Before I left for Thailand I had done my homework (as you are doing now) and so knew there would be lots of scams and hacks that I needed to be aware of when travelling around. Having spent around 3.5 months in Thailand in total I thought I would impart some hints & tips for travelling Thailand that I picked up along the way to help you out!
Always ask a taxi to put the meter on
…if they refuse then just try another taxi. It’ll take no more than 2 or 3 attempts to find one that will, and it’ll be MUCH cheaper.
Get out as much money at the ATM as you can each time
…doing this will save on ATM fee’s. Just make sure you have somewhere safe to store the extra cash like this Pacsafe Travelsafe 5L GII portable safe.
Use your own padlock wherever possible
…I have heard horror stories of people having things stolen out of hostel safes or lockers so use your own Padlock.
Take the train from the airport into central Bangkok
…It’s like 30 baht vs 400 baht (not exact) and is so easy! After you pick up your baggage just follow the signs for the Airport Rail Link (downstairs a few flights), buy a ticket to the end of the line, then just pick up a metered taxi when you get there to your final destination.
When travelling down to the islands, go to the train station to buy a ticket
…buying a ticket from Hualamphong station is so much cheaper than those rip-off merchants that want to sell you ‘package’ tickets on Khao San Road.
Beware scams for crossing the Thai/Cambodia border; Poipet
…when getting the bus (which is cheapest to pick up from Morchit Station rather than buying a ticket off those rip-off merchants I mentioned above), the bus driver will likely say that if you haven’t already got a visa then you will need to pre-buy one through them. DO NOT fall for this! Refuse, and ask to be taken directly to the border where you can get your visa no problems. The other way of avoiding this is to get an e-visa online prior to departure which is well worth it to save hassle. There is a a great article here with more detail on how to cross this border seamlessly.
Heading to Koh Chang (the big one)?
…An annoying scam they run once you get in a taxi from the dock is loading up the taxi (or Sorngtaaou – pronounced ‘songtail’), agreeing a price with you – around 100 baht each – then stopping the taxi around the corner saying they will wait there to fill up the taxi further. There will be no one around and no one likely to come anytime soon. They know you will be tired from travelling and just want to get to your final destination so they will say you all need to pay another 25-50 baht more each to go now or wait. You inevitably all end up paying more! the only way I could see to get around this would be to rent your own motorbike at the dock and drive yourself! just beware that the main Koh Chang road that circles the island is not very safe!!!
You don’t need a Sim Card, there is Wifi everywhere
…just ask for the password
And there you have it, a few travel hacks to make your time in Thailand a bit cheaper and easier.
Do you know any other travel hacks that I may have missed? Let me know below and I’ll add them in
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