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Stacy's World Travels Adventures of a History Teacher Abroad

iPhone 4S App Addiction

USA | Thursday, 15 December 2011 | Views [677]

Sawatdee! (That's hello in Thai)

I have been doing most of my research on Thailand from my new iPhone 4S. I have downloaded 6 new Apps that are helping me do everything from learning Thai to finding the hottest after-hours clubs. 

The best part of these apps is that they were ALL FREE and that I don't have to waste space in my luggage for guidebooks, maps, paperwork. It's all stored on my phone!

Here are the apps I downloaded:

United

Obviously, this isn't a Thailand-specific app but it's pretty essential for anyone who travels be it international or domestic. I have both the Southwest and United Apps and use them whenever I fly. With both apps, you can check-in for your flight, receive flight status push notifications, and book flights. The United App is more robust with airport maps, ability to view multiple reservations/itineraries, and a real-time currency converter. I won't be converting my dollars to baht in the airport, but I can see how it would be useful if you were on a multinational tour or abroad for an extended period of time and were doing multiple currency conversions. The airport map feature, however, will really come in handy when I am connecting through Narita. 

mTrip BKK

mTrip has travel apps for most of the major international cities. This app allows you to search tourist attractions, restaurants, hotels, shopping, and nightlife. Each entry has pictures, reviews, descriptions and tons of GPS in every part of the App. Once you add something as a "favorite," it places it on a "favorite" list, completely separate from the itinerary. So you can either make an itinerary manually (or have the mTrip genius do it for you) or just keep a list of "favorites" and be spontaneous!

It also has an "Information" section that gives a lot of useful information (about everything- including Thai history!) in very simple and concise language. It's like a mini-travel guide book! Other features include a currency converter, sharing/social media, and a Subway map!

This is the app that I will be using all day, everyday in Bangkok. It even tells you which section of the weekend market has which types of items. I need a larger battery for my phone!

WN Thai

World Nomads, the organization through which I bought my travel insurance, has free language apps for nearly every language. I downloaded the Thai language app and have already started practicing. Its pretty limited but it gives you the basics. It also has this 10 minute audio lesson. Its a skit between an Australian guy and a Thai on the street in a market which is a little cheesy but helpful. Most of the files have audio pronunciations (which is totally essential for Thai!) except for the "Food/Drink" and "Directions" sections which seem pretty important. However, it does have the phrase and audio pronunciation for "Those drugs aren't mine!" 

iTranslate

Just in case I need any additional language assistance, I also downloaded the free iTranslate app which was actually pretty disappointing. All I can do with this app is type in English sentences or phrases and view the Thai translation. So, in order to use it, I would have to show them the Thai that I can't read. I think I will only end up using this in extreme circumstances which means hopefully I will never have to use it!

CNN Go

This App is actually pretty cool. It has travel articles (where I read about after-hours clubs) but also news. It's a city-based app, so it only has information on Bangkok specifically, not Thailand as a whole. However, it does have other major Asian cities too. A good App to have just in case.

World Customs

I'll probably never use this app in Thailand but it would be good for other countries. It has information about customs such as gender issues, eye contact, gestures, etc. Thailand seems pretty "normal" and laid-back from everything I've read but it might be really useful if you are planning on going to non-secular countries or backcountry-ing. 

Anyway, as you can see I have been busy doing research and getting excited! If you have any app suggestions, I'd love to have them. But, I know that the best resource is other people. Several people at my workplace have been and are more than happy to give me tips and must-see/dos! I also have a friend living in Chiang Mai and another friend that has visited him twice, and a third friend that has been there twice as well so I know I'll be well-prepared!

Tags: apps, culture, iphone, language, maps, preparation

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