A mindful traveller, perpetual wanderer, part time meditator and newbie blogger

101 tips for living in Thailand

Some light heartedness. Here’s some tips I have collected. I understand they are personal, but take what you wish from this bigger than small list of Thailand tips.

  1. Eat street food.
  2. Learn to ride a motorbike.
  3. Make effort to speak the language.
  4. Go to a local football match.
  5. Beware of salty toothpaste.
  6. The words, “Mai bpen rai” (no worries/no problem) will get you far.
  7. Coconut ice cream is always the best.
  8. Always get a fried egg with your gra pao muu (Friend basil and pork).
  9. Chicken (gai), pork (moo), beef (neura), fish (blaa), prawn (gung).
  10. If you are long sighted, get your contacts out of Thailand.
  11. Choose your opticians wisely.
  12. Go to the dentist, it’s cheap and good.
  13. Always wear a helmet on a motorbike and don’t drink and drive.
  14. Experience it.
  15. Check out the temples during festive times. They can be magical.
  16. Go to Chiang Mai for Songkran (at least once).
  17. Yee Peng, Mae Jo university. The best thing in in Thailand by far.
  18. Learn to SCUBA dive. There’s a whole new world out there.
  19. Learn about your VISA’s.
  20. Ensure with every VISA run there’s an experience within it.
  21. Accept that this isn’t your country and to roll with it.
  22. If in the North, buy a face mask during the months of January to May.
  23. Learn to love Thai food. It isn’t all rice and noodles.
  24. Be open to yourself and others
  25. Avoid Beer Chang and avoid buckets.
  26. If it’s monsoon season, be prepared to get wet.
  27. If alcohol is your thing, do it Thai style: whiskey and soda (healthier and cheaper).
  28. Find a good pharmacy, they’ll be as good as a doctor (and cheaper).
  29. Always carry charcoal in case you get a dodgy gut.
  30. Buy Skype credit to call home. It’s cheap cheap.
  31. Be wary of dogs, but understand most of the time its all bark.
  32. Don’t get temple’d out; they are unique, beautiful and important to Thai culture.
  33. Avoid confrontation and raising your voice.
  34. Shoes off in temples.
  35. If you see a pile of shoes, take yours off too.
  36. Always point your feet away from statues of Buddha, especially when taking a photo.
  37. Same goes for teachers.
  38. Never touch a persons head.
  39. Go for a Thai massage, but be wary some are crappy crap crap.
  40. Be an onion, be prepared; wear layers.
  41. Don’t itch and don’t scratch mozzy bites. Get some Tiger Balm.
  42. Cover up during dusk.
  43. Ensure you have a visor on your helmet if riding a bike during dusk or at night.
  44. If at night, make sure its clear for night driving.
  45. Bungee cords are an invaluable accessory for bikes.
  46. If riding, wear a full face helmet at all times.
  47. If you’re head is worth 1200B then the REAL Helmets are safety tested to international standards.
  48. Keep a close eye out for dogs, cats and elephants when riding.
  49. Get used to the bum spray, you will never look back.
  50. Get a portable Wifi device, it is everywhere.
  51. If you want to guess a WiFi code try the username, 0-9, 9-0, A-J, or the telephone number.
  52. If your Thai is lacking, gestures help a lot.
  53. The Nancy Chandler Map is magical. Get it for Bangkok or Chiang Mai
  54. Get to a rooftop bar in Bangkok for sunset at least once.
  55. Visit Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai at least once.
  56. Learn some local dialects, you will get some smiles.
  57. Money belts and backpacks on your front are not necessary. Have trust.
  58. If you have lost something, don’t panic. Just return and it will likely be there.
  59. Look after your passport :)
  60. If in Chiang Mai, eat Khao Soi.
  61. Learn about Buddhism. It will help you in Thailand and help your inner-self.
  62. If you have the opportunity, go on a 10 day Vipasanna meditation retreat.
  63. Learn the culture, watch the movies. Shutter, Nang nak and Ong-Bak.
  64. Go to the cinema.
  65. Banana shakes are amazing.
  66. Banana (gluay), coconut (ma praao), pineapple (sapparot), orange (som).
  67. Noodle soup for a late night snack.
  68. Bummii giaow moo daeng is the bestest.
  69. Delicious (arroy).
  70. Eat a cricket.
  71. Go to the supermarkets and you can buy anything.
  72. Go to the markets and you can buy cheap cheap cheap.
  73. Second hand stores for clothes
  74. Learn to drive a semi-automatic as it’s cheaper and more fun.
  75. Thailand has tendencies to be unstable, learn about the politics.
  76. Satisfy your curiosity and try something new
  77. 1669 is the emergency number
  78. The water vending machines are the cheapest way to drink water
  79. Real men don’t buy girls.
  80. Respect women wherever they are from.
  81. Respect Thai culture, especially in more conservative areas.
  82. Start the day with an amazing sunrise, wherever you are.
  83. Buses are cheap.
  84. If you’re ill, eat Tom Yam Gung.
  85. Eating frog is weird.
  86. Western and tourist bars are expensive, go check out some local bars.
  87. Relationships are good, but be aware living in a place like Thailand things can become complicated.
  88. Cover up. STD’s are rife, condoms are cheap.
  89. Drive with a reactive mind more than a proactive mind.
  90. If a local isn’t doing it, maybe you shouldn’t.
  91. Contact lens solution is good for the heat, even if you don’t wear contact lenses.
  92. Be careful when you fart, it might be more.
  93. Don’t be scared to chat about number 2’s, it’s general accepted here.
  94. Avoid the centipedes.
  95. Always smile, a good heart goes along way.
  96. Try hitching, its fun and doable.
  97. Do good things, good things will happen. Be karmic.
  98. Thailand is very different, accept it and concentrate in why your living here.
  99. If you never try something, you will never know.
  100. Mango stick rice is hella good.
  101. Have fun, be mindful, be respectful.
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12 responses

