When traveling to a new nation, besides finding the good places to stay, best foods to eat or interesting things to do, tourists also concern very much about how to have a safe and memorable trip without any unexpected situation.
In this article, I will illustrate 7 tips which I consider to be the most important to remember when coming to Thailand, especially for backpackers.
1. Buy a map
No matter you are in Bangkok or Chiang Mai, buy a map to manage your trip in a more effective way. If you come to these cities for the first time, the road system might make you panic as it is quite complicate. Not only Thailand, many other countries in Southeast Asia have similar issue and Western tourists will not be familiar with it.
The internet might not be available all the time for you to use online map. Besides, in a strange city, you should not hold the mobile anytime. The best option is to buy a map, which is much more convenient. Remember to take the latest updated (an up to date )one.
2. Bargain in a friendly way
The first rule when shopping in Thailand is to bargain if the product doesn’t have barcode or price tag on it. By doing this, you could get the price which is lower than what the sellers offer. However, you definitely should not be too aggressive, just be friendly, smile and ask polite questions such as “what is your best price, my friend?” You can offer the price which is 10-40% lower than the original offer, depends on the stuff. Actually, there are many different ways to bargain, but being friendly is always the key to success.
3. Drink as much water as you can
This tip is too obvious, especially in a country which has tropical climate like Thailand. Cities like Bangkok are extremely crowded and hot in summer. Therefore, bringing much water is essential. The bỏ basic rule is to drink more water than what you lost. If you don’t want to carry too much, buy some from one of the countless booths selling water along the streets. Remember to close the lid after drinking. It sounds a bit funny but there is a modern drinking style of Thais people: they put the bottle in a straw bag and carry (it) with them. You can find this convenient bag in many markets.
4. Be aware of the scammer
When someone suddenly approaches you and gives a “warning sign” like “the Grand Palace will close this afternoon”, you should be careful because they could take you to totally strange places. They could be temples, gem shops or any place which might not even appear on your tourism map. Overall, when a Thais suddenly come to you, they probably want more than just a conversation.
5. Always make a plan
Bangkok or Chiang Mai are very famous tourism cities, therefore there are many people in this city. There are several places, which are very crowded with people from different cultures. Hence, before going anywhere, you better carefully prepare a plan and set up a specific schedule. You should know the places you are about to come, where they are, how to travel, what the cost is. Taxi is the most convenient but a bit expensive. You can try ferry, sky train and metro (depend on each places). You should calculate the expenditure in the most effective way.
6. Bring a copy of your passport
When travelling to Thailand, you have to bring your passport because several local authorities, from the police to the security officials. No matter you are old or young, you must have something which indicates who you are. In Thailand, they are extremely serious about this. And to be safer, you should also bring a copy of your passport. You will only use the original version in the compulsory situation. It will be very costly and time consuming if you lose your passport.
7. Bring the hotel business card with direction
It sounds simple but can help you a lot, especially in the case you get lost in the city. You only need to follow the direction, or give the card to the taxi drivers, and all the problems will be gone. You could ask the receptionists for the (hotel) card.
Remember all the important tips above and don’t let any unexpected issue ruin your wonderful trip.