Last updated on February 24th, 2024 at 03:49 am
We will write about Thailand travel tips and all the cool facts about Thailand and things to know before visiting Thailand for first timers. This post will be your go-to guide to get to know more of Thailand and what awaits you from amazing nature, beaches, great people to delicious food to try in Thailand.
Thailand Travel Tips And Things To Know Before Visiting Thailand For First Timers
1. IS IT SAFE THAILAND?
Is it safe travel to Thailand? Yeah you should know that Thailand is one of the safest countries in the world. If you travel Thailand, safety won’t be a problem. You can feel safe everywhere, literally. Make sure that you keep your valuables with you in crowded places and watch out scams like renting a motorbike in Thailand.
2. EASY VISA IN THAILAND
Easy Visa in Thailand. You can get 30 days Visa if you come by plane and will be only needing your passport with 6 months before the expiration date. Check out if your country is eligible for free visa in Thailand!
3. CASH AND ATM IN THAILAND
Cash is the king in Thailand but they also accept credit cards. There are ATMs almost everywhere and they charge S5 USD fee commission every time you withdraw money. You can also exchange money everywhere and the rate is around $1 USD= 31 THB.
4. BEST TIME TO GO TO THAILAND
The best season to go to Thailand is during winter from December to January. It is not very warm and it´s also not rainy. It’s the perfect season to travel in Thailand so you will be able to explore the country without any hassle with the weather. The rainy season is from July to October.
5. HEALTH TRAVEL INSURANCE
Things to know before visiting Thailand we recommend always bringing travel insurance when traveling abroad just in case you have any problems. You can always have food Poisson, fever or any other kind of disease.
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FACTS ABOUT THAILAND
6. THAILAND IS SO CHEAP
If you have been traveling around Southeast Asia Vietnam and the Philippines are so cheap and Thailand has similar affordable prices. Especially for accommodation where is easy to find a room for less than $20 USD, alcohol is so expensive and prices for food and transportation are so affordable. Keep reading below!
ACCOMMODATION BUDGET TRAVEL IN THAILAND
You can find a room in Thailand from $10-20 USD if you are on a budget. The accommodation is always fine and they usually provide a towel and internet. You can stay in a mid budget hotel for as low as $40-60 USD. There are so many to choose from depending on what type and how luxurious you want your stay to be starting from $100 USD.
FOOD BUDGET TRAVEL IN THAILAND
If you go to local places prices start from $2-3 USD for a meal in a local restaurant, but it could be even cheaper as street food in Thailand. You can spend one whole day with $10-15 USD for food, juices and a few bottles of beer.
You can get a noodle soup, pad thai (noodles with chicken for example), rice with chicken for $2-3 USD. Thai food is really affordable and delicious. Click here to know our favorite street food dishes around Southeast Asia.
ENTRANCE FEES IN THAILAND
There are entrance fees in Thailand for small amount of money. In Bangkok and Chiang Mai, there are entrance fees for temples like Wat Pho and King Palace around $10-15 USD. In the rest of the country, there is also some small fees in the beaches and waterfalls. A few temples will cost you for free or as cheap as $1 USD. You can find island hoping tours starting from $20-25 USD and it will include lunch and snorkeling. It lasts around 4-5 hours.
7. WI-FI AND INTERNET CONNECTION IN THAILAND
Internet in Thailand works really fast and you will not have any problem since the speed is amazing if you are working online. You can access free WiFi at hostels and hotels and there are lots of restaurant that are offering free WiFi.
We advise that you get a sim card in Thailand if you need to catch up with some work online.
You can find the cheapest Thai eSim with Nomad Thailand eSim for $5 USD with 1 GB data valid for 7 days. For $10 USD with 2 GB data, For $13 USD with 3 GB data and for $15 USD with 5 GB data valid for 30 days.
If you need more data you can go for $9 USD with unlimited data valid for 8 days. And for $20 USD with unlimited data valid for 15 days with Airalo Thailand eSim prepaid (USING DISCOUNT CODE GAMINTRAVELER 10%).
Holafly Thailand eSim for less than $65 USD if you use our code GAMINTRAVELER you will have unlimited internet for 30 days in Thailand for just $2 USD per day.
