Solo trip Thailand language barrier?
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Nov 9, 2012 7:49 PM Last Post By: 5leloi
Oct 23, 2012 10:27 PM
Solo trip Thailand language barrier?I booked a trip to Thailand and plan on spending time in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Leaving on the 27 of October. 4 more days!
I'm a 22 y.o. USA male, solo traveller, and I don't speak Thai. I was feeling really confident, but as the departure date is coming sooner, my parents and family are telling me I made a bad decision and are lowering my confidence. Since I don't know the language and I'm going by myself, my dad has been telling me that I'll be an easy target to rob/beat up, I'll get lost and can't find my way, I'll feel miserable, I won't be able to find a hotel/book hotel, I'll have a hard time and want to go back home, etc. etc.
Should I be worried?
I'm sure I'm not the first person to go to Thailand by myself and not speak the lanugage either, so can anyone give me some advice or tell me their experiences?
I've been doing research and have some plans on what to do. I know about the gem scams, meters, tailors, sites being closed for the day, and avoiding some travel agencies.
Oct 23, 2012 10:45 PM
Oct 23, 2012 10:45 PM
2Tell your mom and dad that 17 Americans came on their own to Thailand so far this year and not a single one of them had the slightest problem. Nor will you, unless you actually LOOK green around the edges.
Your last line says it all, but one thing you forgot is - avoid all private tour buses from Khaosan Rd and only take those from Govt bus stations.
Enjoy - and tell them all to stop being so envious! You will be just fine!
Oct 23, 2012 10:46 PM
3Stop worrying! Tens of thousands of visitors go to Thailand every year and I can tell you that a very small percentage of these speak Thai and even a smaller percentage speak it fluently.
You will do fine with your American English. Thai people in the tourist areas or hospitality industry speak and understand English just fine most of the time.
Petty crime - pickpockets type of things happen but being physically robbed is rare. It's not New York or the Tenderloins in San Francisco! General personal security practices that you use at home applies when you visit any other country like don't go down dark alleys (sois) at night etc.
Tranqillo, chill out and enjoy your trip.
Oct 23, 2012 10:47 PM
Oct 23, 2012 10:53 PM
18 million tourists visit Thailand every year. How many of them do you think speak Thai?
Because... if you spoke Thai you could ask them not to beat you up?
The average Thai guy is about 5'1" and weighs 110 lbs. I think you can take him.
The signs are in English.
There are hotels everywhere.
No. Not even a little.
The language difference is not a problem. The vast majority of Thais you will meet will speak functional, if eccentric, English. Pick up a phrase book so you can say polite things like "sawahdeekrup".
Violent crime is certainly not a problem. It happens, but probably less often than wherever you live.
You also won't be alone. You may be going alone, but you won't arriving alone. First, you'll be on a 747 full of people, half whom are travelers just like you; then you'll take a train, full of travelers, from the airport to downtown, and then you'll stay at a hotel full of travelers. Unless you're obstinately determined not to make friends, you'll find people to talk to and dine with.
Yes, lots of small things will go wrong, and yes, you'll find yourself a little homesick sometime, but trust me: travel in Thailand is one of the easiest things in the world. They say Thailand is like Disneyland but the rides are better.
Oct 23, 2012 10:57 PM
Oct 23, 2012 11:10 PM
7Maybe him but not his 20 mates who will appear from nowhere to help him out. Anyway trouble will only find you if you invite it. I've never had any problems in Thailand, just don't get aggressive to the point where they loose face as there is no going back from there no matter how frustrating the whole loosing face issue is.
It really is an easy country to travel and once you are more comfortable you can venture from the path a little and push your comfort level, knowing you are never too far from a banana pancake.
Oct 23, 2012 11:24 PM
Yeah, the Thai idea of a fair fight is one he wins, but
Yeah again. I've never heard of anything happening to anyone in South-east Asia that he didn't deserve. Idiots get scammed, drunks get rolled, tough guys get their asses kicked, and whore-chasers get the clap. Be smart and you'll be fine.
Oct 24, 2012 12:12 AM
First time in Thailand
As you can see, I'm still alive to tell the tale. Using a few basic words is always appreciated from the locals -
Hello - Sa-wat-dee kraup ( a female says Sa-wat-dee Kah, but you being a male say 'kraup')
Thank you - kob khun kraup
(Sa-wat-dee means both hello and goodbye)
Every one has pretty much covered the basics, but - remember, never leave valuables in your room, either carry them on your person or leave them with reception. Many people come here and complain their ipad/phone/camera/money was stolen from their pack which was locked and left in their room. Also, trousers/shorts with several pockets are good - put credit cards in one pocket small amounts of cash in another and extra cash in yet another.
Most people who get robbed do so because of their own stupidity. You'll be fine, chill. Have a great trip.
Oct 24, 2012 12:14 AM
Oct 24, 2012 7:48 AM
Oct 25, 2012 3:51 PM
13Rest easy my friend. Most places you will end up, they will speak enough English to communicate with you. Thailand is set up to accommodate travellers just like you. And make no mistake, Thailand is a much safer country than the US.
Nov 9, 2012 7:49 PM
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