Thailand a land once seen, never forgotten
Thailand is one of the most beautiful countries on earth to visit and travel through. The people are gentle the scenery is gorgeous and in the city of Bangkok, there are more temples than anywhere else on earth.
If you enjoy fine food, Thai cuisine is some of the best in the world and many of the people speak your language and getting about is half the fun, as motorcycle, buses, and even bicycles are the used to get from place to place. However, the best ways to see Thailand is by traveling down its many waterways and see the floating markets where the vendors will swim out to your boat to sell you a souvenir or the freshest fruit such as mangoes that you’ve ever had.
However, with all this fun and excitement to be had there are certain things about Thailand that to the unwary can cause confusion and consternation for the uninformed.
We are going to dispel some of the possible snags that could crop up if you are contemplating a visit to the land that still has a King and the place where Anna met him.
01. The King Is Most Respected
Here in Thailand you will respect the King in all things. His subjects take a very dim view of jokes, slurs, and remarks about him. He is idolized and the people all love him. This includes even those who are struggling over who is running the country.
So when in Thailand do as they do and you will avoid the unpleasantness of being arrested for Lèse majesté as one journalist did when he made an off color remark about a man whom the Thai people adore.
You may wish to consider only saying the best about the entire royal family as the laws are rather expansive about what can be considered Lèse majesté and since the 3-15 years in a Thai jail is rather unpleasant visitors should take note before writing, speaking, and other methods of making comment on or about Thai royalty.
02. Thai people do not often speak English
This however does not mean they don’t or can’t. In fact, some of the best English teaching schools are to be found in Thailand. However, they believe you as a visitor have the obligation to learn about their language and if you make the attempt, you will find that most people will then open up and help you with you language-learning adventure in English.
03. Thai Food is commonly very spicy
Do not order food in Thailand and say, “Make it the way you like it.” The cooks and chefs are happy to oblige you, then sit back, and smile when your hair bursts into flames and you empty pitcher after pitcher of water or bottles of Thai beer in an attemp to quench the unquencable fire that is in your mouth and stomache.
You need to work your way up to being able to handle the amount of heat that real Thai cooking offers.
After acclimating to the heat, you will discover there is an entire world of taste you never dreamed of. But a word to wise says, “Do it slowly.”
04. Thailand drives on the left
Thailand follows the British custom of driving on the left and visitors from the States need to alter their approach when crossing at intersections and look to the right first instead of left as you are normally accustomed to. This also means before you can drive a car you need to familiarize yourself with driving a car that has the steering wheel on the wrong side of the vehicle.
Once you get the hang of it, you’ll enjoy motoring throughout the country.
05. Beer is are not allowed to be sold in public venues after midnight
Let’s face it most young people go to Thailand to party and the Thai people are happy to accommodate. However, you don’t want to break this cardinal rule. So for your own protection and keeping out of hot water with the Royal Thai Police, no open beer bottles or other containers are permitted on the streets after midnight and if you are caught. Well, the Thai police have a stiff fine structure and they are always on the lookout for foreigners carrying drinking in public view.
This does not mean what you do at a private residence is off limits and you’ll find that there are many such parties organized to avoid legal entanglements.
06. Foreign Currency is Not Used in Thailand
The Dollar, the RMB, and the Euro may be the currency of the world but in Thailand, they aren’t worth the paper they are printed on. The best thing to do before going to Thailand is to make sure you have your cash converted prior to arriving. This will save you on high commission fees and avoid the illegal and unscrupulous people who offer to exchange money for you. In some instances they may in fact, be Royal Thai Police (RTP) officers undercover who are on the lookout for such activities and entrapment is not against the rules here.
If you do encounter problems on your stay in Thailand, there is a special branch of the police call the Tourist Police. You will probably wish to take any problems you have to the Tourist Police instead of the regular metropolitan police.
07. Phuket, drivers routinely charge fares that are outrageous
Outside Bangkok, taxi fares can skyrocket and in resort places like Phuket, you can get charged an arm and a leg without recourse. Your best option is to rent a motorcycle or moped for your ventures that are beyond walking distance.
08. Tuk-Tuk is best way to see the sites in Bangkok
Having clued you in on the dangers of cabs outside the city, we bring your attention to the custom of riding in a Tuk-Tuk, which is an open-air vehicle that in some ways resembles a pickup truck with seats in the bed. They are often gaily decorated and often have chrome and polished fittings that make one think you are riding on a float in a parade.
The prices are reasonable and the drivers know the city better in most cases that the taxi drivers.
09. Some note for the guys looking for some hot fun
That beautiful girl you see in the club may not be what she appears and you may be in for a rude surprise. Also, the Royal Thai Police often go undercover and run sting operations along with raids on discos and clubs that offer adult entertainment.
The fines are steep and prison time may result depending on what the mandatory drug test shows. You also need to be careful with who you are hanging with as drugs are a major problem and again, the RTP takes a dim view on drugs, especially when foreigners are involved.
10. Never leave your hotel without your passport
Thailand is strict on migrant labor and you must always carry your passport at all times to avoid being hauled into a police station and fined and spend time sorting things out.
This one thing alone has been known to ruin an otherwise fun and exciting vacation in Thailand.
Once you learn the ropes Thailand is one of the most exciting countries in the world to visit for a tourist and your stay will be much more enjoyable if you take these pearls of wisdom we have provided you to heart.
Visit Thailand once and you take home memories that last a lifetime and you’ll have pictures and conversation topics that will amaze and arouse envy of those who haven’t yet gone to the land where the King still holds court and the people are gentle and where the food is hot and spicy, and the countryside is magnificent.