We are pretty much Thailand Pros (if we do say so ourselves), and all the team are well seasoned travellers, visiting all corners of the globe, so we thought we would put our heads together and create this list. The list below includes all of our top tips for travelling and in particular living and travelling in Thailand. You’ve heard the saying, ‘you learn from your mistakes’, well yes, we definitely have- so take note!
Our top tips cover a variety of things and there are far too many tit bits we have for you to fit on this page, so if you want any more advice on anything, or are unsure of something you have read/heard, just let the team know. We are here to help!
Top Tip 1- Enjoy every moment, ‘Sabai Sabai’ as the Thai’s would say.
Now this may seem very obvious but it’s amazing how quickly people forget this when travelling. It can be easy to get bogged down in the worry and sometimes stress of the journey, rather than just chilling out and revelling in the adventure. Moving to a new country is daunting for everyone but embracing it from the outset and taking each day as a new challenge will make the whole thing more worthwhile.
Top Tip 2– Immerse yourself in the culture in every way
A new culture can seem alien and often people try their best to find so called ‘normality’…don’t! The Thai culture is amazing, as is there way of life and we have no doubt that you may actually prefer it to your rather more hectic life at home. One key part of the Thai culture we cannot stress enough that you need to immerse yourself in, is the food, and more importantly in Thailand, the street food. Street food in Thailand is some of the best in the world and it’s hard to find a street that isn’t filled with the aroma’s of it- try it once and you won’t look back.
In terms of people’s worries about the safety of street food, follow three simple rules and you’ll be fine:
-Eat where the locals eat
-Make sure it is cooked fresh and is piping hot
-Ease yourself in (don’t eat chilli fried scorpions on day one as your stomach just won’t be ready, start with a simple rice or noodle dish and build it up)
Top Tip 3- Learn a bit of the language
Arriving in any country and reading street signs can appear hard, but in Thailand the enormity of this task is enough to put anyone off even attempting the language. However, reading Thai is a lot harder than speaking it, so don’t be put off. Although the Thai language is renowned for its impossible pronunciation (with 9 different ways of pronouncing the word ‘ma’ alone, all with different meanings), the Thai people do really appreciate the effort (as with many cultures). A little bit of effort goes a long way in Thailand, and learning some basic phrases can even save you money!
Just to get you started, here are a few key phrases (because we are nice like that):
Please note- in the Thai language men end words with Krap and women with Kah.
Hello– Sawatdee (Krap/Kah)
Thank you- Khop Khun (Krap/Kah)
I don’t want it (trust us, you will want this one) – Mai Aow (Krap/Kah)– remember to smile when saying this, it is good to be polite but this will make it clear to a street seller you are not looking to buy.
Never Mind- Mai Pen Rai
Delicious (for food)- Aroi Mak Mak- trust us, you’ll want this one to!
Top Tip 4- Pack wisely
Being an organised packer can help you no end! Although it may seem overkill, having a small first aid kit is always a great idea, remember to include things such as rehydration salts, bite cream, sun cream, alcohol gel and simple painkillers in this (you will use them all). In addition to this, don’t forget to organise your documents- take all medical documents you may need (i.e. proof of which vaccinations you’ve had) and photocopy all important documents such as your passport.
Most importantly for Thailand, don’t overpack! Although there are a few vital things you shouldn’t leave behind (as mentioned above), when it comes to bags, clothes, accessories and anything else in that category, trust us, you will buy these in Thailand and for an amazing price. The markets in Thailand are impossible to miss and impossible to resist. These markets don’t just sell designer knock offs but in fact, everything you could possibly need, and for a fraction of the price you would pay at home.
Top Tip 5- Set up a Skype account (or something similar)
Again this may seem simple, but the boost a quick face to face conversation with friends or family can give you is priceless. Skype is a really easy, accessible and most importantly FREE way to chat to people back home and it’s always nice to show off your tan in the flesh! Most of our teachers will set up their own wifi in their accommodation, but even if they don’t, you do not have to go far at all to find wifi in Thailand (it’s everywhere!).