What do I need to know before traveling to Thailand?
If you want to travel to Thailand alone then you should read this, you might find it useful.
Our first trip abroad – Thailand: Pattaya, Bangkok 5 days and 4 nights. We also only visited places that everyone else has been to, so I’m not planning a travelogue. There are many articles in the travel group with information about places you should visit. I am just sharing some of my experiences on my own journey for your benefit.
Traveling Thailand for beginners guide
Thailand Travel Tips
1. It was a quick trip we decided on but the travel experiences of different fb groups and some other Thailand travel blogs came in handy. Once the travel date is decided, book the flight ticket first. Then it is enough to prepare your travel plan (Itinerary).
2. If you plan to travel in advance, book your flight tickets in advance. Cheapest Thai AirAsia ticket from Kochi. If you book when the offer comes, you will get a return ticket for Rs 7000. It can go up to Rs 15000 depending on the accommodation. You can check the latest fares and book on sites like Easemytrip, Goibibo, Makemytrip, Yatra, Airasia etc.
3. It is better to book the room in advance according to your travel plan and budget but staying will not make much difference in cost. When booking a room, you can reduce the cost of transportation if you calculate the distance to the places you intend to travel. For example, it is better to book a room near Pattaya Beach or Walking Street. We can book 4 star hotels at very low prices. You can use sites like Booking.com, Goibibo, makemytrip etc.
4. Download 4 apps that will help you a lot in your journey: Klook, Grab, English Thai translator, or google translator, and our Google Maps.
5. Visa Procedures :
A. You can get the visa in two ways. You can get your visa from here, the process is more complicated but if you want to stay there for more than two weeks, this is the only way. Visa on arrival is available for ordinary travelers staying less than two weeks. It can be obtained from the airport after landing there.
B. Visa Fee:
It is about 2000 rupees. But now it is free till 31st August 2019. It is known that its duration is likely to be extended further.
Visa on arrival form can be downloaded from the internet and filled up or taken from the visa counter. You can fill it from line to line. There is very little information to add. Another form is the immigration form, which will be given to you on the plane. Fill it and keep it in your hand.
D. Things to keep in your hand:
Visa on arrival form, immigration form, one passport size photograph with white background, passport, proof of hotel booking, return flight ticket (mobile copy is sufficient)
NB: As my friend muhammed Ta said, it is not a passport photo. 6×4 cm photo is required.
E. It is written there that 10000 baht should be presented in our hand for a visa. But they don’t ask for it, maybe the free visa doesn’t require it.
F. 2 counters are functioning there – a free counter and an express counter. The queue at the express counter will be less but you have to pay a fee of 200 baht for a visa. We used the free counter anyway and had to queue for about 45 minutes.
G. Download all required tickets (hotel booking, return ticket) in one folder in advance. There is free wifi but not very reliable.
H. After all the arrangements are made and the visa is stamped in the passport, you will be given half of the immigration form or the departure card, which you should keep and show on your return.
6. If you are starting your journey from the airport, you can use the washroom as soon as you disembark. Note one thing, keep a bottle handy if you must have water after using the toilet.
7. Next buy a SIM card, there are many shops out there. We bought a sim from a company called dtac and it cost 180 baht. You will get unlimited internet and 30 minutes talk time. It also has good coverage. Put the SIM in the phone and they will set the network themselves. Passport is the required document.
8. There is a 7-eleven shop right there. It is a supermarket chain in every nook and corner of Thailand. All kinds of ready-to-eat foods are available from there. They will heat it and give it to us. From here we can have breakfast and come down.
9. Modes of Travel:
We have many ways to travel. Grab car, Grab Taxi, normal taxi, unauthorized taxi, tuk tuk, bus, train etc. Let me tell you about the ones I used.
