Thailand is a popular destination for travelers and holiday-goers alike.It’s affordable, friendly and beautiful. What’s not to love? But before you travel to this great country, bear the following things in mind.
1. It’s a party-lover’s paradise…
Bangkok is a city that never sleeps, with the streets buzzing with activity until the early hours of the morning. The full moon parties on Thailand’s islands are also infamous around the world – Koh Phangan is where it all started years ago when a few friends threw a birthday party on the beach.
Now, thousands attend each full moon and it’s got a festival-like vibe where alcohol and fun are kings.
2. …But Thailand has much to offer than partying
Thailand isn’t all about partying. You can learn to dive, trek through lush jungles, see amazing wildlife, visit historic ruins and religious temples, among many other great activities. Even if you’re visiting for the party atmosphere, spare a few days to explore and see a different side of Thailand.
After partying too much, you should also think about spending time in one of Thailand’s many spas – the tropical garden spa, Banyan Tree Spa in Phuket, and holistic wellness facilities at Kamalaya spa in Koh Samui are both great choices.
3. Visit more than one island
Island hopping is popular in Thailand. To make the most of the beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters, people tend to travel to a few islands. Favorites for diving include Koh Tao and the Similan Islands, whereas Koh Chang is the place to go to chill out after all the partying on Koh Phangan or Koh Phi Phi.
The islands are also home to some great luxury accommodation – if its peace and quiet you’re after, the Six Senses Yao Noi on Koh Yao Noi comes highly recommended.
4. Thailand is in a year of mourning until October 2017
On October 13th 2016, the Thai government announced the passing of His Majesty, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, and commenced a one-year mourning period for Thai government officials, civil servants and state enterprise employees.
Visitors to the country should go about their travels as normal, but should take extra care to act respectfully of the locals and their time of mourning. Speaking badly of the royals is actually a criminal offence and could land you in some serious trouble, not to mention make you extremely unpopular with the local. Pay close attention to any announcements before you visit, and be on your best behavior.
5. You’ll be charged to withdraw cash
You’ll need some spending money when you’re in Thailand. But be wary of how you get your local currency – ATMs in Thailand will charge you for overseas transactions. A few years ago, the fee was around 120 baht ($3.38), but it has steadily increased to 200 baht ($5.65). For international visitors, this can quickly add up. It’s worth learning how to avoid the fee where possible.
6. Haggling is commonplace
Just because you’ve been able to get your hands on some cash, it doesn’t mean you have to spend it all at once. For most purchases in Thailand, don’t accept the first price you’re offered. Tourists are normally targets of inflated prices, so get practicing how to haggle to avoid being overcharged.
7. Street food is a must try
When you’re in Thailand, you’ve got to try some street food. If you’ve got any worries, stick to popular vendors with queues out the front, and watch your food cooked fresh in front of you.
You’ll be able to try out new flavor combinations and won’t regret it – Thai food is fantastic, and street stalls are a cheap, quick and easy way to try loads of great new dishes.
Have you ever visited Thailand? Share your experiences and suggestions with us in the comments section below.