Whilst parts of Thailand are increasingly tourist-y destinations, with cocktail buckets and neon paint a-plenty, it is still a country I would urge anyone and everyone to go to- even if you think it’s “not for you”.
Tourist hotbeds like the Khao San road and southern party beaches still have a strange charm in their madness. This is an incredibly friendly, welcoming country, filled with beautiful scenery and unmissable experiences- if a sweaty trek in the jungle doesn’t appeal to you, swimming with elephants probably will. If the elephants are too much, snorkelling just offshore from cocktail bars and dirt-cheap Thai street food really ought to appeal!
The food, the drinks, the hostels and hotels- everything is incredibly affordable, which is what makes Thailand such a tempting spot for many backpackers and travellers.
Be ready to haggle when you’re buying clothes and jewellery, consider tipping your tour guides and tuk tuk drivers and show respect by greeting people with the Wai
and learning a few words in the local language. Greeting people with a sawadee-ka/sawadee-kap and thanking them with a kop-kun-ka/kop-kun-kap (without the p if you’re female, with it if you’re male!) will earn you brownie points even if you don’t manage to pronounce things right every time!
Lonely Planet do a great Thai phrasebook that teaches you such helpful things as ”I didn’t know that was in there” and ”I’m sorry but I cannot marry you”, but free apps like ‘Learn Thai- Phrasebook for Travel’ are great and come with handy audio you can attempt to mimic.
I could tell you not to go to a Ping-Pong show unless you want to a) feel guilty and b) be scarred for life, but I know no one will listen.
I could suggest that you don’t use as much chilli paste as you’re told to at your Thai cookery class- but you still will. So what I will say before I take this blog over to Australia, is that Thailand with its history, its beaches, jungles, cities, lakes, caves and waterfalls is a truly unbeatable destination in which to unwind and escape from it all.
Whether you’re a hostelling backpacker or a honeymooning holidaymaker looking for some luxury island life, this is where you need to be.