How to Travel to Thailand

David Kolmer (Winter 2018)

Chae Hom, Lampang, Thailand

Traveling the world is not as far out of reach as it may seem. There are many opportunities to find discounted air fare and if you have the time, boats, trains and buses, will also save you a great deal of money. If you have never traveled outside of the country I recommend going to another country near you. For example, if you are in the United States start out with a short trip to Canada.

Once you have had some experience crossing boarders why not think big? Why not go to Thailand? The tourism industry in Thailand is robust but it is still easy to get off the beaten path with not much effort or money. Depending on your citizenship you will often get a tourist visa upon entry. If you are interested in a longer stay then look into working retirement Visas.

In fact if you have a return ticket you often do not even need a Visa. That is the case if you are an American Citizen.

If you are a American citizen then,
check here to be sure.

Ban Dam, Chiang Rai, Thailand

Things you will want to do before your trip:
  1. Get a passport
  2. Check Visa options here
  3. Buy your airline tickets
  4. Pack you bags (See list below)
  5. Ask someone to look after your house.
  6. Book a hotel in your destination city the night of your arrival
  7. Have the time of your life

Things you will need to travel through Thailand:
  • A large suitcase or Hiker’s rucksack
  • A smaller carry-on bag (computer bag or a back-pack)
  • Good walking shoes
  • Sandals for taking a shower
  • Clothes for around 5 days (include pants and shorts, see below)
  • Toiletries bag with soap, toothbrush toothpaste etc.

Watch the Water

Do not drink the water in Thailand. It is safe some of the time but other times it is not, so do not take the risk. Only drink from sealed bottled drinking water. It is also not a bad idea to stay away from cut fresh fruit and vegetables. I have had the most problems with food at hotel buffets. If you purchase fruit at a market choose the, uncut variety with the peal on. Cooked food is great obviously because cooking kills the bacteria and of course the beer is great.

Some Thai Culture…

The reason you should bring pants is that it can get cool in the nighttime but also if you are visiting a temple or a home of the royal family you cannot wear shorts that rise above the knee. It is also not acceptable to expose your shoulders.

Be aware that the Royal family is held very sacred in Thailand and you should never deface anything that resembles any of the family members. This includes money or anything else that resembles the Royal Family. There have been numerous writings on how the Thai monarchy doubles as a sacred deity for the Thai people. (This is not dissimilar to the Pope or the Dalai Lama.)

Also, be aware that the feet are considered unclean and the bottoms of the feet are the most unclean. Therefore never point something out with your foot. Never show the bottom of your foot to someone and most importantly do not let your foot come in contact with anything related to the Royal Family. That is, unless your purpose is to compose a journal of you experience in Thai Prison.


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