Most travelers plan their trip ahead. They search in advance for tourist spots and line up their detailed itinerary, while few prefer to be spontaneous and explore on their own what they can discover.
Regardless of where you belong in the aforementioned statement, this list of not-so-touristy activities will help you to feel less of an alien in Thailand.
1. Take a ride at the Bangkok Train Station (BTS)
Why not start to immerse yourself in one of their public mode of transportation? It’s cheaper compared to a cab. The opportunity to see and interact with Thais or other foreign nationals is also more possible here than opting a taxi, though it’s also good to start a conversation with a local taxi driver.
My favorite part during each ride is to hear the names of each station. I can still remember how the train announcer says “Sthani tx pi (sa-tha-ni-ta-pay/ next station): Nana / Ratchadamri / Ekkamai / Bangna etc.”. It sounds so sweet that made me and my friend mimicked it for a couple of times. We even took a short video of us in the plane en route back to the country saying “Sthani tx pi, Philippines!”
2. Eat street foods and local dishes!
Our favorite is Pik (if my memory’s right haha) which only costs 10 Baht. It looked and tasted like the Philippines’ very own, Longganisa!
No Thailand Food Trip is complete without the Pad Thai.
It normally comes with shrimp, but since I’m allergic to that, I chose mine with the egg ingredient.
3. Shop in Pratunam
There are a lot of enormous malls in Bangkok, like Mega Bangna, that cater famous brands worldwide.
We visited some, but we made sure to also visit Pratunam. It’s like the Philippines’ Divisoria! You can buy here very cheap items—from trendy clothes to electronic gadgets and accessories. It’s a good place to buy your pasalubongs!
Another famous shopping spot in Bangkok is the Chatuchak Weekend Market, though we’re not able to get there ’cause of our flight schedule. If you can, try to shop there too!
4. Give TukTuk a try!
Okay, this one’s a bit touristy, but who will skip the experience riding in one of their unique local vehicles, right? Compare to another mode of transportation, Tuktuk is a bit pricey or the driver just knew that we’re tourist, anyhow we enjoyed the experience!
It costed us 100 Baht, though it’s just around 40 Baht if for a cab, and just free if we walked straight since it’s just a walking distance. Hahaha! Again, for the sake of experience, it’s okay to allot a few bucks sometimes.
5. Learn the basic language
It’s essential and self-fulfilling being able to converse with a little knowledge of their language. When we went there, I only knew: “Sawatdee ka” which means like hi or hello. Thanks to the movie, Crazy Little Thing Called Love. Others, I got a screenshot on my phone and some were taught to us by our friend who lives there, ate Ma-Yi (right) Thanks a lot ate!
You’ll hear most of the times the words “ka“ (used by women) and “khap“ (used by men). It’s their way of talking politely which I think is like the country’s “Po and Opo”
The most common phrase that we used is “Khop khun ka” which means thank you. We also bowed a little whenever we utter our thanks.
Their language is a bit tricky since the pronunciation is different from the spelling. For example, the airport’s name is Suvarnabhumi, but unlike the way most of us will read it as Su-var-na-bhu-mi, the correct way of saying is “Su-wa-na-phuum“.
We also discovered that Mario Maurer‘s name–one of the famous actors in Thailand, who is known worldwide, especially in other Asian countries and the only name I can recall–is also pronounced differently.
When we arrived in Thailand, I proudly said to our taxi driver how I look forward to seeing Mario Maurer in any of his billboards there or even the 0.1 % possibility in person. The picture below is the time I had the convo with the driver. (Thanks for the photo, Jean!)
Our Thai driver didn’t know who he was, even though I told him we already passed by a billboard of him along the road. Until days after, we learned from ate Ma-Yi that his name is pronounced as “Ma-li-o Ma-wew”.
We have various ways on how we can live like a local in a foreign country. I just do hope that these tips are good starter to orient yourself before traveling to Thailand.
Thanks for reading and God bless us all!
Thank you very much again Ms. Myla Loreto and family for sharing with us your humble home ❤ ‘Till next time po! *warms hugs for Frejia* ❤
Credits to Jean for some of the photos!
Thanks also to my very supportive parents Mama and Papa and tita Cecille for the financial support for this trip, back when I’m not yet working.
Thanks and God bless to our family!