Thailand: Everything You Need to Know

2 January 2018

Thailand is a sure stop for many a travel Bucket List, and it’s not hard to see why. The food, people, and the gorgeous sights to behold are well-worth the trip, not to mention the fact that as far as value for money goes it is one of the best travel destinations in the world. Enjoy some of the fun facts and travel tips in our guide to Thailand below.

The basics:

  • Currency: Thai Baht (THB)
  • Capital: Bangkok
  • Main airports: Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, Chiang Mai, Phuket
  • Official language: Thai
  • Population: 68.8 million

Thailand’s coastline is 3219 kilometres long…
… so make sure a trip to the beach is included in your itinerary. Take things one step further and have a look at this list of the top hidden beaches to visit while you’re there. A coastline this long also means that if you plan your trip properly, no two beach visits will be the same. On one side of Thailand you will find beaches flanked by jungles, while on the other side sand is powdery white and surrounded by epic cliffs.

It’s illegal to drive shirtless in Thailand
While we agree that this might seem strange to some, but not everyone enjoys shirtless people driving cars... So, just a friendly reminder to keep your top on in Thailand when driving, even if you’ve just come from the beach and no matter how hot it is.

Thailand was voted the world’s fifth friendliest country by Rough Guides readers
One trip to Thailand and you won’t find this hard to believe. In fact, you might just leave wondering why it wasn’t voted the number one friendliest country in the world. Thai people are famous for their friendliness and calm attitudes. Bear in mind though, that their disposition means they don’t take well to outbursts or rude behaviour. So if you’re frustrated about anything, the best way to deal with it is by raising your concerns with a smile rather than by shouting.

Thai food has been labelled as “one of the world’s greatest cuisines”
Thai cuisine places an emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components and a flare of spice, and while most people who travel to Thailand will insist they know all about the delicious food there, they have no idea about the glorious tour their taste buds are about to enjoy. Nothing is as delicious as authentic Thai food, and it will surely put the “Thai” noodle and rice dishes you’ve had back home to shame. That said, you should try and avoid meals where there isn’t a clear English translation or at least a picture or illustration… you don’t want to find yourself noshing on Luu Muu (raw pig’s blood) or Larb Leuat Neua (raw beef with uncooked blood) do you?

Alcohol in the afternoon is a no-no
If you decide to undertake your food journey after 14:00, you’ll have to enjoy it without a bottle of beer! Alcohol is only on sale in Thailand between 11:00-14:00 and 17:00-midnight.

Hit the beach for peace and quiet… Thailand is infamously noisy
Despite being such a peaceful nation, the Thais do love a good celebration! Fireworks during times of celebration (such as Songkran and Krathong), busy markets and busy streets mean that often the main centres are fairly loud. If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, there are countless hidden beaches and stretches of coast that are far from the hustle and bustle and offer up an excitement of their own in the form of lounging the day away and soaking up the sun.

Be prepared to pay more than locals
Brace yourself now: many of the attractions that you visit will have an entrance fee for Thais and an entrance fee for the rest of us. While this might not seem fair, it is what it is, and there is definitely no point in arguing with whomever you find at the front desk when it’s time to pay your fee. Remember, these Thai locals might be inclined to visit the attraction more frequently than you in any case.

Opt for bottled water
Although water served at restaurants in jugs is usually filtered, the water in Thailand is generally considered unsafe to drink. Always choose bottled water when you’re looking for something to quench your thirst (unless you decide on something else, of course).

You will not believe how long Bangkok’s full ceremonial name is
Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit is the full ceremonial name for Bangkok! It translates to “City of angels, great city of immortals, magnificent city of the nine gems, seat of the king, city of royal palaces, home of gods incarnate, erected by Vishvakarman at Indra's behest.” and is listed in the Guinness World Records as “the world’s longest place name”. While Bangkok is the official English name for the city, it is officially known in Thai by a shortened form of the original 168-letter name—Krung Thep Maha Nakhon—which is colloquially further shortened to Krung Thep. We think we’ll stick with Bangkok!

Watch out when it comes to public transport (or any transport for that matter)
Unfortunately, Thailand is notorious for its terrible and dangerous traffic! While you may find yourself having to take a bus, tuk tuk or some other method of transport, if you’re in a position to walk to your next attraction, that’s our recommendation—besides, you’ll save money and enjoy the perk of burning off some of the calories from all the delicious Thai food you’ve been indulging in.

There you have it! These are just some of hundreds of interesting fun facts and travel tips around Thailand… the best way to find out even more about this stunning country is by visiting it first hand, here are some great Thailand deals to get you inspired or contact one of our travel experts today and find yourself one step closer to finalising the Thailand trip of your dreams.