When we think of Thailand as a destination, beyond the amazing food and beaches, a few negative misconceptions crop up.
Thailand is also known for things like full moon parties or sex tourism in certain cities like Phuket or Bangkok. But it would be unfair to judge an entire country based on such stereotypes.
Thailand, in reality, has amazing history, exotic Southeast Asian history as well as a culture that gladly welcomes its visitors from all over the world. It was one of the most welcoming places we ever visited.
Buddhist monasteries, unique wildlife, and beautiful islands can all be found in Thailand. It is also renowned for its enthralling mouthwatering range of cuisine that had us going back for seconds!
In this article, we’ve gathered everything you need to know about Thailand. We’ve based a lot of this off of our own visits, so you’re prepared by travelers with first-hand experience. To learn more, read on!
Thailand is a kingdom located in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos, and Myanmar. The location of Thailand is very unique and it is one of the most desired countries in the world if you are seeking to live abroad.
There are many factors contributing to that as you can enjoy a tropical climate all year long and have access to modern conveniences like low-cost and high-quality healthcare.
You can also easily get familiar with the Thai lifestyle and enjoy a slow-paced life full of adventures, exotic food, and mesmerizing landscapes.
The climate in Thailand is tropical and it receives a stream of warm, humid air from the Indian Ocean, often referred to as the seasonal monsoon winds. In May, during the southwest monsoon, it heavily rains throughout the nation, particularly in the mountainous areas.
April is usually known to be the hottest month as the temperature could easily reach °35C so make sure you put on some sunscreen if you decide to tour Thailand during spring or summer.
Beaches are among the kingdom’s delightful beauty. Thailand has a lot of beaches with approximately 2500 km of coastline and 1430 islands. Make sure you prepare yourself for everything, from cliff diving to encountering exotic animals. Also, don’t forget your SPF to keep your skin safe.
A Thai tropical island located on the eastside of the Surat Thani coastline, Koh Tao attracts tourists from all over the world for its paradise-like beauty. Thousands of people visit the island every year, making it an outstanding destination for divers, explorers, and travelers alike because of its natural beauty both above and below water. This, together with the laid-back environment and way of life, have drawn visitors here for more than 40 years and it has become like the second cozy home.
The island Koh Tao has seen significant development, and thanks to its growing diving sector, it is currently one of the top locations for diving education worldwide, which makes Thailand one of the world’s top locations for divers.
Located in Koh Samui, Mae Nam Beach is among the most stunning beaches on the family and couples’ devoted vacation island. The beach is known for its exceptionally lovely, long stretch of golden sand beach with its many enormous palm trees, blue water, and excellent hotels as well as bungalows.
Fun fact, it wasn’t really a popular destination but recently, it is no longer a secret location, however its ambiance is still incredibly quiet despite how many tourists spend their vacations in it.
Mae nam Beach on Koh Samui will definitely be your favorite beach in Thailand if you are looking to enjoy a relaxing and tranquil time.
Additionally, there are some incredible activities and unique excursion options nearby such as seeing the big Buddha statue, having fun and making friends in beach bars, and also swimming in waterfalls.
Krabi island in Thailand, with its picturesque beaches, especially Phra Nang Beach is another beautiful Thai island. When traveling to Thailand, you should definitely visit the magnificent beach Phra Nang.
The beach has amazing rocks, green forests, monkeys and many more excotic animals, soft sand, and turquoise water that almost looks unreal. There are many fun activities at Phra Nang Beach, including swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and climbing.
The Phra Nang Cave, also known as Princess Cave, contains a highly unique Buddhist fertility temple and is the beach’s major attraction, admired by both locals and tourists.
Theravada Buddhism, the main religion of Thailand, is practiced by more than 95% of the population, and it is important to many facets of Thai culture. Down below, you’ll get to know more about Thailand’s most famous Buddhist temples.
Located in forests of the hills in Na Yung, Wat Pa Phu Kon is a Buddhist temple and one of Thailand’s most religious buildings. When you first enter the temple grounds, the temple’s polite staff will guide you to a parking spot, and as a foreign visitor, you will almost likely receive a warm grin and greeting from the staff that manages the parking lot.
Keep in mind that the staff will check you to make sure you comply with the dress code, which is a little more formal than other temples in the area, before you are allowed to access the main temple grounds. Make sure you respect the culture and cover up (mainly your shoulders and knees).
