18 Tips for Your First Trip to Thailand | 18 Thailand Vacation Tips For Beginners

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A Beginner’s Thailand Travel Guide

A Beginner Thailand Trip | A Beginner’s Thailand Travel Guide

Are you planning your first trip to Thailand? I (Carsten) went on vacation to Thailand with Anja, we went on a tour for 2 weeks. Here in the travel blog, you will find our Thailand vacation tips on country, route, packing list, long-haul flight, hotels, and food. So the Thailand vacation for beginners works smoothly!

This article contains referral links. If you buy or book something through these links, we will receive a small commission. You pay the normal price, it doesn’t cost you anything extra. 

Table of Contents

  • Traveling to Thailand for the first time
  • Thailand tips for your perfect route
  • 18 Thailand vacation tips for beginners and beginners
  • 1) Stay healthy on your Thailand trip
  • 2) Pack insect repellent spray – Thailand vacation tips
  • 3) Thailand: SIM card from the airport or 7-Eleven
  • 4) Overcome jet lag after flying to Thailand
  • 5) Thailand vacation tips: weather and climate
  • 6) Practical clothing for your vacation in Thailand
  • 7) Bangkok: The perfect starting point for your Thailand trip
  • 8) Hotels in Bangkok: Luxury hotels are affordable here!
  • 9) Be careful when driving on the left (Thailand vacation tips)
  • 10) Driving a taxi in Thailand
  • 11) Thailand Tips: Driving a tuk-tuk is an adventure
  • 12) Boating and Skytrain in Bangkok = relaxation
  • 13) Credit Card Is Essential – Thailand Vacation Tips
  • 14) Take small bills and change with you
  • 15) Great shopping malls in Bangkok
  • 16) Thailand vacation tips for eating
  • 17) Thai massages are awesome (and painful)
  • 18) Air Asia seats are not intended for Europeans
  • Thailand holiday tips – do you have any more?

Thailand vacation tips: Traveling to Thailand for the first time

Thailand vacation tips: Traveling to Thailand for the first time

Alisha was in Thailand for the first time during her one-year trip around the world, in a classic way as a backpacker. 

After that, she returned frequently as a travel blogger, most recently in January / February 2020.

Because Thailand is a great travel destination. 

Here in Southeast Asia you will find dream beaches, Bangkok as a pulsating city, temples, markets, rooftop bars and delicious Thai food.

She had taken on the travel organization for both of us: She booked the flights, hotels, and excursions individually.

Thailand holiday tips for beginners: Anja has created a packing list Thailand for the luggage, as a checklist to print out and tick off. So that you are guaranteed not to forget anything!

Do you want to book cheap flights? Anja usually does this through Opodo, the largest online travel agency in Europe. Here you will find 450 airlines and low-cost airlines. 

For the flights, you can also choose “multi-stop”, for example to Bangkok and back from an island. Here are Anja’s long-haul flight tips.

And do you already know these helpful Thailand travel guides ?

Thailand tips for your perfect route

Thailand tips for your perfect route

First time to Thailand – where to go Most end up in Bangkok, travel further north with Chiang Mai or to the beaches and islands in southern Thailand.

That was our route for 2 weeks Thailand tour:

  • Flight from Düsseldorf to Bangkok
    With Etihad Airways in a rather old plane.  Alisha usually prefers to take Emirates or Qatar Airways, there are often cheap flights with good service. 
  • 3 days Bangkok vacation
  • Around an hour Air Asia flight from Bangkok to Krabi Town in southern Thailand
  • 45 minutes by taxi from Krabi Town to Ao Nang
  • 5.5 days Ao Nang: Relaxing by the pool of our  Ibis Styles Krabi Ao Nang hotel and on the beach, Thai massages, street food, and a  Thai cooking course. Here you can find an article with more information about  Ao Nang and Railay Beach.
  • From Ao Nang in 10 minutes by longtail boat to Railay Beach
  • 1/2 day Railay Beach: a very beautiful beach with its limestone cliffs, albeit a bit crowded
  • 5 days Bangkok: Since it was raining so heavily, we returned here. I flew back to Germany from Bangkok, Anja on to Australia.

