Thailand Travel Tips

Here are a few travel tips to make every cent and second count in your trip to Thailand. You may want to read this in detail before heading on. Thailand is a beautiful country with a very rich cultural heritage, modern infrastructure, delectable food in every corner, and you wouldn't want to miss every pulse the country has to offer.

Know before you go

Drinking Water

Do not drink tap water. Restaurants do not offer free "house water" as well. You'll have to drink from a bottled mineral water at all times.

To save on cash, buy water from 7 Eleven. Bring it with you everywhere. A 600 ml bottle of water from 7 Eleven costs 8 THB, while those in restaurants or street markets cost 10 THB.

The photo above shows a bottled water that costs 30 THB at the Floating Restaurant in Kanchanaburi.

The Language Barrier

Most Thais we encountered do not speak nor understand English, so a simple translation book, and a lot of patience and willpower, will be good for you. Here are important information you should be able to communicate efficiently when traveling Thailand:


You don't want to be overspending, so know how to effectively communicate price/rates. It's vital that you and the Thai local understand each other well.

Most motorbike and tuktuk drivers, security guards and vendors do not know how to say numbers and price rates in English. For example, we wanted to know the rates of a motorbike driver in Ayutthaya, and it took us minutes to understand each other. After our struggles with the language barrier which bore no fruit, he took out his cellphone to convey his rates using the calculator.

Innovative, isn't it?

Finally, we were able to set a price point and head on to our tour.

Make every second count. Photo featuring the Wat Phra Mahathat in Ayutthaya.

Time and Distance

The last van from Kanchanaburi Bus Station to Bangkok is until 6:00pm only, and it was 3:45pm by the time we finished touring the Tiger Temple. We did not want to miss the van, so we planned to be back at the Kanchanaburi Bus Station by 5:30pm.

However, we also wanted to see the Elephant Village. We'll be in Kanchanaburi only once, so why miss the chance? Hence, we had to know if we can squeeze in a visit to the Elephant Village before 5:30pm.

We had to converse with the tuktuk driver to know if we can still visit the Elephant Village.

And conversing in two different languages without understanding each other is quite...challenging.

To be able to clearly convey time and distance is important for DIY travelers. A tuktuk driver is more knowledgable than Google maps (and we did not have a working cellphone at that time), so we had to go through the painstaking process of trying to understand each other in Thai and broken English. We used a lot of hand gestures which looks comical to an observer, pointed to our watch for time signals, and wrote in air to effectively communicate numbers and price rates.

Thailand tuktuk driver, rushing us back to the Kanchanaburi Bus Station

Tip: MRT/train operators in their office cubicles (where you exchange bills for coins) know and understand English. Information/Customer Service Desks in malls and hotels, of course, also know English. You may talk to them instead when rushing, or in pain...

Stay Connected

Get a Thai Traveler sim. In today's world, it's important to stay connected 24/7. If you're with someone, it's important to be able to call or text them in case you have to part ways. You want to shop crazy at the Chatuchak Weekend Market while he wants to watch Muay Thai? He badly needs to go to the comfort room while you're shopping for pasalubong? Go ahead.

Getting a Thai Traveler sim will save you time and effort. Worry less, too. There are a lot of on-going scams today, so it's best to go the extra mile in staying safe.

Oh, and did we mention Google Maps? Uber? Waze? Navigate a foreign country like a local with these apps on hand. Again, it will help you save time, and a lot of brain cells. :)

We used AIS Thai Traveler sim and we bought it in the airport. We got the 7-day package at 299 BHT. It has calls and texts worth 100 THB and 1.5 GB mobile data. Make sure your mobile phone is updated with the latest settings.

Their mobile data is 4G as well - a lot faster than the Philippines' 3G.

I had 2G mobile data (as I was not able to update my android phone with the latest settings), and it worked like the Philippines' 3G. :))

More Value for Money with SuperRich Money Exchange

Get more out of your money (in our case, PHP/Philippine Peso) with SuperRich Money Exchange. They have the best currency exchange rates. We got 1 PHP at 0.745 THB, while other money exchange booths/centers had 1 PHP at 0.54 THB.

Head on to the lower level of the Suvarnabhumi Airport for an easy exchange. They also have branches all over Bangkok City.

Should you exchange your PHP to USD, then have USD exchanged to THB? Or is it better to exchange your PHP to THB in Thailand? Click here to know! We have a detailed review at

Bikes for Rent

Do you have enough time? Rent a bike while in Thailand! Experience the local scene with a map, and your own wheels. The rate in our neighborhood in Lumphini, Bangkok is about 150 THB for a day.

Know More

More tips will be posted at (click on the link to visit the site). It will definitely make your research and stay in Thailand a lot easier.

Wishing you a fruitful and worthwhile trip, as we did!

You may also share your experiences by commenting below.

The Travel Archives


  1. 'Most Thais do not speak nor understand English'

    I don't think that's true at all. Thais on the whole speak pretty good English, relative to many other countries in Asia. The level of English is not as good as say Malaysia, Singapore or Hong Kong, but at least they have a go. In places like Japan, even if they do speak some English, they are often to shy to even try.

    1. Thanks for pointing this out. Most people we encountered did not speak in English. I edited my sentence to make it clearer:

      - Most Thais 'we encountered' do not speak nor understand English...


      - The Travel Archives