Thailand is a lush, warm, beautiful country, filled with rich culture, beautiful landscapes, and delicious food. It also has a terrible economy, which – believe it or not – is good news for tourists. Traveling through Thailand can be much cheaper than you’d expect, and often times your plane ticket will be your largest expense, even on several-week-long trips.
Thailand is located in South East Asia, and it has a very warm climate, with temperatures rarely dipping under 60 degrees Fahrenheit, even during the “cold” season. During the warm season, temperatures are almost always in the 80’s and 90’s. This makes Thailand a popular tropical destination for lots of people who would like to experience the tropical life, without spending a fortune like you would in Hawaii or the Caribbean. But Thailand has much more to offer than just nice weather!
One great thing about Thailand is that it is very diverse. There are big cities like Bangkok, where you can find 5-star hotels, American and European businesses, and experience the bustling city life – and then you have most of the countryside, which is made up of small villages and fishing towns. In my opinion, the real fun lies away from the big cities, where you can get a taste of what Thailand is really like. You’ll love wandering the streets, eating delicious and amazingly cheap food (think $0.50-$1 for a meal from a street vendor, and maybe $1-$4 for a sit-down restaurant) and enjoying the cultural hot spot that is Thailand.
A significant portion of Thailand’s economy relies on tourism, which means there are a lot of English-speaking people, and touristy towns and resorts, if that’s what you’re interested in. For adventurous folks, you can easily bounce around the country and explore it for yourself without having to know much Thai. If you like to have more structure in your vacations, a great way to go about it is to buy everything in advance. There are some great packages available if you shop around. Believe me, all it takes is a little bit of research and patience.
[Photo: Mike Behnken]