- Bring Cash for the Field there are no permanent EFTPOS/Credit card facilities. PALS accepts USD and Thai Baht, other shops might only accept Thai Baht, so bring that just in case.
- You can safely use your credit card at real malls (not Pantip or MBK), resteraunts and Hotels. I’d avoid using it at small stores.
- Most small vendors and taxis do not have change for 500 or 1000 baht notes, so break notes at the local 7/11 or in your hotel. Always pays to have lots of 100/20 Baht notes and 5/10 baht coins.
- Hail taxis with your right hand motioning them towards you with fingers pointing down. Do not use your left hand, this can be offensive in South East Asia.
- While taxis legally have to take you where you want to go, many will refuse fares which are either what they consider too little, too much traffic or they simply don’t know where they are going. Be prepared to have to ask multiple taxi drivers and don’t expect your taxi driver to a) speak english or b) understand your mispronunciation of thai words.
- Always use the meter, if the taxi driver refuses the meter get another one, unless you are really desperate.
- Always hail moving taxis, stationary taxis near hotels are primarily there to scam tourists.
- A red light on the right hand side of the windscreen means that the taxi is available (as opposed to the light on the roof like the rest of the world).
- Motorbike taxis are good for heavy traffic and small trips, you need to negotiate price before hand. You do however take your life in your hands with thai drivers!
- Tuk Tuks, while fun are expensive for foreigners, regardless of what anyone tells you these are the most expensive way to travel in Bangkok.
- There is the Skytrain and the MRT, if you are staying in Ratchada, there is the MRT Ratchadaprasit nearby that connects to the BTS at Sukhumvit/Asok.
- Get a “Nancy Chandler Map” from Asia Books or B2S in the malls, its 210 baht and is the best map of bangkok, don’t expect taxi drivers to be able to understand it though. The free tourist maps are useless.
- PALS Thailand Address – Express Way Paintball Club:
Thanon Tai Thang Duan Phraram 9, Bang Kapi, Huai Khwang, Bangkok 10310, Thailand
Or just say “Bai Palam Gao, Glai RCA Krup” (Go to Param 9, near RCA) then direct from there.
- For Electronics try Fortune (Close to the Field in Param 9)/Pantip (a lot of pantip is pirate stuff) or MBK (be careful of fake iphone5s running android)
- For western sized knock off clothing try 6th floor of MBK
- For women’s clothing (small, as a lot of thai women’s clothing is “free size” i.e. small one size fits all) Pratunam (platinum) mall. Also good for women’s handbags/leather goods etc.
- For backpackers ghetto check out Khaosan Road once. ITs everything Leonardo Dicaprio hated on “the beach” before he went to the desert island (that and Haad Rin)
- Go to the 7/11 and get a DTAC Happy sim card, if you have an iPhone 4s or 5 it will need to be trimmed, ask for a Microsim if possible (easier if on Tourist areas). 200 baht for the Sim, 200 more baht will get you 1 week 3g or 400 baht for a month. Great for taking pix of the event. Dial 1678 and get them to change the updates to english.
- Toilet paper is for Barbarians, use the bum gun, trust me, your ass will love you for it. (also a lot of plumbing can’t handle our western turd crudded paper).
- Act respectful to the locals, don’t get in fights or cause them to lose face, a fight with one local will result in a fight with them all.
- Respect the Royalty.
- Avoid tall women with large feet, unless you are australian. In which case make sure you tell them “Chan her tung yang anamai nai kra pao, man jaa mod ayoo proong nee lae chan mai yarg ting mun pai plao plao”
- Wear a tidy shirt and pants, rather than shorts and a singlet when out and about. Proper shoes too, that is if you don’t want to be treated like a tourist.
- Be careful crossing the road, use the elevated walkways rather than pedestrian crossings, Thais do not stop at them.
Booze + Drinks
- Leo, Singha, Chang etc are the local cheap beers, 30-50 baht in the 7/11 (Sewen), Heinekin is avail too but more expensive, some imported foreign beers (thanks Beervana) are available at the Hiso bars in Sukhumvit 11 and 23.
- Sangsom is cheap Thai Rum, usually around 200-250 baht at the seven. Drunk with coke.
- Keep hydrated, its hot here, gatorade, water etc are available. Drink bottled water.
- Ice is Nam Keng, don’t mis pronounce it like I did and say something slightly offensive..
- Drink your beer thai style with ice if you are drinking Chang and don’t want the dreaded changover. Its more refreshing that way anyway!
Thai is a Tonal language where tones mean different words rather than emotion/context etc. This can be confusing (I still get the thai words for 8, spicy and duck mixed up due to my accent), so you will need to repeat yourself.
To be polite add “Kup/Krap” to the end of your sentence for men, and Ka for Women.
In Bangkok, an R is pronounced like an L. (i.e. Rama = Lama, Param = Palam, Arun Amarin = Arun Amalin etc)
0 – Soon
1 – Neung
2 – Song
3 – Saam
4 – See
5 – ha (which is why you will see Thais type 555 when “laughing” online)
6 – hok
7 – Jedt
8 – bpedt
9 – Gao
10 – Sip
11 – Siped (all 21, 31 etc are all “tens” then “ed”
20 – yeesip (20s are Yesip rather than song sip)
30/40 etc are just number then Sip,
32, 33 etc are just number for 10s, then Sip then number for 1s.
Congratulations you can now count to 999 in Thai.
Left – (Leuw) Sai
Right – (Leuw) Kwa
Straight ahead – Drong Pai
Go to – Bai
Where – Tennai
Yes – Chai/Jai
No – Mai (can also be added to a sentence to make it a question)
How much – To Rai
This one – Ah Nee
I – Pom
Want – Au/Ow
I want this one – Pom Au Ah Nee
I don’t want it thanks – Mai Ow Krup