Here are some tips that will make traveling to Thailand a great experience.
1. Transport – Bargain
The prices for Tuk-tuks and taxis can be a bit steep sometimes, so if anyone asks if you’ve been to Thailand before, just say yes. Check in advance the distance between attractions or how much rides from example the airport costs to avoid paying too much. Google maps is your friend! Also, Grab Taxi service, similar to Uber or Lift, is very big there. Depending on your destination you can also catch cheap rides, for example, we found a local offering transport with his truck from one side of the Phuket island to the other for a very good price. Ask the locals for any such transport possibilities. With that in mind, also be respectful of the local culture and don’t try to haggle too aggressively or take advantage of drivers.
2. Rent a scooter
You can get almost anywhere with a scooter. A great way to get around, just be careful driving on the busy Thailand roads. Watch some youtube videos about driving in Thailand. Our take away is Scooters come from everywhere all the time and be one with the crowd when driving.
You will need your driver’s license, passport, to pay in advance and leave a deposit, probably around 3000-5000 baht ($90-$150/80€-130€) with a copy of your passport.
The costs for a day rental are between 120 baht – 250 baht ($3,5-$7/3€-7€). It goes without saying, you should always have travel insurance and check your motorbike before setting off. We recommend that you take some photos of the bike from each angle to show any scratches on the bike that were there before you got on the bike if anything goes wrong. Also, if you only have a driver’s license for personal cars, then you probably have a motorbike license for up to 50cc. Scooter rentals usually don’t care about this and rent you a stronger 125cc bike, for which the police can fine you. So either risk it or get a 50cc motorbike.
3. Eat street food – go local and buy at 7/11
As we said Thailand street food is delicious and cheap. You’ll eat some amazing meals there, but just to be safe buy food from busy streets, with long lines, make sure your food is hot and just use common sense to minimize upsetting your stomach.
You’ll save a lot of money on food, where meals cost from 30 baht – 60 baht ($1-$2/80€-1,60€). Also, 7/11s are at almost every corner in Thailand. Here you’ll get the best prices for snacks, water, and other food.
4. Don’t book any tours ahead
Want to take a cooking class, go trekking in the jungle or dive? We advise you to wait until you get to Thailand to book your adventures. Hotels, travel agencies located all over the tourist areas, offer their tours, that are a lot cheaper than booking online in advance, where you can negotiate the price, especially if you are booking more than one tour.
5. Book in advance Elephant Sanctuary Park
The one thing we recommend you do book ahead is the Elephant Sanctuary Parks. This is the exception to the rule about booking in advance. The experience is amazing, in fact, we wrote a whole article about it here.
6. Cash, limit credit card
Credit cards are not in common use over Thailand, we recommend that you bring some money with you, exchange it at the airport and then withdraw cash from ATMs when you need it. Bear in mind you’ll have to pay provision when withdrawing, around 200 baht ($6/5€). Don’t use a MasterCard or Visa credit card to withdraw money, this will cost you an extra 2% to 5% on your withdrawal amount.
7. Bring a Sarong
If your itinerary includes stops at sanctuaries places such as temples, bring some kind of clothing to cover up your shoulders and knees. Sarong is a great solution and a souvenir. Buy it as soon as you get to Thailand to get the most out of it.
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