As an adolescent, my passion for travelling the world ignited. One of the places that I looked forward to marking off my list was Thailand. I was captivated by its historically untouched character. Why did I say so? In the 19th until the early 20th century, Thailand was the only Southeast Asian country to avoid the European colonization. It was treated as a neutral territory by the French and the British people.
A tourist’s heart will be filled with glee as he or she explores its tropical beaches, ancient ruins, majestic palaces, and religious temples. Make the most out of your experience with these several tips.
VISIT DURING OFF-PEAK SEASON
No matter what season you are booked for, you will always find something interesting in the “Land of Smiles”. It is best to book your stay during the low season to save more money. Remember that people usually flock between October to March, especially in the renowned areas. Accommodation, motorbike rentals, and air fares are more expensive during these months.
It is easier to chance upon a bargain during the off-peak season between April to September. Furthermore, food is cheaper during said period.
EAT LIKE THE LOCALS
As obvious as this may sound, dining places geared toward the tourists are heftier. Singaporeans without food concerns may acquire the eating habits of the locals. We are no strangers to the goodness of Thai food. Oh! Imagine munching on genuine Pad Thai and Tom Yum. Thailand’s markets and roadside stalls are filled with these and more.
Roadside stalls are everywhere! They are incredibly diverse and cheap. One store may sell a dish for around THB 60 (SGD 2.44) while the other may sell the same for THB 25 (SGD 1). Weigh your options.
Before riding the Tuk-tuks (three-wheeled vehicles) or purchasing jewelry, develop the practice of researching online. Research the real prices of the items that you wish to spend for. Also, you may ask your Thai friends to help you to bargain with the store owners and communicate with the drivers. Ensure to agree upon a price for any service before doing anything or going anywhere. Lastly, protect your valuables at all times.
Do not make yourself an easy target! Read about the common scams that are circulating in the city.
MAKE THE MOST OF THE FREEBIES
It comes as no surprise that the rich culture of Thailand paved for free entertainment. Street performances are prevalent, especially around the holidays. You may indulge on exercise facilities at the local parks too. Not to mention, you must embrace its natural surroundings.
I shall illustrate the abundance of freebies by putting a spotlight at Bangkok. Here are just some of the free entertainment that you can maximize during your stay there:
a. Visit Soi Wat Thong Sala Ngarm, Phasi Charoen
Witness a traditional performance of Thai puppetry as you head down to the Artist’s House (daily except on Wednesdays). Enjoy the performance of a team who controls the delicate puppets.
b. Explore Wat Chakrawatrachawat Woramahawihan
Get personal with crocodiles at the bustling streets of Chinatown. Spot the three giant crocodiles in the grounds of Wat Chakrawatrachawat Woramahawihan!
NEGOTIATE OVER THE PRICES
Thailand welcomes the art of bargaining with open arms. For instance, some places allow negotiation of the room prices during the off-peak season. From Tuk-tuks to tattoos, almost everything is up for a negotiation. Those with visible prices on the products (e.g., sodas found in the convenience store) are fixed.
You must be reasonable when haggling for a better deal. It is not worth to bargain over a few cents! The vendor probably needs the money more than you.
May these tips help you stretch your dollar while having an unforgettable trip! 🙂