8. ADAPTER IN THAILAND
In our Thailand travel tips you should know they use the United kingdom adapter. A few places make it possible to fit your American and European adapter in the plug because they provide adapters. If you are coming from American and European countries, we recommend you to bring an adapter to be able to charge everywhere.
9. LOCAL TRANSPORTATION IN THAILAND
Local transportation in Thailand is not expensive. For long distance transportation in Thailand a bus from Bangkok plus ferry to the islands can cost around $20-25 USD. Train ticket is even cheaper if you are traveling to the northern part of the country around $10-15 USD.
If you get a local bus to move around Bangkok will cost you less than half of dollar. For faster way to move around cities you can order a taxi or Uber and prices will be around $3-5 USD. A tuk tuk can cost around $2-3 USD for short distances but you will have to bargain since they always rise the prices to foreigners.
10. HITCHHIKING IN THAILAND
We traveled hitchhiking in Thailand coming from Malaysia. Yes, it was easy and possible. Why? Because hitchhiking is super easy in Thailand. The roads are really good and people are so friendly to drive you. Except North Thailand on the way to Laos where there was little traffic and it was hard to get a ride. Waiting time to get a ride was less than 10 minutes!
If you have never tried hitchhiking before, check out the step by step hitchhiking guide here.
11. THAILAND PEOPLE ARE SO FRIENDLY
Thailand people are very friendly, they are smiling and willing to talk to you. Try to talk to a local every time, even when there is a language barrier. The best way to meet locals: staying in a guest house with a Thai family. Also get local transportation like bus or try hitchhiking where you will always meet new Thai friends.
12. THAILAND BORDER CROSSING
Easy border crossing in Thailand. The borders are opened with all the countries. There are borders with Malaysia, Cambodia the busiest, Myanmar and Laos. I have been in all of them and it was an easy border crossing always you have visa free or in Arrival like Laos and Cambodia.
13. THAI PEOPLE SPEAK ENGLISH
Thai people speak English that’s right but don’t expect all of them. A few people will be able to communicate in English in tourist areas. But in not so touristic areas English isn’t well spoken in Thailand.
14. LEARNING THAI
You can learn Thai while traveling around. Thai language is difficult to learn but if you can know a few basic words to communicate with them, I mean the essentials. Learning Thai will be useful for local markets to ask how much is it? Thanks and hello, Thai people will be happy if you do this effort.
15. BIDET SHOWER
One thing that I love in Thailand is Bidet shower: The sprinkler. Since I started traveling in Asia. I was wondering, why don’t we had a sprinkler in Western countries? It’s cleaner and you don’t need to waste toilet paper. You will see the bidet shower in most of the local places.
16. BETEL NUT
Betel Nut is raw, wrapped in a leaf mixed with calcium hydroxide. They can include more spices as cardamon to get extra flavor. You need to chew and it tastes bitter turning your teeth red. The effect of betel is stimulant. That’s why usually drivers are eating around Thailand and Southeast Asia. You can see how bad is eating betel to get a new experience.
17. MUAY THAI
Thailand people go crazy with Muay Thai, a combat sport. Muay Thai is the most popular sport in Thailand. If you are fit and you want to try it, Thailand is a perfect place to do it! If you’re not interested in doing it yourself you can go and watch how they fight. In Bangkok and Chiang Mai are so popular the stadiums with Muay Thai.
18. SEPAK TAKRAW NATIONAL SPORT
Sepak Takraw similar to volleyball is so popular in Thailand and neighbor countries in Southeast Asia. They can’t use their hand to touch the ball. They are only allowed to pass the ball with their knees, feet, head and their body, everything except their hands. Things to know before visiting Thailand you will see people playing Sepak Takraw in the streets. Try to join them to learn!
19. WATCH OUT RENTING A MOTORBIKE!
Be very careful when renting a motorbike in Thailand beaches. They will take your passport. When you are returning the motorbike, they will ask your for money. They will tell you that you crashed the motorbike and that it needs some other small repairs. They will charge you a lot, more than what you would’ve paid if you had it fixed somewhere else.
In Thailand know that you need your passport. So, be careful. Ask in advance for someone who has already rented a motorbike in that place. You can try checking with other backpackers if they had any problems with the company so you can avoid these kinds of problems.
