Thailand Tips

Things you would like to know when traveling to thailand

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Rabies:
Rabies is very common amoung cats, dogs, monkeys and bats. As Rabies is deathly when not treated immediately I would suggest you take a vaccination. Rabies vaccinations are not cheap (at least in The Netherlands) but better safe than sorry. Your health service will probably tell you that there are more cats and dogs in the country side than in the city and that you only need to be vaccinated if you stay longer than a certain amount of time. Do not be fooled: for one the animal that bites or scratches you do not know how long you have been in the country and last time I was in Thailand (2019) there were more cats and dogs in the city than in the country side.

Macaques:
When visiting Thailand you are likely to meet Macaques (monkeys). When with a tourguide it is quite possible he or she will encourge you to feed these monkeys. DO NOT DO that. Macaques in Thailand are used to people and they expect you to give them something and if you don't, the will get it themselves. Especially the macaques in the city of Lopburi are very agressive. They will not hesitate to bite you. Also keep your belonings safe. Macaques will take everyting they can get their hands on.

Tuk-Tuk:
You will find them almost everywhere in Thailand. DO NOT use them in Bangkok. Bangkoks tuk-tuk drivers are known to drive very recklessly. Add this to the chaotic traffic in the city and you'll can imagine the outcome. Most tuk-tuk accidents happen in Bangkok.
In other parts of the county is pretty safe to travel by tuk-tuk.

Jewelery:
If you want to buy quality jewelery, the place to go is the Gems Gallery International Manufacturer. You can find them in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya en Phuket. If you buy something there you do not have to be afraid of buying forgeries. I have bought several items there. You get there by either take a taxi or ask your hotel to contact them. A driver from the gallery will pick you up at the hotel and drive you to the gallery. When your finished they will drive you back to your hotel or an other place of your wishes. This service is free and you are NOT obliged to buy something. Prices of the items sold vary from let's 20 USD to what ever amount you wish to spend.

Duel pricing system:
Thailand is known for it’s dual pricing system: for some things, there are prices for tourists and Thai. The prices for Thai are lower than for tourists.

Farang:
Farang is the name Thai call western tourists.

Understanding Thai:
Thai can pronounce the ‘r’. Their language has this tone. But somehow, they cannot pronounce it English. In English they pronounce the ‘r’ like ‘l’. So: rice becomes lice, road become load ……..

Traffic:
Traffic is very chaotic in Thailand. Especially in Bangkok. Although Thailand never was a colony, they drive on the left side of the road.

Spicy:
Thai love their food spicy. And when I say ‘spicy’ I mean real spicy. When you are ordering food and they ask you if you would like your food Thai spicy or European spicy, always order European spicy. You would not be the first Farang being rushed to a hospital for eating too spicy food.

How to behave in temples:
A buddhist temple or ‘Wat’ in Thai is a sacred place.
When visiting one you have to follow certain rules:
Be quiet
Do NOT wear shorts, flipflops, sleeveless shirts, tank tops.
When entering the hall where the Buddha is located, take off your shoes. Socks are allowed
NEVER point with your foot to the Buddha or any other items.
Do NOT touch the Buddha.

The Royal Family (current one and ones in the past):
Speaking ill about the Royal Family can get you al jail sentence. Lese majesty can earn you 15 years of prison for each offence.

As the King or his predecessors are on coins and banknotes, be sure to treat money with respect. Do not put your foot on a banknote or a coin (for example when it blows out of your hands)

Head and Feet:
The head is considered the most sacred part of the body. Never touch a persons head this includes children). The feet are considered the most unworthy part of the body. Never point with your feet to a person or show the soles of your feet.

Monks:
Monks are always to be treated with the utmost respect. Women are not allowed to touch a monk or give something directly to a monk. When a woman wants to give something to a monk. She has to put it in front of the monk, so he can pick it up. Women are also not allowed to sit next to a monk.
When sitting somewhere and a monks comes and there are no seats left, it is expected you that you give your seat to the monk. This applies for men and women.

Taking photo’s:
Unless it explicitly stated (e.g. on signs) you are allowed to takes photo’s. However not all people like to have their photo taken, so ask before taking one. Just show your camera and they will nod or shake their heads.
In contrast to Myanmar you rarely have to pay to be allowed to take photo’s.