Thailand has always been my favourite travel destination (so much so that my husband and I had a THAI THEMED WEDDING- you can read about how I did this here). I guess it’s the combination of the familiar and the exotic, the beaches and the nature, the serene along with the hustle and bustle. Thailand really does have something to offer everyone. I visited as a backpacker, I went again on a slightly more luxurious holiday and most recently I visited for a work conference. Next time I visit will be with my baby girl! Thailand has such a vast amount of accommodation and transport options as well as activities that just about anyone can choose this country for their holiday and have an amazing time. Whatever holiday-type you’re after, here are my top Thailand tips for you!
1- Plan your transport options in advance
Want to visit Wat Po in Bangkok? Hop in a tuk tuk, no problem. But if you want to travel a bit further, say from Bangkok to Chaing Mai or down to the island, I would suggest planning in advance. I have spent hours sitting on the floor at train stations, had to sit on a ‘hard seat’ (i.e. a wooden bench) on a night train and paid over the odds for flights. Whether budget or premium, transport books up quickly in Thailand, especially during peak seasons, so I suggest booking in advance.
2- Look around for accommodation
Thailand is unique in that there is accommodation to suit all budgets and traveller types. From a 20 bed dorm in a hostel to a family-friendly 3* hotel to a luxury beach-side villa, you can almost always find something that’s perfect for you. There are so many Thailand deals out there, make sure that you shop around to find the perfect accommodation for you at the perfect price.
3- Step out of your comfort zone
Thailand is a country that provides you with an abundance of opportunities to try something new. Whether you want to watch a ping pong show in Pat Pong (something that most backpackers will do-it’s not onlypopular with seedy old men!), taste fried tarantula on Koh San Road or do an elephant mahout course in Chaing Mai, I would recommend that you do something that you will remember during your trip to Thailand.
4- Experience the real Thailand
It’s so easy to go on holiday and to spend the majority of your time in and around your hotel. But if you do this you really are missing out… because Thailand has so much to offer! Try the food (it’s delicious!!), speak to the people (they’re so friendly!) and brave the city traffic (you know you want to try out that moped taxi…). I promise, experience the real Thailand and will take away fond memories that you will never forget!
5- Don’t be naive
-Don’t be over-charged, never pay the first price a street seller or a tuk tuk driver quotes you.
-Don’t leave your belongings unattended, Thailand is generally a safe country but there are tales of backpacks being raided at bus stops and elderly people falling victim to pickpocketing.
-Don’t ride elephants that are not well cared for, look at the condition of their skin, ears and the way that they behave, look at their facilities and where they are kept.
-Don’t help fuel the tiger tourism industry, they are frequently drugged and poorly treated, do your research.
-Don’t fall for everything the tour guide tells you, no, the long neck hill tribe do not actually want to wear those rings around their necks, they do it because tourists pay to see them, they are, in actual fact, a human zoo.
-Don’t encourage sex tourism, all you have to do is look at the face of a sex worker in a strip bar and you can see that she is probably not happy to be working there.
Keep your wits about you and have a bit of common sense though and you as a tourist can bring many positive impacts to the country. You can help boost the economy and encourage animal conservation by visiting sanctuaries and farms where animals are treated well. The beaches are some of the best I have ever been to (and I’ve travelled a lot), the people really are some of the kindest and the food is some of the most delicious I’ve ever had (and super cheap-bonus!). What ever you do on your trip to Thailand, I can guarantee you will have a fantastic time- enjoy!
Do you have any tips for visiting Thailand? Please leave them in the comments box below!