John Wall
Thailand (miscellaneous)
The following is based on travel in Thailand in the early to mid 1990s. Therefore, some of the following information might be out of date.

Click on the photograph to see a larger image.
Elephant trekking 20 miles north of Chiang Mai near Mae Rim

A few Thai words:
1    Nung
2     Song
3     Sam
4     See
5     Haa
6     Hok
7     Jet
8     Pat
9     Khow
10     Sip
Hello     Sawadee
Thank you     Kaup Kun
Youíre welcome     Yin Dee
Yes     Chi
No     Mai
Me (male)     Phom
Me (female)     Jaun
You     Khun
Expensive     Pang
Rest room     Hong Naum
Big     Yai
Small     Lek
Little bit     Neet noy
No problem     Mai pen rie
Can     Die
Can not     Mai Die
Where     U tee nai
Spicy hot     Pet
Like     Chop
Good     Dee
Bad     Mai Dee
Expensive     Pang
Excuse me     Kaw tote
Airplane     Krung bin
Bus     Rot Mae
Train     Rot Fi
Taxi     Taxi

Polite extension (male speaking)     Cop/Crop
Polite extesion (female speaking)     Kaw
Use these extensions often.

Odds and Ends

From Phuket Airport to Krabi

The last bus leaves the airport at 3:00. You can generally talk the bus driver into dropping you at a specific hotel in the Krabi area for an extra 50B - even 100B is well worth the travel time saved and hassle of catching a songthawe from Krabi town.

If you miss the bus or you just want to reduce your travel time take a taxi straight to your hotel. Walk past all of the taxis waiting at the airport, across the parking lot and out onto the street. There you will find more taxis at much cheaper rates. The rate is for the vehicle. So if you can find others to share the ride its cheaper per person.

Motorcycle rental

Not for the light-of-heart but a good way to get around towns that offer rentals. (Donít try this in Bangkok). Usually you can rent a Honda Dream 100cc for about $6 a day (ask for insurance). They will demand that you leave your passport with them (Iíve never heard of anyone having a problem resulting from this).

In Chiang Mai use the Queen Bee. You can find other places that are cheaper but they are very reputable and have good bikes.

Take an International Driverís License with you. You can get one from AAA before you leave the states. You wonít need it in order to rent a vehicle but it will same you some hassles if you run into trouble.


Medical services in Thailand are generally quite good in the large towns. Since most doctors and dentists were trained in USA they usually speak very good English. (The receptionist, however, is a different story.) Iíve met several people who put off having dental work done until they go to Thailand -- its cheap and its good.

Drinking water

Good news, bad news. The bad news - the water in Thailand is really bad. The good news - itís so bad that even the locals donít drink it. Therefore you are less likely to get sick from contaminated food or ice. Bottled water is readily available everywhere. If your hotel or guest house doesnít give you a bottle of water just ask for it. Usually they will give it to you free.


Try it! The quality of service can vary from poor to excellent but its so cheap that even if you get a bad massage youíre not out much money. ($4 per hour). AND, the vast majority (probably 95%) of massage places are legit (not sex shops).


Transportation in Thailand is very good.

    -- Unless you want to sightsee in between specific locations take the plane. The airlines are inexpensive, well maintained, and reliable.

    -- Bus - Always take a "VIP bus" rather than the local. The couple of extra dollars are worth it in time and comfort!

    -- Songthawe (two rows) - A small pickup truck with a canopy and two benches in the back.

    -- Samlor (three wheels) - A rickshaw type bicycle.

    -- Tuk tuk (cheap cheap) - A three-wheeled motorized scooter.

The Thailand main page


Revised January 26, 2001
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