Before I go ahead with the cities in detail, I wanted to share this important aspect with you all – in Thailand, majority of the country only speaks Thai ie. they do not know/understand english very well or at all in some cases. Hence, it is essential to know these basic Thai phrases which make your life easier when you are out there. These came in really handy for me and my mother whilst our 15 days vacay in Thailand.

Basic Thai for Tourists  
Hello (Male Speaker)Sawatdee krub
Hello(Female Speaker)Sawatdee kaa
How are you?Sabai dee mai?
Fine, thank youSabai dee, kop khun
Never mindMai pen rai
I can’t speak ThaiPhoot Thai mai dai
I don’t understandMai kao jai
Do you speak English?Khun phoot par sar ang grit dai mai?
Do you understand?Kao jai mai?
May I take a photograph?Tai roop dai mai?
Where is the restroom?Hong nam yoo tee nai
How much is this?Raa Kaa-tao rai?
Too expensivePhaeng pai
The bill pleaseGep thung
GoodbyeLa gon
See you againLaew phop gun mai
GoodluckChok dee
Sorry/ excuse meKaw thoat
I am sickMai sabai
I don’t wantMai tong kan
Yes/noChai/mai chai
You are very kindKhun jai dee mak
Thank you so muchKop khun mak
I love ThailandPhom/Chun rak Prated Thai
I miss youPhom/Chun kidteung khun


  1. The words “Krub” (for a male) and “Kaa” for a female are often used at the end of sentences and elsewhere to be polite. There are many words to say “I” or “Me” and “You”.  A very respectful way of addressing a person is the much used “Khun” and is applicable to both males and females.
  2. .”Sa-wat-dee” is the general greeting in Thailand and covers the English “Good morning” and “Good Afternoon”. Various alternatives to this greeting exist, but are almost never used. It is considered correct to follow “Sa-wat-dee” with their “Ka” for a woman speaker, or  “Krub” for a male speaker.
  3. Mak” which means “very”  is used behind the adjective unlike we do in English. So “Aroi mak” means “Very delicious”, “Phom rak khun mak” means “I love you very much”.
  4. Phom” and “Chun” mean “I” for which males say “Phom” and females say “Chun”.
  5. Use “mai” at the end of the sentence to form question. Using it in the beginning of the sentence to form negative.
2Song20Yee sib
3Saam30Saam sib
4See40See sib
5Har50Har sib
6Hok60Hok sib
7Jed70Jed sib
8Paed80Paed sib
9Gao90Gao sib
10sib100Nueng roi
  200Song roi
  1000Nueng pun

Units- 10:sib, 100:roi, 1000:pun, 10000:muen, 100000:saen, 1000000:laan

Tips: Thai counting is very simple and easy to remember. If you know 1-10, the rest is easy. For example: 21- yee sib et, 22- yee sib song, 23-  yee sib saam, 57- har sib jed, 1254- nueng pun song roi har sib see and so on…

1amTi nueng1pmBai nueng
2amTi song2pmBai song
3amTi saam3pmBai saam
4amTi see4pmSee mong yen
5amTi har5pmHar mong yen
6amHok mong chao6pmHok mong yen
7amJed mong chao7pmNueng thum
8amPaed mong chao8pmSong thum
9amGao mong chao9pmSaam thum
10amSib mong chao10pmSee thum
11amSib et mong chao11pmHar thum
NoontiangMidnightTiang kheun
Eat hereKin tee nee
Take awayKlub barn
Can I have more please?Khor eek dai mai
Can I have extra plate?Khor jan plao dai mai
Can I have extra spoon/fork?Khor chorn/soom dai mai
Clear the tableKeb jan
Not deliciousMai aroi
Can you recommend me some dishes?Chuay nae num arhan noi
Keep the changeKeb ngern toen wai
Bill pleaseKeb ngern
Can I use credit card?Jai duay bat credit dai mai?
May I have a receipt?Khor bai seht dai mai?

Note: The literal meaning of “Nong” is not waiter/waitress. “Nong” is used to call someone who is younger to you. So if the waiter looks older than you, care to use the word “Pi” which is used to call someone who is elder to you.

In the Taxi 
I want to go to…..Yak ja pai …..
Is it far?Klai mai?
Turn right/leftLeeo kwaa/sai
Go straightThrong pai
Stop hereYood tee nee
Drive slowlyKub cha cha
How much to …..?Pai … tao rai?
I don’t want to go thereMai yak pai 
Do you know ….?Roo jak …. Mai?

Note: You just need to put the destination to the dots. For example if you want to go to Khaosan Road, you would need to say “Yak pai Khaosan Road”. Same for “Roo jak Khaosan Road mai?” which would mean “Do you know Khaosan Road?”

How much is this?Ra ka tao rai?
Too expensivePhaeng pai
Can you give me discount?Lot noi dai mai?
How about ….. baht?….. baht dai mai?
Can I see that one?Khor doo un nun dai mai?
I will come back laterDew ja ma mai
Do you have bigger/smaller size?Mee yai/lek kwa nee mai?
Do you have another colour?Mee see auen mai?
Never mindMai pen rai

No doubt that Google Translate always comes in handy. But this spreadsheet is worth referring to every you feel you need a saviour!

Travelling to interior cities like Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, it gets very very difficult to communicate if you do not know Thai. For every single conversation, you need to translate on your phone and show it to them.

Not to mention, when travelling to a foreign country it is nice to respect their culture and be polite. We shouldn’t be disrespecting them in anyway as they are our host and we are on foreign land.

Tips: Thai people find it very disrespectful in their culture if you point to their feet while talking. Stand upright whenever you are greeting someone. Just be nice and courteous.

[su_note] Disclaimer: Thailand is big and confusing for a first timer like us. So stay close to one another, be nice and you’ll be good. Let me tell you, when you phone dies you will need the locals to help you. So its best if you know their language basics, in advance. Cheers! [/su_note]