The flights are booked, the accommodation is organised, and you’re ready to jet off on your holiday-of-a-lifetime to Thailand. Before you go, make sure to check out our guide. While you’re in for a trip you won’t soon forget, it’s good to know exactly what to expect before flying out. Here are five things you might experience while you’re there.
1 - Animal tourism (the bad kind)
Unfortunately, some people have developed a business out of exploiting animals as attractions, with these creatures (often elephants) usually forced to perform tricks and give customers rides. Try to avoid these at all costs.
Responsible Travel highlight the places which are serving as genuine animal conservation sites, and those which are carrying out unseen levels of abuse to get their creatures to jump through hoops. Always be sure you know which is which before you head to one of these places.
Image via Unsplash
2 - Animal tourism (the good kind)
There are plenty of opportunities to check out cute animals without heading to a sanctuary of this nature. You’ll find swarms of wild dogs roaming the streets (although we advise not petting these), while on the beaches there are monkeys galore to enjoy.
You can also find zoos which have met all the same kinds of regulations you’ll find in most of Europe, while natural wildlife is also prevalent in Thailand. If you’re worried about sanctuaries but still want your fix of cute animal goodness, these alternatives might be for you.
3 - Fake money
Baht is the national currency. Be careful when handling notes that you’re not being provided with a fake. 1cover provide a decent system for spotting counterfeit money in their guide to travelling around Thailand.
They highlight several important factors regarding these kids of notes, including:
Real bank notes are often made of strong, hard to rip materials
Fake notes might feel oily or flimsy when you touch them
Counterfeit money might also be missing the watermark of King Bhumiphol on the right-hand side
Real money should also have a holographic strip down the left-hand side.
Keep this in mind when handling any cash.
Image via Unsplash
4 - Haggling in markets
Be sure to expect a tussle of words when you face off against any market vendor. While it will (usually) be good-natured fun, most store owners will try and haggle you up to get more value for their stock.
Your job is to stand firm, and even haggle down if you’re feeling confident. Start with a ridiculously low number – it will definitely rise, but your final agreement might sit at less than what the original asking price was.
5 - Amazing food
Arguably the highlight of any trip to Thailand comes in the form of the mouth-watering food you’ll find there. From Tom Yung Goong (a spicy shrimp soup) to Pad Krapow Moo Saap (a fried basil and pork dish), you’re bound to find something you love. Vegetarians also won’t need to worry, with dozens of amazing meat-free dishes available throughout the country.
Remember to keep these in mind ahead of your next adventure. Thailand is a magical place, so we know you’re going to have the time of your life.