Planning a trip to Thailand? There are always things that we wish we had known before we landed in a strange new country. This isn’t to diminish the importance (or fun) of navigating blind in a new environment, but just some tips and tricks that will help you save time and money, and make the most out of your trip to Thailand!
- The tuk-tuks (rickshaws) are usually more expensive than the taxis! “Bike Taxis” are always a viable option – they’ll even seat two passengers at a time, and will charge much less than any other option (here’s a photo of us on one!). While in Bangkok, travel by train/subway as much as possible – it’s extremely efficient and very inexpensive. If not, metered cabs are the cheapest way to go!
- Bargain bargain bargain! Thai people quote exorbitant prices – 4 or 5 times that of the actual selling price, some times! So when bargaining start below half the quoted price, and remain very firm on your price point. Not kidding – if something is for 600 Baht, you should say “200 Baht” and you’ll probably be right!
- If you’re particular about finding halal food – look for women with head scarves working at food stalls or restaurants! They would mostly be Muslim, and would know exactly where to find halal chicken. Also, the chicken at most international fast food chains (McDonald’s, etc) is halal! Try to eat from street food vendors or small restaurants more than the higher-end seeming places, the food will be delicious!
- DO try all the fruit – especially the pineapple! It’s absolutely yum and ridiculously cheap! Also a great place to try Dragon Fruit, which isn’t widely available in Pakistan!
- If you’re planning to go for water sports, buy water-proof covers for your phone. These are easily available in Thailand, but may also be ordered from www.aliexpress.com before you even leave! They have a lanyard to easily hang them around your neck, and even have space for some cash that you may want to carry.
- Decide on where you want to visit based firmly on what you want to get out of this trip: there are islands that are known more for partying than for beauty, go there (or aim to spend more than one day there) only if you’re going to go partying/clubbing. Some areas can be a little seedy, so read up reviews while booking hotels, especially in Pattaya and Phuket. If partying and night life is lower on your list, and scenic views and water sports are what you’re looking forward to, go to the smaller islands, away from the party circuit. You can also do both by staying on a larger island and booking day tours to spend time on the water!
- Bangkok is fantastic for shopping! The larger malls have every premium brand from across the globe. But for cheaper stuff, there are many many malls and markets! One market that’s a little distance away from Bangkok is the Chatuchak market! It’s a fantastic place, and you should definitely plan to spend at least half a day there!
We’ll keep adding to this list as we remember more!