Traveling through Thailand is one of the most rewarding cultural experiences known to man. However, a trip to Thailand doesn’t come without stress and hassle. Any trip abroad will comes with challenges, and Thailand is no exception to this rule. The main thing to keep in mind is that preparation makes all the difference, and doing research beforehand is a must.
Knowing what you’re getting yourself into ahead of time is the best way to stick to a budget, check off your itinerary items, and stay safe while doing it. Read these tips on everything from cheap and safe transportation to booking budget-friendly accommodations before you embark on your Thai adventure. Following this advice in more will allow you to enjoy your time in Thailand with the least amount of stress and hassle possible.
Tips on Transportation
Part of the beauty of traveling in Southeast Asia is the cheap travel. You can easily get from Bangkok to Koh Samui for $25, which is pretty good considering this is a 12-hour journey across the country. Domestic flights are often less than $50, but the cheaper option is to go by train, bus, ferry, or even a private shuttle. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when it comes to in-country transportation.
The first is to not trust every transportation agency you come by. Always read reviews beforehand, or better yet, book something online through a reputable SE Asia transportation source like Bookaway. The best way to stay safe while traveling from point A to point B is to book with a trustworthy service. Avoid anything that feels or looks sketchy to you. There’s no need to get on a ferry that doesn’t look up-to-code or a bus that has seen much better days.
Another tip for transportation is to avoid air travel at all costs. Not only is traveling by plane expensive, it is also the least environmentally-friendly way of getting around. If you want to do good things for Planet Earth, opt for land and sea transportation methods instead. It might not be as convenient, but it’s a great way to save money, save the planet, and see more of the country.
Tips on Accommodation
There’s no shortage of accommodation throughout Thailand. This should come as no surprise since Thailand is one of the most-traveled countries in the world. Accommodation here ranges from very cheap to very expensive. If you’re on a budget, you’ll want to use the HostelWorld booking site to find comfortable, safe, and affordable dorm beds in hostel rooms. Agoda is also a great source for this.
For midrange hotel, there is no site that compares to Booking.com. Booking will also show results for a few hostels on their site, but HostelWorld is the better choice for cheap accommodation. Always read reviews, look at the pictures, and keep your booking confirmations handy. It’s also possible to show up to accommodations and book a bed or room on the spot, but the better idea is to book something beforehand.
One last piece of advice when it comes to accommodation: don’t be afraid to splurge every once in a while. Even if you’re traveling long term and doing your best to stick to a budget, this is your opportunity to stay in a 5-star hotel or resort without the insane nightly rate. Sure, staying in fancy accommodations might set you back a bit, but you won’t find the same value for price anywhere else in the world. Instead of paying $300 per night for a 5-star hotel, it is often closer to $100 per night in Thailand. This is the perfect opportunity to treat yourself every once in a while.
Tips on Thai Food
The main tip on Thai food is to try everything. The entire purpose of traveling to Thailand is to experience Thai culture, and one of the best ways to do that is through food. Even if you’re not an adventurous eater, do your best to taste as many different foods as possible. You don’t need to eat crunchy cockroaches for every meal, but just try to step out of your comfort zone.
This means you shouldn’t be ordering Pad Thai for every single meal. Thailand has some of the richest cuisines in the world, ranging from coconut-milk curries to seafood soups. Some of the most popular dishes around the country include Tom Yam, Green Papaya Salad, and Panang Curry. Be sure to try the traditional Thai dessert, Mango Sticky Rice.