As you guys might already know, Thailand is one of the most favorite destinations for travelers around the world. Millions of people are traveling to the country every year to enjoy their vacations. Traveling in Thailand is very enjoyable, however, there might be some struggles along your journey.
Many experience seekers choose to get around with local friends, so they can save time on their research and travel plans and really get themselves into Thai cultures and traditions. But, what if you don’t have a local friend to take you places as your personal guide? Should you really need one?
Here are some of the inconvenient truths when traveling and the reasons why you should have a local friend or a local expert to show you around Thailand.
1. Roads in Thailand, especially in big cities, are very confusing.
If you’ve been in Thailand before or already gotten around for a few days you probably understand this. There are so many roads and alleys, especially in a big city like Bangkok. Some roads are one way. Some alleys doesn’t have names. Sometimes, your regular map (or even Google map) won’t be any help either.
2. Get around Bangkok or across the country isn’t all that easy
Traveling in a big city won’t be much a problem since we’ve got all those public transportations which make your life easier and more convenient. What if you’s like to save your transportation budget? Is there any better way to not travel around with taxi, tuk tuk, or the skytrain all the time? Is the public bus and van okay? Only locals know these things and can recommend you the best possible way.
3. Scams… How do I avoid?
Following #2, traveling in Thailand with Tuk Tuk, taxi, or motorcycle taxi isn’t always a good idea. I’ve heard many scams that involve these three transportations a lot, but never thought they’re still exist until last week. I had a chance to travel couples who happen to pass by. They said they were scammed by Tuk Tuk. He took them to a shady tailor shop instead of Temple of Emerald Buddha. At that time, I felt really bad about this. I didn’t know what to say about this at all. I can only suggest them not to take any tuk tuk, unless they know the route or it’s a short trip. One thought came right to mind that, this wouldn’t have happened, if they’ve had local friends or a local guide with them.
If you’d like to learn all the common scams around Bangkok please check my previous article here
4. Can I eat this? How do I order this?
Thai street foods are delicious and (most of the time) customizable. BUT, how do we know what they are called/ made of? How are you going to order the food? How do you know, if they are safe to eat? What if you have some allergies or sensitive stomach? These trivial things won’t be in your way, if you have a local friend/ guide with you though.
5. Different customers, different prices
One of the most inconvenient truths about traveling in Thailand. Many travelers, who come from Europe, USA, or any countries that have stronger currencies, love to shop in Thailand because they think Thai goods are very cheap, Little do they know that they sometimes paid more than they really needed to. Some local shops are just like that: 300 baht for Thais and 600 baht for foreigners. If you haven’t been in Thailand long enough or aren’t a very good shopper (who likes to walk around/ do some researches first and check the market price) you might get scammed or overcharged though…
6. Language barrier
Lastly, having a local guide with you will totally get rid of this problem, if you’re looking for an awesome opportunity to experience something new and very local across Thailand. Traveling like a local is a very good idea. However, many Thais, especially who live in a very rural area, don’t speak English. Travelers usually find themselves trying to communicate with the locals and end up doing things wrong/ going to the wrong place. I’d say those experiences aren’t very bad, but don’t you think it’s better to understand everything around you from someone who know the language?