Thailand Travel Tips: An Epic Guide to Exploring Thailand

This is a guest post courtesy of Thailand Visa. To determine if you need a visa to visit Thailand, check here.

One of the popular Southeast Asian countries, Thailand offers a bountiful of activities and attractions to its guests. Witnessing millions of footfalls throughout the year, Thailand is the most visited country in the region. Its street-food obsession, rich heritage, golden temples, exotic wildlife, tropical islands, lively clubs and unspoiled landscape make it an entertaining holiday package. From the ultramodern cityscape of Bangkok to the natural trails of Ko Samui, the country has the potential to easily become your favourite destination.

Before you set off with Thailand Visa and explore the destination, we have assorted the best travel tips and facts that will help you safeguard the vacation. Read our ultimate Thailand guide to have a hassle-free and comfortable journey:

What is the Best Time to Visit Thailand?

Thailand has three prominent seasons: Rain (roughly May-Oct) Winter cool (Nov–Feb) and Summer (March-May). Throughout the country, the climate is varied, and you can make a getaway at any time of the year. To be more precise, the best time to visit Thailand is from November till early April, when the sun isn’t too harsh, the sky clears up, and the rain is at the bay. It is perfect for outing and beach activities.

Grand Palace, Bangkok

What Places to See in Thailand?

  • Grand Palace and Wat Pho

Visit the dazzling architecture in Bangkok, Grand Palace. You will be in awe of its intricate architecture and exemplary craftmanship. Its sprawling complex was once the official residence of the Kings of Siam. Today several royal ceremonies and state functions are held within the walls. The complex is also home to Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha). Continue your trip to Wat Pho that has a life-size reclining Buddha statue.

  • National Museum

Featuring an impressive collection of prehistoric and art items, Thailand’s National Museum is one of the largest museums in Southeast Asia. The primary exhibitions include the Gallery of Thai History, decorative arts and ethnology and history wing. You can discover well-preserved images, murals and sculptures of Buddha and Hindu Gods, handicrafts like traditional musical instruments, ceramics, clothing and textiles.

  • Khao Sok National Park

One of Thailand’s natural landmarks, Khao Sok National Park is known for its animal-spotting excursion through the jungle, exciting boat tour on Cheow Lan Lake, floating bungalows, beautiful cascades, mysterious caves, and memorable adventures.

  • Chiang Mai

A city in mountainous northern Thailand, Chiang Mai bursts with off-beat attractions. Hike the vantage point Doi Suthep, explore old temples, go for the night safari, relax at the park, and walk down the walk down San Kamphaeng Road.

  • Koh Samui

Popular amongst the beach bums, Koh Samui is dotted with palm-fringed beaches. Bask in the sun and rejuvenate in the resorts. Indulge in plenty of adrenaline-rush activities like scuba diving and snorkelling. Pamper yourselves in a spa, visit Wat Phra Yai, trek through the jungle, and meet exotic animals.

  • Pattaya

Tucked on the eastern coast, Pattaya is a vibrant city with verdant gardens, street performances, cabaret shows, water parks, and 24-hour clubs. One of the best things to do in Pattaya is to browse the floating market, which has shops and stalls selling food, souvenirs, fruits, art, handicrafts, and textiles. Other famous destinations are The Sanctuary of Truth, Pattaya Dolphinarium, and Nong Nooch Tropical Garden.

Sea kayaking in Thailand

How to Travel to and around Thailand?

After you get your Thailand Visa, you can easily fly to the country as there are several connecting flights and well-established airports. The seven main international airports are Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang), Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Krabi, Phuket and Ko Samui.

Within the country, there is an effective widespread network system. The most indigenous mode of transport in Thailand is the 3-wheeled vehicle, Tuk Tuk. There are also air-conditioned taxis that will amp up your journey. Bangkok has the largest bus system that will help you get around cities and towns without hassle. For travellers who are on a certain budget, motorcycle taxis are your best bet. Other transport options include BTS Skytrain, Songthaew, and Train.

Where to Stay in Thailand?

Thailand is a cheap destination. It has budget-friendly accommodations, especially in Northern Thailand. The backpackers can choose the dorm rooms which offer basic facilities at reasonable rates. You can opt for cheap guesthouses that cost around 200-300 THB (6-9 USD) per night. However, if you seek luxury with no constraints on budget, Bangkok and the southern islands are buzzing with top-notch places for your stay. Starting from 1,550 THB (49 USD) per night, there are opulent hotels, big bungalows, and beachfront resorts that combine the best facilities with hospitable service. Airbnb is the new trend and Thailand has got a wide-ranging selection of it.

