I’m Chloe, a final year French and History student, and the Travel Editor for the Linguist this year.
Last summer I travelled around Thailand for 5 weeks, so I consider myself clued-up on what to see, and how to get the best value for money! Therefore, I present my top 10 tips for travelling in Thailand…
- Indulge in some roti – this delicacy is on offer on almost every Thai street. It is essentially a rectangular pancake folded up, with banana inside. The best thing of all, it only cost around 30 Baht (74p)!
- Hop in a tuktuk – try not to be worried about how unsafe they appear! Make sure to barter, especially if you look like a clueless tourist, as I did. Often you can negotiate down to half their initial price.
- Under no circumstances forget insect repellent – when people say the insects are rife in northern Thailand, they mean it.
- Take a trip to Pai – Pai is a small town tucked away in the northern Thai mountains. The bus journey there was brutal, well known for its 762 twisting turns. Pai was my favourite destination throughout the whole trip, as I experienced the best street food I’d ever had. Our ‘hostel’ was a huge tent – it was refreshing to sleep in the fresh air rather than an unairconditioned hostel room!
- Take a boat around the floating markets – the Damnoen Saduak Floating Markets were an incredible day trip. Beware, there is only one company running boats to the markets, so they can charge whatever they want. We paid around £75 between 4 people for the trip but overall it was worth the money. You take a boat trip around the maze of markets, and signal to the driver if you want to stop to have a look. I still wear the skirt I bought there and love that I have a physical ‘souvenir’ from the markets.
- Download Grab for taxis – Grab is essentially a better version of Uber in Thailand and is often much cheaper.
- Have a cocktail in a rooftop bar in Bangkok – the skyline of Bangkok boasts numerous rooftop bars, some of which have strict dress codes, but others are more relaxed. I went to the Redsquare Rooftop bar, the views from 75 floors up were incredible.
- Go to the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep at sunrise – this was the most stunning temple we visited, located in Chiang Mai. We went just after sunrise to avoid the crowds of tourists, and it was well worth it. The temple looks out onto the jungle, and the morning sun shines off the gold of the temple. There are 300 steps to climb before the temple, which are so ornately decorated that the temple feels rather palatial.
- Buy a SIM card at the Thai airport! If you’re in a group, you only need one SIM card as you can hotspot your friends. I was pleasantly surprised to only pay £20 for 5 weeks of mobile data.
- Khao Sok National Park – the logistics of getting to Khao Sok were complicated, but often the least accessible places are the most beautiful. The views in Khao Sok were stunning, and we took an overnight trip offered by our hostel (Coco Hostel) to stay in huts on a lake, including a 6am safari boat trip and unlimited Thai buffets.
I would strongly recommend a trip to Thailand – the scenery was incredible and the local Thai people were always friendly. I hope this was helpful for imagining post-covid travel plans!