Thailand is a top tourist destination and appreciated for its stunning landscapes, amazing cuisine and warm hospitality. However, before arriving in the country on the Thailand tour packages, it is worth having a little knowledge of what to expect.
Let's take a look at eleven things to know before you go to Thailand:
Plenty of stray dogs
Thailand has plenty of stray dogs roaming the streets - with nearly 300,000 in the capital city of Bangkok alone. Rashes, fleas and lesions are just a few of the things that impact the homeless dogs likely to be seen on your Thailand travel. Even though many of these dogs are neglected, there are many others that receive care from locals who provide food and water.
A must-see activity on many tourists travel itinerary is to see a few of Thailand's exotic animals. Photo ops with monkeys, tiger temples and elephant trekking are some of the activities likely to be encountered on the travels. But in many cases, the animals are neglected and mistreated. So, for the tourists looking to interact or get up close to the elephants, there are many animal-friendly and ethical ways to meet the local wildlife. For instance, if you are looking to take a few photographs of the monkeys, find them in their natural surroundings, such as the beaches in the south of the country, or one of the temples where the monkeys live.
Bargaining in Thailand can be an enjoyable experience, but should only be attempted in places that are appropriate. For instance, the Chatuchak Market in Bangkok is a perfect place to practice the haggling skills on the Thailand travel packages. Also, if walking into a shop with plenty of items with no visible price tag, you may want to try to get a more attractive price to what was originally mentioned. However, if you believe your bartering is no longer friendly or is making a shop or a store holder uncomfortable, it is best to move on.
Pack bug spray
Travelling with a travel-size bug spray is certain to be a practical option when exploring the country on the Thailand family tours. One too many bug bites can easily leave a tourist with unbearable itching and confined to their hotel room.
Tuk-tuks or taxis
The preferred mode of transport is to take a tuk-tuk during the day and a taxi at night. Because of the open nature of the tuk-tuks, they are certain to give the best views, although the ride in a taxi will be far more comfortable. Also, if you go out for the night in a busy city like Bangkok, make sure to make prior arrangements for the taxi to collect you at an agreed time. Otherwise, it may be difficult to find an available taxi with many other tourists looking to get back to their hotel.
Be cautious when travelling
Similar to travelling in other popular tourist destinations it is important to be cautious to avoid the local scams. Often tourists and foreigners are seen as gullible and some of the locals will attempt to rip them off while in their country. For instance, a taxi driver can claim a site or attraction is closed for the day, and suggests a nearby alternative destination. They make this alternative suggestion because they earn a commission for every tourist they take there. So, if in any doubt, simply find a different taxi driver that will take you to your first choice destination.
However, with a little research it is possible to stay safe and avoid getting scammed. Also, it can help to know a few of the most common Thai words and phrases, invest in a map, and know the entrance fees and opening times of the major tourist attractions you intend to visit.
If planning to visit palaces, monasteries, wats, temples or other religious buildings on the travel itinerary make sure to be respectful and cover up. Pack a light jacket or similar items of clothing to cover the elbows and knees. It may be worth travelling with an extra layer of clothing on your travels on non-temple sightseeing days in case you stumble across a stunning temple that you want to explore. Also, when visiting a wat, take a look at other visitors to see if they take their shoes off. If so, you should do the same.
Use public transportation
If staying in Bangkok for a few days, it is well worth using the MRT (Light Rail) and BTS (Subway) because they are fast, convenient and cheap. They make it really easy to get around. Plus, the trains are kept very clean, the token system is simple and efficient and the maps are easy to understand. Buy a daily pass for the most cost-effective travel option.
Also, it can be practical to pick a hotel located close to the MRT and BTS stops, such as the Sukhumvit neighbourhood for ease in getting around.
Stay in top-of-the-line hotel
Staying is a 5-star hotel is a real possibility in this part of SE Asia because they offer a very affordable and luxurious deal. There are plenty of high-end hotels with rooms for $100 per night with many coming with a private infinity pool.
Learn the local language
Learning a few key words or phrases in Thai can be helpful when travelling on the Thailand tours. A respectful and humble manner is certain to make it easier for tourists in a foreign country. However, for those that aren't able to pick up the basic phrases, English is widely spoken in major cities such as Bangkok.
Cheapest time to travel
The cheapest time to travel to Thailand is April when there are far fewer tourists and rates for hotel stays and flights are at their most attractive. But, it is the warmest time of the year with very high humidity and a temperature range in the region of 26° and 35° C. The peak season and best time to visit Thailand is November to February when the cool and dry season is taking place.