So you have finally saved up money for a plane ticket to book a trip to Thailand. That’s wonderful! Thailand has become the travel spot in Southeast Asia over the past couple of years. It’s a beautiful country with breathtakingly clear water beaches, full green forests and extremely kind people. This is definitely one trip you will not regret booking. If you want to take full advantage of your trip, there are some things you should know before you take off:
Bangkok, like any other huge city, is that of extremes. It’s a very fun city to go out in, with some of the best nightlife in the country. The glowing lights of the city excite you, and there is no shortage of places to grab a drink with friends.
But Also Immerse Yourself in Culture
The bars are fun, but don’t spend your whole time out; you can do that in any city. Take time out to enjoy beautiful tourist attractions, such as the Grand Palace, a 214,000 square meter former royal home whose architecture is hard to match.
They city also has Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Arun, two temples with the famous reclining Buddha and spiral, respectively. Not to mention, there is an abundance of delicious restaurants to check out. You can easily spend a couple of days sightseeing through all of Bangkok.
Don’t Drive Around Bangkok
Travel is very easy with the sky train, which offers air-conditioned cars and near constant service. That’s a good thing because traffic in the city is atrocious (as is pollution). This and the constant crowds are enough to keep some people away.
Escape Into the Jungle
Do not go to Thailand and spend your entire time in Bangkok, no matter how much fun you are having. There is just too much unbelievable nature around Thailand not to take advantage of. Khao Yai National Park is the perfect place to go hiking. It’s the country’s second biggest park and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Most of the park is covered in lush green forests and water falls, with animals roaming around, including apes, elephants, and macaques. When you are not hanging out with animals, the blissful quiet is enough to make the most cynical person a poet. It’s a short ride from Bangkok (by train or car) and is definitely worth the trek.
Ko Samui Will Change Your Life
No, this is not an eat, pray, love guide. No one is suggesting that you pretend to immerse yourself in Thai culture and write a B list novel about how you reached enlightenment after eating some great pad thai. That being said, this is one of the most tranquil islands you will visit in your life. Lying off of the coast of the Gulf of Thai, it is the second biggest island in the nation.
Lamai and Chaweng are huge beaches on the east, with long stretches of sand, and pristine water that you can see your hands through. These cities also have great parties and nightlife as well. For those searching for a more relaxed experience, there are calmer cities with small boutiques such as Bo Phut. You have to visit the limestone cliff islets while you are there (google Ang Thong and try not to cry).
Visit One of the Beautiful Temples
The temples in Thailand are known for being gigantic and colorful. It’s definitely worth it to visit them. Be sure to dress modestly when visiting temples in the area, and do not wear any hats inside. In Chiang Rai, Wat Rong Khun is a temple that is in all white, making it one of the most interesting to visit. Other popular ones include Wat Suthat, one of the oldest in the cities.
Be Sensitive to Culture Differences
Most people polite when going on holiday. However, some things are not as obvious as you would expect. For one thing, showing the bottom of your feet is considered a huge sign of disrespect, since the feet are the lowest part of the body. Try not to cross your legs or left your legs too high.
Also, don’t disrespect the king; people do not take it well and it can even be punishable by law. Pointing is considered to be rude; if you have to point try not to use your fingers.
Don’t Lose Your Wai
The wai gesture is a standard greeting in Thailand. A person will put their hands together in front of them in a prayer like stance and bow slightly. If someone uses the wai gesture towards you, it’s extremely rude not to do it back. The only people who don’t do it back are of extremely high social status, such as a monk or king.
You can have an amazing trip in Thailand that you will remember for years. There are plenty of kind people, amazing food, and nature galore. But it’s always good to go in knowing a little bit before you take off. Following these tips is surefire way to make your trip that much more enjoyable. Happy travels!