Before heading to Koh Samui, we highly recommend that you learn to speak the Thai language. Not many people speak English or other languages in the island and your stay will just be so much fun and easier if know the local dialect. Here are some benefits of speaking Thai on your vacation.
You won’t seem like a clueless tourist.
Let’s face it, being a tourist in a foreign country can be a disadvantage. For one thing, people might take advantage of you. You don’t live here, they’d think, so you won’t know the local dynamics. Next thing you know, you are paying a lot of money for souvenirs that locals can get for cheap. Be it a for a service or a product, sellers always have a special price for tourists. By special, we mean higher. It is like that in many parts of the world. If you know the language, you can haggle better and natives will treat you a little more seriously. Let’s face it, locals treat you better when you communicate on their terms. This is true for any other place, not just in Samui.
You won’t get lost.
Believe us when we say that it is easier to master a few useful Thai phrases that you can use when asking for directions, than to find an English speaking local who can help you find your way. Yes, there are Thais who can speak English but in a sea of people, good luck in finding them.
Knowing a bit of Thai can help you find your way easily and be able to explore the island with confidence and less stress.
It makes interactions more relevant.
Language barrier is a barrier for a reason. It makes you miss out on important social interactions. Say your interest is caught by beautiful Thai woman (who is hopefully single) or a good looking local guy, how can you start a conversation without knowing a bit of Thai? Your chances of getting to know a seemingly interesting person is close to zero, unless he/she happens to be fluent in your own language, which almost never happens. Knowing the native tongue will enrich your social experience on the island. You can have interesting conversation with the street vendors. You can learn some trivia from your tour guide and be able to make new friends too.
You will have a better appreciation for Koh Samui’s culture.
If you understand the language of the locals, you will also be able to deeply immerse yourself in their culture. You will appreciate Thai songs more. You will be in touch with island poetry, short stories, and other forms of literature. You can work your way through the street markets by yourself and better grasp what is going on around you. Speaking Thai will make you feel more at home in Samui.
Your sightseeing tour becomes more meaningful.
When you understand the language, your sightseeing tours become more fulfilling. You don’t just see. You appreciate what you see and that’s always a good thing.
You open yourself to great deals and bargains.
Your chances of getting deals on accommodations, tour packages, and other services and products offered in the island are high if you can speak Thai. For one thing, it is very hard to say no to someone who exerts an effort to facilitate communication. If you want better deals and amazing bargains try negotiating in Thai.
It makes business and projects easier.
If you will be in Koh Samui for a business venture or your wedding, you can improve your dealings if you speak Thai. Negotiations are easier when there is no language barrier getting in the way. Also, you produce better results and be able to achieve your objective since the other party would be able to understand what you are saying. Miscommunication is the root of misunderstanding. Ensure the one you are dealing with understands what you are saying. This will help you avoid trouble and be more successful with your endeavors.
It makes errands less stressful.
If you will be on a long holiday in Samui, you will be doing a lot of errands like going to the bank, buying medicines, shopping for food, and heading to the laundry shop. Not to mention getting a haircut and having a suit tailor made. All these will be easier if you talk Thai.
It is good brain exercise.
Every time you train for a new skill, your brain gets worked up. The more you use your brain, the healthier and sharper it gets. When you study Thai language, you’d improve your cognitive functions and boost your mental health as well.
It’s cool to be multi-lingual.
There’s just something respectable about a person who speaks more than one language. Language is a skill after all, so the more languages you can speak, the more varied is your skill set so to speak.
Your mastery of the Thai language need not be perfect.
Some people hold back from learning a new language because of their fear of sounding awkward or trying too hard. Don’t let this kind of thinking stop you. The more important thing in anything is that you tried. Take baby steps. Learn to say hi or hello in Thai, then practice. Add more to your vocabulary day by day. It won’t be long til you can speak a few sentences.
It’s a step away from your comfort zone.
It is good to get out of our comfort zone every once in awhile. So if you have spoken English all your life, it is time do away from your usual manner of communication by speaking the island language.
You’ll be safer and avoid being scammed.
You won’t get much into trouble if you hone your Thai speaking skills. Some tourists become victims of scams because they don’t really understand what is being said when they buy something or avail of the service. Too bad because disclaimers if there are any, don’t come in English. The sad thing is that, some of them are not actually being scammed. They just don’t understand the terms they have agreed too. Avoid this scenario by working on your Thai speaking skills.