Thailand Travel Tips and Advice

Top 9 Most Important Safety Tips 2018

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Thailand Travel Tips and Advice

{Top 9 Most Important Safety Tips 2018}


Thailand remains one of the most popular backpacking destinations in the world and for good reason.

Stunning beaches, mouthwatering food, vibrant nightlife, and the overwhelmingly positive atmosphere are just some of the many allures of this beautiful country.


However, like any popular travel destination, Thailand has some key forewarnings that first-time backpackers absolutely need to be aware of for a safe and unforgettable journey.


Here are our 9 Most Important Thailand Travel Tips and Advice for any first-time backpacker.

Don’t Speak Negatively About The King

thailand tips and advice - king

This is an easy Thailand backpacking tip to remember…  Or at least it should be.


Do not say anything bad, disrespectful or in any way negative at all about The Thai King, Queen, Heir or any part of the monarchy.


Simple right?

Unlike other countries in the world, The Thai King is seen as a highly respected and God-like figure throughout the country.

Speaking about him in a negative tone can have dire consequences.

Especially in a country with some of the strictest Lese Majeste Laws in the world.

Therefore, no matter what your opinion is of him or anyone else in the Thai Monarchy, just do yourself a favor and keep it to yourself.

Otherwise, those negative comments might just land you in jail or worse.




Watch Your Drinks

For anyone interested in partying in Thailand, this is one of the most important Thailand travel tips I can offer you.

Although it is very easy to lose yourself amidst the lively and rambunctious nightlife atmosphere of Thailand, the one thing you need to always be conscious of is your drinks.

In case you haven’t seen the Hangover 2, Thailand is no stranger to roofies.


Hence, watch who is serving your drinks as well as what is going in there.


Additionally, aside from potentially being roofied, another common concern is the chance of methanol poisoning.

Methanol Poisoning comes from consuming fake alcohol from bootleg bartenders.

The purpose of the fake alcohol is not to intentionally poison you but is actually used as a method reduce expenses, by helping bars save money on paying for actual liquor.

However, no matter the reason the effects of methanol poisoning can be quite serious and if you think you have been exposed then be sure to get to a hospital as soon as possible. 

If you begin experiencing a severe headache, blurry vision, trembling, difficulty breathing or any other unusual symptoms, don’t assume it’s just a hangover or a cold.

The best way to avoid methanol poisoning is to buy your alcohol from one of the 7/11 marts located on practically every street corner in Thailand.

As well as…

Avoid buying drinks from those sketchy liquor stands where the prices seem too good to be true… even for Thailand standards.

Click Here To Learn More About Methanol Poisoning

Be Mindful Of The Seasons

thailand tips and advice maya bay

When planning a trip to Thailand, don’t just assume the weather is nice all year round because you might find yourself disappointed.

Although it is hot year-round Thailand actually has three very distinctive seasons of hot, cool and monsoon.

Thailand is a tropical country therefore it is pretty much always hot there, however depending on when you visit the rain can really become a nuisance.


Hot Season (Shoulder Season)

March to June

Around this time of year is when the temperatures are the hottest.  There is also a bit more rain than in the high season, however there are many benefits to backpacking Thailand during the shoulder season.

Click Here To Read Our Full Post About Backpacking Thailand In The Shoulder Season


Monsoon Season

June to October

This is when rainfall is at its highest bringing and the seas are the roughest.  Traveling around this time of year is not exactly great for beachgoers as the weather becomes quite unpredictable.


Cool Season (High Season)

October to March

This is the nicest weather out of the three seasons making it the most popular time for a Thailand backpacking trip.

All three seasons offer different advantages for backpackers so be sure to do your research and find which season is best for you.




Watch Out For Scams

thailand tips and advice tuk tuk

Although backpacking Thailand is relatively safe, you need to be mindful of all the scams… and there are a lot of them.

Here are a few crafty ones to watch out for.


Don’t Take Free Tuk Tuk Rides

 

Often times drivers will tell you the ride is free just to get you inside the Tuk Tuk.

However, either once you arrive at your destination or in the middle of the journey the drivers will begin to harass you for payment.

Solution:

Remember nothing is for free!

That goes for Tuk Tuk rides, bracelets even rice to feed the birds.

Once you accept the free anything you can expect to be harassed for payment within a few moments.


Grand Palace Or Some Other Popular Attraction Is Closed

 

This is a scam used to avoid taking you to the popular attraction so they can take you to an alternative attraction.

