What to Expect from a Local Guide When Travelling in Thailand

Tara Abhasakun

09 Apr 2024

When travelling in Thailand, it's important to know what to expect from your guide's behaviour

Many who travel to Thailand love to go on guided tours of the country's spectacular attractions. Tour guides in Thailand offer local perspectives on the country's temples, natural sites, and more. But there are some laws that tour guides must obey, that you should be aware of if you're planning on making a trip to the land of smiles. In addition, you should know what to expect of a local tour guide In Thailand.


Legality and other issues when choosing a tour guide

As per the Ministry of Labour, foreigners are not allowed to be tour guides in Thailand. If your tour guide is not a Thai citizen, they are breaking Thai law. There have been several incidents of foreigners illegally operating tour businesses in Thailand. Headlines on such incidents are frequently a source of chatter across the nation. 

Your tour guide must also be licensed. Tour guides without a license, as well as companies operating during a license suspension, can be punished by imprisonment for 2 years, or a fine of up to 500,000 baht, or both.

Thai nationals who wish to become tour guides must be at least 18 years old, and must complete a tour guide course before applying for a tour guide license, according to AirBnB's rules on guiding tours in Bangkok.

On top of legal issues, some tourists in Thailand have also had issues with tour guides' behaviour. 

An online ruckus erupted this week over the latest episode by famous Korean music producer Cullen Hateberry. In the episode, the star visited Thailand’s southern Chumphon province with his friends P’Jung and Nong Dan. Viewers were not impressed, to say the least, with the young mens’ tour guide. Since the episode aired, netizens have spoken their minds about how tour guides should behave. (Koktail’s view: time to lighten up snooty netizens!)

When you book a tour guide in Thailand, there is a set of expectations you should have for them. The following will help you know what is appropriate for tour guides in Thailand.

Knowledge of the area

Your tour guide should possess a deep understanding of the local area, including its history, culture, and landmarks. A great tour guide will be able to tell you how a neighbourhood or area came to be the way it is today, and what makes that area distinct from other areas. They will posess knowledge of significant events at famous sites that have shaped the development of the area.

Communication Skills

Good guides should be able to communicate clearly and engagingly, making information interesting and accessible to people of all ages, backgrounds, and education levels. This involves having enough knowledge of English, or whatever language the tour is in, to communicate effectively to tourists. 


If you're tour guide is enthusiastic about the sites they discuss, then you're much more likely to be interested. Your tour guide's passion for the area and its stories should be evident, helping to engage and inspire their audience.

Patience and Flexibility

Your tour guide should be patient and flexible, ready to adapt to the needs and interests of their group, answering questions and tailoring the experience as necessary. This includes being mindful of any physical limitations tourists may have. 


This includes being polite, respectful, and maintaining a professional demeanor throughout the tour. It also includes punctuality, and ability to problem-solve in a disciplined manner