"Siam - Land of the Smiles" Top 5 Page for this destination Thailand by SLLiew
Thailand Travel Guide: 32,155 reviews and 82,848 photos
It is fun, challenging and rewarding to learn the Thai alphabets. Although major road signs and Sky train stations are in both English and Thai, it is cool when you can recognize the street name of Thanon Silom (Silom Street) and your hotel names in Thai alphabets.
When taking the taxi, remember to bring a long a hotel/hostel card from the reception. It has the map, address and telephone number written in Thai and so you can just show it to your taxi driver.
Similarly, have your local destination written out in Thai by the receptionist. Or have the concierge ensure that taxi driver knows your destination before speeding off.
"May pen rai" is equivalent to "Never mind, take it easy" Thai attitude is good to have when travelling in Thai. Raising your voice or getting angry is very unThai.
From Penang, you can easily go to Bangkok by flight, train or land or the southern islands of Phuket, Phi Phi, Samui, Phangan, Koh Tao via Haadyai by vans. For Bangkok, I prefer flight or rail. Taking the bus/van will require stops and waiting times at Haadyai and Surat Thani.
Side trips in Bangkok that I liked are River Kwai, Floating Market, Rose Garden, Elephant Show and Ayuthaya by land, return by boat.
Water taxi is an experience on Menam Chao Phraya River and it is very cheap. Just hop on and hop off along the water taxi stands by the river.
Thai food is wonderful. Do go for a nice hotel buffet to sample the varieties of dishes and desserts.. Getting a slight tummy upset is not uncommon if you are unused to the spices and combinations.. So take it easy.
Visiting temples, the Emerald Buddha is a must. Donations is voluntary. Many of the fortune telling strips can give negative forecasts (rather than the feel good Chinese fortune cookies). But do not dispair, you can get an immediate temple blessings to wash away the bad karma.
Shopping at Chatuchak on weekend has become a tourist in the daytime and Patpong in the night.
Often inside a tour package, you joined all the other tourists being transfered from your buses into an open stadium and... more travel advice
I always love to take a public river boat taxi along the Menam Chao Phraya. You can get on and off at both sides of... more travel advice
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