Your first time in Thailand: where to go and what you need to know

Your first time in Thailand on your own? I tell you how to go.

Let us first define why you decided to go to Thailand by yourself? Many people think that you go to Thailand by yourself only because it’s cheaper. But that’s not entirely true.

Let me tell you a few reasons that do not like to talk about independent travelers.

You go to Thailand on your own in order to:

  1. To rest not “herd”, but individually. To avoid the crowds and to relax in a quiet environment.
  2. To stay in Thailand more than the standard 10-14 days.
  3. To stay in a good hotel. Really good! But at an adequate price. Many tourists are not even aware of the chic accommodations that independent travelers are able to settle in at an incredibly low price. In Thailand, you can rent a house from $ 300 a month or a villa with a pool from $ 800 a month – no travel agency will not offer this. And it is especially convenient if you go with a child. You can rent an apartment with a kitchen or a villa with a sea view. In this post below I will give a link to a great cheap apartments with a kitchen, in Phuket.
  4. Independently in Thailand go when they want to not only lie on the beach all day, and travel to different places. For example, three days in Bangkok, five days in Phuket, five days in Krabi, then drive through the islands. Or fly to Singapore, or inexpensive to see Malaysia.

If you just want the cheapest price in Thailand, and accommodation is not important to you, and you’re going no more than a week, it’s better to buy the cheapest tour on sale in the summer.

And for those who want to get from vacation in Thailand as much as possible, read on.

Step by step guide 2022: how to go to Thailand on your own, without a travel agent

Holidays in Thailand on your own.

Rest in Thailand on your own

The Russians don’t need a visa to Thailand up to 30 days. If it’s more, then you need a visa to Thailand, however for the first trip to Thailand on your own is quite enough and 30 days. So plan your trip within that time frame. Consider that the day of arrival – the first day, and the day of departure – the last. Your passport is required. English is not required.

How to buy an inexpensive ticket to Thailand

Начинать искать билеты лучше за 6 месяцев до поездки. Если хотите купить билет в Таиланд недорого, то лучше воспользоваться сравнением цен на разные авиакомпании, например, здесь >>.

Where to book a hotel in Thailand

Prices: expensive during holidays, cheap during off-season. The lowest prices are from May 1 to October 30. The highest from December 15 to January 15, as well as the Chinese New Year. To avoid unpleasant surprises, book through trusted sites. I like most of all Booking – lowest price guarantee, honest reviews, convenient filters to find a hotel and a hotel will be just like on the photo. I choose a hotel with at least 8.5 rating and look at reviews.

Hotel prices in Thailand:

Do I need insurance in Thailand?

Medical insurance is a must! Prior to 2019, insurance for entry was not required, but now the Thai authorities have made insurance mandatory. Now they do not check at all points, but by the end of 2019 plan to make checks at all entrances to the country. And rightly so.

Unfortunately in Thailand tourists go to the hospital much more often than in other countries (exotic viruses, poisoning, fracture) and are very surprised when they learn that the cost of medicine is more expensive than in Europe. When a day in the hospital tourists get a bill from 1000 euros, it greatly spoils the holiday. Before the influx of Russian tourists in Thailand, insurance was optional. Tourists from other countries usually came with insurance anyway. But the Thai authorities were faced with the fact that the Russian-speaking tourists travel without insurance and get to the hospital more often than others. There were a lot of cases where tourists took a long time to pay their bills (without paying the medical bill from Thailand will not be let out of the country), and some tourists were even imprisoned for non-payment… Well, it was decided that without insurance tourists are not allowed into the country. So now it is better to buy insurance in advance, otherwise the border is still forced to buy travel insurance, but at triple the price.

What to see in Bangkok - 11 best places

What insurance is better to take in 2022?

The most current information and the latest reviews of insurance read here – named the best inexpensive insurance in 2022.

That’s it – so easy to go to Thailand on your own!

Travel Tip. Many first time travelers are afraid to go on their own and often ask for help buying tickets or hotels from intermediaries. Do not do it! In order not to run into scammers, do not trust anyone with your information and your vacation – book everything yourself. It’s safe to do it on trusted services, but not through intermediaries.

Let’s break down the specific easiest route, how to go to Phuket.

Thailand for the first time. Independent route №1 for the beginner – going to Phuket

Beaches in Phuket: Kata Noi

Beaches of Phuket: Kata Noi.

So, how to go on vacation in Thailand, to Phuket by yourself.

