I went to Thailand within the last few years. I can’t really give specifics as I don’t want anyone from work finding this blog and finding out I plan to escape.. I had a amazing time. So here are some tips that may help you when you go.
1) Get comfortable. That plane ride is LONG if your coming from the States. I was on the plane for about 21 hours. When I landed in Bangkok my bottom hurt and I still had to take a bus 12 hours to get where I was going. Bring a pillow for the plane. If you’re a giant like I am (about 6ft tall) airplane seats are not your best friend. My knees were constantly shoved into the seat in front of me. Sometimes you’re lucky and once the plane is actually in the air you’ll be allowed to move to an empty seat area.
2) Do you really need an electronics converter? I am a guy who always needs to be “connected”. I need internet! I did a ton of reading online before I went to Thailand about what power converter I needed to buy for traveling and while I did in fact buy one to be safe I actually found out that alot of devices now such as laptop and cell phone chargers are able to compensate for the voltage differences. I did not even end up using the power converter I bought. So you may want to do a google search before you end up buying a converter.
3) Tipping is not the norm. I am used to tipping my servers in restaurants here in the States. In Thailand this is not a normal practice as far as restaurants. I did make a few exceptions and left a tip for some of my usual servers.
4) Dress appropriately when visiting a temple (wat). When I went to Wat Phra That Phanom (awe inspiring btw) one of our female companions came in shorts and was promptly denied entrance. This is not appropriate dress for a temple and is considered disrespectful. Luckily most of the temples, including this one, I saw do offer rental clothing. She was able to rent a Sarong ( a long skirt) for something like 5 baht and enter the temple.
5) Tourist Maps. In Bangkok free tourist maps are available at the BTS stations (ie a trolley station). They are very basic and just say what stop to use to get where. I used one of these maps and road the BTS to alot of places. That being said I found that they aren’t perfect. I planned to visit Wat Pho (Temple of Reclining Buddha) and the Grand Palace on the same day. I spent a lot of the day at Wat Pho. Once I was ready to leave and see the Grand Palace I checked the map and found I needed to leave Wat Pho go back to the River boat station and ride the River boat up one stop. Well I took the maps advice and road the river boat up one station. By the time i got to the Grand Palace it was closed to the public. This was not the maps fault. So I decided to at the very least walk around the Grand Palace walls, after reaching a certain point I found that things looked familiar and that the Grand Palace is actually right next to Wat Pho. So if you grab a free map try to plan accordingly.
Well thats all for now guys. I hope you find these tips helpful for your own trip!