Jakub was a junior developer at EuroTalk until recently, and last month he spent a few weeks in Thailand, so we asked him for his tips on what to see and experience in this amazing country. Here are Jakub’s ten reasons to visit Thailand… and if you’ve got anything to add, please write us a comment at the bottom of this post, or tweet us @EuroTalk.
Thai food is my personal favourite out of Asian cuisine. A food lover (especially carnivorous) will find himself in a gastronomical paradise once he sets his foot on this land. There are BBQ’d meat stalls every 50-100 metres which offer chicken, pork or liver on a skewer for 10 bahts. The equivalent of 18p. How cool is that. Apart from this you can come across stalls offering rottee (Asian version of pancakes), different kinds of sausages, soups, curries and the all-time classic – pad thai. And if you’re brave enough you can have some deep fried crickets, cockroaches, scorpions and snakes. All made from juicy meat, intense spices and fresh vegetables for less than a quarter of the average UK price.
2. Stunning views
Once you got your plate full of Thai deliciousness you would like to sit down and relax. No worries, dear traveller! You can enjoy gorgeous mountain views in the north (i.e. Doi Suthep near Chiang Mai) or chill out by the beach side in the south (i.e. Ao Nang) or even two combined on one of many islands (such as Koh Tao). Even the cities themselves can offer unique street panoramas (Chiang Mai’s old city).
3. Scuba diving
Thailand is one of the best places on Earth to admire the underwater world. Loved the ocean exploration programmes on travel channels? Well, now you can see everything with your own eyes and within reach of your hand, floating around just like an astronaut in outer space. And it feels like a different world.
4. Moon Parties
Koh Phangan, an island in the south of Thailand, is the host of one of the biggest parties in the country. The biggest one is the Full Moon Party, where you can dance to club music on a beach until sunrise, drinking the famous buckets, and get your body painted with UV reflective paint. Want to go to the jungle? Sure thing! Just keep your eyes peeled and look for the next Half Moon Party, where you can also enjoy dance music topped with fire shows and chilling out on hammocks. There are also less crowded, but still popular Red Moon Parties, Blue Moon Parties, Boat Parties. This island never goes to sleep.
5. Riding a scooter
Scooters and motorcycles play a big part in Asian everyday life – having a scooter is as essential as having a fridge or a washing machine. On top of that you can watch things unseen in Europe, like driving without helmet and shirt, 4-5 people on one scooter, ladies sitting sideways or even dogs balancing in the back! Scooter rental is very popular and, in my opinion, the first thing you should do when coming to a new town. Renting a scooter for a day costs as much as two taxi rides. Beware though – if you haven’t ridden a motorcycle previously, especially in dense traffic, Thailand is not a good place to learn how to drive, even if some rental places will let you without previous experience.
Krabi is known for its gigantic limestone walls and for that reason it is the Thai capital of rock climbing. Even if you haven’t done this before, don’t worry – there’s a dozen climbing centres offering taster and training sessions. And if you want to spice up your climbs, why not try deep water soloing? If you fall off a wall, you take a dip in the sea and start all over again!
7. Long tail boat ride
Thais know what real recycling is. Apart from the bright, eye-catching colours of their boats there’s one element that stands out – a massive engine taken out from a car and installed on a hinge with a propeller attached to it. You can ask just for a cruise to see magnificent rocks sticking out of the sea or visit a tiny remote island and feel like Robinson Crusoe.
8. Tuk tuk rides
Although tuk tuk drivers will charge you twice or three times as much as a regular taxi, it’s worth the money as a one-off experience. Tuk tuks differ between towns, and the most colourful and distinctive are in Bangkok – motorcycle front with integrated rickshaw-like back is quite comfortable (provided you’re not a 6″3′ bloke) and, if you’re lucky and tip the driver, you might see some wicked tricks on the road (not for the faint-hearted).
9. Thai massage
Yes, I know it sounds cliché, but come on, it’s like being in England and not drinking English tea. One hour-long session and you’ll discover muscles in your body you’ve never used, leaving you crawling out of the place pleasantly relaxed. One thing to bear in mind is to go to such a place during the day with workers wearing uniforms, not by night to a dodgy place with ladies in dresses and high heels.
10. Everything’s cheap
All the things mentioned above have one huge advantage: they’re incredibly cheap. Piles of food for less than 3 pounds, hiring a scooter for as much as a single underground fare, night in a single room for 4 pounds, beer in a bar for a quid and the list goes on. The only real cost is the plane ticket and the rest – you could easily have a month’s trip with a 500 pounds budget. And it’s totally worth it.
Thinking of following in Jakub’s footsteps? He found that away from the main tourist areas, knowing a little bit of Thai was really useful. So before you jump on a plane, remember to download uTalk or check out one of our other Thai programs.
This post was written by EuroTalk