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Is Thailand a bad place to visit? Is it too vulgar?

Is Thailand Vulgar. Well yes it is in parts. That said where aimed at tourists isn't vulgar in parts.

The sex industry is pretty big. That admitted it isn't ubiquitous and unless you are actively looking for sex it isn't in your face. Single men walking along along Pattaya beach road at 2am- yep pretty sure to get accosted.

The same beach, which isn't Thailand's best, at 2pm in the afternoon is full of families. Even the much maligned Walking st is safe for a family and at 2am the most risque sight will be girls in bikinis enjoining, by carrying sign boards, single men to come inside and buy beer. They don't ask/hassle families. And families aren't allowed inside the windowless GOGO bars.

And that's Pattaya the most in your face place in Asia. Its actually a dozen or so streets in a big city.

And nowhere else in Thailand is quite like Pattaya. The Thais are big on children and make a fuss of them. They're also a polite and reserved people. Religion …

Top 10 things to know about Phuket for beginners

1. Welcome to PhuketPhuket is an island and a province. It’s the largest island in Thailand – 48 km north to south, 21 km east to west. It’s about 20% smaller, in area, than Singapore but much less densely populated. Whilst the island nation of Singapore boasts a population of nearly 6 million, Phuket has a permanent population of around 400-450,000 (but varies a lot with the influx of tourists and a workforce that is always changing). Most of Phuket remains jungle and tropical rainforest despite an acceleration of development over the past 20 years.

Unlike some of Thailand’s other popular islands (that are in the Gulf of Thailand), Phuket is located in the Andaman Sea. Phuket is only just an island, linked to the Thai mainland by a 400 metre bridge. The channel beneath is frequently dredged to maintain Phuket’s status as an island. On the other side of Sarasin Bridge is the Province of Phang Nga.

Phuket is 878 km north of the equator.

2. BasicsThe currency used in Phuket is the Thai …

Top 10 scams in Thailand

Firstly, I should say that just about any hot tourist spot around the world is going to attract people, sometimes greedy locals, who will be specialists at extracting dollars from your pockets. In Thailand the main difference is that they will usually do it with a smile. There are scams awaiting tourists who come to Phuket and you are best served by spending a few minutes reading articles like this and saving yourself a lot of financial pain, inconvenience or even a trip to hospital. Or jail.

This is by no means a definitive list but these are, at least, a list of ten popular scams that you will have to negotiate if you move about the island or around Thailand. They’re real, they happen every day and you’ll have a much better time during your trip if you know about them first.

In all cases, a bit of homework beforehand will save you being tricked during your holiday. Here are our Top 10 Scams in Thailand.

1. The jewellery scamIf you want to buy jewellery or luxury goods in Thailand, do…

Retirement to Thailand — Learning the Thai Language

One mistake I made during my first four year stint of retirement to Thailand was not learning the Thai language. Its true to say that when I returned to the UK in 2011 I could speak some Thai, which had enabled me to get by for day to day life in Thailand, but it certainly didn’t allow me to hold an effective conversation with a native Thai speaker.

A year and a lot of reflection later I realise that my inability to get to grips with the Thai language was at least partly responsible for any negative thoughts I had about Thailand. Lets face it if you do not speak and understand a countries language how can you possibly gain an insight its culture and in my case what makes the average Thai tick!

Language proficiency can help you enjoy retirementIn my opinion retirement should really be about relaxation and enjoyment. But without language proficiency it can be anything but relaxing. Thinking back all those frustrating little niggles that affected me in my four years in Thailand, when I c…

Which Five Words Would You Choose to Best Describe Thailand?

Thailand is portrayed as the Land of Smiles and those three words have served the Kingdom very well in terms of enticing holidaymakers to the country. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has for a long time marketed the country under the slogan ‘Amazing Thailand‘ and this year they added three more words to their trademark catchphrase in an effort to further enhance Thailand’s reputation as a value for money holiday destination and a country rich in culture. Those two words have become five and ‘Amazing Thailand Always Amazes You‘ has been TAT’s promotional logo.

TAT’s new slogan got me thinking about which five individual words best describe the appeal of Thailand as a holiday destination to me.

I’m not necessarily talking about words which gloss and glamorize Amazing Thailand, but more about words you might give in answer to a friend’s question about the allure Thailand has for you.

Here’s my five separate words which best describe Thailand to me.

Cheap – That’s a terrible word …

Thai Drivers Licence

Getting Your First Thai Drivers LicenceIf you intend to live in Thailand for any length of time you might like to know how to get your first Thai drivers licence.

Although many long term residents use an International Driving Licence in Thailand Thai law only recognises such a licence as an alternative to a Thai Licence for a temporary period. Which is ideal for a tourist visit but not for expats wishing to drive lawfully in the country. It is therefore recommended that longer term residents obtain a Thai Drivers Licence from their Local Department of Land Transport

In order to complete this procedure you will need certain documents.

Required Documents for Obtaining a Thai Drivers LicenceA valid International Driving Licence, issued in your own country, plus photocopy. Ordinary home country domestic driving licences may also be accepted.Your passport and a copy of the main page, current visa, which must be a non-immigrant, visa and not a Tourist Visa, plus a copy of your departure car…

Opening a Bank Account in Thailand

Opening a bank account in Thailand is a fairly straight forward process. In my opinion it is certainly worth considering if you intend to make the Kingdom your home for any length of time.

This article is based on my own experiences in setting up a bank account here with the Bangkok Bank.

For anyone contemplating setting up a Thai bank account there are several international financial organisations like HSBC and Bangkok Bank along with a good range of local Thai banks to choose from in Thailand. They are all regulated by the Bank of Thailand.

Finding a Suitable Bank in ThailandBanks in Thailand seem to have lots of different criteria when it comes to foreigners opening accounts. Indeed branches of the same bank will often have their own local rules despite what head office might say.

Some banks will only offer the facility if you are working and can produce a work permit while others just need evidence that you live in the country on a long term basis. Some people even get a Thai bank …