I know several of you are going, here’s ya some tips, pay attention they will save you a lot of grief.
1. Yes you must have a passport, you do not need a visa to stay in Thailand for less than 30 days.
2. It is a LONG flight, 16-26 or more hours, jet lag can be a bitch but if you know how to deal with it you can be adjusted in 24 hrs or less. heres the best advice…no matter what time you arrive at your destination, eat your meals at the time you normally do, stay up till you normally go to bed and get up when you normally get up. Thats 95% of the battle right there…do that and forget what time it is back home and you are set.
3. The Thai people LOVE their King, do not speak ill of him or anyone in the royal family.
4. Do not, ever, under any circumstances bring in drugs you dont have a prescription for or mess with drugs while you are there, this is one thing the Thais take VERY seriously, you will go to jail and the US Embassy cant help you and yes this includes weed. If you cant go without smoking weed or doing drugs go to Jamaica or Amsterdam or someplace instead.
5. DONT FUCK WITH DRUGS
6. Don’t even THINK about sex with someone under the age of 18 that too will land you in a Thai prison, and rightly so.
7. Dont put your feet up on anything, dont use your feet to point to anything and dont point your feet at any thai person or any photo of the royal family or any likeness of Buddha.
8. Never touch a Thai person on the head
9. Never blow your nose at the table. You may think this is common sense and to some degree it is, but if you like Thai food your nose is going to POUR when you eat it there, its is VERY Spicy.
10. Leave your Judeo-Christian ideas about morality at home, If you cant do this then Thailand is NOT the place for you, go to a church camp or something.
11. Dogs are common place in most Thai cities, monkeys are in many, dont fuck with either of them and yes this means petting them.
12. When visiting a temple, dress modestly, shorts, swimsuits, bare midriffs, tank tops are all inappropriate. Always remove your shoes before entering a temple or a Thai persons home.
13. Notify your bank and credit card holders that you will be using your cards in Thailand, otherwise they will be declined. This is VERY important.
14. internet is widely available there, take your laptop and get skype, a US number that your friends can call (with voicemail) and unlimited calling back to the US will cost you about 20 bucks for 3 months..this is the BEST way to call back and forth.
15. Do not check any baggage. Take what you need for a few days in your carry on. laundry is cheap there and clothing is very inexpensive. You will be tempted to check a bag anyway…DONT. It will save you a lot of time in customs and if you have to go through China or other countries you wll have to claim and recheck your bags its easier to just take carry on…believe it.
16. You do not need a power adapter almost all laptops and battery chargers and whatever else will run on 220/50 and the plugs there are universal so they do accept our plugs.
17. If you are middle eastern decent, dress and speak American. The Thai have an intense dislike for middle easterners largely because of Muslim extremist factions in South Thailand. Identify yourself as American and you wont have any problems. You will find that many Thai establishments refuse admittance to middle easterners, they are NOT politically correct, deal with it.
18. If you are black you will run into similar problems but only in that many Thai girls will refuse to go with you. I didn’t see any establishments that refused to serve blacks. But you should be aware that some of the girls may have no interest in you, others will.
20. If you have facial hair, shave it off. PERIOD. Thai girls do NOT like facial hair. You can grow it back when you come home, believe me its worth the shave.
21. You should stay at least a couple of weeks that long flight isnt worth it for less.
22. Thais drive on the left side of the street so pay extra attention when crossing the road…look right THEN left. If you get hit…its your fault, even in a crosswalk.
23. Use common sense in everything that you do, drink and have fun in moderation. there is nobody in the whole country who will say any of the following: You have had enough, stop, you should slow down, you are cut off, go home and sleep it off, dont do that you might kill yourself. etc. You are responsible for your own actions in Thailand so act like ya have good sense.
24. Most times of the year Thailand is HOT and HUMID expect to shower 2-3 times a day like the Thais do. use deodorant/anti perpirant AND talc or baby powder, you will thank me for this one.
25. If you think you have had spicy Thai food here, you are in for a big surprise, you havent had anything here that even comes CLOSE to Thai spicy. If you get something that is making your mouth feel like chernobyl …. see those raw cucumbers that came with your dish…thats what they are for, they will cut the burn, feel free to ask for more.
26. Try to learn a little of the language and respect the culture, learning to “Wai” properly will help a lot, but nothing beats a simple genuine smile, most Thais speak at least rudimentary english and it helps to speak it to them the way they speak it to you. Instead of where are you going for example say where you go
27. If you dont know what a wai is google it
28. Thais are big on saving face so confrontations should be avoided, try diplomacy, it works. if you fall on your ass Thai people will laugh at you because it would be rude NOT TO. The idea is for you to save face by them pretending that you did it to make them laugh. Understanding this concept in all aspects of dealing with Thais is very valuable. Thais love to haggle over prices so feel free to make offers but you should always haggle with a smile, be friendly about it like they are.
29. Get at least a HEP A and B vaccine, you may also need Malaria and Typhoid if you plan to venture outside the major cities.
30. Coca Cola tastes a LOT better in Thailand because it is made with cane sugar, not high fructose corn syrup. The little glass bottles of coke (10 oz) will set you back a quarter.
31. Dont drink the water, it’s OK to brush your teeth with etc but only in the major cities. Stick to bottled water while there…its cheap plentiful and your hotel probably leaves freebies in your room as well.
32. If you do get travelers Diarrhea go to any pharmacy and pick up some ciprofloxacin or a azithromycin its cheap and you dont need a scrip for most any medication in Thailand
33. If you are female you should NEVER hand anything directly to a Monk. Either hand it to a male first or place it on a table. This also holds true in being handed anything by a Monk.
34. Appreciate the freedom you have in Thailand, because when you get back here you will miss it. I promise you that. For the record the translation of Thailand is “Land Of The Free.”