It feels like everyone is going to Thailand. I don’t know many people now who haven’t been or who don’t have it in the pipeline. It’s become a really mainstream place to holiday, and there are parts of the country where you can really tell that tourism has taken over. Despite it’s popularity and sometimes hectic tourist traps, it’s still 100% wonderful and an absolute mega babe of a place. If you haven’t been, here’s 5 reasons you totally should. IMMEDIATELY. (Or whenever you can get annual leave and have saved adequate money to do so, obviously. Let’s be sensible here.)
1) You can get there pretty cheaply. You don’t need to pay hundreds of pounds to get to Thailand, so don’t. When I went, we got flights for £400 return on Oman Air, which is a bloody lovely airline. That’s not a bad price, but since then I’ve spotted deals for £350 with Oman. We got fed and watered to our hearts content and because we spent less than we thought we would, we had more left over for accommodation and all of the shopping. All of it. Seriously, so much shopping. Also remember if you are under 26 or a student, STA Travel offer a discount. Sky scanner is a good classic, but try Ebookers too, that’s where we found the best deals. Also always book directly through the airlines rather than through an agent, it’ll save you paying a fee. I also don’t recommend a package, it’s much better to come up with your own plan so you can float about as you please.
2) You can feel like the only person in the world on a beach. It’s pretty bloody magical. Of course a lot of the more popular beaches and island stop offs like Phi Phi are super duper busy and full of travelers, but there is solitude and tranquility to be found. For a real Thai experience and to completely escape tourist traps and made-to-order style beach towns, go to Koh Yao Noi or Koh Yao Yai. They are sister islands about an hour from Phuket, and are completely different to other places you’ll find island hopping. People don’t really speak English and you can’t just nip out for some street food. Completely worth while if you’re making the trip to Thailand. Go see proper Thailand. it IS very different though and quite far removed from a normal trip. Think giant lizards running in and out of your room, no shops and eating out is more going to someone’s house and sitting in their spare room. We went to Koh yao Yai village. LOOK:
3) You’ll learn loads. I like going to places where I can actually learn things, and Thailand isn’t just stunning beaches, cheap beer and long tails at sunset. This is a country with seriously interesting history and the people are willing to share stories and fill you in about their culture and past. There’s plenty of harrowing but seriously amazing stories about the Boxing Day tsunami to be heard and reminders everywhere. Basically a lot better than any documentary you’ll catch on channel 5. I learned so much about the country by chatting with locals and staff at hotels and on excursions. These people love to talk about their home, so pay attention because it’s well worth learning about over a Chang or your 34th Thai green curry of the trip. (Learn about the food, because omg the food. As if you need telling.)
4) There is so much to do, you’ll never get it done. This sounds like a negative, but it’s not. You cannot get bored in Thailand. If you want to lay on beaches, you can do so, but if you want to fill your days with temples, walks, treks, elephants, diving, boat tours, street food, national parks, cycling, diving, climbing, cooking classes, or just drinking endless Chang in the sunshine, you can fill up hours and days without even realising. Take good trainers with you, because you do not want to miss out on some of the walks and treks if you’re that way inclined, and flip flops don’t cut the mustard. Alternatively pick some up dirt cheap at a market, another way to fill your time. Street markets, night markets, floating markets. SO MUCH STFF TO DO. 5) IT’S BEAUTIFUL. Er, hello Instagram dream. Hello photos you’ll print and hang on your walls forever. Hello elephant selfies and dramatic, clifftop sunsets.
So yeah, dust off your passport. It’s time.