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Thailand Best Apps Guide: What You’ll Need On Your Phone To Thrive In The Land Of Smiles

Thailand Best Apps Guide

You’ve got your mosquito repellant, your sunscreen, and all those elephant pants ready for Thailand. But that’s not enough! To really thrive in your time in Thailand, vacation or work, you’ll need to have certain apps that nearly all the locals will have on their phones.

Here’s our Thailand best apps guide that’ll help you get your phone set up to be the best assistance you’ll get in Thailand.

Which app is mostly used in Thailand?

If you’re a local, there’s almost no app as universal as LINE. We use it to chat, for food, and even to hail cabs.

But to really answer that question properly, we’d have to dive into the best in slot for each aspect of life in Thailand. And that’s exactly what we’ll provide you in this best apps guide.

What apps do I need for Bangkok?

The bare minimum you’ll need as a visitor to Bangkok is some sort of ride-hailing app like Grab or LINE MAN. You’ll also want to make sure you’re familiar with Google or Apple Translate to help with language in a pinch.

Otherwise, we highly recommend you explore the apps in this guide so you can have a full experience of life in Thailand, especially if you’re here as an expat.

LINE, Instagram, & Facebook: to socialize and message friends

Image credit:

When you’re looking to make new friends, the simplest way to keep in touch with people in Thailand is to add them on Thailand’s most popular messaging app LINE, to follow them for DMs on Instagram, or simply add them as friends on Facebook.

Most of the time, phone numbers are used for work or family emergencies. Just keep in mind that the same social etiquettes apply here too. You have to pass the vibe check first to ask.

Shopee & Lazada: to shop

Image credit: รีวิว Shopee / Lazada via Facebook

Thai people are infamous for going to malls to hang out. But we really go there for the AC and non-risky food options (just so no one in the group outing is left out). For the real shopping, most people have now turned to Shopee or Lazada.

If you’re looking for clothes or small accessories, we still highly recommend Thailand’s many night markets. But for a lot of other purchases, many prefer to use online shopping instead due to convenience.

Banking apps to pay for stuff

Image credit: via Unsplash

Most Thai wallets have gone digital now. Most Thai vendors will have their own QR codes that we’ll scan to pay for our purchases. This even includes some of the smallest street food stalls!

The only place that you might have trouble with this are old, local flea markets.

For people planning to work here, get in touch with your local bank to get set up. But for people just here to visit, many places still accept cash too. So no worries.

Grab, LINE MAN, & so much more for food deliveries

Image credit: @pattywh_mood via Instagram

This one is mostly for people who’ll be here long-term, but food deliveries are a good fallback option whenever you can’t be bothered to cook or go out to eat.

We have a more comprehensive guide here. But the short version is this: get one of the three popular options in Grab, LINE MAN, or foodpanda. These will have the most options with acceptable prices for you.

Grab & LINE MAN again, but this time for taxis and rideshares

Image credit: MuvMi

We see Grab and LINE MAN here again, but this time they’re joined by other apps too. Unless you’re only making stops near the BTS or MRT stations, or if you’re planning on trekking through Thailand’s tumultuous sidewalks, taxis are great.

We have a comprehensive guide for you here that includes hyper-local options like electric Tuk Tuks or even a luxurious British-style cab.

Google or Apple Translate: to help understand Thai language signs

Screenshot: Google

These should already be on your phone, but we’re here to remind you that it’s an absolute game-changer – for practical and comedy purposes.

If you didn’t know both the Google and Apple version of the translate app will have a camera function where the app will turn your camera into an instant translator for any written Thai. Simply point your phone at the thing you want translated and it’ll do the job. Do be prepared to encounter hijinks if it’s slang or the name of food though.

Maps to get around

Screenshot: Google

No doubt this is already on your phone. But this is here to remind you to set your pins before you visit Thailand!

Before you come here, read a bunch of our area guide articles, like this one for Yaowarat or this one for Silom, and save those pins to your map app! That way, you’ll know exactly where you’re going and won’t get hustled.

Don’t forget to set up your phone for your Thai vacation!

Your phone will be your lifeline in Thailand as much as your passport. So don’t neglect either before coming to Thailand.

If you’re still looking for things to do, try our 2024 guide to March activities in Bangkok. Or if you’re looking to shop like a local, add some of these 2nd-hand markets to your pins on Google Maps.

Cover image adapted from:, MuvMi, @pattywh_mood via Instagram, รีวิว Shopee / Lazada via Facebook