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Thai Language: Basic Thai Phrases and Thai Words: Travel phrases.

Updated on May 26, 2014

Thai language and Travel Phrases.

Looking to travel to Thailand? You'll probably be lacking in the lingo department then. When faced with travelling in a new country things can be a little daunting to say the least, especially when trying to overcome the language barrier. However, once you have a few words in your arsenal, everything becomes a lot easier, a lot quicker. Outlined here are some useful Thai sayings and travel phrases to ease you into your travels, helping you get around Bangkok and beyond.

If you would like to learn more Thai, you might want check out Part 1 (general conversation) Part 2 (ordering food at a restaurant).

BKK Skytrain Station.
BKK Skytrain Station. | Source

Useful Travel Phrases

To ask where something is, simply use the place name before adding ‘…yoo tee nai krap/ka?’ * Remember to use krap/ka for males and females respectively at the end of each sentence. This polite way of speaking will endear you with the locals and earn you instant brownie points!

Where is the……? - …….yoo tee nai Krap?

Example: Where is the Sky Train Station? - Sat ta nee rod fai fah yoo tee nai Krap?

Again, when referring to yourself whilst saying ‘I’, always use the polite male and female form of speaking. In this case, ‘Pom/Chan’ respectively.

I want to go to the….. – Pom/Chan dong kang bpai tee……

Example: I want to go to... the airport – Pom/Chan dong kang bpai tee sanam bin krap/ka.

Important places for first time travellers to Thailand.

Don Muang Airport. For all domestic flights in Thailand. Located about 45+ minutes north of Bangkok city centre.

Suvarnabhumi Airport. The main international airport in Thailand.

Hualumphong Train Station. The main station in Bangkok. From here you can get to the south of Thailand via overnight sleeper trains. Classes of sleeper vary from class 1 – 3. Unless you’re really on a tight budget I’d suggest the 1st aircon carriage. I can imagine it’s well worth the extra few dollars, pounds or Euros, as I found out during a 40degree heat wave stuck in a carriage (oven) with no ventilation!

Mo Chit Bus Station. For all routes going to the North/North East (Isaan) area of Thailand.

Chimplee Bus terminal. If you plan to visit the south via bus, this is where you will catch it from. Located about 45+ minutes west of the city centre.

BTS Sky Train. The only way to travel around Bangkok City Centre! With direct links to/from the airport and underground/subway links to the Bangkok suburbs.

Bangkok city at night
Bangkok city at night | Source

Basic Thai Phrases - How far is....?

Asking about distance can be tricky as the same word is used for both terms in Thai – glai. There is subtle difference that our ears are simply not trained to hear. This is due to the tonal aspect in spoken Thai language. To make this easier, use the following;

Is it close? – glai glai mai krap/ka?

Is it far? – glai mai krap/ka?

Is it long? - Naan mai?

Replies might include, ‘glai’ (far/near) or, ‘mai glai’ (not far/near). Maybe 'Naan mak', (very long) might be the answer (especially with keen taxi drivers)

Failing this, use hand gestures!!

Other useful Thai phrases include;

How far is it? – Glai kae nai krap/ka?

How many kilometres is it? – Gee kilo krap/ka?

Potential answers may be, 'neung/song/sarm/see/ha… kilo' (1/2/3/4/5… kilometres). To learn how to count, check out Part 1 of learning Thai language.

MBK at night
MBK at night | Source

Useful travel Phrases- Directions and Prepositions.

Turn Left - Leaw Saai

Turn right – Leaw Kwaa

Go Straight – Dtrong pai

In front of – Khang

Behind - Khang lang

Next to – Khang tee

In between – Ra waang

Opposite - Dtrong Kaam

Stop – Yuht

Kanchanaburi Station
Kanchanaburi Station | Source
Kanchanaburi Train Station. Direct to Bangkok
Kanchanaburi Train Station. Direct to Bangkok | Source

Learning Thai Language: Useful Vocabulary

Station – Sat ta nee.

Train Station – Sat ta nee rod fai.

BTS Sky Strain – Sat ta nee rod fai fah/BTS fah.

Bus Station – Sat ta nee rod mai.

Underground – Sat ta nee rod fai dtai din.

Airport – Sa nam bin.

Hotel – Rong raem

Tourist information – Kor moon tong tiew.

Taxi – Taxi. The cheapest way to get around Bangkok. Remember ask them to turn on the meter – Kor meter dui krap/ka!

Chemist/Pharmacy – Ran kaai yah.

*These can be a real life saver when traveling in Thailand. You can pretty much buy anything to cure your ailments, without a prescription.

ATM/Cash Machine – ATM.

Bank – Ta na kan.

*The main local Thai banks are Kasikorn, Bangkok Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, KrungThai, Bank of Ayudayha.

Other Hubs

Thanks for stopping by. You can check out Part 1 and Part 2 of learning Thai here. These focus on general conversation and ordering food at a restaurant respectively.

If you are interested in Southeast Asia and especially Thailand, you may find my other hubs useful.

Information about South East Asia

Thai Culture and Customs

Thai Dialling Dialling Code: How to Make and Receive Cheap International Phone Calls to and from a Thai mobile

Information About Asia: Riding a Motorbike in Thailand


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