Thai Tourism Myths To Ignore

Thai tourism myths

Every travel destination is subject to some unfortunate, and often untrue, myths or stereotypes that seem to make their way to would-be tourists.  Depending on what rumors are being passed off as factual information or even warnings about visiting a certain country, it can literally hamper the tourism business of that place.

 

Thailand is a land full of passion, loyalty, and determination. And among the opulent temples and dramatic skylines are the people. People who are among the friendliest in South East Asia. But popularity can come with a price, so as with all top tourist destinations, Thailand has developed a reputation of its own.  Great in certain spheres, but also troublesome in some regards, and depending on who’s wielding these tourism myths.

 

It would be foolish to say that crime does not exist in Thailand, as this would only lead to a false sense of security. However, there are many myths that circulate the internet, many of which are just plain false, and they shouldn’t keep you from checking out some wonderful Thai tourist destinations including our scenic national parks. This article is going to run through some of the biggest myths to surround tourism in Thailand.

 

1-         Everyone Is Out To Take Your Money

 

The truth of the matter is that Thai people tend to earn much less than their western counterparts. Asking for a tip, or a little extra on top of the price is not uncommon in Thailand. However, Thais are not out to empty your bank accounts or rip you off at every turn. Things are done differently among different cultures, and you may simply see their practices as alien or pushy. Go with the flow, and if you feel you are being scammed, there is nothing to stop you from walking away from the situation.

 

2-         Ladyboys Are All Criminals

 

An oft-maligned group, there are many ladyboys or Kathoey who just want to be accepted as a part of society. It is a common myth that ladyboys have an easy life in Thailand. In fact, they are not allowed to work in many types of professions and are treated with derision. Unfortunately, this forces many of them onto the street and into the bars where alcohol and miscommunication can go horribly wrong. If you have an aversion to their lifestyle, you certainly don’t need to hang out in places they frequent.  Anytime you are out drinking and partying in a foreign country you need to be vigilant – there are criminals from all walks of life that may look at a tourist as an easy mark so keep your head and don’t think only one societal subgroup is eying you up.

 

3-         All Tuk-Tuks Are Out to Rip You Off

red tuk tuk with blue roof in thailand

No visit to Thailand will be complete without a ride on a tuk-tuk. Yes, there are some drivers who earn a commission from taking you to a tailors or gem shop, but these are few and far between. The majority of tuk-tuk drivers are looking for short rides, which is where they make their money. In Bangkok, a 2 km Tuk-Tuk ride should cost you around 70 Baht. Any more than this is too much.

 

4-         Places Don’t Close On Public Holidays

 

Wherever did the prominence of this myth come from? Yes, they do. In fact, many of the top tourist hotspots will be closed on Songkran, Loykratong, and New Year. It is a common misconception that many taxi drivers will lie and say a place is not open due to public holidays. Chances are that they may well be telling the truth. If you are in doubt, use your smartphone to check the Google business page and check whether it is open or not. Many temples won’t close on public holidays, but they may be busy during Buddhist holidays. If you are not Buddhist and arrive at a temple during a ceremony, try not to get in the way or create a disturbance.

 

5-         Street Food Will Make You Sick

fresh thai street food on display

If this were true, then nearly the entire population would be constantly ill. Thai street food is the best local cuisine you will ever try. It outshines food that is sold in boutique restaurants and 5-star eateries. Thai street food is generally very safe to eat. The standard you’ll find is that ingredients are prepared in front of your very eyes, freshly handled, and wrapped hygienically. The only thing to be wary of is salad leaves that have been rinsed in cold water, as the water may not be the best quality – but here, food poisoning is still quite rare. There really is nothing to worry about when it comes to street food. Once you try it you will be back time and time again.

 

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Be Sure to Visit Khao Sok National Park

mountains at Khao Sok National Park

Thailand is one of those amazing destinations that everyone should have on their travel bucket list, shooting to spend just as much time as humanly possible (and as earned vacation time will allow) in this amazing Southeast Asian paradise.

 

Everything about Thailand screams South Pacific culture, giving you an opportunity to kick back and relax on some of the most incredible beaches found anywhere on the planet but also allowing you to dive deep into amazing historical sites, developed urban areas, and some of the best outdoor adventures you’ll find anywhere on the planet.

 

Of course, some of the destinations you absolutely MUST visit in Thailand are going to be a little bit off the beaten path – and that’s definitely the case with Khao Sok National Park.

Spanning more than 739 km and with a 165 km² lake flowing through the middle of it, this amazing stretch of untouched rain forest is the largest in all of southern Thailand and many scientists believe it’s more ancient and with a greater amount of animal and plant diversity than the Amazon rain forest (which may be, admittedly, little bit more famous).

