Survival Guide: Top eight apps to download for visiting Thailand in 2022

It’s plain that travelling has turn into considerably more complicated since the pandemic. Yet for all the unexpected purple tape you may encounter when crossing borders, travelling is still fairly straightforward: choose a destination, guide your flights and motels, and be certain to put together all the required paperwork. (And if you’re coming to Thailand, that doubtless means a LOT of paperwork.)

But with such wonderful expertise at our disposal, it’s simple to take all the trendy conveniences they provide for granted or underutilize them, especially when travelling overseas. Using the telephone in your pocket, you’ll be able to easily e-book a flight and verify in online, compare hotels and book a room, order meals and taxis, discover native businesses and navigate to them, plan the routes for your day trip and talk in overseas languages. So whether or not you’re just visiting or about to move the Land of Smiles, listed right here are the Top 8 apps you must download for Thailand in 2022.
Transportation: Grab Grab is the equivalent of Uber, but with a twist. It’s not just for automotive rides, but also for meals and grocery deliveries. The colourful metered taxis usually trigger a stir among travels, and drivers will at all times blame the meter for being either glitchy or broken. That’s why we extremely advocate Grab, as it’s loved by locals and foreigners alike. You can choose from quite so much of car costs, together with a standard metropolis automobile, a premium automobile or an SUV. In a rush? You can even guide a motorbike if you choose to be quick and furious (just remember to hold on tightly and wear your individual helmet). You can pay by cash or bank card. The Grab app will calculate the space, expected arrival time and estimated service charge for you, leaving you with nothing to do however wait in your cab to reach.
Navigation: Google Maps Google’s ubiquitous app choices typically get missed. But anyone will admit that getting round Thailand just isn’t as easy as we want it to be, especially Bangkok. Traffic is unpredictable and metropolis planning is a whole mess. With Google Maps, navigation is made easier, because it eliminates a lot of the guesswork, presenting the quickest route by default.
That’s additionally a half of the issue — all the guessing and selecting it does for you. If you’re driving, the app will only present the top two or three route options, primarily based on time (ex: detour with toll rolls) or distance (ex: detour by way of a neighborhood with slim winding streets), when the obvious route (ex: go straight, flip left) just isn’t an option. Or if you’re on foot, it would provide you with a ridiculous detour of several kilometres to avoid a brief one-way highway, when you can simply safely stroll down the road a number of hundred kilometres to your destination.
Also, don’t count on the app to perform precisely the way in which it does back residence or to speak perfectly logical English. For your info, the people who actually update the Thai map are actually Thai people working at Google’s workplace in Beijing. So their mastery of the English language, or the dearth due to this fact, will definitely present itself in some kind or another whereas you’re navigating Thailand’s tricky highways and byways (ex: “turn left onto the ramp” might imply “take the exit on your left”). This turns into especially infuriating when driving, as one incorrect activate the highway may simply turn out to be a 30-minute detour with double tolls. And why can’t the AI voice pronounce Thai place names correctly? Trying to match the app’s botched mispronunciations with the inaccurate phonetic spellings on Thai highway indicators while you’re driving at 80km an hour could be a complicated headache (ex: “Srinagarindra Road”).
Finally, the GPS signal typically gets dropped when passing beneath the man massive concrete buildings that make up the tangle of elevated ramps, highways and BTS strains throughout Bangkok (a problem consistent with both Apple and Android devices). It means you all the time should be trying ahead, anticipating the following turn or two, in case your cellphone drops its GPS signal while navigating. A worst case scenario is the map will actually routinely reroute you whereas you’re driving because of GPS obstruction. It is normally a nightmare, especially because it often happens at some key intersection or fork within the road. But don’t panic. Take a deep breath and stay the course until the app figures out what occurred and will get back on track.
So though Google Maps could be useful for beginning your journey in the proper direction, you have to regulate to its limitations and discover ways to work round them in on a regular basis use. Wherever you’re headed, all the time use your eyes, ears and no matter you’ve obtained between them whereas navigating in the Land of Smiles. Physical maps and avenue indicators with admittedly poor English still exist here. Use them.
Translation: Google Translate While Google’s translation isn’t perfect (why is the default pronoun for “I” all the time “Chan”!?), it will get the job carried out. Most Thai individuals you’ll meet may have a minimum of a fundamental stage of English proficiency, especially if they fall in the 20s-30s age vary. But don’t count on anyone at the market to accommodate your monolingualism. So it’s secure to have a nifty translation app put in for on an everyday basis communication, that will help you buy that bag of mangos at a fair price or negotiate together with your landlord. Food stalls or street food booths often won’t have an English menu, both, so the app will actually turn out to be useful, especially if you want to try one thing new. Just click on the digital camera icon and you live-translate any written text you see.
However, just like the Maps app, the Translate app has its limitations. Besides the annoying private pronoun problem talked about above, it’s impossible to have a reside conversation, as the microphone listens to just one voice at a time. Here it’s also frustrating as a end result of it doesn’t pay attention long sufficient for individuals to begin talking. Or you may blurt out an pressing message only to search out the app didn’t choose it up in any respect. Then you’ll should do the onerous work of painstakingly typing your message perfectly in the textual content field to get a proper translation. This is made all of the tougher when you end up in a annoying situation and wish to communicate instantly. Maybe your palms are shaky or you’re sweating profusely from strolling within the heat. Or perhaps your battery is simply too low or the solar is merely too bright and your display screen is simply too dim. Technology has a humorous way of failing when you need it most.
So in case your Thai isn’t up to speed and your know-how hasn’t been up to date for a while, be certain to all the time have a couple of cellphone numbers of some good Thai pals whom you’ll be able to call to help you communicate in emergency conditions. They can turn out to be real lifesavers when know-how fails.
Communication: LINE If you’re going to be in Thailand for the long haul, Line (stylised in all caps) is an important app to have. Both WhatsApp and Messenger are used here, however neither one is the main communication app. Most Thais will ask you in your Line only and count on you to have it. Like most other messaging apps, Line is free and simple to make use of. The app originated in Japan, before making its way to Thailand. It has a ton of cute sticker for you of us out there who prefer to speak with emojis. Forget in regards to the “metaverse” — Line customers have been immersed in a world of proprietary bear and rabbit emojis for years. But Line presents more than just free texting, voice and video calls and annoyingly cutesy emoticons. Line Manga permits customers to read their favorite manga. Line Live has TV collection and films you probably can stream. Line Pay permits users to pay for services. Line Game has an excellent collection of entertaining and light-weight hearted video games for users of all ages. Line Dictionary is there that will assist you learn Thai, or for locals to brush up on their English.
Exchange Rates: XE Currency XE Currency will come in useful each time you have to check for forex rates. It’s great for monitoring reside mid-market conversion rates so you’ll have the ability to examine it to the prices offered at currency exchange cubicles or locals banks. The software is basically acknowledged as one of the most precise currency trackers. It covers all currencies, so you won’t have any issues when you’re checking or converting Thai baht. Instead of visiting a financial institution, just to verify the costs and exchange charges on the app. XE Currency actually turns out to be useful when it’s time to verify numbers and be certain to don’t get scammed.
Shopping: Lazada & Shopee Sadly, Amazon isn’t obtainable here, but it’s going to make lots of us happy. Yes, we can nonetheless order things nevertheless it comes at a price of high shipping charges and other problems. Both Lazada and Shopee are here to solve that problem, and so they do a great job. For nearly everything you need to purchase, each apps have it covered. As for fee methods, there are a number of choices you presumably can choose from for Shopee and Lazada. Cash on delivery is an effective possibility if you’re worried about utilizing a world bank card, however you must be in particular person to obtain and pay for the package. You can even pay at an ATM machine.
Food: Food Panda There are a quantity of apps you’ll have the ability to download when it comes to food, and they are often surprisingly inconvenient till you get used to them. While Grab is useful for meals orders, it’s primarily in Thai, so we recommend using Food Panda. The app has a large number of eating places to choose from, together with many who provide delivery in forty minutes or much less, as nicely as step-by-step order monitoring – however this isn’t all the time correct. For as a lot as they spend on all those annoying YouTube adverts, it’s nice to see they’ve put slightly bit extra thought into their English-language presentation than the competitors. ติดตั้งโซล่าเซลล์ใกล้ฉัน ’ll appreciate it when it comes time to order padthai or a matcha latte.
Honorable Mentions! For these apps that aren’t daily requirements, but may possible make your life extra convenient — when functioning properly in specific use scenarios…

