Thailand can be heaven on earth and the country has a way of enchanting its many visitors from all walks of life every year, backpackers and luxury tourists alike. The gorgeous islands, the staggeringly beautiful coastline, the lush jungle interior and the history and culture means that this vibrant Southeast Asian country offers many once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Thailand caters effortlessly for Westerners in search of paradise off the beaten (if well-worn) track.
For the traveller on a budget, in Thailand you can stretch your money further than just about anywhere else in the world. Thailand is considered the travel hub of Southeast Asia and many backpackers use it (and especially Bangkok) as their starting point and base for the regional circuit. It’s an easy country to travel around, thanks to its long history of hospitality, and those intrepid souls who want to explore the many things on offer in this magnificent and fascinating country are well-catered for.
Bangkok – An Easy First Stop
The first stop on most Thai itineraries is Bangkok.
Flights in and out of this vivacious city are often inexpensive and it offers a full-on, in-your-face introduction to the country and the region’s mentality. Bangkok is also a fabulous place to explore, with attractions ranging from the sensory overload of the lively backpackers’ ghetto of Khao San Road to the tranquillity of the reclining Buddha at the serene Wat Po temple.
It’s also a hub for meeting like-minded folk and for connecting and gathering information and advice over a beer, in a jostling crowd at a street food stall or standing in line to see a sacred site.
It’s Cheap To Bounce Around
Transportation is cheap, whether it’s a three-wheeled tuk tukracing through city streets or a train or a private bus that’s crossing the border into neighbouring Cambodia or Laos. If you’re traveling by taxi or tuk tuk, however, be sure to agree on a price and destination with the driver before you set off.
There are numerous different routes to travel around Southeast Asia, with many considered part of the infamous ‘Backpacker Trail’, and most start in Bangkok as most countries in the region have limited public transport. Private bus companies and inexpensive ferries are sure-fire modes of transport that cover a lot of ground (or water) and can be booked with little hassle.
Thai food has a legendary reputation and it more than lives up to it. Tasty and sometimes ridiculously inexpensive, especially the street food, the cuisine is one of the best things to discover in the entire region and Thailand in particular; be sure to eat where you see locals eating and you’re bound to dine on some of the freshest and most delicious noodles and curries ever!
A traveller’s dream, Thailand is friendly and fun, exotic and cultural, and has been captivating visitors for decades without breaking the bank!
So make Thailand, or ‘The Land of Smiles’, your starting point for a magical tour of Southeast Asia.