Thailand backpacking travel guide– Every time someone thinks of going international, “Thailand” is a name that surely pops up. With so many travel agents offering you the perfect trip ( even I fell for this ), here are a few do n’t-do’s I learned from my personal experience.
Read on to know, what all you should not be doing there and of course some things you should definitely not miss.
Breaking News- Thailand has waived visa requirements for Indian citizens till May 2024, so pack your bags and head out.
Let’s start with the most famous “Pattaya”
Things to know :
- It will take at least 2 hours to get to Pattaya from Bangkok airport. In case you choose DMK airport over Suvarnabhumi airport (due to reasons like feasibility and cost-effectiveness ) add another hour to the journey.
- Hotel Check-in time in Thailand is 2 pm, and they are pretty strict about it too. In case there are rooms available and you have arrived a little too early you could pay 100Bhat per hour for early check-in.
- Another thing to know is you may have to pay 1000Bhat as a security deposit in most of the hotels ( to be paid in cash only ). This is refundable if you have not damaged the property or have not consumed any product that is chargeable ( snacks in the room and drinks in the fridge ).
Pattaya is infamous for the adult industry and people come here with this image ingrained into their minds. Please know it is not just that.
Pattaya has some amazing beaches and beautiful temples too. This is a place where you can find lots of cheap and nice products for your home and clothes as well.
Food for vegetarians may seem a little difficult to get but, with the number of Indian restaurants in Pattaya – seek and you shall surely find it.
While you are here don’t forget to try the local cuisine. Seafood is a must-try .
Keep an open mind in Pattaya, in fact you need to keep an open mind throughout Thailand. You will surely see a lot of people who may be into the Adult industry , but not everyone has this as a profession – ” please treat everyone with respect. “
Things to Do :
1.Visit the Koh Larn – Coral Islands :
Take a day tour with one of the many agents, who will take you to the Coral islands on a speed boat from Pattaya beach. Clean, serene beaches , pristine waters – is what you can expect here. Jump on a jet ski or a banana boat for a ride . Or you could go parasailing , paragliding to get a great arial view of all the chaos below.
If you find all of the above too mainstream go for an underwater walk to explore the marine life in its originality.You can entertain yourself in the many water activities throughout the day .
Koh Larn (Coral) Island
2.Watch the Alcazar cabaret show :
A cabaret show performed by only transgenders. This is sure to keep you glued for the entire duration.
3.Walk through the streets of Pattaya and go for a massage:
Keep an open mind while you do this. There is hardly a reason to panic even when you walk into regions with pubs for adult entertainment. You can walk by without anyone troubling you.
Thai massages are pretty famous – in case you are not so sure of the same, go for a relaxing foot massage. A foot massage should cost you around 120 Bhat.
4.Visit the underwater world :
Do not expect this place to be like the renown underwater world in Singapore ( shut down since 2016 ). It is although worth a visit. You can get a picture with a Jamaican Boa around you for 100Bhat – if you can muster the nerves to let one close to you.
Underwater world Pattaya – JellyFish
5.Visit the Sanctuary of truth :
Do not think of coming back from Pattaya without visiting this place. This is a place that is dead opposite of the Pattaya that is renowned throughout the world.
A temple built with only wood ( still under construction ) , this is not dedicated to any religion but, to the meaning of life or things that do matter in life.
Please make sure you do visit this place.
Sanctuary of Truth
Sanctuary of Truth – Interior view
Destination 2 : Bangkok
Things to know :
- Traffic in Bangkok can be insane , but unlike anywhere in India – no one honks unnecessarily. Make sure you have books/ anything to keep you occupied and snacks and water for the journey.
- Don’t plan anything that is going to be strict on time schedule, your schedules will be effected by the traffic.
- The usual 1000Bhat security deposits rule will apply in the hotels.
- If you have any plans on trying Durian ( the exotic fruit ) make sure you don’t get it to the hotel room , it is generally not allowed due to the stinky aroma of Durian.
For all of you who love to booze – walk into a 9 Eleven store and get all your booze and snacks from there ( in case you wish to remain in your group and within the comforts of your room ). You can get some yummy meals from here too.
Bangkok – Street View
Things to Do :
1. Visit the Chatuchak weekend market :
Timings : Wednesday /Thursday – 7am to 6pm , Friday – 6pm to 12am , weekends 9am to 6pm.
For all the crazy shoppers Chatuchak market is your heaven. You can find anything from home decor to dresses and accessories here. To add to all the joy of shopping you can grab an authentic Thai dish for a few Bhat and make your stomach as happy as your mind. A must have is the Thai Mango rice .
2.Visit the floating market :
Warning : Floating market isn’t in Bangkok . Will take you close to 3 to 4 hrs to reach there.
Getting there may be arduous, but rest assured it will be worth the effort. Another shopping destination – Floating Market will make sure you spend and get back hell lot of souvenirs . Some you may not even know why you bought them to start with.
3.Take a ferry to IconSiam mall :
With all the major brands available and the beautiful view of the Chao Phraya River. The sunset looks mystical with all the lights bouncing off the high raise buildings on either side of the Chao Phraya.
You could also get on a cruise ship and see the the iconic places on the banks of the this river and be mesmerised by the beauty of the ancient temples and some of the major iconic places of Bangkok.
Icon Siam Mall – Replica of the floating market.
4.Visit the Grand Palace, Wat Arun , Wat Pho :
Dress code Alert !!!!
Please be sure you are wearing a loose fitting pant and top or a dress that is below knee length. No to 3/4th pants , no to shorts, and no to sleeveless tops.
Dress code is strict and there is checking to see if people adhere to these rules. It is also a good idea to carry a cap/hat and a bottle of water on this trip.
Phra Maha Montain – Grand Palace
The Wat’s are the temples and place where Thai people actually worship.
What not to do :
- Wandering off without listening to the instructions from the guides.
- Creating a ruckus or shouting or talking loudly.
- Taking pictures inside the sanctum sanctorum.
Although taking pictures with the Buddha is allowed in the temple of the Reclining Buddha – refusing to take a picture by posing next to the Buddha statue will surely make the local population happy.
Temple of Reclining Buddha
Conclusion & Key Takeaway
Thailand is obviously not a place you can explore in a few days. I would highly recommend visiting multiple times if you are keen on seeing all of Thailand at a relaxed pace. Of course, there would be people who would suggest staying at each place only for a single day.
This may work out for many, but the list of things you would regret not doing would be longer. Thanks for reading 🙂 . Happy Trip planning and a great journey. Why not join our Facebook group TravelEscape, and be part of an awesome community?
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