Bangkok is the ultimate city. The city that never sleeps. Filled with glistening lights sitting on top of high rise buildings. From above the roads look like messy spaghetti illuminated from the shine of street lamps and multiple vehicles racing to their destinations. You can see this view from Bangkok’s tallest hotel the 88 floor skyscraper, the Baiyoke Sky Tower.
By default, the first destination on your mind has to be the famous Khao San Road. This road is like New York City in a single street with an added Asian magic.
Buckets with lethal amounts of alcohol are sold at only 150 baht (about £3.46), along with laughing gas offered every 5 steps you take. The best thing about Khao San in comparison to other party destinations is the diverse mix of culture. You will befriend people who you never thought you would ever come in contact with around the world. This is a great place to meet people and could benefit you when you continue your journey, or just get you too drunk to stand, or both.
TEMPLES! Bangkok offers many beautiful temples, most of which require shoulders and knees to be covered. Many are free and some ask for a nominal free. The Reclining Buddha is one of my all time favourites as it offers gorgeous golden Buddhist structures and architect throughout.
My next stop always has and always will be North of Bangkok in a city called Nakhon Sawan. This place is not very often visited by foreign tourists so is perfect for a traditional Thai cultural feel. I stayed with my befriended Thai family, helping them in the noodle factory they own. This hidden jewel is one of my favourite places in the world, with a more calm vibe to Bangkok so recommended stay is only maybe 5 days. However, as I have grown to know the people there so well I find myself changing dates constantly to maintain my time spent with them.
Our Burmese family consistently invite me and my friend for dinner which involves freshly caught fish, chicken, rice, squid and other delicious buffet styled food laid out neatly in the centre of the circle. We have worn traditional Burmese clothes kindly given to us as a leaving gift by the family which gave us the authentic feel of Burma.
Chiang Mai is a vital stop off location in Thailand, famous for its humane elephant sanctuaries offering tourists opportunities they couldn’t experience anywhere else. I visited Chiang Mai elephant sanctuary, booking online before I went (priced at about £45 per person). We were driven into the mountains where we were able to feed, bathe and swim with the elephants who were free to roam the protected jungle.
The elephants are playful, calm and happy (although a baby elephant still managed to claim my bracelet off my wrist in the water). This day trip also included a jungle hike, which featured out of the ordinary wildlife surrounded by exotic waterfalls, and be warned.. extremely huge spiders.
To travel Thailand is generally cheap. 7/11 stores will become your best friend holding cheap sugary treats (my favourite is the banana cakes). Meals average about £2-3 maximum at a restaurant, bottles of water are a matter of pennies and transport can be bartered with particularly tuk tuks which will always try to rip first timers off a treat! A phrase that comes in handy here is pronounced ‘peng
mak’ (meaning too expensive). This will help you negotiate a reasonable fee. Using the advice I have shared amongst your own research, to stay in Thailand can cost you no more than £10 – £15 spending per day.
My vital tips for those brave enough to take on this magnificent country would be as follows;
1.Try and learn some of the language where you can. It will help you massively. Phrases like ‘hong nam’ (meaning lavatory) and good manners such as Kob Khun Kha (thank you) will take you a long way.
2. Try authentic Thai food such as Green Curry (it’s delicious) and Pad Thai, ensuring to always look for busy restaurants to eat in. I would recommend avoiding street food, and this applies to all over Asia after having my fair share of travellers tummy.
3. If on a budget avoid tuk tuks. Instead opt to download the Grab app on your mobile which is cheap, efficient and super easy to use.
4.Guest houses tend to have a greater feel than hostels and hotels. Hotels are too expensive a lot of the time, and guest houses are often run by families who will cater to every need and often provide home cooking at a minimal fee.
Overall, this country has the perfect scene for every type of person. The busy city goers, the relax retreaters, cultural addicts, and every other vibe in between. Be prepared and enjoy your trip to one of the worlds most fascinating countries!