17 Jun 5 tips for travelling to Thailand
Thailand is one of the most popular destinations outside of Europe for UK travellers to visit. This fact is hardly surprising, given the exotic culture, stunning landscapes and friendliness of the Thai people, and that’s before we even mention the food. But as with any trip to a far-flung destination, a bit of research is always time well spent, particularly when travelling to a destination that has different cultures and social etiquettes, like Thailand, does. So with this in mind, here are 5 tips for travelling to Thailand, from your ever helpful travel insurance company Coverontrip:
Buddhist temple etiquette
One of Thailand’s main attractions are the countless Buddhist temples that are located throughout the country. No visit to Thailand would be complete without visiting some of these beautiful monuments. But to make sure you don’t inadvertently offend anyone during a visit here is some useful temple etiquette.
First things first, always take off your shoes when entering a temple, the same goes for sunglasses and hats. Once you’re inside, avoid any form of pointing, but be especially careful with your feet if you’re sitting or kneeling, by not pointing the soles of your feet at the altar, or at any statues or images of Buddha, as the soles of the feet are considered the most unclean part of the body. Do not touch any Buddha statues and when walking away from a statue, walk backwards for a few steps, before turning your back. Also, if you’re tall, try not to exceed the height of the statue. Women are not permitted to touch monks, so if an offering is made, this will need to be placed into a container first. Lastly, use common sense when it comes to clothing, by covering everything between elbows and ankles.
Pack some sunscreen
Okay, this is an obvious one, but be warned, the climate in Thailand means you can burn incredibly quickly when compared to more familiar destinations, given its location close to the Equator. Also, as Thais don’t generally use commercial sunscreen as much as Westerners, this means that sunscreen is not that widely available in Thailand and is also very expensive. So the best thing to do is buy some high SPF sunscreen in the UK and pack it in your suitcase.
Keep in mind the monsoon season
If you’re planning a beach holiday in the south of Thailand, particularly along the Andaman Sea (such as Phuket, Phi Phi Island and Krabi) avoid the monsoon season from the middle of May to the middle of October. High season for visitors to these destinations is November to February when it’s cool and dry. However there are still plenty of things to see and do if you decide to visit Thailand during the monsoon season, and prices can be a lot cheaper during this period. The north of the country offers incredible hiking, which with sensible waterproof clothing can still be enjoyed, as too can the capital Bangkok, with its public transport system and many indoor attractions.
What to look for when getting a Thai massage
For many travellers to Thailand, one of the trip highlights will be getting a traditional Thai massage, particularly after a long flight. A good rule of thumb for choosing a reputable massage parlour is to choose somewhere that has lots of Thai customers, not just tourists. And the best masseurs are generally older, with more experience. Also, try and get a message during the morning or early afternoon, as getting a masseur towards the end of their shift is going to mean they are tired and could be lacking in energy.
What to wear
During high season, the weather is hot, sunny and humid, so in order to be as comfortable as possible, you’ll want to wear comfortable clothing. But what’s comfortable for you may not be appropriate in some places:
• For men: it’s best to wear polo shirts, button-down shirts, or flannel shirts, with shorts. A pair of casual chinos will also be useful for nights out and for attractions such as the Royal Palace where men can’t enter with shorts. You should avoid sleeveless shirts, vests or very short shorts.
• For women: Wear skirts, thin long trousers, summer dresses, and blouses. Blouses should cover the arms down to the elbows, and have a semi-high neckline. Also, your shoulders should be covered in sacred sites such as the Royal Palace. Avoid tight-fitting clothes like short skirts, and items such as tank tops unless you’re wearing a scarf to cover your shoulders and neckline.
And finally, it’s important to take out travel insurance, especially when travelling to a faraway destination such as Thailand. At Coverontrip travel insurance, we specialise in cheap travel insurance to places like Thailand. You can buy a 7-day travel insurance policy to Thailand from just £7.92 for a 25-year-old. So get a quote for Thailand from Coverontrip travel insurance today.