1. Buying airline tickets to Thailand by yourself.

To find tickets for the best price, we use the search by airline. Compare prices, choose the right tickets and buy. Before flying you need to check in for the flight – boarding passes will arrive to your e-mail – you must print them out or keep them on your smartphone as a pdf file.

2. Book a hotel

If you’ve never been in Phuket, choose a beach in Phuket or look at the list of the best hotels in Phuket when you book your hotel. No time to figure it out? Then see Kata Beach or Karon Beach. Kata is an inexpensive good beach, Karon is a beach with white squeaky sand. However, they are close to each other and it takes about 20 minutes to walk from one to the other. And you can take a few days on one and a few days on the other. We are on our own now!

A very good inexpensive hotel is The Beach by Glitter House:

The Beach by Glitter House Hotel in Phuket

The Beach by Glitter House Hotel in Phuket.

This hotel is not just rooms, it is an apartment with a small equipped kitchen with dishes, kettle, microwave, stove, and refrigerator. The rooms have balconies with excellent views (a rarity in Phuket for cheap hotels). At the same hotel is located in a quiet location, no evening noise. To the beach is about 3 minutes walk.

There are a lot of good hotels in Phuket. Here are discounts and special offers:

Choose and book a hotel. Hotel reservations will come to e-mail – you need to print it out.

3. Insurance

Покупаем страховку – если хотим надежную страховку со скидкой, то ищем здесь >>. Insurance will come by e-mail – must be printed out and always carry it with you on vacation in Thailand.

4. Mobile communications: you need a local SIM card

In order to stay in touch with friends and family in Thailand, you need to take care of an inexpensive cell phone beforehand. Here’s a tip: a few days before your trip, order a Thai 4G SIM card online – here – discounts up to 60%! The SIM card is 8 days, so if you vacation longer, then order 2-3 pcs. at once (and activate as you use it), otherwise you’ll have to buy it at full price on the spot.

The 13 best beaches in Pattaya: how to get there on your own

Where to get a SIM card at Phuket Airport

Where to get a sim card at the airport in Phuket

Upon arrival, at Phuket airport (Terminal 2) go to the DTAC kiosk on the first floor. Show the employee printed (or on a smartphone) voucher with a QR-code and get a Thai sim-card. The dtac kiosk is open 24 hours a day.

5. What else to bring to Thailand

On the day of departure we take the passport and prints of airline tickets, insurance, hotel reservations, and, of course, bank cards and money (how much money to take in Thailand – depends on your plans). The rest is optional. Do not bring a fur coat and boots to Thailand – better to get to the airport in a cab in light clothing. It’s always hot in Thailand, so pants and a jacket will be enough, everything else for the rest of the rest can be bought in Thailand upon arrival.

6. Upon arrival in Phuket.

On getting off the plane we move with everyone else. After passing customs we proceed to the airport exit. The airport in Phuket is shallow, it is impossible to get lost. Before entering the street do not miss the kiosk, where tickets for transfers to the beaches are sold. Look for the sign “Minibus”. In the photo on the left prices for cabs, on the right – the prices for the minibus (3-4 times cheaper). If you go in four people, it’s better to take a cab.

Transfer Desk at Phuket Airport

The counter for ordering a transfer at Phuket Airport

The lady at the ticket office shows you the hotel reservation (she needs the address and name of the hotel, where you are going), she will sell you a ticket. Then you go outside with the ticket in hand. Then people come running up, show you the ticket and get into a cab or mini-bus, which will show you. We ask, “Caron?” The minibus looks like this:

How to leave Phuket Airport by Minivan

Pictured: Minibus at the exit of Phuket Airport

The minibus takes you to the hotel. If the hotel is small, the minibus may not go straight to the door, but drop you off nearby. That is why it is better to find the exact location of the hotel on a map or by smartphone navigator. You will be shown your passport at the hotel and they will check you in.

7. How to communicate? Where do I buy tours?

In Phuket, there are restaurants with menus in Russian, and tours, where everything is in Russian – you won’t have any problems with the language. Just leave the hotel, go down the street and see what you like – signs everywhere, it is impossible to miss. However, it would be nice to remember a couple dozen words in English for the trip:).

However, in Phuket, there are many interesting excursions in Russian. You can book in advance online:

A beautiful excursion – to the islands of Phi Phi.

Phuket, Maya Bay

Island of Phi Pi Pi, Maya Bay

If you want to visit the islands without the crowd of tourists, it is better to go on your own for a couple of days on the island.

Next … relax, enjoy it :) The main thing is not to forget the date when it’s time to go back. I forgot once…

Amara Bangkok

Amara Bangkok

By the way, if you come back home via Bangkok, I highly recommend spending a couple of days in a hotel with a rooftop pool and beautiful view. This would be the perfect ending to your independent vacation in Thailand.