What to Eat in Thailand?

Thailand has mouth-watering cuisine focused on 5 essential tastes: salty, sour, spicy, bitter, and sweet! These are aromatic and healthy that would force you to lick your fingers. You haven’t actually tasted the real flavours of Thailand until you hog on the street food. There is an array of delicious soups, noodles, salads, curry and rice here. Some of the world-renowned meals are Guay Teow, Spicy Shrimp Soup, Pad Thai, Gaeng Keow Wan Gai, Gaeng Daeng, Tom Kha Gai and Gai Tod. You will love how each dish has its own uniqueness and will exhilarate your taste buds.

What Tips to Follow in Thailand?

  • Take insect repellent to avoid diseases spread by mosquitos, ticks, and even some flies.
  • Drink bottled water instead of tap water.
  • Don’t ride the elephants, because reports have claimed that these animals are ill-treated.
  • Do not talk and discuss the Monarchy.
  • Go island hopping to discover hidden gems.
  • Pack clothes for sacred visits like temples.

Conclusion

Embrace these ideas and tips on your trip to Thailand and you will enjoy every moment with complete joy.

2021 Thus Far

Wow! It has been a long time since I’ve written. I had drafted a few posts over the past few months but life got busy and I never finished them. I figured I’d catch everyone up on what I’ve been doing so far this year.

Mark moved to the U.S…. and we moved to Maryland!

After a few years of being in a long-distance relationship, Mark was able to get a job in the U.S. He still works for the same place he did in England (as a civil servant), but in a multi-year posting to one of their American offices in Maryland. Markell and I also moved from our house in Northern Virginia to Maryland. We now live about fifteen minutes outside Baltimore. So far we are really enjoying our new house, neighborhood, and starting to make friends in the area. Markell is finishing his school year at his Virginian school virtually, and will be attending the local Maryland high school in the fall.

Mark in front of our new house in Maryland

I got my first COVID vaccine

I can’t tell you the amount of relief I felt about being able to get my first COVID vaccine earlier this month. I’m scheduled to get my second one at the end of April and will be considered fully vaccinated by mid-May. I got the Pzifer vaccine. We’ve already been able to hang out in larger groups since the majority of our friends are vaccinated (or in progress of getting vaccinated now). My mom is fully vaccinated, Mark is fully vaccinated, and my dad is in progress of getting vaccinated as well. We are also looking forward to being able to travel to destinations that are opening up to vaccinated travelers. I am hoping that the Pzifer vaccine will be approved for 12-15 year olds in the next few months so Markell can get vaccinated.

We moved our wedding from mid-June to late-August

Due to COVID and Mark and I’s wedding being in England (with my half of guests coming from the U.S.), we made the hard call in February to move our wedding from mid-June to late-August. The vast majority of people we’ve invited will be able to get vaccinated by August and travel will be starting to open this summer, so we felt it was the right move to make. We were also fortunate that eleven of our fourteen wedding vendors could work with the new date that our venue had free.

Our wedding venue in England

That’s all for now – I will start posting our travel and life plans as we make more of them in the coming months. Looking forward to the rest of spring and summer ahead!

What have you been up to lately? Do you have your COVID vaccine yet?

Safety Tips for Solo Hiking

Hiking is one of my favorite ways to get outdoors and exercise. A long solo hike makes me feel peaceful and in touch with nature. It is, however, important to stay safe while hitting the trails. As an avid hiker, I’ve outlined some of my top tips for staying safe while hiking.

Potomac Heritage Trail, Great Falls, Virginia

Only Bring Necessary Valuables

When I hike, I do not take anything that is very valuable with me except necessities like my cell phone, car keys, FitBit (which tracks my hike), and my ID. I feel safer knowing I am not wearing expensive jewelry or carrying items that may make me a target for theft.

Hike Where There’s A Signal

If I am hiking alone, I try to avoid areas that do not have a cell phone signal or heavy foot traffic. With a bit of research online, you can usually find out if the area you want to hike should have cell reception. Or if you want to go hiking in an area that doesn’t have cell reception, try to pick a popular route so that you won’t be alone on the trail. There’s safety in numbers.

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Hike With A Charged Phone

Make sure your phone is well charged before you go hiking. If you need to use the phone for directions incase you get lost or to call someone incase you get injured, having a charged phone may end up being your life line.

