10 Thailand Travel Tips You Wish You’d Known

10 Thailand Travel Tips You Wish You’d Known

The past year I’ve travelled 2 months in Thailand, from North to South and it was amazing. However, there were somethings that I wish I’d known before going to Thailand. To prepare you for your trip I’ve written down these Thailand travel tips.

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10 Thailand Travel Tips You Wish You'd Known

Drone papers 

Drones are really awesome to make some cool travel photos and videos. But in Thailand you need license to fly with your drone. You can bring your drone into the country without a problem, but you need the license to legally fly it. If you don’t have a license and the police catch you, you could go to a Thai prison for 3 years! That won’t be the best ending of your trip… So, let’s prevent that by getting a license. It takes only 10 minutes and it is free of cost. Go to a NBTC office, (which are in all the bigger cities like Chiang Mai and Bangkok) and bring the following:

  1. Photos of your drone and remote (show all the serial numbers)
  2. Copy of your passport
  3. The receipt of your drone
  4. And proof of your drone insurance

Best Drone Out There ➳ DJI Mavic 2 Pro

The moment you walk in, you ask for a drone license. You are then asked to fill out some forms. After that you’ll immediately get your license. Make sure to take a photo of it, so you always have it with you. The license comes with a set of regulations you must follow, so read them carefully. After this you are allowed to fly your drone till your heart desires. 

Read More ➳ Awesome Minimalistic Travel Photography Gear For The Best Photos And Videos

Credit cards and cash

In Thailand it is often requested to pay by cash. Therefore, it is very practical to have a large wallet as you are likely to carry a relatively big stack of money. You can get your cash at an ATM or an exchange counter. I would definitely recommend an ATM over exchange counters, as you are charged for exchanging your money. This is an unnecessary cost.

If you travel to Thailand one of the biggest tips is to bring a credit card. At all ATMs you are always able to get cash with a credit card, but not always with debit cards. Even though the ATM says it accepts debit card, and your debit card is set for international transactions, the machines sometimes do not accept them. In stores where you can pay by card the same “problem” arises. 

Grab

If you want to get a taxi, make sure to download the Grab App. It is really handy, you do not have to have awkward conversations with the driver where to go, or how much the ride will cost. In the app you set the pickup point and the drop-off point, the app will then calculate how much the ride will cost based on the distance. If you are satisfied, the app will send a driver to the pickup point, who will arrive within minutes. This app is so practical and will save you a lot of money, as in the cities the taxis in the streets will refuse to put their meters on and charge a large amount of only a short distance drive. 

Renting a motorbike

One of the most convenient and fun ways to get around in Thailand is by motorbike. But what most people don’t know is that you need an international driver license to be able to drive legally in this country. Also, there are many organisations that try to scam tourists when they rent a motorbike. 

Read all about what you need to rent a motorbike and how you prevent to be scammed here.

Toilets

For those people with bad knees, you might not be jumping up and down for most toilets in Thailand, since many of them are squad toilets. Also, in most bathrooms there is no toilet paper available. Instead people will use water to clean themselves. I would recommend to always have a pack of tissues in your bag, as the hose that is meant to wash yourself with might not always look as attractive. 

Also, if you do use toilet paper, do not throw it in the toilet itself. But through it in a trash bin. The sewer system is made out of thin pipes, that clog easily. You do not want to stand on your squad toilet, flush it and cause a flood of grossness, do you? Iehh nope. 

Group Tours VS Private Boat

Paradise! Empty white beaches and crystal blue water. Oeff that does sound good. Well, I can tell you it sounds way too good. Because group tours are not paradise, they are the opposite. I don’t want to be a party pooper, but I want to prepare you and give a realistic view on the situation (and give you a better alternative), since so many companies offer group tours and that makes it really temping to go with them. As we were also tempted… But here is the tea. 

From Krabi we booked a tour to Hong island. The tour that was promised to us said we could do some great snorkelling and we would visit some magical beaches. But this trip was not at all what they claimed it to be. Watch the 2 minute video to see what I mean.

To summarise this, if you like a nice and empty beach and a place where you can really enjoy where you have travelled so far for. Do not go with a tour boat. There are way too many people (and this was during the low season!)

Instead I recommend renting a private boat for half a day or a full day. ? A private long-tail boat costs about 1800 bath for half a day (this is about 50 euros). With a private boat you are able to go to places that are just as beautiful as the main stakes, but less crowded. You can go when you want to, because they are relative flexible. And you can ask the captain to visit the places you want to go to. A much more relaxed and fulfilling experiences.  

Low Season Discounts

It is normal that during the low season hotels and flights are cheaper. But in Thailand this goes a little further. When we were in Krabi the high season period came to an end and the low season officially started. One day everything was fully priced and the next day in many stores, restaurants, tour operators and hotels there hang a sign with “discount”. In many cases the organisations gave up to 50 percent discount. So, if you have the chance to be flexible with your Thailand travel time, go in the low season as it will save you a good amount of money, especially on Booking.com (Awesome budget tips)

Sunscreen and UV-shirt

As we all know, sun protection is very important, however most people might take it lightly. The radiation from the sun in Thailand is extremely high. So, make sure you bring enough sunscreen with SPF 50, a sunhat and a UV-shirt for when you go snorkelling. 

My favourite uv shirts are definitely from Rip Curl As they have fun prints and designs, so you look cool and are protected.

We had a 3-day snorkelling tour around the Surin islands and everybody on the boat was sunburned after 1 hour in the water. So, don’t become a tomato for the rest of your trip and use sunscreen every time you go somewhere, before and after swimming and avoid the sun between 12 and 3 pm. 

The King

The country is ruled by a long line of kings. You will see the king portrayed in taxi cabs, restaurants and many other places. Disrespecting the King or defacing images of the monarchy are strictly forbidden. Therefore, when you travel in Thailand this topic is best avoided (, as some discussion could be interpreted in the wrong manner. The offence of the king or the monarchy can lead to a long prison sentence of more than 15 years. And trust me, you don’t want to go to a Thai prison.

Feet

In Thailand the feet are considered the least sacred part, or the dirtiest part of the human body. It is considered very rude to point or touch anything with your feet. So, keep your feet on the floor and to yourself. Also, in restaurants and shops it is often normal to take off your shoes at the entrance. 

Pro Tip ➳ Don’t forget your flip-flops because you can easily take them on and off when you are wandering around. Check out this Backpack Packing List so you won’t forget anything.

Great Private Health Clinics

If you ever might be in need of medical care, you don’t have to worry. The medical clinics in Thailand are very well arranged and easily accessible. Especially the private clinics are amazing. Just go to one of these clinics and you’ll be helped straight away. The only thing you need to do after your visit, is to send your bill to your health insurance and tadaaa, you are ready to continue your Thailand adventure.

Enjoy Thailand! 

Now you are all prepared for Thailand, pack your bag and have fun! I loved how diverse the landscape is and the people and food are incredible. ? I hope you will love it as much as I did! 

You don’t know where to go yet or do you want more Thailand travel tips? Check out the Complete 3 Week Thailand Itinerary 

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Hi! My name is Iris, a travel obsessed Dutchie. Freckles on the Beach is all about chasing experiences & inspiring other to travel too. So let’s chase those experiences together!

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