Low-cost airlines in Thailand

Before your trip, I recommend reading Thailand tips here.

If you need more complicated itineraries, write in the comments – we can help you make an itinerary, choose the best place to stay and a better hotel.

Read reviews on how to go to Thailand on your own, here.

Friends, join us on – Facebook or Vkontakte or Odnoklassniki – exchange experiences, give out LIFT Hacks, tell us about current discounts! And also pictures and tips for travelers on Instagram and Telegram.

Your first time in Thailand: where to go and what you need to know

First Time in Thailand

Your first trip to Southeast Asia is a real adventure! We share our tips on where to go for the first time in Thailand. What you need to know not to inadvertently offend the locals and not to have problems with the Thai police.

You can search for Last Minute Deals at Level.Travel and Travellata, where you’ll find the best deals from different tour operators. Want to save money? Explore:


Where to go for the first time in Thailand

After living in Thailand for several years, I would advise just coming to the country. Choosing a place to visit Thailand for the first time is not as important as it seems at first glance.

In any province, in a large resort or in a small town, you will learn a lot of interesting things and see unusual for you culture and traditions. Stores, markets and huge shopping centers, hospitals and pharmacies are everywhere. However, in non-touristy towns there are usually few hotels, no currency exchange and travel agencies.

Phuket and Pattaya – popular seaside resorts. They are famous for well-developed infrastructure and a lot of interesting attractions for tourists. In Phuket and Pattaya is good to come to a couple, with young people and children.

Where to go when you first visit Thailand

Noisy Pattaya at night (Photo: / @hannynaibaho)

If you’re flying to Thailand purely for a beach vacation, choose Samui and other Thai islands. Here the beaches are cleaner and much quieter than in the seaside cities. However, on small islands you will not find the same service as at the major resorts.

Tourists who do not plan to spend their vacations by the sea, and want to experience the Thai culture, we advise to go to the north of the country – in Chiang Mai. It is the largest Thai city after Bangkok with 132 thousand people.

First time in Thailand

A girl in a national costume in Chiang Mai. (Photo: / @danialaez)

First time in Thailand: Tips for the future

The climate in the Land of Smiles is heavenly. Don’t bring warm clothes! At any time of the year you will find moderately hot weather and a pleasant sea for bathing. Cheap beach clothes and shoes are easy to buy on the spot.

Thailand has only one currency, the Thai Baht. Read our useful tips where to withdraw and exchange money in Thailand.

Thai food is almost always spicy. Trite advice, but it works – ask for no spicy or middle spicy if you want less fiery food.

Do not be afraid to eat in street taverns and night markets – it’s delicious and inexpensive!

If mobile communication is important to you, read what SIM card to buy in Thailand.

 First Time in Thailand

Thai cuisine – for those who like hotter. (Photo: / @artypj)

What you need to know about safety

Thai society is very tolerant. If you plan to stay in a regular town, you will see how the locals show respect for foreigners. A person of a different culture – a farang – is always interesting and they try to help him.

When to go to Thailand? Weather by month. Holiday and Rainy Seasons.

Pattaya and Phuket are somewhat different. Popular resorts are corrupted by tourism. Here you can easily get a dishonest person. Do not expect trouble from those who work on the streets. The shopkeepers and vendors of small goods, the owners of hostels and hotels, masseurs and porters on the beaches value their business. Among them, “dashing people” are rare.

Beware of pickpocketing during public holidays. We saw a Thais catch a pickpocket on New Year’s Eve on a crowded Beach Road in Pattaya and beat him up like a man.

Don’t carry handbags on your shoulder or purse in your hands. They can be snatched by passing motorcyclists. Find out if it’s dangerous in Thailand.

Another thing to know for first time visitors to Thailand – don’t touch wild animals and they won’t hurt you. Read about Thailand’s wild animals – who are harmless and who you should be wary of.

Never go anywhere without health insurance. Use the services – Cherehapa and CompariRu. They will compare all the offers and help you choose the right insurance for the price and conditions.

First time tips for your Thailand vacation

Do not touch scolopendras – their bite is not fatal, but still poisonous (Photo: Tim Gerland /

What you need to know about Thai mentality and religion

Respect for Buddha and Buddhism in Thailand. Residents of the Land of Smiles practicing Theravada Buddhism. In temples and monasteries can not come in beach clothes. If the tour program includes a visit to a Buddhist wat, think in advance about the dress code – shoulders and knees should be closed. At major attractions, sets of appropriate clothing are available for rent. At the Grand Royal Palace in Bangkok it will cost 200 baht.

