50 things you need to know before traveling to Thailand

8 min read

1. Get a SIM card with credit

Not only data, because you’ll need it to make phone calls to contact tour agencies or hotels.

2. FB messenger and Line are the most used ways of communication in Thailand.

You can use it with hotels, agencies, etc.

3. Pay directly with Line

Just configure your credit card and voilá. You can use it with different business.

4. Make sure you have, at most, 200 THB to pay for the taxi

Otherwise, they won’t have enough change and you’ll have to run to 7Eleven and buy something.

5. Avoid western food

Chances are it not going to be good and it will be too expensive.

6. Most of the food in the street market is seafood

Even if it looks like it’s only vegetables.

And you can find them in every city. Some of them start at the market where you can buy all the ingredients you need.

8. People are very friendly but make sure you ask for all the details before

For example, booking a transfer. Make sure they give you information about the connections and waiting time. Sometimes booking a taxi could be cheaper and faster.


9. Book a train in advance to get first class cabin

This is specialy true to travel from Bangkok to Chiang Main. You can use Thai Railway (not the best UX) or 12GoAsia. 12GoAsia is reliable but you don’t want to deal with refunds or change of itineray.

10. Look for parcel office behind ticket office

If you used 12GoAsia, you must pick up the ticket at the Parcel office at the Bangkok station. It’s a small office just behind the ticket office. Remember to take off your shoes before entering and be there at least one hour before departure. If you buy the tickets directly with Thai Railway, you will be able to download and print them. No need to pick it up in person.

11. Take a train instead of taxi when possible to avoid the traffic

Traffic jam in Bangkok is truly chaotic. The train is a really good option, it’s comfortable, it has A/C, it’s clean, cheap and fast. The price depends on how far you ride.

They give you cold water once you arrive and hot tea after your massage <3

Chiang Mai

13. On the night train, the upper deck is cheaper but more uncomfortable than the lower deck.

The lights are by your side and stay on all night. The curtains will not cover the light. Also, you have no window to observe the landscape.

14. They start making the beds at 6am

No one will wake you up in the morning, but you will start to hear people moving around.

15. Train to Chiang Mai has a plug in the lower and upper deck

Train from Chumphon to Bangkok doesn’t have it

16. Rent a scooter from Chiang Mai to Pai

It’s a long drive, so go early in the morning or plan to spend the night in Pai. Take warm clothes if you go on a scooter because it will be cold.

17. Book a half day elephants tour 🐘

They offer a fun tour full of activities such as feeding the elephants, taking baths with them and spending a mud-filled spa day. It’s a lot of fun and highly recommended, but half a day is more than enough.

18. Yun Lai Viewpoint in Pai

If you plan to go, I recommend being there at least 30 minutes before sunrise. It will get crowded and you will need some time to find a place where you can enjoy the magical view. Bungalows and tent sites are available to reserve one or two nights directly at the view point.

19. Visit Krazy Kitchen and try the best Pad Thai of your life

Follow this directions and visit Mama Sue, she’ll take care of you.

20. there are no direct flight from Chiang Mai to Krabi or Phuket or any other island

The flights always make a stopover in Bangkok.

21. Street market is a must

It’s fun and huge. It completely changes the city. During the day it is not so crowded and the main attractions are the temples, but at night it is a different place, you won’t recognize it.

22. Scuba diving and elephant tours include pictures

In my experience, most of the tour includes photography. Not always with the best camera or camarographer 😅, but at least you don’t have to worry about taking pictures and just enjoy your activity.


Kho Lanta

23. Share a minivan to Kho Lanta

At the airport you can find other people who also wants to go to Kho Lanta o Kho PhiPhi.

24. You are going to need a scooter to move aroun Kho Lanta

Kho Lanta is a quite island. The best way to move around is by scooter. Watch out for monkeys on the way!

25. It is essential to go hiking through the natural park

The Mu Ko Lanta National Park offers a quite unique trail. I recommend starting from the entrance at the parking lot and then you’ll end up at the beach <3 Bring your swimsuit!

26. It’s easy to arrange transport from old town to the pier

You’ll find many small agencies around the old town.

27. Monkey beach is a must.

Great place to snorkel and observe the monkeys running around the island. You can rent a kayak or a taxi-boat in Phi Phi and go there. It would take around 15 min by kayak.

Kho Phi Phi

28. Scuba diving paradise found: Phi Phi Island

You can find coral gardens everywhere and a lot of agencies where you can book a tour.

29. Great place to snorkel, too

Crystal clear water and reefs everywhere make it perfect to snorkel and see colorful fish.

30. Garlic 1992 is a must

Highly recommend Thai food, well located and still cheap. You can find it here

31. You can take a boat from here to Krabi, Ao Nang and Railay beach

Just be aware of the schedule and ask at the counter, the boards are not always up to date.

Ao Nang

32. Is not as cheap as promised

They say is cheaper than Krabi and Railay beach, and it probably is, but still feels quite expensive. Food around 150 THB a plate.

33. Umberto’s is a nice Italian restaurant

Here is the address.

34. Amp & Aing, tasty Thai food and cheap

Here is the address

Railay beach

35. Climbing half-day is enough

It might be only true for me because I’m not in a good shape. This place is just wonderful but half-day was enough for my arms. There are a ton of routes. A guide is recommended but you can get a map with the routes to do it on your own.

Khao Sok

36. Visit the lovely natural park and its lake.

The tour includes a one hour trek that is really nice and refreshing.

37. There are a lot of monkeys everywhere!

Extremely adorable. Make sure you close the door of your room or they will enter.

38. Stay at Our Jungle Camp - Eco resort

I loved this place and the food there is mouth watering.

39. You can go to Kho Tao from Khao Sok

Just take a bus to Surat Thani and from here a Night ferry to Kho Tao which departs at 23:00 Our Jungle Camp - Eco resort booked everything for us.

40. There is a street market near Surat Thani port

While you wait for the ferry you can take a walk and enjoy a more local street market.

41. The night ferry takes 13 hours to get to Kho Tao

And it’s more comfortable than the night train; however, the engine is very loud the entire night. I was still able to sleep.

Kho Tao

42. Most of the hotels include a pickup service from the pier to the hotel

Make sure you mail and/or call them and get a confirmation. You can also take a taxi from the pier but it’s too expensive, 500 THB!

43. Once again, rent a scooter 🛵

It’s a small island and the best way to move around is with a scooter. Also, it was quite cheap, no more than 300 THB.

44. Shark bay it’s beautiful and peaceful

I spent the entire afternoon there. It’s inside a resort but you can park inside and pay a small fee to enter. There are two restaurants at the beach. Heads up, the one inside the resort is expensive.

45. It’s a hispter island with great western food options

Vegetabowl, Hippo Burger Bistro and La Pizzeria are great restaurants

46. Snorkling tour could be fun but exhausting

They offer 5 stops and the first 2 are extremely fun. After that, you might get dizzy and tired. Make sure to save some energy for the last stop, which is Shark Bay. Let’s cross our fingers for some shark sightings.

47. Book ferry to Chumphon where you can take a train to Bangkok

The night train to Bangkok is very similar to the one that goes to Chiang Mai. Just a bit smaller.


48. You can leave your luggage at the train station

It’s open until midnight.

49. There is a street market near the train station

50. You can get a really nice massage at Ban Sabai Thai massage for health

It’s 5min walking distance from the train station.