By the way, on her last trip to Thailand, Anja did a brilliant Ayutthaya day tour from Bangkok. We went to the palace, temples and ruins of the old royal city by bus and back by ship. She booked it through Get your Guide.

18 Thailand vacation tips for beginners and beginners

18 Thailand vacation tips for beginners and beginners

1) Stay healthy on your Thailand trip

Find out about the conditions in the country before you travel. There is the website of the Foreign Office with the current  Thailand travel and safety information .

There you can find information about:

  • Security, e.g. B. domestic political situation and crime
  • Entry or visa and customs
  • health

Unfortunately, the coronavirus is a big issue at the moment . You will always find the latest information on this.

There is also information about necessary vaccinations . Be sure to see a doctor for travel medicine or a tropical doctor in good time – as we did.

And take care of a foreign health insurance . Neither Anja nor I got sick in Thailand. But that can get really expensive.

By the way: If Thailand is your first long-haul trip, don’t let the detailed travel and safety information intimidate you. Caution is good, but Anja has now traveled to 60 countries. She was in Thailand around 15 times, nothing ever happened to her. Neither an accident nor theft or illness.

Thailand is very well suited for a first long-distance travel destination: traveling is easy, it is quite cheap and safe, the people are mostly friendly.

2) Pack insect repellent spray – Thailand vacation tips

Mosquitoes can transmit diseases such as malaria or dengue fever in Thailand . That’s why we applied the insect repellent spray regularly.

Anja arrived in Bangkok on her first trip to Thailand. And did not use the remedy directly at the airport. Result: Around 200 mosquito bites, decoratively distributed over both arms.

3) Thailand: SIM card from the airport or 7-Eleven

Surely you want to use your smartphone while on vacation in Thailand?

On her last trip to Thailand, Anja bought a SIM card at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport . If you come off the baggage carousel, there are several stands at the exit.

Anja took the AIS Super Deal: 32 GB in the 4G network = 419 Baht for 10 days. The employee immediately inserted the card and activated it. The internet was fast and worked without dropouts.

During our trip together we bought a SIM card in a 7-Eleven in Bangkok’s Khao San Road . The famous backpacker mile is a bit rocked. But you can also get great street food, cool Chang beer and foot massages right on the street.

4) Overcome jet lag after flying to Thailand

We landed in Bangkok at 11 a.m. (5 p.m. our time) which was the cheapest flight. If possible, you’d better book a plane that doesn’t arrive until the afternoon.

Because we sat in the lounge, exhausted and with red, burning eyes. Until our hotel room was finally ready.

These jet lag tips will help:

  • Try to set yourselves directly to the time on site. In other words, go to bed at your usual time if possible, even if you are tired. Otherwise you will be awake again in the early morning hours in Bangkok.
  • Stay in the fresh air and in the sun as much as possible.
  • Take it easy, especially in the beginning. Anja usually books two or three days in a hotel for Bangkok to relax first. Here you will find great  Bangkok hotel tips .

5) Thailand vacation tips: weather and climate

Travel blog Thailand: travel tips, inspiration & picturesWhy did we spend 5 days in Bangkok? Because there was atypically heavy rainfall in southern Thailand, up to and including floods.

Look in any case before Climate table to. Where do you find them? Search Google for “best travel time to Thailand” or, more specifically, “best travel time to Ko Samui”. Because the weather differs depending on the region.

And tries to stay flexible. Anja books hotels via Booking.com and makes sure that she can cancel them free of charge until shortly before . We did the same on our trip and took a cheap flight back to Bangkok.

During one of the heavy downpours I had to pick up Anja in town, she was stranded without an umbrella . It also protects against the strong rays of the sun when the weather is nice. So a toddler is really helpful in Thailand.

Sometimes it has to be a rain cape too . Anja once got wet down to her underwear on a boat trip. Not a nice experience even at around 30 degrees.

6) Practical clothing for your vacation in Thailand

In tropical weather the jeans become unbearable – far too warm! I’m very much into shorts, but with side pockets that close well. Because I love to have everything important in a man best. Anja also wore shorts and light cotton shirts in Bangkok.

The clothes in Thailand’s capital and in the beach resorts are different.