20. THAILAND IS A BUDDHIST COUNTRY
Thai people are 95% Buddhist and you can see and feel the religion everywhere. People love to offer food and prayers to the Buddhas. We really like Buddhism and we feel very comfortable in Thailand. Enjoy the visit to the temples in Thailand and make sure you dress properly to respect them.
21. VISITING TEMPLES IN THAILAND
There are many temples to visit around Thailand. We managed to visit the most hidden and most peaceful ones. We learned a lot of new things about Buddhism that we didn’t know before. You will have to take off your shoes and covering your knees and shoulders as a general rule. Don’t touch the monks or taking a picture without asking for permission. If you ask politely and with a smile I’m sure they will be happy to take it.
22. DRESS PROPERLY IN THAILAND
Dress properly in Thailand covering your shoulders and if you can wear pants covering your knees too. Thai people are very religious and it’s a symbol of respect. Follow what locals do in the temples, offerings and they will be happy that you are respecting them.
23. DON’T RIDE THE ELEPHANTS
Don’t ride the elephants in Thailand. Riding elephants is one of the most touristic of the things to do in Thailand. But elephants suffer so much with this activity and we totally recommend you not to do it! We have to say that luckily every time is less popular riding elephants in Thailand and hopefully finishing soon this activity.
24. ELEPHANT SANCTUARY
Elephants sanctuary are very popular in Thailand. We can see organizations that are exerting efforts to provide a supporting home for these elephants. Although some parts of Thailand tourism still promote these elephant rides, without nice practices on taking care of these animals, we are happy to find one good shelter where you can spend some time with them, playing and bathing them.
We learned many interesting things about elephants, their weight, how much do they eat. We also had the opportunity to feed them. The elephant ate a couple of big watermelons in less than a minute. We guess that it was just an appetizer for him.
25. LUXURY EXPERIENCE IN THAILAND
There are a few luxury places for staying in Thailand for not so expensive price. The picture above is Akyra Manor in Chiang Mai. We enjoyed all the comfort and luxury of the hotel. Having our own bathtub in the room with a view. Luxury places will allow you to enjoy resting and treating yourself!
NIGHTLIFE IN THAILAND
26. SKY BARS IN BANGKOK
Skybars in Bangkok for sunset and nighttime. Bangkok has a lot of rooftop bars is one of the best ways to get away from the ever-bustled streets is to look high up and find relaxation while you are having a drink.
27. HANG OUT IN KHAO SAN ROAD
If you hang out in Khao San Road, you can find everything. From shopping stores to restaurants and bars. Khao San Road is alive 24 hours a day! Much like New York, Khao San Road never sleeps. You can also party at night time since is full of bars and people. Prices for food and drinking are affordable and also for accommodation if you stay around Khao San Road.
28. COFFEE SHOPS IN THAILAND
You can go for coffee shops in Thailand. Since is popular for Digital Nomads Chiang Mai and Bangkok. You will find great internet and food for affordable prices. Unicorn coffee was our favorite in Bangkok but we loved also in Chiang Mai coffee shops to catch up with work while enjoying great coffee and Thai food.
29. FULL MOON PARTY
Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan are celebrated every month. Full moon parties here involve crazy parties in the beach, alcohol, drugs, music and hundreds of people around. Make sure you book your accommodation in advance since it can be crowded Koh Phangan.
30. Buy At 7-Eleven In Thailand
7-Eleven in Thailand is so useful. You can buy almost everything and 24 hours non stop. From food, snacks, alcohol to your Thai sim card to connect to internet. You will find many of them around the country from cities to islands in Thailand. Prices are affordable and so convenient.
31. Drug Laws in Thailand
Be careful with Thailand drug laws since is so strict about them. For a small amount you can get a crazy ticket and who knows if you don’t go to prison. Make sure you avoid them and watch out!
32. NIGHT MARKETS IN THAILAND
The night markets in Thailand are our favorite place to walk around when the weather isn’t so hot! For us our favorite night markets are in Chiang Mai and Bangkok having dinner, great conversations and going out for a beer. We loved having noodle soup for dinner and adding spices to our food! Read here our full travel guide to visit Chiang Mai!
33. POOL PARTY IN BANGKOK
The Pool Party takes part once per month.at So Sofitel but you can find other hotels offering pool parties in Bangkok. We loved taking pictures by the pool area with the nice view of Lumphini Park. Food, drinks and great music is the perfect plan to spend your day with hot weather in Bangkok. We really enjoyed dancing in that scenery. Full of mostly foreigners and a few locals, the pool party was so much fun!
