Eight years ago we started our first backpacking adventure in Thailand. We didn’t know the first thing about traveling and took off completely unprepared (and a little scared). However, in retrospect, there was absolutely no need to! The gorgeous climate, the beautiful landscape, the friendly people, the amazing food, the freedom; we were sold! Traveling became second nature and before we knew it, we already had to say our goodbyes to this exceptionally beautiful country. Conclusion? Thailand is the ideal country for first-time backpackers!
Traveling is easy!
Thailand is a popular backpacking hub; many travelers have come and gone before. That makes traveling in Thailand super easy – and as a first-time backpacker, there’s barely anything to worry about. Guesthouse overbooked? Try the neighboring one. Missed the bus? The next one will be along in fifteen minutes. Lost? Thai people are very kind and would be happy to point you in the right direction. Or you just check Google Maps on your phone and call an Uber.
The cost of living in Thailand is incredibly low. You can make your stay as expensive as you want. You can stay in a good quality guesthouse, in a double room, for less than ten dollars. Good and tasty food can be bought on the street or in one of the many small restaurants, where one or two dollars will usually be enough for a nice and filling bowl of noodle soup or a spicy meal prepared with rice.
Public transport is very affordable too. A one-hour train ticket is only a couple cents! And if you look carefully enough, return tickets to Bangkok can be affordable, and in some cases even cheap.
Everything is possible
Would you like to go for a jungle hike? Sunbathe on a tropical island? Visit museums? Go snorkeling every chance you get? Shop at huge malls? Party and drink from buckets? Visit temples? Laze around in a hammock? Wander about on local markets? Spot wildlife? Enjoy a massage? Visit small mountain villages? Live in the lap of luxury? Or travel by more modest means? It’s all up to you!
You won’t need to plan ahead much in Thailand, unless you want to, of course. All over the country, there are small travel agencies that specialize in organizing the best sightseeing tours or jungle hikes. So you can sit back and enjoy the ride!
Traveling around Thailand by yourself definitely, doesn’t mean you’ll be traveling alone. Whether in hostels, restaurants, buses: backpackers are everywhere. We love meeting new and open-minded people who, like us, like to enjoy themselves and live in the moment. Connecting with people is easy; before you know it, you’ll be having a beer and trading travel tips with a new friend!
Yes, mom and dad, Thailand is safe. We’ve traveling in and out of Thailand for years – and it’s the only conclusion we can draw.
Of course, like every other country, there are places in Thailand where it’s best not be past a certain hour. But we think that Thailand, in some ways, is safer than many European or American cities. Use your common sense and don’t do anything you wouldn’t do at home either. If you become ill, contract food poisoning or an infection, there are lots of pharmacies in villages and big cities with staff that speaks excellent English and will be able to help you. You’ll be back on your feet in no time!
Prepare to enjoy the excellent Thai cuisine with meals like Pad Thai, Tom Yam and Sticky Rice. Everywhere on the street, food is prepared and eaten at makeshift roadside restaurants with plastic tables and seats. Oh yes, we’ve had our fill as well! And best of all: it’s super cheap. For instance, last month we went out for food three times a day and only paid ten bucks a day! How cheap is that?!
Time seems to pass differently in Thailand. Nothing’s a must, and everything is possible. Getting up in the morning (at whatever hour you want) and deciding on the spot what your plans for the day will be, is fantastic. That’s ultimate freedom! As for us, we try to plan as little as possible, which often leads to the best moments. So, set your expectations aside and go with the flow!