Tell Someone Where You’re Going

It’s never a bad idea to let someone know where you plan to hike and approximately when you think you’ll be back or plan to next get in contact with them.

Leckhampton Hill in Cheltenham, England

Bring Enough Food and Water

When it comes to hiking, it’s definitely better to bring more food and water than you think you’ll need. In the event you get lost or your hike takes longer than you expect, you don’t want to be hungry and unable to focus. A few of my favorite hiking snacks that are filling are beef jerky, dried fruit, and trail mix.

Know The Area Animals

It is important to try to know if there are any potentially dangerous animals where you may be hiking, and what actions you should take if you see any. I’ve been on several hikes where I saw snakes, but they have always been ones that are non-venomous so I just walk around them. I’ve also hiked in Shenandoah National Park which is known for having bears. Often if potentially dangerous animal is common in the area, there are signs telling you to watch out for them.

Cotswold way in Cheltenham, England

Carry Some Sort of Protection

When I hike alone, I carry pepper spray. You can buy pepper sprays that are travel size and can easily clip onto a hiking backpack or pants. Other options would be to carry a stick or knife with you. Depending on where you are hiking and your personal comfort level, I do know some people who hike with a gun, but you need to make sure you know how to use it and have the right carry license to do so.

Do you enjoy hiking solo?

Practical Tips for Relieving the Tension in Your Self-Isolating Household

This is a guest post courtesy of Emma Grace Brown. Her blog can be found here. Featured image via Pexels.

You love your family. There’s almost nothing you wouldn’t do for a member of your household. You’re stressed out, anxious, and want nothing to do with anyone in your family at the moment.

Each of these statements can be true, even all at the same time. As Ipsos explains, self-isolation seems to be having that effect on countless households around the world. This is natural, considering that we are all social beings meant to experience the world around us. And when we limit our daily experience to the walls of our houses, it can lead to severe tension, among other issues.

The good news is that there are practical ways to address the things that are causing tension in your household. Consider these tips for restoring peace and harmony in your home while quarantining during the pandemic:

Tackle boredom.

Oftentimes, when tensions are high in a self-isolating household, the culprit is boredom. And this applies to both kids and adults.

One way that many people address this issue is by gaming, which can be fun for people of all ages. Before you get excited about diving into online multiplayer games like Fortnite, however, you will need to make sure you have a fast, reliable internet connection that is up to the task. Otherwise, you could set yourselves up for further frustration. If you need to make an upgrade, look into fiber-optic connections. These not only allow for faster download rates, but they also make for a smoother overall gaming experience.

Unplug and get outside.

If you’re like many other households in the U.S., you suffer from nature deficit disorder at one level or another. This basically means that you don’t spend enough time outdoors. Doing activities amid nature can yield a plethora of health benefits. And on the other side of the coin, staying cooped up indoors can have a negative impact on your health and well-being.

Fortunately, there are many activities to enjoy the outdoors. You could turn your backyard into a family-friendly recreational area. You could frequent your local park. You could take the family hiking and/or camping on the weekends. The options are endless. Just make a plan, unplug from tech, and enjoy some good, healthy fun amid nature. And if you need some tips for planning a family trip, be sure to check out blogs like Noelle Across the Pond!

Move it.

Exercise is one of the best things you can do to relieve stress. When you work up a sweat, endorphins are released in your brain, which creates a rewarding sensation. But there’s a lot more to it than the short-term benefits. As Self explains, maintaining a consistent fitness routine can do wonders for boosting your self-confidence, alleviating depression symptoms, improving your physical health, and much more.

Whether the members of your household exercise individually, as a group, or a mixture of the two, it can do wonders for fostering a healthy, happy environment. And there are tons of online resources you can use to learn indoor and outdoor workouts from home.

Simplify your dining.

Finally, try to make your meals as simple as possible right now. For example, if you are used to meal planning, consider trying a meal delivery service, sticking with sandwiches and salads, and/or finding new slow-cooker recipes for the time being. And every now and then, maybe you can take the family to a local park for a picnic dinner. That way, you can minimize your grocery shopping and not have to worry about preparing elaborate meals for the whole family.

If your family is experiencing more tension than normal during quarantine, know that this is not uncommon. But that doesn’t mean that you have to keep living that way. Consider how you can address boredom, spend more time outdoors, get into a good exercise routine, and make your meals simpler. In no time, you will feel the tension loosening and your home becoming more peaceful.

How has your family been managing during self-isolation?