Thailand Tips #16: Traffic Accidents

In my opinion your best bet in a traffic accident is to offer some money to the other person(s) involved and get out of there quick.

You might think you’re covered by some insurance. You might be, you might not.

Thais assume that the foreigner was wrong in most (any?) accidents. There’s a good reason for that – Thais think you can afford to pay for it, is the general assumption.

Don’t ever run away after an accident as you’ll be caught and beaten AND pay for all the damages, hospital bills. Better to offer some cash – a few thousand baht and wai a few times – making sure everyone is smiling and OK with the arrangement. If it’s a huge crash the police will likely be involved and you’re better off to get a Thai lawyer that speaks excellent English or you’ll be paying for the whole mess.

Remember, the general rule of accidents is that the farang (foreigner) is responsible. You can call the police and plead your case if you like – but I think much, much better to offer some cash and call it a loss. Probably you were doing something that contributed to the crash anyway!

What do I mean by that?

Driving a motorbike on the roads of Thailand for 100,000 km I’ve learned some things about the way Thais drive. I know when to compensate for someone ready to do something stupid because I have to do it almost everytime I drive. It’s part of the safe way to drive in Thailand – know what idiots are about to do and compensate for it before they do it and run you off the road, smack into you or worse.

Another reason to bust out the cash and hit the road again as soon as possible is because if the police DO come there will a bunch of Thais explaining in Thai to the police what happened and you speaking in English attempting to sway someone into believing your perspective.

How can you stay safe in Thailand?

You can start by getting Thailand Survival Guide 101.

Thai Black Book.

For a current state of the country – see the ultimate Thailand Guide – Thai Black Book – your guide to staying safe in Thailand

Thai Black Book information site- >

Thailand Tips #15: Don’t Come for the Fishing!

Though Thailand has hundreds of miles of oceanside beach you’ll be wasting your time fishing from the shore unless 4 inch baitfish are what you’re after.

I’d even rank the Hawaiian Islands as better fishing from the shore because at least you can catch the great fighting Ulua once a month during midnight fishing.

Seriously – Thailand is that bad.

Anyone go out on the boats for some deep sea fishing? I’m sure it’s better – but how much better?

Thailand Tips #13: Cure for Insanely Itchy Rash? Colgate.

This will not sound rational. But, it’s something I’ve done all my life… If I have a rash, and it’s rare… I put toothpaste on it.

In southern Thailand it’s hot all year. Toward the end of the year last year as well I got this crazy-itchy rash close to my ankle and behind my knees. It is itchy to a degree that doesn’t make sense – it can drive a normal person wacky.

Throw some toothpaste on it and see if it doesn’t cure it for you in 1 or 2 days. It’s worked for us a couple of times. I don’t know WHY it works – it just works. It stops the itch. It gets rid of the rash quickly.

Be careful not to use at night unless you’re sure you don’t have an ant problem. One type of black ant likes the toothpaste and I woke up with a hundred ant party on my arm two nights ago.

Thailand Tips #12: Fried Rice w/ Chicken Might Crack a Tooth

Thai food made in Thailand is a little bit different at times. Sure it’s spicy more than most can handle, but there are other differences as well.

I used to enjoy eating Kow Pad Gy (fried rice with chicken). The place I ate it at was great – the food was delicious and prepared the same way every time. I ate there almost everyday.

Then, I moved to another city and changed restaurants – in their fried rice there are, more times than not – pieces of chicken bone hidden in the chicken because they just don’t take the time to remove the meat from the bone. They chop it all with a meat cleaver to make small pieces – but there are bone chips and large bone pieces in the chicken that will give you a surprise as you crunch down on one. I’ve known one expat to lose a tooth over this and heard more than a few gripe stories about it. Me included.

Be careful eating meat and fish as Thais don’t typically take out the bones.

Thailand Tips #11: Wrong Order in Restaurant

I notice this a LOT more in Thailand than anywhere else I’ve been. Whenever I order food – in English or in Thai – the order is frequently wrong. It’s not usually just a little wrong, it’s usually completely wrong.

It’s not like I ordered with regular rice and I got sticky rice. It’s more like I ordered Som Tam and I got Pad Thai.

Best response? If you can eat it – eat it. The waitress will lose face if you return the item. Next time you have that waitress/er make sure they repeat back what you ordered.

