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It’s Songkran week! The best time for a backpacker like you to get lost in the depth of Thai culture. It’s awesome!
But unfortunately, not everything is awesome this week. This short “8 things I wish I knew before backpacking Thailand” video from Thailand Buzz is one of those things.
Here are 8 reasons you can rest assured about the 8 topics mentioned in the video when backpacking Thailand.
“Where’s the toilet paper?” said thousands of first-timers to Thailand. And you know what? That’s alright. We’ve been there too.
Many toilets in Thailand don’t come equipped with good old toilet paper. And that might send a shiver down your spine. But don’t worry, ladies and gentlemen. Let us introduce you to an ingenious invention called… a bidet.
Many call it a “water gun” while some even call it a “bum gun.” And as the name suggested, this gun-like equipment sprays water to clean your “bum” after finishing your business. It’s convenient and more hygienic. And unlike toilet paper, it doesn’t clog the drain.
Most Tuk Tuk in Thailand will charge you reasonably. But if you’re reeeeally worried, there’s another transport option for you. It’s called Song Taew.
Think of it as a taxi that you share with other people. The price is extremely cheap since it only travels on a fixed route.
However, there are 2 major drawbacks to this option. First, it stops regularly to pick up new passengers. Meaning: it will take more time to reach your destination. Second, you need to study each car’s route, or else you will get lost. Other than that, it’s another exciting way to travel a shorter distance in Thailand.
Street food is great! This sentence says it all.
Since most Thai street vendors cook fresh ingredients with their original recipe, you don’t have to worry about the taste.
Worried if it’s undercooked? Hmm… That means you have never seen the real Thai street food yet. How do we know that? It’s easy, actually. If you have seen authentic Thai street food, the word “undercook” will never cross your mind. The word “overcook” will cross your mind instead. Lol.
Still, you can actually enjoy eating them. Before serving, the vendors usually cut the burned part out for your best street experience.
As you already know, backpacking is all about immersing yourself in the culture. You want to spend all of your time trying anything you can’t find at home. Not the opposite.
And that holds especially true for food. Real Thai food only exists in Thailand. Som Tum, Tom Yum Goong, Kao Soi, and many more. All these dishes are already rare in your homeland, not to mention the authentic ones. So enjoy them while you are here.
Spaghetti, pizza, hamburger, and croissant. All of these can wait. You can find all of these down the street, waiting for you in your hometown.
Drinking alcohol always carries a degree of risk. And we think everyone is aware of that. So whenever you order your drink, never go overboard from the get-go. Especially in a foreign land.
You should know that the alcohol limit differs in various countries. The same drinks you order at your usual bar will taste differently in Thailand. The difference even exists between the two bars next to each other.
So, in short, know your limit. If you think the first glass is too strong for you, just go slow. No one is forcing you to chuck it down in one go.
Let us ask you this question. Will you go backpacking abroad without studying the country's climate? We hope you answer “no.”
In case you haven’t noticed, Thailand is extremely hot. But other than the heat, the Thais also get rain regularly, especially from April to October. So carrying an umbrella or a raincoat makes sense. (Thai people actually prefer umbrellas since they can also act as a shade.)
Want to avoid the rain? Just visit Thailand during the cold season. It’s actually warmer than summer in many countries. This way you can just leave your raincoat at home and enjoy the breeze and the sun.
It’s unfortunate, but it is true. Thai people are crazy over white skin.
This value stems from the old culture of Thai history. Thai ancestors saw skin color as a symbol of social class. The lower class usually had darker skin because they had to work in the sun. The upper class had paler skin because they could afford to stay indoors.
Knowing the history, most cosmetics companies use the word “whitening” on their products to attract Thai people. There isn’t any real whitener. There are only vitamins to make your skin brighter and healthier.
Let us ask you another question. Is it okay to forget your belonging in the USA? In Hong Kong? Or in the Bahamas? No, right? And neither is in Thailand.
Always. Always. And always check your stuff before leaving the hostels and other places. The chance of you getting them back might be high if you go back, but it’s still a big waste of time.
If worse comes to worst and you really lose your belongings, you can always buy them new. There are more Seven-Eleven in Thailand than you can count. You can buy most necessaries there. It’s easy.
And there you have it. 8 ways to make the most out of your backpacking trip in Thailand. We hope it eased your anxiety a bit.
Want more content like this? Just stay tuned with Baan Smile. You will like next week’s newsletter too.
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