“Do you have any recommendations for what to do in Thailand?”: A (super unofficial) Travel Guide for Thailand

Hello, this is a very unofficial travel guide written for a target audience of US based, roughly college / youngish professional people planning a trip to the beautiful country of Thailand. Please keep in mind that I have absolutely no Thai history, culture or tourism experience other than having lived in Thailand for 6 years growing up, so take everything I recommend with many grains of salt. To compensate for my lack of credibility I will try to give a quasi-local, personal-experience-based take on the best things to do given you have approximately a week to spend in Thailand.

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Wat Klong Toey — Jan 2018

Ill start with some general good things to keep in mind:

  1. The country is very serious about consequences for those who offend the Buddha, don’t mess around when it comes to religion and temples.
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this is what sleep deprivation looks like, note that we are in a moving open-air vehicle with no back door

Recommended Travel Itinerary (Cities):

  1. The capital, the real city of angels, Bangkok (2–5 days) — 2 is enough if you’re not a city person and just want a taste. If you really want to explore Bangkok you’d need at least a month, but you can probably hit the main highlights in 5 days or so.
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Koh Chang — Jan 2018

Things to do in Bangkok:

Touristy Stuff:

  • Asiatique Night Market: Get to Saphan Thaksin BTS (sky train) station, from there catch a free ferry to an island with the “night market” on it. More of an upscale market, with nicer restaurants and more traditional fine arts and crafts than your usual, more local night market. Very touristy, but for the great views, great vibes, and a great dinner & night time experience I think the touristiness is very tolerable.

Quasi-Local Stuff:

Word of caution, the less touristy something is the less likely people are to speak english and the more likely you are to get lost.

  • Rod Fai Market: Hands down my favourite night market in all of Bangkok, but unfortunately kind of far from the city center. I think it’s well worth it, but evaluate based on distance — there are many markets in Bangkok. Opens from 5–11pm from Friday-Sunday. Great for vintage/retro instagram pics and thrifting, overall relaxed vibe with lots of side bars + live music. A more exciting way to get there [scenic route]: Go to BTS Onut, walk down the street to Big C Extra and take a no. 4 White SongThaew to Seacon Square Mall right beside the market. This is just a fun 25 min open-air ride that will cost you literally 7 baht (22 cents). UPDATE: There is a second Rod Fai Market (a smaller copy of the original), that is far closer to everything else in town. To get there take the MRT (you can interchange with BTS Asok) to Thailand Cultural Center station and it will be right there (Big Dog Cafe is also here if you want to make a day out of it!).
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This is a SongThaew
  • Prapadaeng — Bangkok’s green lung: Bangkok is NOT an outdoors / biking type city, but this small “island” thing is the exception, so I really like it. To get there get to the Wat Klong Toey pier, take a quick 20 THB ferry, rent bikes for 100 THB for the day and see: big park to cycle through with small temples & shrines along the way, Siamese Fish Fighting (weekends only) and a small floating market (weekends only).
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Graffiti Park, Bangkok

NightLife:

  • Khao San Road: Pros are that this is the iconic cultural experience of Bangkok nightlife, dirt cheap, drinks in buckets with long colourful straws and even eat a scorpion. Cons are that its kind of far and quite dirty.
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A bucket — Khao San Rd

Unique Food Experiences:

In general you can’t go wrong with food in Thailand, so I don’t really believe in a “best restaurants” list, you’d have to try really hard to NOT find good food wherever you go. Instead here are some unique culinary experiences (for when you need a break from street food):

  • Mont Nomsod: Traditional Thai Toast and milk tea! Most famous dessert shop for Thai locals — lots of unique flavours (best seller is Pandan Toast) — Located right by MBK Mall [$]
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Bug Burger!

Things to do in Chiang Mai:

  • Elephant Jungle Sanctuary (6AM — 2PM), very highly recommend. No, you wont be riding elephants here (its a pretty cruel practice and not one I support), instead you get to feed them, play & swim with them!
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Elephant Jungle Sanctuary — Jan 2018

Thank you for reading and enjoy Thailand! If you have any questions, are actually knowledgable and have strong disagreements with anything I’ve expressed, or followed my recommendations and were disappointed by anything, feel free to reach out to me— i’d love to be corrected and for this guide to get more crowdsourced :)

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