Bangkok is a big city, here you can see the locals in office or smart casual clothes. In the beach resorts of Thailand, Anja also wears summer dresses and flip flops.

Before we traveled to Thailand, I didn’t know what a sarong was. I learned from Anja that the colorful towels can be used as bath sheets, towels, cloaks, skirts or headscarves.

Here you can find the packing list Thailand  to print out and tick off.

7) Bangkok: The perfect starting point for your Thailand trip

Flights from Germany to Bangkok are usually cheap . And from here you can easily travel on by plane, train or bus .

You love or hate Thailand’s capital. I liked it with its hustle and bustle and the many sights.

In the days at the beginning and the end of our trip we experience these highlights in Bangkok :

  • Temples like Wat Pho (including Thai massage) and Wat Arun
  • River trips on the Chao Phraya
  • Street food
  • Chinatown
  • the  Lebua Sky Bar  (the rooftop bar from the movie “Hangover 2”)
  • Shopping malls such as Siam Paragon and MBK Center
  • the Chatuchak Weekend Market
  • Thai Afternoon Tea at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
  • the Unicorn Cafe Bangkok
  • VIP cinema Bangkok with massage, reclining seat & drink

The Ayutthaya day tour  to the old royal city with Get your Guide by bus and boat is also brilliant  .

8) Hotels in Bangkok: Luxury hotels are affordable here!

Eastin Bangkok PoolAnja has stayed in many hotels. According to her, there are the most beautiful accommodations in Bangkok. And even 4 and 5 star hotels are absolutely affordable for two.

Bangkok Hotel Tips : Here you will find the five best hotels in Bangkok.

I liked the Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn  very much:

  • Booking.com rating of 9.3 with around 5,800 reviews
  • beautiful infinity pool on the 14th floor with loungers – see photo above
  • delicious food and cool drinks that you can order there or in the restaurants
  • a nice, quiet room with a view of the skyline
  • direct access to the Skytrain station Surasak

Bangkok hotel tips LebuaAnja stayed at the 5 star Hotel Lebua at State Tower (the fifth tallest building in Thailand) on her last visit :

  • Booking.com rating of 8.8 with around 4,200 reviews
  • City and river views from the rooms. Thanks to the upgrade from her Tower Club Suite on the 51st floor with a balcony, Anja had a great view!
  • There is also a large pool here, though not quite as nice as the Eastin.
  • With the Lebua Sky Bar , the hotel offers the rooftop bar from the film “Hangover 2”.
  • The main sights are easily accessible via river or sky train.

9) Be careful when driving on the left (Thailand vacation tips)

The cars, scooters and tuk-tuks auto rickshaws go left. Sometimes up to three people or the baby sit in front of the mother in the high chair on the scooters.

When crossing the street, always look to the right first !

10) Driving a taxi in Thailand

If there was trouble on the trip to Thailand , it was with taxi drivers.

Because most of them refused to turn on the taximeter . They wanted to agree a – usually high – fixed price without the meter.

We stood on the side of the road and asked five or more taxi drivers in a row. Until we gave up unnerved and took a taxi with a relatively cheap price.

Anja has only had good experiences with the taxis at Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi Airport. However, a fellow traveler reported that the driver simply did not turn on the taximeter, even though it had been agreed. When his passengers noticed it, the discussions began. Not nice when you’ve just arrived after a long flight.

We haven’t tried Uber or Grab (replaced the transport service) in Bangkok yet.

11) Thailand Tips: Driving a tuk-tuk is an adventure

Tuk Tuk BangkokWith the auto rickshaw through Bangkok – it’s fun, but also often exciting given the fast driving style. Unfortunately, there are always discussions because the tuk-tuk drivers want too much money or make stopovers in shops. You should then buy something there so that they receive a commission.

So: negotiate price and conditions beforehand. Also have small bills with you so you can pay appropriately Otherwise there are again – you guessed it – discussions.

12) Boating and Skytrain in Bangkok = relaxation

The Chao Phraya River runs through Bangkok. The boat tours are cheap, fast (= no traffic jams) and easy . Sights such as Wat Phra Kaeo, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Chinatown or Khao San Road can be reached on foot from the respective pier.

