I love your blog on Thailand. Heading out there next month. I'm excited! ...What other advice can you offer for a newbie like me? :)
I am working on two more posts about Thailand, which are really photo-heavy at the moment, but I will throw some text in as well. I will post those next week so please check them out.
I’m not sure if you have a lot of travel experience or if you’ve planned out your trip much at all, so here are three general tips.
(1) Spend your time researching where to go. Time spent learning the language is pretty useless, because everyone seems to speak English. Great English, actually! Shouldn’t be too worried about booking accommodations during low season. Talk to people when you’re there to hear what they did and listen to their tips. Going on a cheap tour that will pick you up at your hotel is a quick, easy way to meet people staying near you.
(2) Go with the flow and be cool-tempered to be referred to as “Jai yen” (literally meaning ‘cool heart’). This seems important to the Thai people, so definitely don’t make scenes in public and obviously, relax. Sure, people are going to endlessly be trying to rip you off, but relax. How much are you really losing? $1 USD or a bit more? So, smile! You’re on vay-cay. Don’t stress and don’t hurry. Just have a “cool heart.”
(3) Pack light but be prepared. Or: Be prepared but pack light. You can buy everything you need, but I always make sure to travel with tissue, immodium, and my favorite underwear. Your needs may be different than mine, but I require these three things in close proximity for ease of mind alone.
You will hate yourself if you over pack. You can easily have your laundry washed and you can buy what you need. Drink a lot of water; there’s marts everywhere. Make sure your passport is always safe; either on your person or in a safe.
Also, have a plan for if you need more money. Someone told me to budget $50 a day for a relaxing vacation, but think about how you would like to spend your money. Look online about accommodation costs, but an expensive place is around $20 a day. I vote for air conditioning over a fan every time. Food on the street is never more than $2 or $3. A small water bottle is .33. A meal in a restaurant is around $6. Depending on what you want to do, a tour can be $20 (floating market) to $60 (muay thai fight).
I hope this helps! My Lonely Planet book was my best friend during my trip and I wish I could loan you mine. If you have any other questions or if I can help further, please let me know. I am envious of you, so have fun for all of us!