Can you recommend some basic Thai phrases for travellers?

Planning your trip to Thailand? We’ve compiled some of the beautiful words in Thai. Visiting Thailand is fun and if you want to interact with the locals it's better to learn some common Thai phrases. Learning a few local lingo not only makes traveling easy but also helps you to communicate with the public and get to know them better. 

In this article, we have included some of the easy and basic local Thai language for beginners. Read our full blog to understand them and know how to use them. This is our visitor’s guide for tourists who are visiting Thailand for the first time and want to experience the culture. 

Exploring the vibrant streets of Thailand can be an exhilarating experience, but for many travelers, navigating through a foreign language can be a daunting task. This is where a grasp of common Thai phrases can serve as a valuable tool for tourists. 

Beyond mere communication, these phrases offer a bridge to the heart of Thai culture, fostering connections and enhancing travel experiences. From exchanging pleasantries with locals to ordering delicious street food with confidence, knowing a few key phrases can open doors to authentic interactions and unlock a deeper understanding of this enchanting destination.

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List of 10 common Thai phrases

Here is a list of 10 common and easy Thai phrases that you can use while you to Thailand. 

  1. Sawasdee krub/ka (สวัสดีครับ/ค่ะ) - You can use this greeting all day long in Thailand, as it is the most widely used one. Males use "Sawasdee krub," while females use "Sawasdee ka." You can use it to enter a restaurant, retail establishment, or any other setting where you will be interacting with people. If someone extends a greeting to you first, it's also courteous to respond.

  1. "Khor tort, Pardon me (ขอโทษ): This translates to "pardon me" or "sorry." It can be used in situations where you're trying to attract someone's attention, like a busy street or a crowded market. It's also helpful in case you make a mistake or run into someone by accident.

  1. "Mai pen rai, It's okay (ไม่เป็นไร): It translates to "no problem" or "it's okay." This expression perfectly captures the laid-back and accepting attitude of the Thai people. You can respond with it when someone offers you something or apologizes. For instance, you can say "Mai pen rai" to kindly decline a vendor's offer of a souvenir.

  1. Kor tod, Excuse me (ขอโทษ): Also known as "excuse me" or "sorry," is a term that is similar to "Khor tort." But it's frequently employed when you have to squeeze past someone or through a crowded space. Saying "Kor tod" will enable you to move around someone who is obstructing the entrance to a temple, for example. This is one of the basic Thai languages for tourists. 

  1. "Khob khun krub/ka (ขอบคุณครับ/ค่ะ): It is a phrase that conveys gratitude. Males use "Khob khun krub," while females use "Khob khun ka." Saying this can be used to show appreciation for any kind deed, such as getting directions from a stranger, getting change from a purchase, or receiving food at a restaurant. In Thai culture, expressing gratitude is always valued.

  1. Sabai dee mai? How are you? (สบายดีไหม): This expression means "How are you?" and is a courteous method to find out how someone is doing. You can use it to say hello to people in the area or strike up a conversation with store owners, cab drivers, or hotel employees. It's a polite method to strike up a discussion and demonstrate your interest in the other person.

  1. Aroi mai? Is it delicious? (อร่อยไหม): translates to "Is it delicious?" This expression is ideal for when you're sampling regional Thai food. You can use it to thank the chef at a restaurant after a meal or to ask street food vendors for recommendations. Don't be afraid to use this expression to let the Thai people know how much you appreciate their cuisine and how much you enjoy the dishes you try.

  1. Yoo nai? Where is? (อยู่ไหน): This expression can be used to ask for directions and means "Where is?" You can search for a particular street, restroom, or tourist attraction by typing "Yoo nai" followed by the name of the location or landmark you're looking for. Locals are frequently pleased to assist and will give thorough directions.

  1. Rao jak pai… We want to go to… (เราจะไป...): This phrase, which means "We want to go to..." or "I want to go to...", is helpful when interacting with tuk-tuk or taxi drivers. Just write the name of your destination—be it a hotel, a market, or a tourist attraction—in the blank. To help the driver get you to your destination, it's useful to have the address or a map available.

  1. Lod dai mai? Can you lower the price? (ลดได้ไหม): This expression, which translates to "Can you lower the price?" is useful when haggling over prices, particularly at street vendors and markets. When shopping for goods or souvenirs, don't be afraid to use this phrase as bargaining is a common practice in Thailand.