In beaches and waterfalls, you are allowed to dress however you want, but in temples, it’s essential that you cover up. If you don’t possess your own car or bike, you can order a private taxi from your hotel in order to get to the temple.
Located outside Chiang Rai, the Buddhist temple Wat Rong Khun is among the recognized Thai temples. Wat Rong Khun is a remarkable temple that shines out due to its white exterior and usage of glass fragments in the plaster, which glitter in the sunlight.
The Buddha’s purity is represented by the color white, while his wisdom and the Dhamma, or Buddhist teachings, are represented by the glass. In order to get to the temple, the most useful means of transportation would be a private and air-conditioned taxi, especially during summer.
The trip usually costs around 300 Baht (approximately $9) and it takes around 20 minutes from town. Most hotels in Chiang Rai will be able to provide you with a private cab.
Street food is something very crucial that you need to give a try when you’re in Thailand, especially in Bangkok. Wandering around the markets at night, you can’t help but eat Thai food.
Bangkok Street is full of buyers and humble small business owners advertising their country’s food to people coming from all over the world. You will see carts or even traditionally-built small restaurants selling the most delicious authentic Thai food.
PS: Make sure you don’t eat too much spicy food if you have stomach problems.
Phad Thai, or Pad Thai, is Thailand’s national delicious dish. It consists of fried noodles with eggs, tofu or chicken, greens, and sauces of your choice.
This dish is a must-try when you’re in Thailand. It is a unique dish where you can savor many different flavors altogether in one plate. It is best served warm with iced tea or coconut juice!
Som Tam, or green papaya salad, that combines crunchy and savory flavors that you’ll definitely enjoy. The salad is made of vegetables, green papayas, sour fruits, garlic, lime, and chillies.
Som Tam is a very popular spicy salad in Thailand that is served in both restaurants and street food carts.
Congee is a Thai porridge made of seasoned rice, meat, eggs, and greens. Depending on how you want your congee made, there are many tops to add and remove.
Basically, a typical Congee is served warm and often at breakfast time. Rice is cooked for a while then seasoning (garlic, chillies, sauces) is added. You can also eat it with meatballs or tofu.
You will get to have so much fun in Thailand. However, there are some things to consider in order to not spoil your trip. Make sure you know more about the places you’ll be visiting and secure everything in advance. That way, you can act smart if something wrong happens.
Being in an entirely new nation, you should respect the place and its people. The best thing you can do is to know enough about the culture, its precepts, and what not to do in Thailand.
For instance, make sure you know the proper way to greet to show respect to Thai people to leave a great impression.
The Thai greeting gesture is called “Sawadee Ka” among women, and “Sawadee Krup” among men. It is quite similar to the Hindu “Namaste”, in which you place your palms together. It means “hello” and you usually do it with a cheerful grin. Such a gesture shows extreme respect and gratitude to the people hosting you.
Also, make sure you don’t talk badly about the royal family and avoid getting involved in sticky subjects, after all you’re in Thailand to discover the place and have fun.
Keep in mind that your values are not universal and you should respect the place even if it looks different to you.
Scamming in Thailand is quite common, especially in Bangkok. Scammers usually target tourists so the smartest thing you could do is learn enough about the Thai currency and the average prices for food, touristic activities, and especially transportation. Don’t make mistakes that will cost you heftly and make the trip a more expensive than the preferred one.
Beware of Tuk Tuk scams and make sure you calculate your distance beforehand. Also, make sure you keep your passport, ID card, cash, and cards in a safe place, preferably in your very own anti-theft purse or bag.
Weather in Thailand can get quite chilly especially during spring and summer time. You will need a sunscreen with minimum SPF 30 as you will definitely get to swim in Thailand’s beautiful beaches so you need to protect your skin.
However, keep in mind that not all sunscreens are allowed in Thailand. This is a crucial point. The usage of sunscreens containing oxybenzone, octinoxate, 4MBC, and butylparaben is prohibited due to the fact that these chemicals harm coral every year.
Make sure you check your sunscreen beforehand or you can get fined up to 100.000 Baht (almost $3000).
Thailand is one of the most beautiful Asian countries. Its unique culture, exotic cuisine, vaste green landscapes, gorgeous temples, and kind people are the main reasons why you should consider traveling to Thailand, especially during spring or summer.
There are many places to discover, many activities to engage in, and many new friends to meet and have fun with. Make sure you read more about the country, Thailand, in order to learn more about its history and laws so that you have a flawless vacation.