From that moment I step foot on that plane,the feeling of excitement and adventure started oozing in my being. Yes, this holiday was planned ages ago and the departure date greatly anticipated. Thailand? Yes, I’ve been there before but with a renewed sense of discovery we set off.
Amazing how second time around you start exploring more, started tasting more, dared more. The food is more fragrant. The ginger more pungent and the curry more decadent. Thais are extremely friendly and the whole experience (apart from getting sun burnt) is life changing.
So, my list of “to-do’s” when you’re in Thailand are:
1. Stay in the ‘not-so-touristy’ hotels.
2. Venture inland and and shop at the markets away from Patong (not far from the Central Festival Mall). Cheap merchandise and great street vendor food. Worth the ride.
3. Use Tuk Tuks. Be sure to negotiate the fare before you hop on. Don’t use the first one, compare pricess. We got Mr Nasry’s number and used him every time.
4. Cocktails are expensive and so we enjoyed local beer as it’s ice cold and super affordable. Ask for Singa or Chang.
5. Food per meal averages between 99Baht to around B300. Thai Green Curry is the clear winner in my books.
6. When going to the beaches, USE SUNPROTECTION and stay hydrated. Only buy bottled water.
7. Currency is the Thai Baht. The bills come in B20, B50, B100, B500 & B1000. When shopping at markets, keep smaller bills handy. Also when traveling by Taxi or Tuk Tuk, have the correct cash payment ready. When drawing from the ATM, a B200 fee are added per transaction, so keep that in mind.
8. Tourist Sim cards is a must. I bought a Dtac sim that gave me 15 days unlimited data that is good for Facebooking, whatsap and checking mails. Paid B600 for it. They have a 7 days unlimited data deal available as well.
9. Language can be a challenge. Be patient and learn the Thai thank you and greeting phrases well in advance. It will score you points when you bargain for your purchase at the markets.
10. Be wary of renting scooters, jet skis and other mechanical equipment. Make sure you have enough insurance should something happen.
Thailand is a sensory overload at times and is fun amplified. Risk a bit, taste a bit, engage with the people a bit, rest a bit, tour around and shop around for the best deal and you’ll not be disappointed.
With this I sign off and will share some more on my experience in my next post.