Our time in Thailand was nothing less than incredible. We loved everything about it, the food, the happy people and the beauty of the country itself. Here are a few activities we enjoyed and some that are not to be missed out on while in Thailand:
- Hire a scooter and take a ride along the hilly roads to see the picturesque beaches or the exotic jungles. The cost is about B150 per day, excluding petrol, and petrol will cost about B40-B50 per litre. (TIP: Remember to have your driver’s license with you and wear a helmet at all times, as there are occasional roadblocks and you don’t want to ruin your day by having to pay a B500 fine for no reason.)
- Go for a Pad Thai at the local restaurant on the side of the road, the one with the menu only written in Thai. It is always the most delicious food and is much cheaper than the tourist spots. (TIP: Try a mixed fruit smoothie with your meal, it’s refreshing and is soothing if your meal is a little spicier than you expected.)
- Go out for a day trip to see the real Thailand. Go elephant trekking, visit the national parks, trek through the jungle or canoe down a river. There is plenty to do and it’s a great day out of the city. (TIP: Sometimes these trips can be cheaper if you book them through your hotel, and usually include pick up/drop off from your hotel too.)
- Go to the markets. No matter where you are in Thailand, there will be markets or walking streets. As Mari said in the guest post, the food here is fantastic and the souvenirs and clothes are cheap too! (TIP: Don’t accept the first price you are offered, even if it seems cheap. You are doing us all disfavour by accepting the hiked up prices, as often the goods are not worth the money or they are fake brands. For some excellent bargaining tips, check out this post by fellow travel blogger, Twenty-Something Travel: Bargaining Tips for the Non-Confrontational.)
- Visit the magnificent islands in the South. Whether it’s Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta, Koh Tao, Koh anything really, there are over 200 islands to choose from and they are all uniquely beautiful. (TIP: Try not to stray off the tourist path, yes it will be “untouched” beauty, but there won’t be much that is untouched if we keep touristing every part of the islands…leave some for the locals.)
- Go for a surf! There are many beaches around the island but during the rainy season there is a small swell that comes up and brings with it some fun waves on the western beaches of the island. If you’re lucky (I wasn’t) they even get big enough to throw a small barrel. (Tip: Rental is around about 150 Baht for an hour depending on your bargaining skills and if you are a bodyboarder then be prepared to for out a bit more for fins. The water is super warm but wear a rashie to ward off the inevitable irritation that salt water rubs into your skin.)
- Have sun downers at a rustic little place with a view. Thailand has incredible views from the tops of the hills to the flat sandy beaches, do yourself a favour and stop to admire them once in a while. (TIP: A lot of restaurants near the sea have “Happy Hour” which is between 6pm and 9pm and gets you half price cocktails or 2 for 1’s.)
- Visit Bangla Road on Patong Beach, but be warned, you will get accosted by some nearly nude women and some not so much women. If you feel the need to see the ‘free show’ on offer, realise that you may be paying for the show in your B1000 drink. (TIP: The bars here are waiting for tourists to rip off, make sure you know the specials before you order drinks. Better still, head to the Blue Lotus for a cheap Chang beer or a cocktail and enjoy the passing parade.)
- Visit the Sunshine Bar on Rawai Beach… just do it!
- If you’re planning on heading down through Malaysia on the train, there are a few things you should know (we wish we had):
- If you book your ticket online, be sure to print the e-ticket before boarding. The offices in Thailand will not help you, they will send you to the Malaysian offices at the border…this can be stressful.
- Change your remaining Baht into Malaysian Ringgit at the border as they do not accept Baht on the Malaysian trains and no food/drinks are served.
- Try not to book a sleeper right near the front or back of the sleeper carriage. The constant opening and closing of the carriage doors is noisy and you won’t get much sleep.
We got to Singapore last night eventually after a 4-hour minibus trip, a 15-hour train trip and another 5-hour bus trip… can you say tired? But luckily we got to see Kuala Lumpur for a few hours and I’m glad we did, it’s a nice city