The Skytrain with air conditioning is also practical. However, it can get freezing here, just like in shopping malls or in the cinema. It is best to take a light jacket with you.

It can get very crowded in both the boat and the Skytrain . So this is not for people with fear of contact.

13) Credit Card Is Essential – Thailand Vacation Tips

We used the credit card to withdraw money from the machine, to book flights and hotels . Anja even had two cards with her.

How do you best protect yourself against theft ? We left some things in the hotel safe. Otherwise we distributed cards and cash to different places, e.g. B. in the front pocket or the photo backpack.

14) Take small bills and change with you

20, 50 or 100 Baht notes are good for taxis, tuk-tuks, markets or street food .

At the Skytrain in Bangkok you pay at the machine with 1, 5 or 10 baht coins.

I used 1,000 baht bills from the machine to pay in the mini supermarkets 7-Eleven to get smaller bills.

15) Great shopping malls in Bangkok

Bangkok has many beautiful shopping centers: numerous small shops on different floors. Siam Paragon, MBK Center or Terminal 21 are recommended .

We were always drawn to the food courts in shopping malls. There are food stalls in a large hall where you can order. You can eat at the tables in the middle. Here you can find food from all sorts of countries, mostly very cheap.

16) Thailand vacation tips for eating

Thailand vacation tips for eatingThe first time to Thailand: You can eat well here on every corner. It’s best to try the different colored curries – from yellow to red to green. Massaman curry with peanuts and potatoes or the Pad Thai noodle dish are also very tasty.

I only made the mistake of ordering something spicy once. The papaya salad was hot as hell and burned for a long time. When Thais say “spicy” they mean “extremely spicy”.

In Thailand, by the way,  spoons and forks are used to eat in restaurants.

Don’t be afraid of street food! The food at the small stands is freshly made, tastes good, costs little and is usually easy to digest.

Here you will find Bangkok tips for eating : The 11 most beautiful restaurants, food markets and rooftop bars

Alisha has been a vegetarian since December 2018 and a vegan since December 2019. She found cafes and restaurants with plant-based food thanks to the Happy Cow app. For street food, she stuck to Mango Sticky Rice.

Do you already know this blog article?

Vegetarian and vegan travel: great vacation destinations and hotels for 2020

Alisha has a robust stomach. During all of her travels, she had an upset stomach at first , in Cambodia.

It was my first time traveling to Thailand and I vomited for two days. So a remedy for nausea belongs in the first-aid kit.

17) Thai massages are awesome (and painful)

Thai massageWhen Anja is in Thailand, she usually goes to a Thai massage once a day. Because it is cheap and extremely relaxing.

It usually works like this :

  • She sees an attractive salon, the prices can be seen on signs outside.
  • At the entrance she takes off her shoes and enters the salon.
  • There she says how long she would like to have which massage. For example a classic Thai massage or a foot massage.
  • You prepaid.
  • During the classic Thai massage, she receives a change of pants and top. Then she lies down fully clothed on one of the floor mats in a large room, the Thai massage works without oil. Even the smallest, most petite Thai women often have bear strength. The massage is therefore sometimes painful, but totally relaxing.
  • During the foot massage, the feet are washed first. Then the soles and toes are treated with fingers and wooden sticks. Not for the ticklish! Often the legs or even shoulders and arms are also massaged. Sometimes the foot massage takes place in deck chairs on the street, then you can people watch while you do it.
  • Often the salons also have wifi if you don’t have a SIM card for your mobile phone.

Alisha wished that there would also be no appointment in Germany. And of course it is much cheaper in Thailand than here.

18) Air Asia seats are not intended for Europeans

Air Asia is a low-cost airline from Malaysia that Anja has often used in Asia or Australia.

For the outward flight to Krabi Town, she had booked us comfortable hot seats with more legroom for a fee. On the way back we took the normal seats, had our knees on our chins and felt like caged chickens.

Our recommendation: Always book hot seats with Air Asia – at least if you are taller (Anja is 1.80, I 1.87 meters) or flies longer distances

Thailand holiday tips – do you have any more?

Note: We organized and paid for the trip to Thailand completely ourselves. There was no cooperation on this article.

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