There is so much to say about Thailand and I can’t honestly think of anything negative. The Thai Baht exchanges well, even with the Canadian dollar, so your money goes a long way; the beaches are stunning; the locals are friendly; the food is delicious (and cheap); the history is captivating; the architecture is enchanting. Overall, it is a small country that has a lot to offer a traveller.
My trip to Thailand started in Singapore and ended in Thailand as I thought it was my best bet when trying to accumulate to the culture shock as it was my first time in Asia. Thinking back I see that I was being a bit dramatic, but if you are worried about that as I was, Singapore is a great gateway to Asia.
I spent a short time in Thailand, just under a week but I defiantly saw the highlights by taking in the sights of Bangkok at night from Moonbar, spent an afternoon sailing around the Phi Phi islands, shopped the streets of Bangkok, saw an AMAZING Ladyboy show, visited the Grand Palace and the reclining Buddha and ate everything in sight on Silom Road just to name my highlights and the MUST SEES.
Travel in and around Thailand is very easy to do on your own and booking day trips while you are there I think is a better bet than booking them in advance. You may get a better rate, you can book you trips based on weather and if you have a group you can get a pretty decent discount. There are so many vendors that offer day trips that you will have quite the plethora of options to sort through.
I traveled to Asia at the beginning of the rainy season (July – October) and nothing I did was hindered by the weather if anything it was much too hot and I know it only gets hotter in the dry season. The perks about traveling in the rainy season is that it may be a bit cooler, everything will look much more lush and green as well as there will be less tourists, the temperature was comfortable and it will be slightly more affordable overall. Regardless, I find most peoples travel dates are dictated by their work and not necessarily seasonality, so if you are headed during the rainy season don’t fret!
As I did a trip through Asia I entered Thailand via boat from Malaysia and into Bangkok via overnight train. The boat ride was only an hour or so, not too big a deal but the train was slightly more… of a spectacle. I have been in overnight trains in the past but I was always in a private cabin where here we were all divided by a curtain and that was about it. So there was no sleeping in (someone actually walked up and down the train with a bong waking you up), not much privacy and not the greatest food. Make note to bring snacks. Also make sure that you have a sleep sheet for the train. (They are so handy to have in life because you never know when they will come in handy and they fit everywhere.) The overnight train does have its perks as it is always best to be traveling long trips while you sleep, then wasting valuable daytime on a 10 hour bus ride during the day.
Some of the great things Thailand has to offer that are a must to take advantage of:
- Thai Massage on the cheap: there are lots of places that will do an hour massage for about $10! Just make sure that you go to the right massage parlour… .
- Boat Taxi: a great way to get around the city while avoiding the traffic as well as getting to see some amazing things.
- Sampeng Market: this was where my friend and I spent ALL our money. Literally. So much so that we jumped into a cab back to the hotel with $0 in our pockets and I was left in the cab as collateral while my roommate ran to the room to get her debit card and take out more money. LOTS of stuff here like food, every knock-off designer you have ever heard of, clothes, lots of tech stuff, souvenirs etc. Basically everything.
- Silom Road: ALL OF THE STREET FOOD! It’s here, this is the place to go. Luckily my hotel was located on this street so I was winning. There are so many restaurants and great places to eat here (including a 7/11 which I though was random) that it is a MUST!
- Moonbar: if you haven’t already checked out the link above, this is the time to look. That bar is unbelievable. Free cover and seating at the bar is first come first serve. A spectacular way to spend your night.
As per usual, if there is something specific you want to know about Bangkok or the islands please comment below and I will do my best to answer any questions.