Install Grab application on your phone. Just like using Uber OK, if we hit the place to go, we know how many baht the charge is. There are many types of cars in it, as well as taxis. Taxi 20 bath booking charge should be paid. When we go to travel, we see many yellow taxis, when we tell the place, they usually tell us a rate, but it is always profitable to put the meter. Some places will not put meter, they will say that it is traffic then we can use Grab taxi. Like in our country, there will be toll on the expressways and they call it highway. Therefore, if we travel with a fixed rate, we should make an understanding before asking about who will pay the highway. We did not travel by bus or train. And the tuktuk autorickshaw is not that cheap, because Europeans consider it a big event, so the trip will be expensive with out proper bargaining .
I am a person who thinks that there is nothing more boring than going to another country and eating our food. That’s why I ate good Thai food the whole time. In the morning breakfast was booked at the hotel. Some days depended on 7-Eleven. Get a good strong cold coffee. And they drink everything with ice. After getting used to it for a few days, I liked it very much. Lunch is on most days during the journey. Tried the sea food buffet ok. Thai street food has no escape, it’s a great taste. Try any dinner cruise one day. Lizards, cockroaches, moths, scorpions, grasshoppers etc. are fine, but I didn’t feel like trying them. Tried the crocodile meat from the floating market and it tasted good. It would be better if the street food is fried for a while longer. Having said all this, I was able to see some Indians going out without eating anything, and there are many Indian hotels everywhere for those who are like that.
11. How to book trips there:
When traveling privately, the cost will be much higher, especially the travel expenses. So we can go there and book various types of packages. Install the KLOOK app on your phone, you can enter your destination and get a variety of packages and all entry fees are waived. You will get 25 to 50 percent more profit than booking directly. But there are some problems too, most of their pickups are from a specific location and we have to be there on time, once we were late due to traffic and our bus left. Sometimes local agencies will give you packages at a lower rate than KLOOK, ask and book their activities in advance. We did some things like that, the advantage of that is that they come to the hotel and pick it up. And they are more responsible. They will never leave without us. Once they took us in another van and when they realized later they took us to our destination in a private car. And if you need a city tour is , you can make an agreement with a taxi driver and travel.
12. Another important thing to note while traveling in Thailand
Most of the people there do not speak English well. So forget all your grammar and fluency in english , pick up each word and speak, they will get the point quickly. You can also talk more with English Thai translator, Google translator etc.
13. The cash you need should be kept in Thai baht. They do not accept credit cards for usages below 500 baht. It is better to bring the necessary cash from our country itself. If you are transferring from Kochi Airport, there are 4 agencies there. It would be better to ask for the current rate everywhere. At first we only asked at the Federal Bank counter. They said the rate is same everywhere. Luckily we hadn’t taken any money at that time. When we came back with the money, we searched at other counters also. With that, I got a profit of 2000 Rupees. If you need more cash, carry it in Indian Rupees. If you go there and use an ATM card, you will need an extra Rs 500 per transaction. If you transfer from there use only authorized agencies. Everyone says to use TT money exchange. Or there is a possibility of getting fake notes. In KLOOK we can pay by credit card. But I could not use my card in GRAB.
Shopping in tourist places is expensive. Indra Market and Prathunam Market can be used for textiles and Platinum Mall for electronics if you want to shop at low cost. You can get first class duplicate branded dresses, shoes and bags from this market. Don’t forget to bargain before buying. I have learned from other people’s experiences that you can get electronics in very cheap rate but don’t buy them. One thing to keep in mind while shopping. If you have taken a Hand Baggage Only ticket, you will have to pay an extra charge if you have more than 7 kg of luggage. So if you are shopping, book the check in luggage while booking the ticket. It will cost you only a small amount extra.
First time to Thailand where should i go
15. Although it’s not a travelogue,it also include places we have traveled to. Sreeracha Tiger Reserve, Pattaya Walking Street, Coral Island, Alcazar Show, Pattaya Beach, Sanctuary of truth, Pattaya Floating Market, Khaosan Street, Make-long Train Market, Dameon Floating Market, Bangkok City, Safari World, Marine Park.