6 Things I’ve Learned from Traveling through Thailand
1. Researching common scams before getting to your destination. This was my first time travelling through a less wealthy nation and I was suprised about how much the locals were not giving genuine advice to tourists and directing people towards scams or terrible ideas.Pretty much any local (especially taxi cab and tuktuk drivers) that approaches you, you should proceed with extreme caution as it’s pretty likely that person is attempting to get money out of you.
2. Google will not solve everything in Asia.I was under the impression that Google Maps always had the best route to get to my next destination, when in reality there are a lot of things that Google didn’t know. Bangkok for example is a very poorly designed city for tourism. All the big tourism attractions are located no where near any of the metro/subway lines. Busses are useless as traffic in Bangkok is horrible. Which means you are stuck using a taxi or a motocycle taxi if you want to get somewhere quickly. Google maps didn’t know that there was a ferry line on the river that goes straight to the tourism areas, and it’s also the fastest way to get out of the tourism areas as well. Google Maps is great in western countries but does very poorly in Asia.
3. Bangkok is a terrible travel destination. It’s Los Vegas without the casinos and with way more prostititues and ladyboys. I believe the city bring the worse out of people as the city tourism is dominated with sex, drugs and money. You’ll find travellers in the region recommend that you get out of Bangkok as fast as possible, as most people dislike it as a travel destination.Treat it as a transit hub, and move on to the Southern Islands or the northern regions.
4. Go out and meet new people. This was a trip where I was solo travelling and I was fortunate enough to meet absolutely wonderful people along the way. For me it was either meeting people enroute to a destination, meeting other travellers at a tourism attraction, or simply meeting new friends at a hostel. I feel like it’s always nice to learn other people stories along the way. Don’t be afraid to let go either. I’ve switched companions quite often as our travel intenaries didn’t align, but I’ve added people on Facebook and you never know when your interaries will magically align again later in life.
5. Carry a smaller backpack. I currently carry a 70L Osprey Aether backpack with an additional 15L Daylite Pack and I also bring my Manfrotto D1 backpack to carry all my drone and camera equipment when I travel. Weight is the number one issues I have when I travel and I believe that If I give myself extra space in my bag. Eventually it will be filled with something I shouldn’t be carrying on my adventures. Figure out how to save on weight, and you’ll have more energy on your adventures explore and discover you destination.
6. Domestic flights are insanely cheap in Thailand. Also discount regional airlines are also insanely cheap too. If you like to not plan your adventures and just go with the flow, often you can just show up at the airport with cash and be on a flight within 2 hours. This also works well with people that don’t have access to credit or the bank has blocked your account due to “fraudulent” activity. Alternatively if you liked the more planned approach through South East Asia, then I highly recommend you check out the ASEAN Pass from Air Asia. You need to book the flights 2 weeks in advance after purchasing your flight. But you gain 10 credits to fly to any chain of destinations you wish.
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