34. THAI MASSAGE
Thailand massages are so popular around he world. And why not have a relaxing time while the weather is so hot during the day? We tried a few massages with oil, hard ones and not so hard. We can recommend our experience 100%. and your body got super relaxed for the rest of the day.
FACTS ABOUT THAILAND FOOD
Thai cuisine is really tasty and my favorite in the world. Food prices are affordable and there are a lot of local night markets for you to visit. You can find exotic fruits, delicious noodle soups, Pad Thai and spicy dishes all of them mixed with rice.
35. PAD THAI
Pad Thai is the most popular dish of Thailand. It’s a mix of big white noodles, fried with shrimp, chicken or pork, cooked with roasted peanuts. Obviously you can order a vegetarian Pad Thai. Prices are around $2 USD in local restaurants.
36. NOODLE SOUP
There are many places for Noodle soup in Thailand and prices are affordable. You can get a noodle soup for 50-60 THB which is only $2 USD. You can add meatballs, chicken, beef or pork. You can keep as a vegetarian dish if you order without meat. Love the flavor of noodle soup in Thailand.
37. THAI BREAKFAST
Thai breakfast staying with a local family could be like this on the weekend. Mixed of sandwich, sweet and salty flavors like in the pictures and it’s served with tea or coffee.
38. TOM YUM
Local people loves Tom Yam! This soup is spicy with seafood and we liked eating with rice so we can handle better the spicy ha! Prices are around 60-80 THB in local restaurants.
39. Larb Meat
Larb meat salad is one of the most popular dishes to try in Thailand. Larb meat salad is cooked with pork, chicken, beef and fish. The Larb meat is mixed with vegetables and it can be little spicy. Prices are around $2-3 USD in local restaurants and you can also find in countries around like Laos.
40. Papaya Salad
Papaya salad is one of the most popular dishes to try in Thailand. Papaya salad is served with hot chili, sour lime, tomatoes, papaya and its very, very tasty. Facts about Thailand is definitely a must-try!
41. Massaman Curry
Massaman Curry is a fusion of Thai and Indian cuisine. Massaman Curry is made of yellow curry mixed with coconut sauce in the broth. You can add chicken, peanuts, add vegetables, species like coriander, cinnamon and nutmeg.
42. Mango Sticky Rice
Mango Sticky Rice is our favorite dessert in Thailand. As you can see in the picture, you have the mangoes with sweet, sticky rice with coconut sauce on the side. Price is around 80-90 THB.
You must try Durian in Thailand. Durian is the most popular fruit which is smelly and tasty. Be careful when you eat with your hands. Your fingers will smell Durian-ish for a while. Some people don’t like the taste, but I loved it! You can find durian in most of the countries in Southeast Asia. Prices are around $3-4 USD per kilo.
44. CHANG BEER
Going for a beer in Thailand is a must. The most popular beers are Chang, Singha and Leo which is my favorite one. For a bottle of beer more than half of liter prices are around $2 USD.
45. SONGKRAN FESTIVAL
In mid-April 13-15th, the entire nation of Thailand celebrates the Songkran Festival, an event that honors the Buddhist New Year. Songkran Festival is one of the most popular in the country. A water festival that’s basically three days of water fights with all the street parties. Thailand holds a celebration where buckets, water balloons and water guns are a must.
46. LANTERN FESTIVAL (YI PENG)
If you’re traveling to Thailand in November you can attend Yi Peng, the lantern festival held by the banks of the River. Paper lanterns are released into the sky and creates a beautiful sight. There are also parades and religious ceremonies during this celebration
More Thailand Travel Tips And Things To Know Before Visiting Thailand For First Timers
PLACES TO VISIT IN THAILAND
Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and probably your first destination. Bangkok is great for shopping, visiting temples like Wat Pho and Royal Palace. You can also enjoy bars and restaurants in Bangkok before connecting with the North or the South of Thailand for the beaches.
48. CHIANG MAI
Chiang Mai is known for Digital Nomad hub and it’s so beautiful place to go around. There are multiple activities like trekking and rafting outside the city. If you want to explore Chiang Mai there are many temples and restaurants to go around.