If the temple doors are open, anyone is allowed to enter, regardless of what faith you adhere to. Do not turn your back to the statues and images of Buddha or speak loudly where people are praying.

When you meet monks, don’t extend your hand to greet them. Just nod your head. Women are generally forbidden to touch monks.

First time in Thailand

Monk in Ayutthaya (Photo: / @aaronphs)

The Thai mentality is different from ours. If you are going to Thailand for the first time, know that here it is customary to take off your shoes before entering. People go barefoot to temples and shrines, private houses, small stores and pharmacies. Even if the owner of the place says you can keep your shoes on, take your shoes off. It is not difficult! You show basic respect and the Thais will be satisfied.

In Thailand it is not customary to shout and raise your voice. People who can not restrain their emotions in the eyes of Thais immediately “lose face”, and it can be difficult to restore the reputation. Here since childhood you are taught to behave calmly. We have observed many times the passengers in Thai buses and menivans. Locals sit or sleep the whole way, and the foreigners talk and gabble nonstop.

First Time in Thailand

Thai longtime resident. (Photo: / @uhlen96)

Don’t try to copy Thai behavior! The traditional greeting, wai, is not as simple as it may seem at first glance. If you are given a wai, don’t respond in the same way or you may get in trouble. Just put your hand to your chest and tilt your head slightly in response.

It is considered, that in Thailand they have free morals, but you should not judge the whole country by its resort Pattaya. In the XXI century Thais are very tolerant to sexual orientation, but puritanical attitude to the behavior between the sexes. You should not hug and kiss in public. Tourists are forgiven many liberties, but for topless, much less sex on the beach will be made to pay a fine.

Phuket Airport: How to get to the beaches

 First Time in Thailand

Thais. (Photo: / @artypj)

What you need to know about the local laws

Let’s tell about the rules you can not break if you do not want to deal with the police. These tips are not just for first time travelers to Thailand. Unfortunately, these rules are violated and inveterate tourists.

In Thailand, the royal family is respected. Although the power of the king has been limited by the constitution since 1932, the people of the country hold their monarch and his family in high esteem. It is not acceptable to disrespect images of the king, pointing fingers at them, crumpling or stepping on banknotes with portraits of the king, or speaking negatively about the royal family.

Did you write an emotional post online or say something on the street in a fit of temper? Someone who understands Russian might find out, and they’ll report your attitude to the police. There are not just fines for such crimes, but real prison sentences. Journalists and bloggers who took liberties with the monarch have been in Thai prisons for years.

Thailand punishes drug offenses harshly. We have witnessed how on the beach in Pattaya the police provoke and check tourists. I talked about it in this article. If you get caught, you will definitely end up behind bars. There is no other option!

Tips for your first time in Thailand

Thai police officer (Photo: Luther Bailey /

As of 2019, Thailand bans smoking in public places and condominium areas. Not only cigarettes, but also hookahs, vapes, IQOS and JUUL are banned. Cigarettes are sold in 7-Eleven stores, but the merchandise is hidden from view. There is a hefty fine for smoking on the beaches.

Those who throw cigarette butts in the street are also fined. We saw a policeman in Bangkok who approached a foreigner, pointed to the abandoned cigarette butt and showed a sign that said “fine 2,000 baht” in English. The man paid the money and received a receipt from the policeman.

Do you like taking pictures and videos from high places? In Thailand it is allowed to use only those quadcopters that have passed the official registration. During a short tourist trip there is no time to do it.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a separate problem. The first is a fine of 5000 baht and imprisonment, the second – definitely jail. The atmosphere in Thailand has a relaxing effect, and many of our compatriots drive drunk or under the influence of drugs. Several times a year, popular social networking groups raise money for the treatment or deportation back home of those who have been injured in accidents.

First Trip to Thailand

Nighttime Chiang Mai (Photo: / @a_harmuth)

Insurance companies refuse to help the distressed drivers, because such cases are not considered insurance. Injured pedestrians also remain without pay. If you have had a beer and your bike accidentally hit you, don’t expect any help from the insurance company!

The main advice is never argue with the policeman and do not raise your voice! Despite the rumors, the police in Thailand are respected and considered. There is no presumption of innocence. If you are sure you are right, find a good interpreter and hire a lawyer. If you go to the trouble, the problem will only get worse.

Despite some of the difficulties, we can say that Thailand is a very comfortable country for tourists. Take into account the mentality of the locals. Behave as you would behave at home, and the rest will go great!

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