You're Only a True Thailand Expert if You've Done These 17 Things

Macro Thailand | © Courtesy of Pexels/Pixabay
Macro Thailand | © Courtesy of Pexels/Pixabay
Photo of Kelly Iverson
23 February 2018

How do you decipher whether or not you are a true expert on the Land of Smiles? Before boasting of your local status, check out the 17 things you have to have done to be a true Thailand expert.

Taken public transportation in Bangkok

From buses to the BTS skytrain, you cannot claim the title of being a true Thai expert without having taken at least one form of public transportation, specifically in Bangkok. In addition to this, visitors must have spent at least a few hours in the capital’s relentless traffic in order to earn themselves this title, as well.

Skytrain Bangkok. Courtesy of Bernard Spragg. NZ/Flickr

Gone to a ladyboy show

Kaithoeys, or ladyboys, are as prevalent in Thailand as traffic during rush hour in Bangkok. For the most part, Thailand’s transgender population is widely accepted here, with venues dedicated to entire shows put on by this vibrant community.

Alkazar_Cabaret-62 Courtesy of John Shedrick/Flickr

Tried Muay Thai

Muay Thai, or Thai boxing, is the country’s national sport. It is one of the deadliest forms of martial arts, however, trainers are sure to take it easy on visitors entering the ring.

Young Muay Thai fighter in Ko Phangan Courtesy of Joe Stump/Flickr

Visited a fortune teller

Khon song (mediums) and mor phi (spirit doctors) help Thais decipher their future, and you are not a true expert on Thailand until you’ve joined in on the fortune telling fun.

Fortune Tellers ~ Bangkok Courtesy of VasenkaPhotography/Flickr

Taken a motorbike taxi

There is nothing more exhilarating than hopping on the back of a motorbike taxi in Thailand. True experts will find themselves sitting sideways with their legs dangling from the side.

Motorcycle Taxi Courtesy of Mark Fischer/Flickr

Grocery shopped at a local food market

Forget the traditional grocery stores found around Thailand: the local food markets are where the best ingredients are found. Not only is there a better variety of ingredients, but it is also exponentially cheaper to purchase groceries from here than anywhere else.

Gone to one too many temples

Thailand’s temples are surely stunning, but visitors will slowly watch as each Buddhist temple starts to look the same after a while. The term for this, we believe is, ‘templed out.’

Wat Chai Watthanaram, Ayutthaya Courtesy of François Philipp/Flickr

Drink your alcohol with ice

Whether it is a local Thai beer or whiskey and coke visitors are enjoying, only true Thailand experts will indulge in these drinks with a bucket of ice in tow. It is strangely refreshing.

Been lost in the Chatuchak Weekend Market… and didn’t freak out

Visitors are normally enthralled with Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok… until they got lost in the thousands upon thousands of stalls. That being said, some experts are thrilled to get lost in this market, and they even come across a few noteworthy finds along the way.

Chatuchak Market Courtesy of Karl Baron/Flickr

Mastered at least ten Thai words

Words like “hello” and “thank you” can only last visitors so long before a larger vocabulary is needed. Experts will know how to say everything from, “I want to be drunk,” to “I’m single,” in Thai and will surely benefit from the lack of language barrier, as well.

Left a night out on Khao San Road feeling okay

Khao San Road is the infamous stretch of street filled with foreigners and buckets upon buckets of booze. Many Thailand experts will avoid the street altogether, but even bigger experts will find that not only can they frequent the road but do so without having a massive hangover the next day.

Khao San Road - Dec 30 Courtesy of jbremer57/Flickr

Taken an overnight bus or train

You are surely an expert traveler in Thailand if you have mastered the overnight forms of transportation. From bumpy, overnight buses to surprisingly comfortable trains, only experts of Thailand utilize these cheap forms of transportation instead of taking a more expensive flight.

Visited a red light district without being ripped off

The red light districts in Thailand are known for scamming curious visitors. Those who are able to visit these seedy areas without getting a bill for an ungodly amount of baht know they are a true Thailand expert.

Soi Cowboy - Bangkok Courtesy of Adam Selwood/Flickr

Mastered cooking at least one Thai dish

Thais oftentimes greet one another with this question: “Gin cow laeo yang?” This means, “Have you eaten yet?” Thai cuisine and indulging in it is a big deal here, and those who do not learn to cook at least one of these dishes are not an expert on Thailand.

Loved on a soi (street) dog or two

Most tourists shy away from man’s best friend found on the streets when they first arrive in the Land of Smiles. While it is always better to be safe than sorry, many a true Thailand expert will find themselves adopting one of these homeless dogs before departing the country: you cannot help but fall for them.

Nun lying down Courtesy of Hanumann/Flickr

Eaten many dinners on a stick

Locals love meals on the go, particularly those dishes that are easily eaten on a stick. If visitors have dined on their fair share of stabbed dishes, they are well on their way to becoming an expert on Thailand.

Watched a Thai soap opera

Whether visitors are having a massage or in any public place with a television really, they are bound to come across a Thai soap opera being played. They are normally broadcasted during prime-time hours, and many of the locals will huddle around to watch the dramatic ordeal unfold on their television screens.

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