  1. Lily

    splitting checks with a large group is a heinous task – don’t be the guy who says “well i just got rice and water, i don’t need to pay any more…”

    13/03/2012 at 12:07

    • haha, im the guy that orders rice and water!!!!

      14/03/2012 at 01:06

  2. Nice tips, maybe add

    ‘Men/boys who’ve just come up north from the Islands/full moon party – walking around topless in Chiang Mai just makes you look like a twat’.

    and

    ‘Always carry some spare loo roll in your pocket, just in case : )’

    13/03/2012 at 12:29

    • A pet hate of mine… and im kinda liking the bum gun. Spare loo roll isnt really a concern any more!!! However, still not a bad thing to have due to it’s versatile nature!

      14/03/2012 at 01:03

  3. one more”

    ‘Carry hand sanitizer as it’s often what you’ve touched that gives you a dodgy tummy rather than what you’ve eaten’

    13/03/2012 at 12:31

    • Something i dont do. But, good tippy none the less!

      14/03/2012 at 01:03

  4. ok…one last one, you can collate these if you want Anthonee:

    ‘Plastic bags – if you can carry it, tell the shop keeper you don’t need one ‘Mai Ow Tung’. However plastic bags you do get can be very useful when travelling, one for clean clothes and one for dirty clothes, so at least you are recycling’

    : )

    13/03/2012 at 12:45

    • Packaging in Thailand is insaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaane!!!! I now have some cotton bags that i keep to seperate me clothes!!! Always say no to bags though, they dish them out far to easily!

      14/03/2012 at 01:05

  5. I’ve nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award :-)
    http://theyearofwonderfulweekends.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/the-versatile-blogger-award/

    13/03/2012 at 12:46

    • Wow!!! I’m honoured! Thank you! :)

      13/03/2012 at 14:27

  6. garyingwent

    all good stuff…. will tink of a few of my own…

    13/03/2012 at 22:56

    • I shall look forward to them ;)

      14/03/2012 at 01:05

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