We are all Thailand travelers! This list is not specific tips for Thailand, it could apply to any hot country around the world. So all you first time Costa Rica/Malaysia/Mauritius/India travelers – this one is for you!
Tip 1: The sun IS strong
It bears repeating: Yes, you will burn even on a cloudy day. Yes, it's out with the 80s tan. Dress the children in sun shirts with UV protection and a hat, and make sure you yourself stick to the highest possible sun protection factor and a parasol. A successful holiday is not measured by a tan. Wrinkles and skin damage do not make anyone happy.
Tip 2: Elephants and tigers are wild animals
Too many travelers happily jump on an afternoon of elephant riding and tiger photography. Do not do it! Abused elephants, enslaved monkeys and drugged tigers are nothing but animal cruelty. Better put the money into the WWF and let the wild animals stay wild.
Tip 3: The mosquitoes are worse
Avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Not only because mosquitoes in the tropics spread both Dengue fever and Malaria, but also because all bites in the heat have a tendency to become large inflamed boils. Take antihistamine tablets with you if you know you may react and make sure you have mosquito repellent - both during the day and at night.
Tip 4: Think about what you eat
Ice cream is delicious, but ice cream that is melted and frozen and melted and frozen is not a great idea in the tropics. Beware of street stalls with fresh chicken (how do they wash the knife between cutting raw and cooked chicken?), fresh fruit (do they wash the fruit, and if so in what kind of water?), draft beer and anything served raw .
Tip 5: Everything that has to be imported is expensive
Is there Swedish coffee at the hotel? Probably not. Does it matter? Probably not. Enjoy the country's traditions and eat and drink local food, and the budget will stay much better. You don't need a Corona in Thailand, a Chang will do just as well.
Tip 6: You sweat more than you think
Headache a little more than usual? Drink water, nothing else. 2-3 liters per day. Don't wait until you feel thirsty - then you're already on your way to being dehydrated.
Tip 7: You cannot drink the tap water
Always assume that you not can brush your teeth in tap water if you are in Asia, Africa or South America. There are exceptions of course – Aruba, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, the USA and basically all of Europe – but don't take chances until you're sure. If there's free bottled water in the room, it's a sign that they don't expect you to drink tap water.
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