Travel Tips for Thailand Travel Advice
555 Means ‘hahaha’ (Laughing)
Because the Thai word for ‘five’ sounds like ‘ha’ it is used on Facebook and texting the same way Westerners use ‘LOL’. So if you see ‘555’ – someone is laughing (ha ha ha).
Since koh, the word for island in Thai, is transliterated into English from Thai script, either spelling works fine. Koh sounds closer to the true pronunciation of ‘goh’ rather than ‘koe’, however, many Westerners prefer the shorter ‘ko’.
Everything you ever wanted to know about taking a night bus in Thailand!
The Sanctuary at Haad Thien, Koh Phangan, is one of the island’s secret little places.
The Queen’s birthday is August 12 and is celebrated as Mother’s Day in Thailand. People wear pink in her honor and celebrations can be enjoyed all over but especially in Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
Getting to Penang, Malaysia, to make a visa run from Thailand.
Koh Tao and islands on the east coast receive less rain than other islands during the monsoon in Thailand (June – Sept). Koh chang is the wettest island, followed by Phuket and islands in Krabi.
Many guesthouses and hotels ask for your passport number when checking in. Either memorize it, or write it someplace handy so that you don’t have to dig through your money belt to find your passport.
Long Beach – known locally as Pra Ae Beach – is the best beach on the island of Koh Lanta. Koh Lanta is large, but many beaches in the south are rocky and impossible to swim during low tide. Long Beach has a pleasant vibe.
The ferry arrives in Mae Haad on Koh Tao. Mae Haad is the busiest port on the island; the beach isn’t as nice. Don’t get talked into a guesthouse there, walk north (left) for 20 minutes to Sairee Beach – a much nicer area of Koh Tao.
The handy Airport Express bus from Bangkok Airport to Khao San Road was permanently terminated in 2011. Read details for getting to Khao San Road…
The Thai national anthem is played every day at 6 p.m. in train stations, public buildings, and other places. Stand up when everyone does and stop moving or speaking to show respect. Just do what everyone else does!
December 5 is the King’s Birthday in Thailand. Most businesses will be closed, alcohol sales stopped, and all of Bangkok will celebrate with candles, fireworks, and gatherings. The King’s Birthday is also Father’s Day in Thailand.
Many of the islands use generators for power, these can create power surges and sags on the line when they are started. Don’t charge your laptop or devices while you are away, you should be there to pull the plug if needed!
Surnames were only introduced in Thailand in the 1920s when everyone had to choose a unique family name. Two people with the same last name have a higher chance of being directly related than typically seen in the West.
Khao San Road in Bangkok sounds like “Cow San Road” — not “Koh San Road.” Koh means “island” in Thai, so this is not correct, despite many backpackers saying in incorrectly. Khao San means “milled rice.”
Many people travel to Thailand without any vaccinations, however, a few basic immunizations are recommended. Read the longer article for Thailand vaccinations to decide for yourself.
Looking for a quick escape from Bangkok’s hectic pace? Ask around about Kanchanaburi. The pleasant little town is about four hours by bus, and sits on the River Kwai. Stay in the Jolly Frog Guesthouse for a nice garden.
Read about the standard choices for transportation in Thailand. Trains, Tuk-Tuks, taxis, trucks…
Please check out the new, current list of Thailand scams for the latest ripoffs to avoid in Thailand.
The public payphones and calling cards in Thailand are crap. Use Skype instead in internet cafes to make cheap calls home from across the internet. Rates are around two cents a minute to call landlines.
Charming bungalows are a great part of staying in the Thai islands, however, not all are created equal. Concrete bungalows have less insects, but they get scorching hot. Choose a wooden bungalow with a mosquito net provided.
Public internet cafes are often infected with viruses. You can get the virus on your iPod, camera SD card, or USB memory stick when you insert it into public computers.
Check your laundry carefully for missing items – articles are regularly lost or swapped between customers. Beware of washing whites that you care about. The new T-shirts people purchase and wash often bleed onto other clothes.
To hitchhike or stop a passing vehicle, point at the ground in front of you rather than putting your thumb up. Drivers will probably just smile and give you a thumbs up in return if you try hitchhiking the Western way!
The word “farang” is used in Thailand to describe foreigners. The word is not normally derogatory, unless used in a negative context. Even Asians who are not Thai can be described as farang.
Plastic bottles are a problem in Thailand. If staying somewhere for a few days, purchase the 5-litre jugs of water and refill your small bottles. Also look for water refill machines; 1 baht gets you 1 litre of water.
A complete travel guide to Koh Lipe – a tiny island on the west coast of Thailand. Everything you need to know about visiting beautiful Koh Lipe…
If Khao San Road isn’t your thing, consider moving to the more upscale Sukhumvit or Silom areas. A taxi from Khao San Road will cost around 100 baht.
Khao San Road in Bangkok is the budget travel backpacker ghetto of the world. Read about how to survive the Khao San Road circus!
Ask for the toilet in Thailand with “hawng nam.” Don’t expect TP or soap. See these pictures of typical toilets in Thailand…
Hostel dorms are rare in Thailand, so enjoy your private room! This is a rundown of what to expect from accommodation in Thailand…
The best time to go to Thailand is during the dry season, before the weather turns too hot. Read about seasons and holidays in Thailand…
The best time to visit Thailand is during the drier season between November and April. See the best time to go to Thailand tip for more information.
Mai pen rai is a famous Thai expression loosely meaning “no worries.” Read about the mai pen rai attitude to adopt in Thailand…