Beautiful, exotic, affordable, and accessible: Thailand is the preferred travel destination for millions of people from all over the world. Travelers new to the country may find certain aspects of daily life in the Southeast Asian country surprising (both pleasantly and unpleasantly). Here are a few tips to help you acclimate and make the most of your visit.
1) Train travel
Visitors who would only be familiar with The Bridge Over the River Kwai and the shocking history of the so-called Death Railway may be surprised to learn that train travel in the country is decidedly affordable, comfortable, and memorable. Even if you have the means to arrange for other methods of transportation, riding the rails in Thailand comes highly recommended.
2) Weather warning
Typically speaking, the best time to visit Thailand is the cool season from December to March, though travelers may find areas in the north a little bit chillier than they might have imagined. March through June is the hottest time of the year. If you’re interested in travelling to the big cities, you may want to steer clear during the hot season. The rainy season from September to November is an unadvisable time of year to come if it’s backpacking and/or camping that you’re after.
3) Scams and safety
Crime is relatively low in Thailand, considering the low average income of the typical Thai and the massive number of tourists who visit each year. There has been a rise in violent crime (typically assault and robbery) in Pattaya, but the majority of crime in the busier parts of Thailand is restricted to petty theft, overcharging, and ATM/credit card fraud (by far the biggest problem listed here). To avoid the latter you should keep an eye on your card when using it in shops (you don’t your card info copied down) and use reputable international bank machines.