Going to the cinema in Thailand is the perfect way to spend a dreary afternoon during the rainy season or to take advantage of the super power air conditioning on a hot day. Cinemas can usually be found in large shopping centres and even in Tesco.
Most good cinemas offer at least one English film subtitled in Thai and for the more adventurous, English subtitles are usually available on the Thai films, which is good for anyone embarking on a Thai/farang date.
Here are my five top tips for visiting the cinema in Thailand:
① Don’t trust the online times as in my experience they are usually wrong. This shouldn’t be too much of a worry though as you will be subjected to around 20 minutes of adverts and trailers before the movie begins.
② Bring a cardigan. And a scarf. Maybe go the whole hog and bring a blanket – the air conditioning is always set to arctic conditions – on my last trip to the cinema I almost lost the feeling in my toes.
③ Turn off your phone. OK, so most westerners don’t need to be reminded to do this (at least people from the UK) but in Thailand it isn’t unusual for people to keep their phones switched on throughout their visit to the cinema- l once witnessed a woman playing candy crush during a screening of the Hunger Games! Thai mobile network provider Happy have even created this catchy advert to remind people to switch their devices off- although it doesn’t seem to be all that effective…
④ Please stand for the King’s film. You may feel silly or you may like to think that you don’t have to because you’re not Thai, but please have the common decency to stand politely as the obligatory film in honour of the King is played. Here’s a little taster of what you can expect so thats it doesn’t come as a complete surprise.
⑤ Here’s a tip for those of you who truly want to make your trip to the cinema an experience – spend that little bit extra and get a sofa. A standard cinema ticket in Thailand is around 180 baht but if you don’t mind spending a little extra you can get a sofa for 500 baht per couple – these bad boys are super comfortable, spacious and they recline so far back that if the film turns out to be a flop you can always have a nap (there’s reason number 2 for bringing along a blanket).
Want something even more special than a sofa?
Check out this floating film festival in Koh Yao Noi – incredible… only in Thailand.