Immigration eServices: There is an entire record of failed apps launched by the government to make life extra handy for foreigners by eliminating paperwork and reducing the necessity for long trips to the local police division or immigration office. For example, the eTM6 app, released in May 2019, has only 5K installs on Google Play and zero evaluations on the time of writing; it was last up to date in November of that yr. But the Immigration eServices app has seen a bit extra success, so it’s value downloading just in case it actually works whenever you get here. Theoretically, you should be able to use the app to register your place of residence in Thailand and file your 90-day report. The app will then issue an digital doc called a TM30. It may also keep track of your previous reporting occasions on the app. Launched alongside the eTM6 app in May 2019, the Immigration eServices app now has greater than 50K downloads on Google Play and was last updated in March 2020, on the time of writing. It has a deplorable 1.5 star rating. Alternatively, can also try using the immigration website. Successful candidates will receive the document as a PDF despatched to their e-mail address.
7-Eleven: Of course, there are heaps of different helpful apps that may make life in Thailand extra handy. If you don’t want to stroll to your local 7-Eleven, you probably can easily order from their app. Like Grab for meals, it’s at present solely on Thai, so you’ll need to snap screenshots of every page and translate them within the Google Translate app before submitting your oder. You can even pay on delivery, which is a really nice option when you solely have money. But is that this app really necessary, given that yow will discover a 7-Eleven on practically each avenue corner? Well, yes. This app is type of helpful for individuals who find themselves in quarantine, either at a resort for travel or at a hospital for Covid-19. Dying to order an inexpensive iced Americano? Look no further!

TrueMoney: Once you’ve settled down right here and open a Thai bank account, then then an entire new world of handy financial institution and cost apps will speak in confidence to you. One of those is TrueMoney. It’s an e-wallet you’ll be able to hyperlink to your Thai bank account and top up for cashless funds, kind of like PayPal. Although it’s solely available at certain distributors, for example 7-Eleven, it’s turning into for well-liked. The downsides are they require plenty of private info, together with an image of your face together with your passport (and probably your work permit, when you have one) and while topping up your digital pockets it free, transferring out to a bank will cost a fee. But in case you have a Thai bank account, we strongly recommend downloading the bank’s app. Then you should use the PromptPay cashless cost system, which permits you to scan a QR code to pay. If it doesn’t work, you’ll find a way to at all times manually sort within the vendor’s bank information and transfer the money that way immediately from your financial institution app. Often, a vendor will display both TrueMoney and PromptPay QR codes side-by-side, giving you extra cashless fee options..

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