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Travel | Things You Need To Know Before Your Trip to Thailand

Going to Thailand is a great escape.  You've packed your bags, paid your bills in advance, took a cab, went on a plane, then land in Suvarnabhumi Airport, then all hell breaks loose.  The airports is very large and nice and is filled with lots of tourists like yourself snaking through the large confines of Suvarnabhumi.

To make your entry a little bit easier, we are offering these tips when you arrive in Thailand.

1.  Bring a Pen
As in most airports, they require you to sign some immigration forms.  These forms are usually given out on the plane.  If you think you can fill it in at the airport, its not a bad idea, but with the influx of tourists, you will be queuing for a table to write on before you line up with Immigration.  So grab that pen and write while still inside the plane.

2.  There are two Immigration Areas
After doing some moderate long walk, you arrive at the Immigration Counter and you see yourself at the end of the queue on the hallway.  Fret not, simply walk a few meters more and there will be another group of counters for Immigration.  Usually the second one have a shorter queue.  

3.  There is a mass transit train beneath the airport.
If you plan to do a budget travel here, don't take the taxi or grab car, take the train instead.  it would only cost you THB45 from the airport to the city central.  From there you have options to shift train tracks to your destination.  Ask beforehand your hotel or your host which train station they are nearest.  Then simply use the trains and if they are still a bit far, then take a taxi there or a grab car.  It will be cheaper transportation cost I tell you.

4.  Buy a local SIM card and load an internet package
At the airport, there are a number of booths selling these.  If I remember correctly they have only a few telecommunication companies here and our friend based here told us to buy the AIS sim.  They have great internet packages.  Check out our previous article on this here.

5.  Download the Grab App on your phone
After getting that internet package at the airport, you will thank your heavenly stars if you have this app on your phone.  If by chance you get lost in the city (which I have), and very far or you don't know where the nearest MRT or BTS train stations are, Grab to the rescue.  I was able to get back to my hotel using this app.  I used the Grab bike option to keep my cost minimal.  This option might not be the most ideal as they charge depending where you are being picked up or where you are heading.  In some part of the city, I can find that there were times Grab car or taxi was almost the same fare with their Grab Bike.  Better check out the fares first before booking their service.

I would strongly suggest using the Grab App over the regular taxi as most drivers don't know how to speak in English.  They can understand you no problem (or I assume them so), but they can't converse back in a language that you can understand, adding to your confusion already.

5.  Print a map of your hotel in Thai language
If you don't like to use the app, then ask your hotel or host to email you a map of their place with Thai language in them.  Instead of spending much time conversing with them in English, simply show that map and off you go.

6.  Use Klook if you are visiting tourist locations
We found the entrance fees to Bangkok's top tourist locations were very expensive.  It will starting from THB500 to more than thousands depending where you want to go.  A good way to go about this is by booking these destinations beforehand using Klook

They have promos and discounts that offer you a great deal to afford you to go these wonderful destinations in Bangkok or Thailand for that matter.  Discounts from 10% to 50% can be had if you get lucky.  For most parts you can get 30% off the entrance fees and this is a lot for a budget traveller.  So get those entrance fees from Klook.

7.  Don't exchange all your money in the airport
When you arrive with your dollars, don't change them all to Baht right away.  Airport money changers are giving low rates for your dollars.  Just exchange dollars for the Baht that you think that you would need.  There are a lot of money exchange centers in the city and they offer better rates for your moolah.

8.  Always bring your passport with you
Don't leave your passport in the hotel.  Not because they are not safe there but you will never know you will need them.  If you happen to get low in Baht, you need to exchange some dollars, you need your passport before they will do so.  So bring that passport always.  I've heard also that police sometimes make random check although we have yet to experience it during our stay.

9.  Get a free map of the city
Inside the airport, find the tourism office there.  They are happy to give out a free map for you and its in English!!!!  You can find most tourist destinations of the city there with the train routes superimposed on them so you will know where to how to get around the city cheaply.  Take the trains more as they will let you feel the city a bit more than the usual taxi or car.  To read more about going around cheaply in bangkok, click here.

10.  Take to other people for destinations in Thailand
Although there are a lot of travel documentaries about this country in the internet, it helps to talk to the people who have been there.  You will be surprised as to how different people talk about Thailand.  Each one will have a different view of it and of how diverse it would be.  Take in what you like and google or search about it online as to how to get there, the cost and what to expect.  Thailand holds differently to different people and mostly will be great and taking in different views will make you want to experience it more.