On the way they will take you to some suit tailor, jewelry store or travel agency and attempt to pressure you into purchasing some overpriced item.

Solution:

Either force them to take you to the Grand Palace or find another driver.


Child Pickpockets

 

This is a very common scam that is run using the cutest and most adorable children.

It often starts with one or two kids who will proceed to approach you begging for money.

However, unbeknownst to most travelers once you proceed to pay them, you will suddenly notice even more kids coming begging for money as well.

Before you know it, you’re completely surrounded being grabbed and touched in every which direction.

Although the kids might appear to be cute and hungry, they are also quite crafty and deceiving.

The biggest mistake you can make in this situation is show them where you keep your wallet/phone or turn your back on them as they will swiftly rob you.

Often times there are so many of them grabbing and touching you that it is impossible to feel the moment they actually get you.

Solution:

The best thing to do in this situation is to not give them any money and proceed to walk past them waving your hands no.  However, at the same time make sure your belongings are in a safe place.

Although these are just a few scams you may see during your Thailand backpacking journey, there are a lot more and the most important thing is to just be aware of them.

Beware The Monkeys

thailand tips and advice monkeys

The most common species of monkey in Thailand is called the Macaque.

These cute but dangerous monkeys are heavily prevalent throughout Thailand and are favorite among travelers.

Although it is common for backpackers to hold and take adorable photos with these little guys, be aware it doesn’t always have a happy ending.

Fairly often travelers are scratched, bitten and or unsuspectingly robbed by these little guys.

Needless to say, if you are bitten or scratched by one of them you will need to head straight to the doctors for a rabies shot.

However, the best way to avoid getting attacked by these guys is to:

  • Be cautious around baby Macaque’s because the mother will be quick to attack if she feels her baby is being threatened.
  • Remove all shiny objects like sunglasses or jewelry that will typically provoke the Macaque’s to potentially attack and rob you.
  • This might seem like an obvious one, but don’t reach out to grab the monkeys! I’ve seen plenty of overly aggressive tourists do this way too often and it almost always results in some type of incident.



Use Mosquito Repellent

thailand tips and advice jungle

A little bug repellent goes a long way in Thailand.

Mosquitos are quite a pain in the ass especially once you reach the south of Thailand.

However, aside from being just a nuisance, mosquitos are the direct cause of the alarming rise of dengue hemorrhagic fever rates in the country.


Dengue Fever, a disease for which there is no antiviral treatment has spiked with 39,268 confirmed cases reported in 2018 so far.


This is undoubtedly one of the most important Thailand travel tips on this list that could legitimately save your life.

Bring Two Forms Of Identification

thailand tips and advice passport

One of the most important Thailand backpacking tips is to remember to bring multiple forms of identification with you.

It is the law when traveling throughout Thailand to have at least one form of identification on you at all times.

Obviously, you won’t want to be walking around with your precious passport everywhere you go so it is best to just use your drivers license instead.

Although it is common for scooter rental places to request your passport as a form of identification, it is much safer to use your drivers license instead.




Don’t Get Caught Doing Drugs

Don’t get it confused: Drugs in Thailand are very very very illegal.

Even though they are widely available throughout the country, getting caught with any type of drug or drug paraphernalia will not end pretty.


In fact the maximum drug penalty in Thailand is punishable by death!


And yes, you did indeed read that correctly.

Although the maximum penalty isn’t commonly applied to westerners, keep in mind that there is always the possibility.

Therefore, one of the most important Thailand travel tips and advice I can offer is to stay away from drugs.

Lady Or Ladyboy?

thailand tips and advice pattaya

One of the major attractions of Thailand is it’s infamous red light districts and “girlie bars.”

Girlie bars are more or less the equivalent of hooker bars where men typically go to hang and have some drinks in the company of some beautiful Thai women.

However, unbeknownst to these now excessively drunken men, a majority of the “Thai women” in those bars aren’t exactly sporting the right equipment if you know what I mean…

For anyone who was not aware, Thailand has a very high transgender population aka “ladyboys”.

In Thailand, ladyboys are not viewed negatively and in some cases are actually glorified for their perfect ladylike features.


However, as first-time travelers to Thailand, it is very easy to be confused by the innocent demeanor and overly feminine qualities of some of the Thai “women” in these bars as often times it is very difficult to discern the difference…


Especially once you’ve had a few drinks.

It’s common for many unsuspecting male tourists to become quite upset once they finally discover that cute little Thai girl they spent the entire night buying drinks for wasn’t exactly born with her new feminine parts.


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