Is there a more popular travel destination on the planet than Thailand? Ever since we watched Leonardo Di Caprio enjoying himself in the film ‘The Beach’ we’ve been flocking to the beautiful beaches that decorate the Thai coast.
With endless hostels, cheap alcohol and glorious scenery, it’s easy to see how Thailand has become a haven for young backpackers on the hunt for weeks of fun underneath the rays of the scorching sun.
However, as wonderful as Thailand undoubtedly is, there are a few things that aren’t quite so regularly shared – we’re here to make sure you have the time of your life whilst staying safe in Southeast Asia.
There’s plenty to do and see which will keep you amazed for weeks on end, just make sure you stay aware of your surroundings whilst doing so.
1) There are a Few Common Scams
If you’ve traveled around a few countries, you may be used to scammers on the street trying various tricks to take your money.
A popular one in Thailand is fake ticket sellers who offer excursions such as water skiing or parasailing; it can be hard to differentiate the fake ticket sellers from the official ones, so it’s worth asking your hotel or hostel staff and they will be happy to point you in the right direction.
Many people on the street will be trying to persuade you to exchange your money for Thai Baht, which is best to be avoided. A confusing counting system can flummox even the most experienced traveler, so if you didn’t have time to go to a Bureau de Change back home, head to a bank or official outlet to make sure you don’t get ripped off.
Trust us, you’ll be grateful you took the extra time and effort, it will be worth it when you have a bit more Baht to spend on some delicious Pad Thai.
2) Everyone Travels by Motorbike
If you’re planning on travelling the depths of the country and straying from the beaten track, the best way to do so is via a motorbike. Whether you’re an experienced rider or not, it’s worth making sure you’re covered in case you fall victim to the bumpy terrain.
However, if you stay careful and make sure you don’t attempt too many outlandish maneuvers, exploring the country on a bike will be an incredibly rewarding experience that will get the adrenaline flowing.
Of course, travelling via motorcycle isn’t for everyone; if you don’t fancy your chances of staying safe on a bike, there are plenty of bus companies to transport you safely for extremely cheap prices.
3) “Delhi Belly”
We’re aware you won’t actually be visiting Delhi, but the all-encompassing term applies equally to Thailand. Many backpackers will be able to share stories of time spent in bed nursing a fever; as delicious as the food is, it can be the cause of a queasy stomach.
We recommend preparing for the worst and packing medicine for every scenario, you’ll thank us later when you overcome a dodgy stomach days before your friend.
If you stay hydrated and wash your hands before and after you eat, you should be one of the lucky ones who can explore the allure of the country whilst staying completely fit and healthy.
After all, you want to be looking your best when you post those enviable photos on Instagram.
4) Theft in Hostels
Hostels are a wonderful way to bring people closer together, break down barriers and create lifelong bonds across all backgrounds. Unfortunately, not everyone who checks into a hostel has the same innocent enthusiasm: there have been hundreds of reports of theft across many hostels in Thailand, with some travelers losing their wallets, passports and cash.
You shouldn’t have to worry about your possessions whilst on your dream holiday, but there are some ways to make your trip is left unblemished: keep an eye on your belongings at all times when out and about, lock away any valuables in a locker once you’re out and keep a spare wallet safe just in case of emergencies.
Do all of the above and you’ll be free to enjoy the perfect vacation.