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For anyone considering travelling to Thailand or for those who already have their flights booked, it may be time to learn a few essential travel phrases! In fact, having a few useful phrases in your back pocket in the native language of the country or region you are visiting is always a good idea. It allows you to communicate with people, deal with daily life easily, and connect with the local community and culture.

Being able to approach a local and speak in their language shows them that you respect them and their country, and that you’re willing to put in the effort and are open-minded. At the end of the day, it really is the thought that counts – having perfect grammar isn’t what’s important, it’s about showing that you care enough to try to immerse yourself in the local way of life.

Speaking Thai properly is all about pronunciation. It’s a tonal language that relies on how you say each word to determine the meaning. Another simple yet important feature of speaking Thai is using gender markers at the end of each phrase of sentence you speak. As a woman in Thailand, you should always finish a phrase with the word ‘ka’, while men should use the word ‘krup’. This ensures you come across as respectful and polite to anyone you speak with.

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So, in preparation for your upcoming trip to Thailand, take a look at these basic words and phrases to help make your journey easier:

Essential greetings

Hello = Sawatdii
Goodbye = Lah gorn
How are you? = Sabaaidii mai?
I’m fine = Sabaaidii
What is your name? = Kun chuu arai?
My name is… = Pŏm / Chán chuu

Common words/phrases

Yes = Chai
No = Mai chai
Thank you = Khop khun
Sorry/excuse me = Kor tot
No problem/no worries = Mai bpen rai
You’re welcome = Yin Dee

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Important questions

Where is the restroom? = Haawng naam yuu thee nai?
I need a doctor = Phom dong gaan hai mor maa raak sa khrup/ka
Can you help? = Choo-ay dai mai
Call an ambulance = Dahm rot pa-ya-bahn
I’m lost = Long tahng
Can you speak English? = Kun pood paasaa anggrit dai mai
I don’t understand = Mai khao
Speak slowly = Puut chaa chaa noi
I come from (America) = Pom/Chan maa jaak (Ameerigaa)

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Basic questions

Where? = Tiinai?
When? = Muarai?
What? = Arai?
Why? = Tum mai?
How? = Yangngai?

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While dining

I’m hungry = Hiu
Delicious = Aroi
Restaurant = Raan aahaan
Café = Raan gaafee
May I have the menu? = Aow meenuu noi?
One more please = Khor iik nung
What’s this? = Annii aria?
I like spicy = Chan/Pom chawp pet
Not spicy = Mai pet
Water = Naam
No ice = Mai aow nam khang
No sugar = Mai aow nam tan
Beer = Beer
Vegetarian = Mawng sa vee rat
Vegan = Gin jay
Rice = Kaao
Chicken = Gai
Hot = Rone
Cold = Yen

Directions and transportation

Nearby = Glai glai
Stop = Yut
Go left = Leo saai
Go right = Leo kwaa
Go straight = Dtrong bpai
Bicycle = Jakgrayaan
Motorcycle = Moodteesai
Car = Rot
Bus = Rot mee
Bus stop = Bpaai rot mee
Minibus = Rot dtuu
Station = Sataanii
Subway = Rodfai dtaaidin
Skytrain = Rodfai faa
Boat = Rua
Airplane = Kruang bin
Go to the airport = Bpai sanam bin

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While shopping

How much is this? = A nee tao rai?
Too expensive = Phaeng mark pai
Can you reduce the price? = Lod noi dai mai
I want this one = Ao annii


1 = Nung
2 = Song
3 = Sam
4 = See
5 = Haa
6 = Hok
7 = Jet
8 = Bpeet
9 = Gaao
10 = Sip
20 = Yii sip
30 = Sam sip
40 = See sip
50 = Haa sip
60 = Hok sip
70 = Jet sip
80 = Bpeet sip
90 = Gaao sip
100 = Nung rooi
500 = Haa rooi
1,000 = Nung pan

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