We traveled for 4 weeks through Thailand, from south to north, we went to the islands, Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. We met many people and observed even more. Therefore, we decided to compile everything we learned about Thailand and everything we found interesting, different or just funny.

Things to Know about the Locals

#1 Thais are known to be very welcoming and always smiling. We felt this to be generally true, although with the usual exceptions;

#2 A few times people got out of their way to help us with something we needed;

#3 We learned that their English is very difficult to understand. Some clichés are just true:).

Walking through Bangkok

#4 Thai women are very pretty, but they seem a little vainWe guess it comes with the territory;

#5 Thai seem to have a special love for Laos… Every time we said we were going to Laos their faces seem to light up, smile and say how Laos is nice.

#6 Thai people are very fast-paced and expect you to be. When we took a little more time making up our minds in the restaurants, 7-Eleven or wherever, we could feel their despair. It was kind of embarrassing:).

How to travel in Bangkok Thailand

All the things Travel and Tourists

#7 There’s way too many tourists! The north is full of French and the islands of Russians! We would have never guessed these two… and of course, the Chinese, American, British, Australians and other westerners are everywhere…

All you shoul know about travelling in Thailand

#8 In Thailand, everything is a tourist attraction, and some are tourist traps!

#9 Thailand’s main attractions can be really crowded…Grand Palace, Doi Suthep or the Phi Phi Islands we are looking at you! And we didn’t even mention Patong!

Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew

#10 Surprisingly, we found Bangkok‘s financial district fascinating! The people, the huge buildings, the monorail… We loved our stay there and even overstayed 2 more nights to rest a bit.

#11 Maybe even more surprising, Kanchanaburi was our favorite part of Thailand!

Top attractions to visit in Thailand

#12 But the most surprising of all is that we didn’t love the islands we visited that much! We were actually disappointed by them…

#13 Patong is a wild mess. Phi Phi is full of hippies and parties. Anyway, most of its beauty has been ruined… Koh Lanta was our favorite island. It’s calm, relaxed, with fewer tourists (or at least they are much more spread), but the beaches aren’t as beautiful as one would expect.

Island hopping in Thailand

#14 In Thailand (and Laos and Cambodia) every hostel is a travel agency. It’s another way of them earning a little more. And most of them a restaurant too… They are a true one stop shop!

#15 Ayutthaya is great day trip option for anyone in Bangkok and looking for a little history travel.

#16 You can find massage parlors everywhere! In the beaches, in the street, day and night… and they are very cheap… In some places 5 Euros for a 60-minute Thai massage.

How to do a Thai massage

#17 Activities are usually very far away from the cities. For example, we loved Kanchanaburi but all its attractions are at least 50 km from the city! Even in the islands, we had to take transports to go to the “best part”…

#18 You will never understand how many temples (Wat) exist in Thailand unless you go there … From the amazing ones in Bangkok and Chiang Mai to the crazy white temple in Chiang Rai

things you need to know before traveling to Thailand

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Food and eating in Thailand

#19 Thais have taken street food to a whole new level! We have never seen such diversity, quality, and quantity. Bangkok’s street food is incredible;

#20 In general food is spicy, very spicy! Sometimes our Portuguese palate didn’t fancy it…On the other hand, Thai cuisine doesn’t use salt. They use fish sauce if they want to give a salty flavor.

Street food Bangkok Thailand

#21 Thai cuisine is heavily influenced by other Asian countries (China, India, Korea, Japan, Laos, Cambodia)… and of course also influenced them, a lot!

#22 Fruit in Thailand is sooooo good. From the usual pineapple or mango to others we had never heard before like durian, wax apple, pomelo, gac…

What to eat in Thailand

#23 If you like cooking or eating you should try a cooking class. You will understand better what you are eating and how it is made…

#24 Oh, and don’t get us started on those fruit shakes! Mango, Pineapple, dragon fruit, banana, coconut, we have tried them all and they were always good and some were just heavenly!

#25 In Thailand’s night markets you will see the craziest desserts you can think about. Sometimes it seems they just put every sweet ingredient in the same dish 🙂 Anyway, they were almost all yummy… very yummy!

Best Thai dIshes

#26 Thais don’t really use bread. Even in supermarkets, there’s few and it’s quite expensive.

#27 Breakfasts are comparatively expensive and are tourist oriented. We got used to paying more for breakfast than lunch or dinner.

Floating markets in Thailand

#28 Thai people don’t have breakfast. They seem to eat a normal meal early in the morning as breakfast.

#29 Thai food is also healthy and there’s a variety of vegan Thai food for those you need a vegan diet!

