Subscribe iStudy iGap

Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Thailand Trip

Posted: 17th May 2018 16:47

Thailand is one of those countries that surprises every new visitor. Despite it being a haven for Western holidaymakers, it is like nothing you've ever seen before. Of course, much of the reason is that the tourism industry tries to cater to the wild whims of Americans and Europeans, and ends up taking things to an absurd extreme.

You'll have heard of the live sex shows and so-called “sexy ping-pong shows,” but those are just the tip of the iceberg. Thailand has a hell of a lot to offer, both in the ridiculous and the downright normal.

But to make sure you get the most out of your trip, you should consider the following tips.

Rent a house

It is tempting to book a hotel in Thailand, as there are many good, cheap options. Even the cheapest options come with everything you need, including a pool, buffet breakfast, room service, and helpful staff.

However, vacationers who choose to rent homes in Thailand do not regret their choice. Thailand has some very intense daylife and nightlife, and there’s nothing better than having a place all to yourself and your companions to relax in at the end of it. A nice pool that isn’t full of other travelers and their kids will see you through the most exhausting parts of your trip.

And don't underestimate how much you'll use that pool – although Thailand has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, it’s sometimes just too hot to lie by the ocean for too long. At the end of a long day of touring, bartering, and basking in the heat and humidity, nothing will feel better than a refreshing dip in your own backyard.

Barter

I mentioned bartering, and it is something that will give some people particular enjoyment. Thailand’s markets are helmed by vendors trying to sell cheap wares to tourists at high prices. Since they have a very weak currency, an exorbitant price might not seem so bad to you. But the trick is to always bargain for something much lower. They will start very high, and you have to start very low. Even if it seems like a bit of cheek to offer such a low price, they expect it, and you're probably still going to overpay even if they come close to that price.

If you don’t have the stomach for bargaining, the markets are going to rip you off, and I recommend shopping in a mall where prices are more likely to be fixed. But if you have a knack for it, it can be a lot of fun. And don’t feel guilty about it – no vendor will ever sell you something if it’s not worth it for them.

Take day trips

Talking about those beautiful beaches, you may be tempted to stay in Phi Phi Island. Phi Phi Island’s beaches are simply spectacular. Crystal clear water, pristine sands, greenery, and so on, all combine to make a picturesque spot that will outdo the expectations of the most seasoned travelers.

However, I advise you not to stay on Phi Phi Island or any of the similarly beautiful but small islands. When I say they're small, I mean they're tiny. You'll get claustrophobic quickly. Rather, stay in Phuket or Koh Samui, and take day trips by boat to various islands. These day trips include snorkeling, boat trips by islands inhabited by way too many monkeys, and informative guides. They're cheap, too, and at the end of them, you can get back to the crazy brilliance of the mainland.

Not all day trips are created equal, though. A trip to James Bond Island is cool, but hardly compares to a Phi Phi Island trip. The big draw – that a Bond film was filmed there – is not as exciting as locals think.

And avoid trips within the city that promise to take you to “honey farms,” “jewelry factories,” “cashew nut factories,” and so on. These are just stop offs at stores where they'll try to sell you things. They pay tour companies to bring you there, and it’s a waste of time at best. At worst it’s downright depressing, like when you see the soul-destroying work that goes in preparing cashew nuts to be packaged (it’s done manually, one nut at a time, by an unhappy-looking labourer getting paid peanuts, if you're interested). Rather go on a half-day trip, in which there’s no time for gratuitous stops like these. Or, even better, take a look at their itinerary and find a way to get to the interesting places yourself.

Be open to (crazy) new experiences

If you go to Bangla Road in Phuket at night, you'll be bombarded by people trying to get you into live sex shows, or the infamous “ping-pong shows.” This may not be your cup of tea – let’s be honest, whose cup of tea is it to watch ping pong balls being shot from unexpected places? – but if you're brave, it’s quite an experience.

But you don't have to go to live sex shows to experience the good parts of the crazy that Thailand offers. A good “Ladyboy Cabaret” is clean but risque fun. A full moon party is a must for the young and old alike.

(It’s also more safe than the gut-busting experience of a chicken curry waffle on the side of the road!)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up here and get the latest news and updates delivered directly to your inbox

You can unsubscribe at any time