Welcome to Thailand, Sawadii Khrap!
This country officially changed its name in May 1949 to “Prathet Thai” or commonly known in the west as “Thailand”, meaning: “The land of the free”. And I must say, it certainly does have a reputation among travelers for having some pretty interesting liberties. If you have ever seen ‘The Hangover 2’, you’ve heard about the wild times for tourists in Bangkok. Or, perhaps you’ve heard about a ‘rad party’ on Koh Tow or Koh Samui from a friends who swears it was the party of a lifetime! However, as a stark contrast to the famous nightlife, Thailand still enforces strict laws against narcotics and other illicit drugs in addition to slander against the King “Lès Majesté” which is a criminal offence. Either way, you’ve probably heard something about Thailand otherwise why are you so curious now?
There are many sides to Thailand worth exploring, adventures that go further into traditional Thai culture, natural landscapes that’ll leave you in breathless, and stories worth taking a moment to sit down and listen. Here is a quick guide to traveling Thailand in 30 days.
On your travels to Thailand you are certainly going to find something worth your time to indulge and explore. The best way of finding out exactly what that might be is to do a little research! Thailand is a beautiful country full of exotic species of wildlife; exotic birds, apes, elephants, tigers, bears and 10% of the worlds flowering plants! So nature lovers pack your binoculars and pick up an identification book! History buffs will appreciate a look at the Siamese Empire, the Buddhist Temples, the Monarchy and the cold war era fight against Communist Insurgents in the 1970s.
While those who favor more physical activities might be inclined to check out Thailand’s famous Scuba Diving Locations and Muay Thai Martial Arts! Finally, who can go to Thailand without learning a little about the amazing food and recipes! So delicious! Alas, here are a few documentaries and books that will really get you excited for your future adventure!
- “Wild Thailand” – Nature Documentary on Thailand’s amazing wildlife
- “The People’s King: King Bhumibol”– History Channel Documentary
- “Soul of a Nation”– The Royal Family of Thailand (1970)
- “Thailand – Tourism and the Truth” Documentary on the Workforce behind the Tourism Industry
- “No Reservations -Thailand” – Anthony Bourdain
- “Bangkok Street Food” – National Documentary Adventure
- “Born for the Fight” – Muay Thai Fighting Documentary
- “Fight Club Asia” – National Geographic Documentary
- “Scuba Diving Koh Phi Phi” – Youtube Montage
- “Scuba diving Koh Tao” – Youtube Montage
Books & Websites
- “Lonely Planet Thailand” – Lonely Planet Guide $19.98
- “Birds of Thailand” – Princeton Field Guides Amazon Book $21.78
- “Thailand: Traveler’s Wildlife Guide” – Amazon Book $29.95
- “King Bhumibol Adulyadej: A Life’s Work” – Amazon Book $40
- “History of Thailand” – Wikipedia Page (Easiest Resource)
- “Thailand’s Best Street Food” – Amazon Book 12.95
- “Pok Pok: food and Stories from the Streets…” Thailand Food Guide Amazon Book $24.46
- “Vegan Street Food” Guide for South East Asia and India $15.29
- “Fighting Strategies Of Muay Thai: Secrets of Thailand’s Boxing Camps“ Amazon Book $28.34
- “Muay Thay Unleashed” $12.79
- “DiveZone” – Thailand: A forum on Scuba Diving in Thailand
In 30 days in Thailand, I spent a little over 12,000 baht in cash! A lot? Not at all. Winter 2016, this equally about $500 Canadian for my journey across Northern Thailand. At the time, this would have been around $350 USD! Add in my worldwide flights ($1,700 CDN), health insurance ($300 CDN) and equipment ($300) divided by my length of travel (4 months) and this brought my expenses for the month to just over $1,075.00 CDN, roughly $800 USD. For an American, this was a pretty sweet time to travel, a real bargain because the US currency was so strong and the Thai Bhat isn’t pegged against it. Now lets take a look at how i spent that 12,000 baht!
- Street Food: 20-35 baht per meal, 35-200 baht for fruit smoothies and alcoholic beverages ranging from a can of beer to buckets and pales!
- Restaurants: The local mom and pa establishment will cost you 70-150 baht per meal item. While the western style restaurants will run up to 300 baht – around $10 per meal. Its worth trying out some of the amazing fancy meals, however for my budget I preferred the street food and local mom and pa, don’t speak English, authentic Thai restaurants!
- Accommodations: A 6-8 bed dorm can range between 120 – 300 baht per night depending on the luxuries and location, most cheaper options don’t include breakfast. A cabin on an island depends on the season but can range from 400-600 baht per night. 5 Star hotels can be found on most popular islands and in Bangkok. They are by far one of the most affordably prices luxuries worth indulging for a night or two, the standards of service are incredible, including the hotel food! I used Hostel World, Agoda and Hotels Quickly to compare prices and book in advance.
- Couchsurfing: One of the best ways to be introduced to Bangkok and other cities in Thailand is by meeting a local or expat through the Couchsurfing App!