One must be careful about Tripadvisor reviews in Thailand. Many of them are fake, especially for Tailors and Jewelry Shops. If a profile has 5 or more reviews, they are “probably legit”. Do not trust profiles with only 1-3 reviews, especially for a car rental, tailor, jewelry shop, etc.
They have an entire industry dedicated to posting fake 5 star Tripadvisor reviews, and have gotten very sophisticated. Tripadvisor is aware and does little about it.
That aside, Thailand is pretty magical in many ways. Most of the people are great, the food is spectacular. There is a lot to do and see. It will be much more chill and relaxing outside Bangkok.
Ladies and Gents - pack one set of ultralight long sleeve top and bottoms - for visiting certain temples and sites. Ladies - bring an ultralight head scarf.
A few quick rules will help one to avoid the prolific Thai scams - these are especially prevalent in Bangkok and far less so in most other areas:
- Do not trust ANY Thai who approaches you. Rule #1. Stick with this and most issues are avoided. It will be all lies and they have elaborate scams that sometimes involve multiple people.
In Thailand, there is no such thing as the “curious, friendly or helpful stranger”. Thai people are shy and will not randomly engage with foreigners. If you need help or directions, talk to someone working in a shop.
In particular, never trust a Taxi / Tuk Tuk driver. Much of their pay are kickbacks from local businesses.
Before going, search “thai scams” and become familiar. Again most of it comes down to “never trust a Thai who approaches you”.
Cambodia is spectacular. It takes time to get around from place to place. We recommend flying in, or you can lose a lot of time and endure hassles. Carry-on baggage limits suck - make sure to pay in advance for checked bags. The many temples and ruins near Siem Reap are amazing.
Pick your time of year carefully for SE Asia. Their hot seasons are no joke.