Thailand has a reputation for being exactly what you want it to be, which means that the country provides its visitors with exactly what they want from their vacation. Then again, Thailand can also be a very confusing place to visit for the same reason. There is so much on offer here that unless you give yourself a bit of preparation time, the trip may leave you feeling a little disappointed. With the goal of getting the best out of your next trip to Thailand, here’s everything you should prepare for in advance.
Learning Thai: is it necessary?
You don’t need to learn the local language to visit any place that allows tourists and travellers, so Thailand is certainly not an exception to that rule either. However, you can most certainly benefit from learning Thai to at least some extent before your first trip to Thailand.
To understand why learning Thai can have a big impact on your experience there, you need to first realise that there is a vast difference between the English language and Siamese (Thai). While most locals are capable of understanding and even speaking a few lines of English, the vast difference between the two languages will make it nearly impossible for you to have any meaningful conversation with locals beyond basic business transactions and such.
Other than that, the one-sided communication gap can also be somewhat dangerous. You will have no idea what your driver is saying to that suspicious looking hotel guide once they start talking in Thai amongst themselves and that’s not a nice place to be in! Granted that they are at worst going to take you to a very overpriced hotel, but it still is disconcerting to not understand what’s going on right in front of you.
Book early and look for travel deals
Thailand may not be the most expensive place that you can visit, but it isn’t as cheap as it used to be once either. In fact, Thailand is officially and legally going to charge you significantly more money for almost everything in comparison to what the charges will be for locals. What made Thailand a cheap vacationing spot for the westerners is not as valid anymore, so you may want to look for travel deals and book early to cut down on your Thai trip expenses quite a bit. The more money you save on flight tickets and hotel bookings, the more you will have left in your budget to spend in properly exploring the country.
Get to know where you should be going
Thailand is so widely spread that you should have a plan prepared for the vacation well before buying any tickets. Thailand quite literally consists of more than 1,000 islands, or about 1,430 to be more precise. While some of them are clustered and recognised as one place, that’s not true for every secret island.
Below is a preview to help provide you with a brief introduction as regards what to expect when visiting Thailand:
- Beautiful beaches, golden sunsets, calm waters, coconut trees and just about everything else you can expect at a tropical paradise island can be found on Koh Samui.
- Visiting at least one floating market such as the Damnoen Saduak, the Amphawa and the Tha Kha should be a part of everyone’s itinerary.
- Chiang Mai is famous for its Buddhist temples, flea markets, street food, Thai massages, and of course, the several elephant rescue sanctuaries.
- Khao Yai National Park is not about the ocean but all about a stunningly beautiful forest filled with birds, falls, lakes and a few tourist lodges.
- Bangkok is famous for everything you can imagine and perhaps a few that you can’t!
Ask yourself and your companions regarding the type of vacation that you are all looking to experience from the trip. Once you have a few answers, plan your itinerary in such a way that the vacation shapes up to be exactly like you want it to. Do not try to do everything on your first trip unless you are going to be there for a particularly long vacation.