Basic Thailand Phrases for Travelers in English

Basic Laos Phrases for Travelers in English

Thailand is a popular tourist destination in Southeast Asia. While English is spoken in some tourist areas, it is always enjoyable and helpful to learn a few basic Thailand phrases before you go. Let’s discover some of the most essential Thai phrases that you will need to know as a traveler. We will also provide some tips for learning and using Thai phrases, as well as resources for learning.

Essential Thai phrases in situations

Learning whole phrases and grammar is really hard for a beginner. So, learning by specific context like phrases for traveling to Thailand is the easiest approach.

Basic phrases for greetings

There is a special thing in Thai that in communication, there are often ending words for men and women. Specifically, for women, the word (khrap/ka) is used, while for men, the word (ka/kap) is used. This is a linguistic rule that you must follow when speaking Thai. Using these words in a sentence will be considered polite and respectful to the listener.

Because Thai script is a hieroglyph that is difficult to remember, the phrases below will be transliterated into Latin script for the most convenient learning.

The first is the phrase “hello” when you meet someone.

Sawasdee khrap/ka: Hello

If you are a woman, say “Sawasdee khrap” and if you are a man, say “Sawasdee ka”. And don’t forget to greet in the Thai style. Greeting like this is like praying to express respect and openness to the opposite person.

Greetings in Thailand
Thai greetings

Additional greetings phrases:

Thai English
Khob khun (khrap/ka) Thank you
Mai pen rai You’re welcome
Chai (khrap/ka) Yes
Mai Chai (khrap/ka) No
Sabai dee mai? How are you?
Hong nam yoo tee nai khrap/ka? Where is the restroom?
Pai mai? Where is the bathroom?
Chan khon… My name is….
Chan yoo… I’m from…
Kun pood pasaa angrit dai mai? Can you speak English?

For example:

Chan khon EVIVA. Sabai dee mai?

Getting around

Here are some basic Thailand phrases used in the context of travel and transportation during your travel time.

Unique passenger vehicles - Tuktuk
Unique passenger vehicles – Tuktuk

Thailand has a rather unique vehicle called tuk-tuk and songthaew. You can experience this interesting vehicle and don’t forget to ask for the price.

Thai English
Pai… Go to

eg. Nai hong khong chan


eg. In my room

Klai… Next to….
Dang… Opposite….
Tao rai? How much?
Chan tong gan… I want to go…
Khun khor suay… Can you help me?

Food and drink

Thailand is a culinary paradise. When you come to Thailand, you will have the opportunity to experience the unique cuisine with countless different types of food and drinks. They are very reasonable. In addition, the dishes you should try when traveling to this country are pad Thai, tom yum goong, khao pad, som tum, green curry…

Thai English
Aroy Delicious
Mai aroy Not delicious
Ped Chicken
Moo Pork
Pla Fish
Khao Rice
Nam Water
Bia Beer
Nam pla Fish sauce
Phet Spicy
Mai phet Not spicy
Chan tong gan… I want to order…
Pad Thai
Pad Thai

If you want to use a negative sentence, add “Mai” before the word. For example, “Chan tong gan pad Thai. Mai phet” means “I want to order pad Thai. Not spicy”.


Finally, when shopping, the phrases you should learn are asking for the price and being able to bargain, asking for a discount. Some frequently used basic Thai phrases for tourists in shopping are:

Thai English
Tao rai? How much?
Pheng Cheap
Paeng Expensive
Chan tong gan… I want to buy
Lom eek noi Can I get a discount?

Tips for learning and using Basic Thailand Phrases

Learning a new language can be difficult at first and requires time and determination, even if you are just learning a few phrases to communicate during your trip. So, here are a few tips for learning and using Thai phrases:

  • Start by learning the basic pronunciation rules. Thai is a tonal language, so the meaning of a word can change depending on the tone used.
  • Practice speaking Thai phrases regularly. The more you practice, the more confident you will become.
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Thais are generally very understanding and will appreciate your effort to speak their language.
  • Use a Thai phrasebook or app to help you learn new phrases and practice your pronunciation.
  • Find a language partner. Practicing speaking and listening to Thai with a native speaker is one of the best ways to improve your skills. You can find language partners online.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you need help communicating, feel free to ask for help from a local. Most Thais are happy to help tourists.

Resources for learning more Thai

So, where should you learn Thai phrases? There are many platforms and apps you can use to learn Thai from basic to advanced, depending on your needs.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • ThaiPod101 is a website and app that offers a variety of Thai learning resources, including lessons, podcasts, and videos.
  • Pimsleur is a popular language learning program that offers a Thai course.
  • The Thai Language Institute offers a variety of Thai language courses, both online and in person.
  • Duolingo: This free language learning app offers a Thai course.
  • Memrise: This language-learning app uses flashcards and games to help you learn Thai phrases and grammar.
  • YouTube: There are many Thai language learning channels on YouTube, such as ThaiPod101, Learn Thai with Mai, and Thai for Beginners.

Learning a few Thailand basic words and phrases is a great way to show your respect for Thai culture and make your trip to Thailand more enjoyable. Talking and getting to know each other is a wonderful thing!

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