 

To give you a little bit of inspiration to visit the Khao Sok National Park, we put together this quick list of reasons why you’ll want to plan your trip ASAP!

 

The retro bus ride into the Khao Sok National Park is something you won’t ever forget

 

All of the travel buses that bring tourists into the Khao Sok National Park area are going to be the retro Mercedes and Volkswagen caravan/school buses that have been converted to tour buses and shuttles – loaded with bench seats which make the ride more than a little bit of an adventure itself.

 

The right is one you’ll never forget as you wind your way through urban areas and out into the park itself, and by the time you jump off you’ll be ready for more adventure, that’s for sure.

 

Accommodations in Khao Sok National Park are amazing

 

Like a lot of the national parks in the United States, the Khao Sok National Park offers plenty of lodging inside the park – and this is some of the best lodging you’ll find anywhere in all of Thailand!

 

Private bungalows are located throughout the park, giving you a lot of privacy, a lot of space, but also an opportunity to enjoy traditional Thailand architecture in a way that you might not have been able to otherwise. Almost all of these rooms have incredible views (360° views for the most part), and you feel like you are a big part of the rain forest when you book your visit here.

 

The food served in Khao Sok National Park is as authentic as it gets

 

All of the food available in the Khao Sok National Park area is 100% sourced locally, prepared by local culinary professionals, and about as traditional as you are going to find in Thailand today.

 

If you love the food in the places that you visit while you are traveling as much as anything else, you’ll be swept up in the amazing culinary delights prepared by chefs in the Khao Sok National Park restaurants and eateries. All accommodations have kitchens on site, a large variety of Thai dishes to pick and choose from, and you even have the opportunity to order meals ahead of time and have them brought to you throughout the day during your entire visit!

 

You’ll get to see wild monkeys!

 

The Khao Sok National Park is home to wild monkeys that you’ll find swinging through your path, following you around all over the park, and playing their own little games in their natural habitat. This is a unique opportunity to watch these monkeys in their own little worlds, and because people have been coming to Khao Sok National Park for so long they’ve pretty much gotten used to people.

 

It is important that you do not feed the monkeys forget to close to them. They can get a little bit aggressive, and then when they start to work in packs things can get out of hand really quickly. Some of these monkeys may carry rabies as well, so might be a good idea to get a rabies vaccine before you adventure into the Khao Sok National Park just to make sure you don’t have anything to worry about.

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Top Jobs for Expats in Thailand

Top Jobs for expats in Thailand

Many expats in Thailand land here as a result of being relocated as part of their employer’s business expanding into the region.  But some make the move all on their own initiative, usually to take advantage of the favorable employment climate the country has been experiencing (while a good number do flock here for medical tourism also).  If you are considering relocating to Thailand and you are well below the age of retirement, then you will most likely be looking to find work. Employment laws in Thailand can often be confusing and contradictory – there are several jobs that foreigners can land work in Thailand quite easily, and others which are completely off limits.

 

This article is going to run through the types of jobs open to foreigners, so long as they have the correct paperwork and work permit. So if you’ve been wondering what are the best jobs for expats to work in Thailand, below you will find four of the most common.

 

Teacher

 

This is probably the most common type of job that expats end up taking on. Depending on the district the requirements for teaching certification are sometimes relatively low, and schools are happy to employ those from native English speaking countries, such as England, Australia, Canada, and America. While a degree is usually required, you can also work as a teaching assistant, which pretty much requires no official credentialing.

 

Finding work as a teacher is easy, and there are many different types of school to choose from. The best-paid jobs are at international schools, whereas the lowest paying jobs will be at government-run schools.

 

Bar Owner

 

If you are living in a popular tourist area, such as Pattaya, Bangkok, Phuket, Chaing Mai, or Khon Kaen, opening a bar ranks highly among British expats in particular. Working for yourself is always the best option, but you need to bear in mind that as a foreigner, you technically may only hold 49% of a business and the other 51% must be held by Thais.

 

Finding people you trust is vital, and if you have no one you trust, then perhaps the bar business is not the right one for you. It is also important to remember that bars open and close faster than the blink of an eye in Thailand, so do your research first.

 

Hotel Manager

 

If you hold a degree in the travel and tourism field, getting your foot in the door of a major hotel is actually quite easy. Typically, English-speaking foreigners are favored for management of particular areas of the hotel. You will need to have a good command of both Thai and English, and also some experience in a relevant field. Hotel management pays very well especially to expats who are seen as particularly desirable in these roles.

 

Writer

 

If you have a flair for language and enjoy working to your own schedule, one of the most popular choices of work in Thailand is as a freelance writer. The good thing about freelancing is that you get to set your own schedule, write about the subjects you love,  and take your work with you wherever you go.