Thailand Tips #10: Tipping

I don’t usually tip in Thailand -but there are small family-owned restaurants that I know the owners and sometimes leave the kids that collect the check ten-baht or sometimes fifteen. If I eat with a large group I might tip 50 baht.

Tipping is not necessary in Thailand – but, it’s a nice gesture considering if you tip someone 20 baht that’s 1/10th of what they’re going to make the whole day and a very nice bonus – while it costs you 66cents at the current dollar exchange rate.

Thais rarely tip. You can do as the Thais do in this case – you probably are paying higher prices than Thais do anyway.

Thailand Tips #9: Krup, Kup, KUPITYKUP & Ka

If you’re trying to learn Thai you’re probably heard it said that you should put Krup or Kup on the end of everything you say as a man, or as a woman, use “Ka”.

USE IT! I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard foreigners blurting out poor Thai without kup at the end of it. Thai culture is based on respect for the other people you’re interacting with. Even if a Thai can’t stand the other person he/she is cordial to them, smiling, and saying kup or ka a lot.

When you speak without ever using the polite phrase in your speech then it says something about you.

1. You don’t care enough to use it.

2. You didn’t learn it, so probably you learned from someone in society that didn’t use it themselves.

Either way – it’s impolite and says something about you that you probably don’t want to say about yourself. Use “kup” and “ka” often and you’ll get more respect from Thai people.

Thailand Tips #8: Do As the Thais Do

I’ve seen tourists at a local Buddhist temple here that are completely clueless about what they’re doing. It’s bizarre to me that some tourists walk into Big C without a shirt like they’re in downtown Pattaya. It’s more bizarre to Thais who don’t know what to say to people that disregard their culture to such an extent as this. The phrase “do as the locals do” means nothing to many of the tourists I see in Krabi on an almost daily basis.

Here’s some help – not because you asked, but because you didn’t…

1. No Thai rides a motorbike without a shirt. You shouldn’t either. In Patong, Pattaya – there are enough visitors doing it that it’s almost become the norm. It shouldn’t have, but since most people visiting those spots are there for the prostitutes and beer, they don’t care all that much about how they act and do as they wish. It’s Thai culture not to say anything so as not to offend you or embarrass you. It doesn’t mean you should do it. Thais will think you’re key nok (bird shite).

2. No Thai EVER will go into a store without a shirt. Nor should you. I’ve seen about a dozen foreigners in Big C and Tesco without shirts. It’s offensive to Thais and it’s like putting a sign on your hairy back that you’re someone that could give a $h!t about the people’s culture you’re temporarily visiting.

3. Being at a Buddhist temple without your shirt is not OK. It’s sacrilege for god’s sake. Would you take your shirt off at the vatican?

4. Touching the Buddhist statues, standing on them, leaning on them, is not OK.

5. Sitting with your feet pointed at the Buddha statues – or at any Thai people is NOT OK. Read something about the culture before you visit.

6. Bikini tops and/or bottoms are not OK at the Buddhist temples or anywhere off the beach. Not in a store. Not on the motorbike.

7. Blowing your nose loudly is not OK.

8. Picking your teeth without covering your mouth with your other hand is not OK.

9. Holding hands, kissing, walking with your hand around your whore’s girl’s waist you just found in the bar after 10 minutes of talk and groping , is not OK.

10. Thais don’t bring their bargirls or barboys home to where they live. Never. They take them to short-time hotels that are usually hidden from the main streets and sometimes even have curtains to hide your vehicle when you pull in.

Thailand Tips #7: Chemicals on Lumyai & Watermelon

I have heard from a number of Thais and even some foreigners that the watermelon and the lumyai have high amounts of chemicals on them to keep away the bugs from eating them. However, they of course get through the skin and into the flesh of the fruits.

Lumyai is one of my favorite fruits of all-time, but now I don’t eat more than about a kilogram a season.

Another fruit that is dangerous because of the calories – is Durian. It has actually killed people that ate too much. More research is needed into why, but just hearing it from a number of people has stopped me from eating it excessively.

How can you stay safe in Thailand?

You can start by getting Thailand Survival Guide 101.

Thai Black Book.

For a current state of the country – see the ultimate Thailand Guide – Thai Black Book – your guide to staying safe in Thailand

Thai Black Book information site- >