At some point when telling friends and family that you are taking a trip out to Thailand, you are going to hear some common myths and misconceptions. And 9 times out of 10 it’s from people that have never been!
With any travel destination you will hear a number of stories, myths and misconceptions. Thailand is no different, and below I will go over the common myths about Thailand that I hear over and over…
Thailand Is Sleazy!
I’m starting off with this one! The moment you mention to your friends and family that you are going to Thailand, one of the many come backs are about ping pong shows, ladyboys etc… I still experience this myself and I’ve been coming to Thailand since 2004!
Yes all these things are available and if you keep to Nana in Bangkok, Walking Street in Pattaya and Bangla Road in Phuket you will undoubtedly come across the naughty side of Thailand.
If you look outside of these areas you will find a wealth of things to do and see in Thailand. None of them sleazy! You can go scuba diving and snorkeling, relaxing on some of the most beautiful beaches and trekking around the mountains and jungles.
Thailand is a beautiful and wonderfully diverse country and the stories of nightlife antics shouldn’t put you off.
Isn’t Thailand Dangerous?
This is another question that comes up a lot. Thailand is a safe country for travelers, Thai people are welcoming, respectful, and generally non-violent towards foreigners.
The honest answer to this question, is that every single country on this planet is dangerous. But saying that, I’ve felt safe walking around Bangkok on my own late at night and so far over the years never had an issue.
As with traveling to any country, most dangerous issues can be avoided by common sense and research.
The Ice Cubes In Drinks Are Bad For You
While this used to be true, having ice cubes in your drinks are no longer an issue. Most of the ice that is used is made in factories with filtered water. This is the ice cubes that are in the shape of a cylinder and a hole through the middle.
A number of bar will use crushed ice, but this is normally just the regular ice cubes just mentioned or ice from the 7-11 or Family Mart. These are all safe to drink and wont give you any issues… It’s never the 10 beers and 7 shots that you had the night before giving you an upset stomach 😉
Isn’t Everyone In Thailand Trying To Scam You?
Sadly getting scammed is part and parcel of traveling. Yes you may find that you get approached when walking around a temple or at the Grand Palace in Bangkok. Ssomeone will come up to you and say that it’s closed and they can take you to a better temple – For a price and a stop off at a jewelers or tailors.
Bartering or bargaining for a cheaper price isn’t you being scammed. I’ve heard this a few times when people say they have been scammed, when it turns out they were just bartering at a local shopping stand and paid more than they wanted. Bartering or bargaining for the price is part and parcel of shopping in Thailand, enjoy it, it can be a fun process 🙂
While you may come across someone trying to scam you in Thailand, this isn’t unique to just Thailand. You will find that the vast majority of Thai people are incredibly friendly and forthcoming.
You Can’t Do As Much In The Rainy Season
While you will get a rain shower or two though-out the day, it doesn’t rain 24/7 and it’s normally in short bursts. Don’t let coming to Thailand in the rainy season put you off though! While yes the rain may get in the way of your day trips, there are some benefits to this.
There are less tourists about during the rainy season. So you will be able to take advantage of the low season prices and enjoying the beaches when they’re not as busy. Hotel prices are cheaper and the temperature is a littler cooler.
All Thai Food Is To Spicy
Not going to lie, this was one of the worries I had before my first trip to Thailand. I was a very fussy eater and really didn’t like hot or spicy foods… This has since changed over the years 🙂
Yes Thai food can be very spicy! My other half loves chilies, to the point it hurts my eyes just being in the same room when she’s cooking 😐
There are still a number of dishes that are not spicy, and you can always ask for the food to be made Mai phet (not spicy) and still enjoy the flavors.
Not Being Able to Find Anything You Need
This for those people that are looking for creatures comforts from back home. While not really a myth or misconception anymore, people do still ask if they can still find everything you need. From a Starbucks to a supermarket!
While you can find most things at at 7-11 you also have the Big C , Tesco Lotus and Robinson Department Store for you daily needs. Or if you are an expat, you’ll more than likely be shopping in one of these.
You will also find massive shopping centers, so if you are looking for items that you get back home, fear not! You can find everything you need or something very similar to it 🙂
Health Care In Thailand Is Very Poor
I’ve used the hospitals first hand in Thailand and I can safely say that this is indeed a myth! Amazing service. It’s also worth pointing out that as of 2019 there are 64 accredited hospitals and Thailand is currently among the top 10 medical tourism destinations in the world.
You can read a little more about medical tourism here if you wish.
The Elephant’s In Thailand Are Not Looked After?
While sadly this is true, a lot of the elephant related tours do involve a lot of pain and suffering behind the scenes for the elephants.
There are however also a lot of elephant sanctuaries in Thailand that are all about caring and looking after these amazing animals.
Below I’ve listed a number of elephant sanctuaries, so if you must go and see some elephants take, a look at the below and see if any are in the areas that you plan on visiting.
- Elephant Nature Park
- BEES Elephant Sanctuary
- The Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT)
- Surin Project
- The Phuket Elephant Sanctuary
There Are To Many Tourists In Thailand
Can’t deny this one, Thailand is one of the most visited places in the world! And for good reason, it’s an amazing and beautiful country.
If you are willing to get off the beaten path and venture off to the less touristy locations in Thailand, you wont be disappointed.
You could head to the Isan region and explore some of its 20 provinces. Or take a tour around the hills of Pai or even head even further north and explore Chiang Rai as this is getting ever popular.
Whatever you are looking for, you can find it in Thailand! Be it staying in the mix of all the tourists or venturing out to the less traveled areas of Thailand. There is something for everyone here.
You’ve Seen one Temple, You’ve Seen Them All
While I would have agreed with this statement a number of years ago, I know longer agree with it. Yes you can visit the same temple far to many times, there are a good number of temple verity to see in Thailand.
You will undoubtedly visit The Grand Palace in Bangkok, amazing place and well worth the visit. You also have the White Temple and Blue Temple in Chiang Rai, Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai. Wat Chaiwatthanaram in the city of Ayutthaya to Wat Chalong in Phuket.
As you can see, there is a verity a temples in Thailand for you to see and explore. So don’t let it be said that all the temples are the same.