Grumpy Camel


4 Important Things to Know Before Travelling to Thailand

Since the dawn of time, Thailand has been considered a top travel destination for adventurers hailing from all over the globe. There are a few theories on why this is, the first being that Thailand allows travellers to travel safely and comfortably for next to nothing.
Yes, traveling in most Southeast Asian countries is affordable with the exception of a few countries, but Thailand is the ultimate choice for travellers trying to stick to a tight budget. A full-day trip from Bangkok to Koh Phangan, for example, costs only $30. This may sound like a lot, but keep in mind that the distance covered from Bangkok to Koh Phangan is nearly 800 kilometers, so $30 is a pretty sweet deal.
The affordability factor of travelling in Thailand is enough to have you browsing flights and researching possible itineraries. However, before you jet off to Thailand, there are a few things you should know about Thai culture, healthy travel practices, and what you can expect while on the road.

1. Don’t be shocked when there’s never any toilet paper

This is something that surprises many travelers who are new to Thailand. Since most cultures around the world use toilet paper when using the washroom, it will definitely feel strange when you check all the bathroom stalls and see that there is no toilet paper in sight. What’s that all about? Well, instead of using toilet paper, Thais (and many other Asian cultures) use something called a “bum gun”.
OK, so bum gun isn’t an official name, but rather it is the name that many tourists and travellers call the water hose attachment next to the toilet. This short hose forcefully dispenses water when a person is finished using the toilet. The stream of water is directed in the “bum” to clean the nether regions of the body, hence the name bum gun.
The bum gun is basically the same thing as a bidet, but most North Americans do not use bidets so it can take a while for some travellers to get used to. The bum gun has its perks, the main one being that it is better for the environment than traditional toilet paper. For those of you who just can’t seem to get used to it, it is perfectly acceptable to travel around with a roll of toilet paper.

2. Bug spray will be your new best friend…

And sunscreen will rank as a close second. Travelling with bug spray is a must in Thailand, especially in certain parts of the country and during certain months of the year. More than one traveller has had to cut a trip short due to mosquito-related illnesses and infected bug bites, so don’t let that happen to you.
Culture Trip says that “bug spray should replace your perfume or cologne while in Thailand. Be sure to have a travel-size spray with you at all times. You never know when a bloodthirsty mosquito is going to be out for dinner.” If you know that you’re heading to a remote area for a while and don’t know if you’ll be able to purchase bug spray, invest in some ahead of time.

3. Don’t trust every good deal you come across

When you come across a deal that is too good to be true, chances are that it actually is too good to be true. Of course, this isn’t always the case, but you should still remain wary of a too-good-to-be-true deal. Try not to trust everything you hear, because although the Thai locals can be very friendly, they can also be scammers.
Before embarking on any adventure in Thailand, it is smart to have some idea of the price you should be paying. Finding this information is easier than ever – simply browse around on the internet for a few minutes to get a gauge of Thai prices. Another good idea is to learn a few Thai words; research shows that when you respond to someone in the local language, you’re less likely to become a victim of a scam.

4. Never ever feed the monkeys

This is something that you can learn the easy way or the hard way. Trust us when we say, you don’t want to learn this lesson the hard way. The monkeys may look cute and friendly, but they can also be vicious. In most cases, you are not likely to experience a monkey attack when food is involved. But it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Just remember that monkeys are wild animals, no matter how cute and cuddly they might seem from afar.
This post contains affiliate links. This means that I may receive a commission on any purchases made through the links in the post at no extra cost to you.
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Daniela Frendo

Daniela Frendo

Hi! I'm a Maltese blogger based in Scotland. I created Grumpy Camel to help travellers connect with places through culture, history and cuisine.

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