49. CHIANG RAI
Chiang Rai is a unique place to visit in Thailand. In Chiang Rai you can visit the White Temple built in 1997. Chiang Rai is located in the North 6 hours far from Chiang Mai and close to the border with Laos. The entrance fee for the White Temple is 50 THB and the opening hours from 6 30 am to 6 pm.
50. KOH CHANG
Koh Chang is also known as the Elephant Island. Koh Chang is Thailand’s third largest island after Phuket and Samui. Koh Chang is one of the closest islands to visit near Bangkok where you can visit waterfalls, rivers and beaches. Koh Chang is a quiet island compared to Koh Phangan, Koh Tao and Koh Samui. Read here our Koh Chang travel guide!
51. KOH PHANGAN
Koh Phangan is popular because of the Full Moon Parties in Thailand happening once per month in the main tourist beach, Haad Rin. The best way to explore the beaches is renting a motorbike and going around during the day and enjoying nightlife too since most of the tourists are coming to Koh Phangan for partying.
52. PHI PHI ISLANDS
Phi Phi Islands are located in Phuket being one of the most touristic places in Thailand. If you love clear, blue waters, white sands and great rock formations. Phi Phi Islands reminds me to Palawan in the Philippines where you can enjoy an amazing island hopping too. Most of these tours include a speed boat ride, food, admission fees and snorkeling equipment.
53. KO LIPE
Ko Lipe is white sand beaches as well and aquamarine waters. Ko Lipe is a great diving spot for tourists in Thailand because of the amazing corals. There are a lot of restaurants and bars in Ko Lipe so nightlife here is vibrant. There is an entrance fee in the National Park 200 THB which is around $7 USD.
Phuket is one of the most visited places in Thailand. There are popular beaches like Patong Beach, Kata Beach, Karon Beach, and Kamala Beach. You can rent a motorbike and explore beaches around Phuket during the day, in the evening you can go for street food and party at night.
55. AO NANG
Ao Nang Beach is a lovely swimming spot with astounding and colorful limestone of Phra Nang Island. We enjoyed our time in Ao Nang with the sunset and island hopping around Ton Sai, Railey Beach and Phra Nang Beach. Read here how to get from Krabi airport to Ao Nang!
56. KOH TAO
Koh Tao is one of the most popular destinations in Thailand especially if you like beaches with white sand, clear blue waters and great underwater views. Koh Tao is one of the most affordable places for scuba diving in the world and perfect place to do your open water course for diving. You can do island hopping during the day and in the evening enjoying the nightlife in Koh Tao.
Ayutthaya is located just 2 hours far from Bangkok by train. Ayutthaya has a lot of temples at Ayutthaya World Heritage Historical Park. Our favorite one is The Wat Mahathat in the picture above. The entrance fee is 50 THB ($1.5). You can go around by bicycle or motorbike to explore the temples in Ayutthaya.
Read here our favorite things to do in Ayutthaya!
58. Erawan National Park
Erawan National Park is perfect fot hiking, swimming in the falls, taking pictures and even get a foot spa/massage from the fishes. Erawan National Park is very well conserved and they don’t allow visitors to bring food and water. Read here all the things to do in Kanchanaburi and how to get from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi!
Sukhotai is a UNESCO World Heritage City in Thailand you can find various historical sites and temples. Sukhotai is similar to Ayutthaya but it’s more modern. Historical sites in Sukkhotai include Sukhothai Historical Park and Si Satchanalai Historical Park.
60. SAI YOK NATIONAL PARK
Sai Yok National Park is a very nice and quiet place to stay and visit! It was our first experience sleeping in raft houses next to the river. We enjoyed at sunset time in our private raft around the river. We visited the waterfalls at Sai Yok National Park, went up and down around the river while kayaking. Such a peaceful place!
Hope you liked our Thailand travel tips. Let us know if we missed things to know before visiting Thailand and facts about Thailand in the comments below.
About the Author: Ruben, co-founder of Gamintraveler.com since 2014, is a seasoned traveler from Spain who has explored over 100 countries since 2009. Known for his extensive travel adventures across South America, Europe, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and Africa, Ruben combines his passion for adventurous yet sustainable living with his love for cycling, highlighted by his remarkable 5-month bicycle journey from Spain to Norway. He currently resides in Spain, where he continues to share his travel experiences alongside his partner, Rachel, and their son, Han.