I am often asked for advice on traveling to Thailand. Having spent the better part of the past three years in Thailand, I might be qualified to offer some advice.
More specifically, I am asked about training Muay Thai in Thailand, as that has been the catalyst for my travels there, and has taken up the bulk of my time. jobs in thailand without degree
That said, I always take time to travel the country each time I visit, and have been blessed to have found some pretty amazing places along the way. I will share some of those with you later.
Let’s first talk about some nuts and bolts about traveling to Thailand.
Lodging is cheap. Food is cheap. Transportation in and around Thailand is cheap. BY FAR, your biggest expense will be getting there… your airfare to Thailand. This can be relatively inexpensive as well, if you do it right. Obviously, planning ahead will help cut your airfare expense, but being flexible on your travel dates will help as well.
In regard to just about everything I write here, price will be directly affected by the time of year you intend to travel to Thailand… including airfare.
Keep in mind, there is some give and take. You may save some money, but as a result, find yourself being rained on daily, or enduring some pretty hot days. November to February is the most expensive time to travel to Thailand. The weather is AMAZING, but expect restaurants, city streets, beaches, etc. to be packed full of tourists, and prices for everything from lodging to taxi rides to be almost double the price.
Rainy season is May to November. Rainy days in Thailand are actually quite pleasant. Often times, it will downpour like crazy for 30 minutes, and be sunny blue skies shortly thereafter. The streets will flood like rivers, and there will not be a cloud in the skies 20 minutes later. The temperature stays warm, so unless you melt when you get wet, rainy days aren’t so bad.
The hot season runs from March to June, and it can get REALLY hot (100 degrees +). Particularly for training Muay Thai, since the training centers are all outside, it can be quite challenging. You will sweat A LOT, and fatigue much faster than in the other times of year.
So, I think your first step in considering a trip to Thailand, would be to decide what it is you want out of your trip. Obviously, if you want to island hop, or party like there is no tomorrow, come during the busy season. But, as I said, you will pay a little more for everything.
If you are coming strictly for Muay Thai training in Thailand, any time of year is just as good as the next. As I said, when it’s hot, it’s hot, but class sizes are typically smaller, and you get a lot of attention from the trainers. During the busy season, some gyms can be a real madhouse.
Most places you visit in Thailand English is spoken. Obviously, the farther away from cities and tourist attractions, the less English will be spoken. Most street signs and many storefronts are in English as well as Thai. (Although many of the storefronts are somewhat comical as they sometimes will butcher their English translations).
It wouldn’t hurt to learn some Thai before traveling to Thailand, but it is a very hard language to pick up. If you remember to finish each sentence with the word ‘Krap’ if you are male, and ‘Ka’ if you are female, the recipient of your query will know you are being friendly.
Krap is pronounced somewhere in between ‘Crap’ and ‘Clap’. The ‘R’ and the ‘L’ and sort of melded together. Some parts of the country, it will be pronounced ‘Kap’.
* ‘Sawatdee Krap’ = Hello and goodbye
* ‘Korp Kuhn Krap’ = Thank you
Clasping your hands in a prayer position and bowing your head is also a respectful way to address somebody.
Some tips on the ‘prayer position’ bow:
* Placing your fingers at your chin = Somebody in the service industry
* Placing your fingers at your nose = Somebody of equal status
* Placing your fingers at your forehead = a Monk or somebody of high status
* Placing your fingers above your head = Reserved for Royalty
**Jutting your chin toward Thais (Like the American ‘What’s up’ motion), can be seen as aggressive by Thais. Nod forward to be friendly.
Four things you DO NOT want to do in Thailand:
1. Challenge a Thai cook to make you something spicy. Even if you like your food spicy… they take it to a whole other level.
2. Tell a Thai massage girl you want ‘Strong Pressure’. 98 lb women will make you cry like a little girl if you’ve never had a Thai massage before.
3. Tell your Muay Thai Trainer you want to go full contact.
4. Play Connect Four with a Barmaid.
Let’s talk about those three of those things now (More on barmaids later);
You will never taste more amazingly fresh and delicious fruit and vegetables anywhere. Thai food is extremely flavorful, and very affordable.
They like their food spicy, and another good phrase to remember is ‘Nit Noy’. That means a little bit. If you are asked how spicy you want your food, ‘Nit Noy’ is the way to go.
My personal favorite Thai dish is Tom Yam Goong. It’s a soup with lemongrass, chilli, galangal, lime leaves, shallots, lime juice and fish sauce, straw mushrooms and prawn.
I also LOVE Green Curry, but it is hit and miss. Some places knock it out of the park, and others, it is just so-so.
I really like Thai beer, and they have some pretty good whiskey’s as well. ‘Sangsom’ is my favorite whiskey, and ‘Singha’ (Pronounced ‘Sing’) is by far my favorite Thai beer (Pronounced ‘Beea’)
Be very careful not to drink tap water (Nam), and watch where restaurants get their ice. You can get REALLY sick from this if not.
You can find a festival of some sort pretty much any time of year. Thais love to celebrate life, and BUDDHA. There are some VERY strange traditions associated with some of these celebrations. Others are amazingly beautiful, and some that are downright fun.
The strangest celebration I saw was a parade of people that had pierced their bodies with swords and hand guns… literally sticking through their skin, with blood dripping from the fresh wounds. As the parade proceeded down the street, these individuals would stop and accept offerings of food and drink from the people watching the parade.