Thailand is one of the top vacation destinations in the world and for very good reason; yes, there are many tropical beach locations around the world, but the Land of Smiles is so much more than palm trees and white sand. We’re probably preaching to the converted and if Thailand is on your list of places to visit, here are a few mistakes to avoid.

1. Changing money at the airport – You get a much better rate when you enter Bangkok, change $50 for taxis and keep an eye out for ‘Super Rich’ exchange booths, where you get the best rate. Try to bring clean undamaged notes and small denominations are good. Most seasoned travellers wear an internal travel bag where they store cash, passports, tickets etc. Pickpockets are active in very busy places, so take the same precautions as you would anywhere else. If you are staying at a family-friendly resort such as Patong Beach hotel in Phuket, you are not far from exchange booths.

2. Vaping in public – Vaping is illegal in Thailand, which might come as a surprise, as the street vendors openly sell the devices and the vape. The reason for the illegality is that the vape pen does not come under any import classification, so it is illegal to possess and import. If you really must vape, purchase in Thailand and do it discreetly, not that we are recommending that. Click here for information about medical marijuana in Thailand.

3. Showing too much flesh – While no one is likely to say anything, wandering around in a thong isn’t cool in the Royal Kingdom of Thailand; be careful when visiting Buddhist temples, where you should dress conservatively. Thai people are very tolerant and as a guest in their wonderful country, we should do a little research into the cultural dos and don’ts.

4. Visa overstay – This is a serious offence if you happen to be asked for ID and immigration discover you have overstayed your visa. There is a fine of 500 baht for every day you overstay, which is paid as you are leaving the country; in the event, your visa is about to expire, go to the nearest immigration office and for 1,900 baht, you can extend for up to 30 days. The worst-case scenario would be to get caught with a couple of days overstay, as this would lead to detention, deportation and a ban from entering Thailand for a specific amount of time (1-10 years).

5. Drink driving – If you rent a car or bike, do not drink and drive; the police have checkpoints in certain areas late at night, specifically looking for drunk drivers. As in any country, driving while under the influence is irresponsible.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand offers up-to-date information on all regions of the country; we hope you enjoy your holiday in the tropical paradise of Thailand.