large crowd, which you will need to be a part of if you want to pay for your item or enter the venue you need to get into.
Things can get a little crowded, so just bear that in mind, and be prepared to sacrifice a little personal space sometimes.
Thai people are generally fast paced
One of the best things about visiting Thailand is people watching and seeing just how fast paced they really are. The Thai people are very efficient, and they want to get from A to B in the quickest way possible.
This means that you need to plan and prepare in advance. When purchasing items or ordering food, make sure you know exactly what you want before it is your time to order. If it is your turn to order and you are still undecided, you can expect a few disgruntled huffs and puffs from the person taking your order, as well as people stood behind/around you.
Popular tourist traps are often a let down
We’ve all seen the stunning Instagram photos of amazing deserted tropical islands, and hand-carved temples and places of worship in the jungle, encapsulated by complete solitude.
As amazing as these places are, like most things in life, the one thing that lets them down is other people. The secluded tropical coves and islands you see online do look as stunning in person, but the main difference is that unlike on ‘The Gram’ they’re likely to be swarming with tourists and holidaymakers making their own memories.
If you want peace and tranquillity, you might want to do your own exploring, but remember to be safe and not venture too far afield somewhere you aren’t familiar with.
Don’t feed the monkeys
Here, if you want to see monkeys you have to visit a zoo or animal park and see them in enclosures behind bars or glass. In Thailand, you’ll see monkeys in their natural habitat.
For the first time that you see them in the wild, it’ll be a magical experience that you’ll want to tell everybody else about. After a while, though, the novelty will wear off and you’ll see just what a pain in the neck these monkeys really are.
You can guarantee that you’ll see a holidaymaker feeding the monkeys in the wild because they look so hungry, and before long, all hell will break loose. Tourists will be swamped by frantic monkeys, and fights amongst the animals will also break out.
For that reason, you shouldn’t feed them. As well as that, feeding them means that they’ll become less self-sufficient in the wild and they will be more vulnerable. Plus, they’ll associate humans with food. When they will try to snatch your purse, like they did with my girlfriend’s, you will really understand why it’s not a good idea to feed the little bastards.
And yes, I had to fight the feared Bali Monkey Demon to get said pursed back.
Don’t even think of going without bug repellent
As amazing as a trip to Thailand is, it can be literally ruined by insects, especially mosquitoes. If you visit Thailand and are in areas with dense foliage especially, you’ll be mobbed by mosquitoes and other annoying insects that insist on biting you. Shameless!
This is where bug repellent is so useful, so don’t even think of not packing it before your trip.
As you can see, there are some things to get your head around before visiting Thailand, but once you’re there, you’ll wonder why you didn’t book much sooner. Until you get to visit faraway land, stay curious and don’t stop wandering!