 

In the past, freelancing used to be the reserve of the backpackers. However, it has now evolved into a superior, sleek, and professional line of work which can sometimes pay in the six digits each year. How do you find work? If nothing is locally available you have numerous options.  As long as you have an internet connection you’re in business, there are many freelancing networks that cater to the remote worker.  Check into UpWork and Freelancer.com for starters.  The key is to showcase your skills so you stand out from the low-quality hoi polloi on those platforms.  The best part is that you do not need to hold a degree to work as a freelance writer and if writing is not so much your thing, freelance photography in Thailand is also in demand.

 

A word of caution: never try to get work in a bar or restaurant as a general worker. Thai laws have put barriers in place to protect the jobs of Thai citizens. Basically, if a Thai person can do the job, then a foreigner is not allowed to.  This is why online work is becoming such a big sector in Thailand. Websites such as eBay, Etsy, and Amazon make setting up an online business quick and easy, and the low sourcing prices in Thailand make for lucrative margins.

 

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Cyber Attacks on the Rise in Thailand

Thailand, just like the rest of the developed world, is seeing a notable increase in cyber attacks lately. Experts at computer security firm Symantec expect more threats to Thai data security in the foreseeable future, in large part because many people and companies in Thailand now hold virtual currencies, including valuable Bitcoins, within virtual wallets. These wallets aren’t invulnerable to attack. They contain virtual currency which holds its value even when it is stolen.

cyber crime scene with security tape

Virtual wallets for cryptocurrency are easy targets for hackers and tend to offer premium returns. Despite recent volatility Bitcoin’s value is still up over previous years and other crypto currencies, including Ethereum and Litecoin, also have impressive valuations. Other alternative virtual currencies are gaining momentum as well, all lending to their attractiveness to cyber thieves.

 

Statistics for Cyber Attacks in Thailand

 

From April of 2017 to June of 2017, Kaspersky Lab statistics show that mobile devices and computers in Thailand were “cyber attacked” a whopping 61,978 times!

 

According to the Kaspersky Labs report, 8.94 percent of Kaspersky clients in Thailand were hit with some form of hacking attempt. While this seems high don’t think that Thailand is more vulnerable than other countries – overall, Thailand ranks 72nd in terms of computer/mobile device users who’ve been affected by cyber attacks.

 

Some nations have it even worse, such as Belarus, India, Ukraine, Algeria and Albania.

 

What Will Happen in 2018?

 

Industry analysts anticipate that Thailand’s AI (artificial intelligence), exchanges and Bitcoin will be prone to new cyber attacks. In particular, mobile payments may be targeted with the country.

 

How Do Hackers Get In?

 

A software development company, ESET, reported in November of 2017 that SMBs within Thailand are at biggest risk of cyber attacks which are related to encryption. Clearly, hackers are looking for ways to override encryption and access data which they shouldn’t have legal access to. SMBs are small and medium-sized businesses.

 

When surveyed by ESET, small and medium-sized business owners stated that over ninety percent of cyberattacks of their companies were related to their encryption systems. This means that SMB owners in Thailand get hit with cyber breaches more often than SMB owners in India, Japan and Singapore (to name just three examples).

 

Encryption is supposed to boost security. Apparently, this isn’t always the case. Encryption must be executed properly in order to offer the highest level of data security. In some cases, in Thailand, improper execution of encryption for data that is “in transit” may leave SMB owners prone to cyber breaches.

 

Business Owners Need More Cyber Security Education

 

With increased business opportunities in Thailand comes increased appeal to cyber criminals. To guard against more cyber attacks, business owners (and private citizens, too) need to educate themselves. It’s all about getting proactive and learning how to reduce the risk of data security breaches.

 

As well, anyone who holds virtual currency and lives in Thailand should take extra steps to secure their computers, mobile devices and virtual wallets.

 

We researched some tips on “defending” a Bitcoin virtual wallet from cyber attacks, with a mind to helping Thai owners of Bitcoins, as well as assisting Bitcoin holders in other countries. The experts feel that virtual wallets, while more secure than payment cards, must have the highest level of security. This is because Bitcoins that are stolen through hacking keep their value…and their value is very high.

 

To protect your virtual wallet, in Thailand or elsewhere, you should cloak your Internet Protocol address. Use a client for Bitcoin which gives you the capacity to switch to a new address every time that you do a transaction.

 

As well, consider separating transactions, via multiple wallets, based on their importance. You might choose a day-to-day transaction wallet for smaller amounts and others for bigger amounts.

 

One last tip is to keep your identity as secret as possible. Be mindful of what type of information you are sharing which relates to your crypto currency transactions. To maintain anonymity, consider utilizing an escrow service when you want to buy or sell with crypto currency.

bitcoin logo

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