Must eat in Thailand

Money and expenses when traveling to Thailand

#30 Thailand is very cheap to travel in. Overall our cost was 26 Euros per person, which included everything we spent in Thailand: food, activities, visas, hostels, transportation, bank and foreign exchange charges, etc…

#31 Although, banks charge 200 baht (+5 Euros) in each and every withdrawal using foreign cards. The amount doesn’t matter.

Top attractions of Bangkok

#32 And stores surcharge 3% on payments made with foreign cards.

#33 Food and particularly, street food is unbelievably cheap.

Street food Bangkok

#34 Accommodation can also be inexpensive, but you get what you pay. Be aware that sometimes and in some places, they are quite bad… particularly in the islands… we wouldn’t recommend our hostel in Patong to anyone, and our most expensive night was in the Phi Phi islands.

Island hopping in Thailand

#35 On the other hand, activities (Tours, trekking, rafting, snorkeling) are expensive. More than in Laos, Cambodia, or even Malaysia, sometimes similar to European prices. This made our overall price of Thailand higher than it could have been.

#36 The Islands are much more expensive than the rest of Thailand. Somethings are almost double the price. However, that’s expected, wasn’t it?

Best beaches of Thailand

What to know about transports in Thailand

#37 Ridding a motorbike or a moped is fundamental. Without a bike you will be stranded and dependent on tuk-tuks to get around; Tip: learn how to ride a mopped before going to Thailand!

#38 Long haul bus services are good, very good! You are better off in those buses than in a plane or even most trains!

What to know about transports in Thailand

#39 However, they almost always leave you 5 – 15 km away from the city center.

#40 Only Bangkok has an actual urban public transport system. Every other place we have relied only on tuk-tuks and alikes.

How to go to Kanchanaburi in Thailand

#41 Don’t be surprised if the local bus drives with the doors open!

#42 Local buses stop everywhere you need! You just need to ask the driver and he will let you leave; it’s very useful. 🙂

#43 Thais drive very badly. We would even say that they are reckless, however, later we learned that Cambodian are much worse.

What to know about transports in Thailand

Other travel information about Thailand

#44 Always bring toilet paper with you. Most bathrooms won’t have and sometimes even in hostels…

#45 Beds are really hard. So hard that once we actually checked if it had a mattress!

#46 We never expected Thailand to be unsafe, but it is even safer than we imagined. We walked everywhere and went everywhere without ever feeling unsafe;

Lumpini Park Bangkok

#47 There’s way too many street dogs, but they seem to be somehow taken care of… We couldn’t figure out how exactly it works nor the relationship between Thais and the dogs…

#48 Mobile data is fast and cheap. Tip: buy in the Airport and they’ll configure it in your phone.

Is Thailand safe

#49 If you don’t want to, there’s Wi-Fi everywhere. Every restaurant, bar and hostel we went had free Wi-fi.

#50 Besides the temples almost every place expects you to take off your shoes when coming in. Even hostels and sometimes restaurants.

Best temples of Thailand

Bonus Travel Tip

As said above Thailand is pretty safe! Though, You don’t want to risk having a problem and not being insured! So, always Remember to Buy Travel Insurance Before Your TTrip!

We have learned a lot in Thailand, about the country, the people, and their culture. But we also learned about travelers, tourists and even ourselves.

Things to do in Thailand

Our Recommended Travel Guide Books For Thailand

Lonely Planet Thailand – if you are only traveling to Thailand!

Alternatively, Lonely Planet Southeast Asia on a shoestring (Travel Guide) – in case you are planning to travel to more than one country in South East Asia.


10 Responses

  1. Kevin Cardoza says:

    Interesting list! I’m trying to find a place to visit in the Southwest Asia region and Thailand initially turned me off because it just seemed like beaches and partying to me, but I’m learning that there are some more interesting historical and natural places to see, even if all of them will be overwhelmed with tourism.

    • coupleRTW says:

      We are glad that you changed your mind, Thailand is a fantastic place to visit. Yes, it has a lot of parties and tourists, but it it is also a beautiful country with an exotic culture. Hope you have a nice trip

  2. John says:

    Great information! I really want to visit Thailand sometime, and I will definitely be looking back on this post!

  3. 33andfree says:

    Interesting points!. The Laos was especially interesting. We told the Thai people we were going to Malaysia and they cringed!

  4. Stephanie Frias says:

    Quite fascinating really, I learned a lot about Thailand. I am most pleased to learn that all of the main attractions are outside of the city. It makes me hope that perhaps we could just avoid the city altogether and focus on the natural settings!

  5. I love Thai food so much! I can’t wait ti go back and try all the street food! And you’re right – it’s so cheap too

  6. Agh Thailand! The land of smiles! I spent two weeks here and absolutely loved it! Although I have to go back and see more!

  7. Nnenna Echem says:

    This is a very good list! I’ve never been to Thailand, but I’ve always wanted to visit