After taking a few trips to Thailand over the years, I’ve come up with a list of the biggest mistakes people make when visiting Thailand. Most of these are easy to prevent if you prepare for them before your trip.
- Not Getting the Right Visa – Thailand’s tourist visa lasts up to 60 days and you need to apply for a student/work/martial arts visa in advance by exiting the country. Overstaying your Thai visa is frowned upon and you could get banned permanently from the country.
- Not Bringing Enough Money – Many foreigners come to Thailand with a little money and end up broke in a few weeks. Money comes and goes fast in the “land of smiles” so be sure to bring at least 2x as much money as you plan to spend. For a short trip (1 to 2 weeks), you need at least $1,000. If you plan to stay longer than 1 month, be prepared to spend between $700 to $1,500 per month depending on your spending habits.
- Paying “Farang” Prices – Thais believe in bargaining so do not be afraid to counteroffer on anything for sale. Remember this: The price for foreigners is usually 2x to 3x higher than the price for Thai locals. Whenever you ask how much something costs, you can usually cut the price in half to reveal the true cost.
- Drinking Too Much Alcohol – Getting drunk every night is not only expensive, but extremely dangerous in Thailand. You open yourself up to all types of common scams and unfriendly people. It’s best to be sober during your trip, but if you chose to drink set a drink limit and stick to it.
- Not Learning Basic Thai Phrases – Most Thai people speak very little English so you need basic Thai to get around the country. Pick up a Thai Phrasebook or take a few Youtube tutorials before your trip. You will avoid a lot of headaches.
- Getting Arrested in Thailand – Thai jails & prisons are not the place you want to end up. It’s best to avoid things like fights and drug use if you want to stay out of Thai jails. Some drug offenses carry long sentences of 10+ years or even the death penalty. Do not get arrested in Thailand.
- Failing in Love with Bar Girls – Thai bar girls are working to earn money. Many foreigners end up with bar girls then complain about getting scammed. Falling in love with them happens often, but it’s not the best way to meet your future Thai wife/GF. Online dating sites, malls, shopping centers and on the streets are better places to meet your future Thai partner.
These are some of the biggest mistakes I often witness when traveling to Thailand. Avoid these common pitfalls to protect yourself and your hard earned money.