They are very practical, so you probably remember more than one during your trip to Thailand.
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What should you know to avoid scams?
Most scams begin with a friendly Thai who comes to you to start a conversation, probably asking you about what country you come from. Then a problem will arise for which he has the solution.
If it happens to you, politely refuse his help.
Nevertheless, keep in mind that Thais are very hospitable people and easily care about the foreigners who visit them. In general, scammers tend to concentrate in the most tourist areas, such as the surroundings of the Grand Palace in Bangkok.
Do not accept offers to take you to a store or factory for a ‘special promotion‘.
If the taxi or tuk-tuk driver says you that the place you want to go is unexpectedly closed (and suggests an alternative site), check it online before making a decision.
Is it advisable to have Wi-Fi and a Thai phone number?
It is certainly not essential but, in our opinion, it is a good idea. If you install a Thai sim card as soon as you land in your first destination in Thailand, you can have Wi-Fi for whatever you need and make/receive local calls if necessary.
Is an umbrella useful?
Westerners are rarely seen with umbrellas if it does not rain, nevertheless, in Thailand, it is handy not only in the rain, it is even more so to enjoy the permanent shade under a scorching sun.
Are you planning an excursion? What spare clothes should you take?
In those visits and excursions that are going to extend throughout the day, it is useful to take spare clothes in the backpack, a pair of extra t-shirts that allow you to change without having to return to the hotel. The sweat caused by heat and humidity (which together reduce the effectiveness of perspiration) or a sudden storm could make the rest of the day trip a bit uncomfortable.
What time can you check-in and out at the hotels?
The usual time to check-in at the accommodation is from 14h00 on and departure the last day before 12h00.
In the high season, it has relevance because hotels are usually full and will not be easy to have the room available before the indicated time.
Arriving at the hotel after a long trip at 08h00, for example, could mean losing six hours in which only fatigue will increase. Take it into account.
Are you going to rent a motorbike?
If you are going to hire a motorcycle, a quad, a car or any other vehicle, pay close attention to the condition of the tires and breaks, and take photographs and/or video of the bodywork. Check everything together with the shopkeeper that serves you.
Avoid handing over the passport in deposit, in exchange, offer cash, perhaps 6,000 Thb or maybe more.
If it does not include insurance, keep it in mind while driving.
How much does a tuk-tuk ride cost?
The TukTuk price is negotiated before starting the ride. Obviously, the cost is variable and as a tourist, the usual thing is that they raise the price.
If you do not have any reference, you can request a 30% reduction to see what happens.
Think that in general the savings that you will obtain will be small and that it is not worth wasting a lot of time.
The only way to adjust the price with certainty would be to request an exaggerated discount and try to negotiate until the driver desists and leaves you. The cost of the journey would be the last one that the driver offered to you.
And a taxi?
All taxis must work with taxi-meter; however, it is widespread that at night they want to negotiate a fixed price for the ride.
Stop a taxi by putting your arm straight, parallel to the ground (laterally, not forward), and then wave your hand up and down at the wrist (if you only raise your hand showing the palm, they won’t understand what you want).
If your destination were far from the main routes, the driver could refuse to take you there.
Services like GRAB can be very useful, you can download the application and try.
What do you have to do if your passport is lost, damaged or stolen?
In case you lose or damage your passport, report immediately to the authorities at the nearest police station. Bring a copy of the document to your national embassy in Thailand to issue a new travel document.
It is convenient to carry some recent passport photos with you, because in case it is necessary you already have the matter solved, better in two different sizes.
Cultural do's and don'ts in Thailand
» Thais are very polite and always try to avoid any confrontation. In the case that it is necessary to complain, do it politely and privately if possible in order to find the best solution.
» Pay attention to the dress code required, especially when entering a temple and managing formalities in government agencies such as immigration offices. Improper attire might be not acceptable or even hinder the procedures that interest you.
» Public display of affection between sexes is frowned upon.
» Avoid touching people. The head is the highest part of the body, never touch it. The feet are the least sacred, so avoid also pointing at anyone or touch them with your feet.
» Typically, Thais do not shake hands, use the Wai as a greeting, holding your hands together and lifting them to your face while making a slight bow.
» The right hand must be used when picking up food eaten with fingers.