Thailand is a beautiful country located in the Southeast Asia filled with some fantastic beaches, historical sights, Buddhist temples and amazing food. Although I found it to be quite an easy country to travel around, there are some things to know before visiting Thailand. From the visa requirements, temples dress code to the money exchange tips, you’ll find them all in this blog post filled with Thailand travel tips.
Things to know before visiting Thailand
One of the first things to know before your trip is that Thailand is a safe and friendly country to visit. I’ve spent ten days in Bangkok and Phuket, and I felt completely safe during the whole time. There are many signs in English, so you’ll easily find your way around. Locals are friendly and helpful, and they mostly do speak some English, so you don’t need to worry about that.
Tips before your trip to Thailand
However, there are some things to know before visiting Thailand you should take care of a few months before your trip.
1 – Should you get a vaccination?
Some vaccinations are suggested to take when visiting Thailand. I’d definitely advise you to check with your GP or a travel clinic what vaccinations are required to you and decide if you’ll take them.
2 – When to visit Thailand?
The best time to visit Thailand is between November and April, during its dry season. I was in Thailand at the end of December and beginning of January, and the weather was just gorgeous. It was warm with temperatures around 30 – 35 degrees Celsius (86 – 95 Fahrenheit), and we haven’t seen a drop of rain during our whole vacation in Thailand. However, it’s also the busiest time of the year in Thailand, and you can expect some crowds at the popular sights in Bangkok. Although they weren’t that bad when I was there.
Between May and October is when Thailand’s monsoon season is taking place. Prices will definitely be cheaper during that time, but you’ll have some rain throughout the day. In short, April is the hottest, September the wettest and December the coldest month of the year in Thailand.
3 – Check do you need a visa to visit Thailand
Citizens of some countries need to have a visa to enter Thailand. Although, it’s easy to make tourist visa, be sure to require it on time, at least two months before your trip to Thailand. Sixty-four countries don’t need visa to visit Thailand so click on a link here and check if yours is among them.
Things to bring with you to Thailand
You can, of course, buy almost anything in Thailand. But, if you’d like to try and be more sustainable, here are some things to bring with you to Thailand.
4 – Mosquito repellent
Well, at least one animal you can be sure you’ll encounter while in Thailand are mosquitoes. And, not only they could be annoying, but the thing is they are responsible for spreading some diseases. The worst among them definitely being malaria.
However, the thing that will help you avoid the mosquito bites is a repellent. We were spraying ourselves with it, especially in the evenings, and have avoided bites that way. My advice is, buy one at home and bring it with you, so you have it from the moment you land in Thailand.
5 – Clothes
Although there is no official dress code in Thailand like in some Arab countries, there are some things to keep in mind when it comes to dressing in Thailand. When in cities, be sure that your clothes are clean and tidy. You’ll see many Thai men wearing long trousers and closed shoes, although that’s not a rule for the tourists. But, showing respect with your clothes, is definitely something that’s appreciated in Thailand.
The only places where there is a strict dress code are Buddhist temples and the Grand Palace in Bangkok. You should cover your knees and shoulders there. And avoid having any inscriptions or drawings on your t-shirts that could be offensive to anyone. This is how I was dressed in the Grand Palace and some Buddhist temples in Bangkok, just to give you an idea of what’s allowed.
6 – Reusable water bottle
As in the majority of Asia, water is not suitable for drinking in Thailand. And although bottled water is really cheap in Thailand, you’re also going to find many places with free drinkable water. I had my reusable plastic bottle with me all the time and was refilling it whenever we would stumble on some of those places. You can be sure to find it in shopping malls, some food courts and at the airport.
Thailand money tips
After not being able to get any money at the ATM during our trip to India last year, we did our research about the best way to withdraw and exchange money in Thailand. And here are some of the things to know before your trip to Thailand.
7 – Revolut
Make yourself a Revolut card! It’s an international bank card you can use anywhere in the world, and it’s going to automatically make payments in local currency. Meaning, you won’t need to pay expensive exchange rates. We were also withdrawing the money with it on several ATMs in Thailand, and it worked without any problem.
*TIP: Learn more about the Revolut card on a link here.
8 – Where to exchange the money in Thailand
When it comes to exchanging the money in Thailand, I would recommend you to avoid doing it at the airports. The exchange rate was much better at Phuket or in the cities, so my tip is to exchange it there.
The local currency in Thailand is called Thai baht. One and a half euros are around 50 Thai baht, one US dollar is 30 Thai baht, and one British Pound is 40 Thai baht.
Things to know & do while in Thailand
Here are also some tips on the things to do and know while in Thailand.
9 – Download the Grab app
Although the metro in Bangkok is excellent and easy to use, you can’t get everywhere with it. That’s why downloading the Grab app is absolutely a thing to do before your trip to Thailand. Grab is basically a Thai version of Uber, and it works the same way. You can enter your location, where you’d like to go and wait for your driver. You’ll know in advance how much you’re going to pay and you can track the journey in the app. All the drivers we had were great, and it was an easy and safe way to get around, especially in Bangkok.
*TIP: Download your Grab app on a link here.
10 – Visit some of the Bangkok shopping centres
Visiting shopping centres is not something I would usually recommend here, but in Bangkok, it’s definitely a must! They are often beautifully decorated and home to many great shops that are not available in Europe and the USA. My favourite shopping mall in Bangkok was Terminal 21, where each floor represents a different city.
You’ll often find some great food courts in the shopping malls, as well. So, when you need to get out of the noise, humidity and high temperature outside, be sure to visit some of them.
11 – Eat Thai food
And that leads us to the part of Thai culture that shouldn’t be missed in Thailand – food. Street food in Thailand is a part of everyday culture and being so cheap, locals are mostly eating outside, as well. You’ll find so many different Thai foods while there, it could be a bit hard to choose what to try.
My recommendation here is to definitely try some grilled meat, seafood or vegetables. One of my favourite dishes there was papaya salad. But, you can also go with some classics like Pad Thai. Food is quite spicy, so if you’re not a massive fan of that, ask for a milder version.
*TIP: Try Singha beer while in Thailand! It’s a local pale lager beer that complements perfectly all the great food you’ll be eating while in Thailand.
What not to do in Thailand
12 – Don’t visit any elephants parks or tiger shows
Unfortunately, Thailand is still known for animal shows and animal cruelty. You’ll find many tours advertising elephant and tiger shows. However, very often, those animals were mistreated and are kept in horrible conditions. Avoid them completely!
So, these are some of the things to know before visiting Thailand. I hope that by knowing them, your visit to this amazing country will be even better. Would you add anything to this list? Let me know in the comments below!