Thailand is one of the most beautiful countries on the planet, and there are so many reasons why.
Firstly, it has some of the best beaches you’ll ever lay your eyes on. The hidden coves and warm shallow waters make it the go-to destination for thousands of tourists each month (especially during the summer months), not to mention its rich culture and heritage – the temples really are something else.
If you’re planning a trip to Thailand in the near future (and really, why wouldn’t you be?) then we’ve rounded up four top tips to remember when travelling to this enchanting corner of the world.
Appreciate the locals
The people of Thailand are amazing – and I mean, really amazing.
Thai people are extremely friendly, and will always be happy to help travellers out. Whether that’s offering directions, suggesting new dishes in a restaurant, or giving you advice on which out-of-this-world places to explore next. Don’t be shocked if a stranger tries to start up a conversation with you in the street – join in and try to converse a bit in Thai (why not invest in a language book and learn some on your journey out?) they really do appreciate the effort.
Observe temple etiquette
Now, Thai temples are some of the most stunning pieces of architecture in Asia, but as with many religious buildings, they come with some ground rules.
Remember to always cover up when visiting (especially your elbows and knees) as anything less is considered disrespectful and will result in many disapproving looks, Or worse, you won’t be let in to enjoy the sights. It’s a hot country, but one which also has its fair share of tropical storms and rainfall, so pop a light jacket in your bag for those exploring days and wear it upon entering anywhere religious or sacred. It’s about respect, after all.
But be careful with it. Don’t flash it around, and remember to keep it in a safe place, especially when staying in hostels around very tourist-central spots. Travel insurance is actually mandatory in Thailand, so make sure your provider covers you for lost belongings, too – just in case.
Unless you’re staying in a super swanky hotel or hitting one of the many large malls in the country, lots of businesses in Thailand rely on cash payments, especially local bars, shops and restaurants in the smaller vicinities.
You’ll be able to find ATMs whilst out there, but they can be sparse if you’re heading inland or spending your time island-hopping, so be prepared.
Plus, remember to sharpen up your negotiating skills before you go, too – perfect for the marketplaces!
Take time to relax
Yes, it’s a country packed with many things to see and do, but so many people choose Thailand as their ideal travel destination for one main reason: to relax.
The endless sandy beaches and island resorts make it ideal for swinging in a hammock and doing absolutely nothing, so don’t feel guilty if you spend several days doing this on your trip. Make an itinerary before you go in order to fit in all the must-see attractions and towns, but also keep in mind you’ll likely want a chill day here and there, and why not? You deserve it!