Updated: Dec 16, 2020
If you follow me on Instagram (and you should, because most of my captions have dad puns), you know that I spent part of February exploring the beautiful country of Thailand in Southeast Asia. I truly do not know what I loved more: the the immensely kind and considerably generous Thai people, the tropical oasis nestled between thousands of years of rich Buddhist history or the noodles. Probably the noodles.
Thailand was my first experience outside of Western and European travel, which supplied many lessons learnt at a very quick scale. Here are a few things you absolutely MUST know before venturing to Thailand or you may end up with no cell phone, potentially puking your brains out, or bitten by a monkey. Are these guidelines? Should you take my advice? But why males models? Yes. You should. Rabies will come back with you.
Bring A Fair Amount of Baht
Simply put: Thailand hates credit cards. If you are considering traveling to Thailand for a good amount of time, I highly recommend bringing more than you think. I brought about $168 USD (close to 5800 baht) worth and ran out very quickly. If you are like me, you have forgotten what a $5 bill even looks like as I am an avid friend to Chase. However, do yourself a favor and take out a sizable amount for your day to day tasks as you will rarely use a credit card in Thailand. Expert tip: banks DO NOT typically carry Baht in their branches. Call your bank before you visit to check their stock, they can always input an order for you and will call once they receive the currency!
Take Bug Spray Seriously
"I really should have brought more bug spray" -Kathryn Reale, every day of the trip. Helpful hint: Bring as much as you can. Thai mosquitos are relentless and your face is not off limits. Nothing says 'easy breezy beautiful' like two massive red bites on your cheek for photos. Maybe she's born with cysts? Maybe it's Maybelline. Ok, last beauty pun. If you visit a travel clinic before your trip, they usually supply some heavy duty products. I recommend Ben's Bug Spray, which my very smart traveling partner, Brigitte, took with her and I stole from her frequently throughout the trip
Visit Your Local Travel Doctor or Pharmacist Beforehand
So, there are several people out there that will tell you "I definitely didn't get shots before Thailand" or "I will not get sick during my trip". Just do it -Nike -Kathryn Reale. My travel companion Brigitte caught a stomach bug mid way through our trip and the poor thing was miserable. Unless you want to throw up whilst on a shuttle bus from the airplane to the terminal in 95 degree heat with 85% humidity, then visit the damn doctor. As you can see above, a lovely view of the Thai urgent care in Bangkok. I'll take places I never want to find myself in for 500 please, Alex.
To note: Brigitte did receive shots before our trip and still ended up with a bug. Take the precautionary task to get the Typhoid, Flu & Hepatitis A shots. I also obtained some over the counter medications to help with nausea and stomach illness, which I used when needed. Another note: the pharmacy in Thailand does not have a one "one size fits all" medication for food born illnesses or stomach sickness and additionally, urgent care does not have the best hours (the one we found in Bangkok opened at 5pm). Ask your doctor what they recommend for your trip.
Ah from talking about puking to food. What you do not know about Thailand is there will be food served on every single flight you take, no matter how short it is. They could be landing the plane and you would be getting a tray of fruit, pre packaged water & noodles flying into your lap.
However, if you want to avoid illness (and airline food overall), pack yourself some nutrient dense/non perishable snacks for your trip when you're in a tight spot. Quest bars have always been a favorite of mine (also linked is the best flavor) as well as tiny bags of unsalted almonds. Because additionally you'll feel skinny and the picture of health while eating them.
Kleenex is Your Friend
Remember that time you had to squat pee over a port-o-potty at Outside Lands? Or that camping trip where you had to pee in the woods? This is child's play. Welcome to Thailand, where squatting toilets are most definitely 'still a thing' and bathrooms can vary from military style clean to Guantanamo Bay. Do I need to say more? Bring two packs of Kleenex just in case.