Are you a light packer or like me do you tend to stuff everything you own in as many suitcases as possible when travelling? Don’t we all have our little quirks and travel rituals that we swear by? While long haul flights and pushing your luggage-laden trolley can prove to be quite cumbersome, some tips and hacks come in useful whether it’s a tip to pack like a pro or some travel hacks that help you to find your way in the city. For all the backpackers out there, here are the top 5 things you need to keep in mind when you’re planning your next trip to Thailand.
Thailand being the home of the tropics is blessed with beautiful sunshine all through the year. When on a holiday one tends to spend all the time doing outdoorsy things and exploring the city and often we end up with skin peeling due to the long hours spent in the sun. So even if you fancy a great tan, I’d advise you to carry along a good sunblock to ensure that you’re going back home with happy memories and not parched skin. The best way I find to apply sunscreen is over a regular moisturiser and at least half an hour before stepping out in the sun. The sun is also a great excuse to bring out all the fancy hats and sunglasses that we often stack at the back of our wardrobes.
Thailand like many Asian countries is known for its street food, bargain shopping and street artists. It’s the vibe of the streets that makes the spirit of the city get going. Often, we tend to carry dollars or traveller’s cheques while travelling and miss out on these fun experiences. For these activities we often struggle to locate the local currencies of smaller denominations, so the best option is to get the currencies exchanged to local Thai Baht at the airport itself or at the post office for the best exchange rates. Why bother struggling with credit cards or transfer-wise! Keep your local change handy and make the most of bargain shopping!
Food is an integral part of any travel, while most of us love to experience the flavours of the country we visit, not all of us are equipped to handle an array of local spices. For most Indians, they believe that their threshold for spicy food is quite high, although that may be true, their immune systems are not entirely accustomed to the oriental spices and preparations which are quite different from people in Thailand. I find it best to pick out the delicacies that are easy on the palette and always keep digestive meds handy whenever I dig in for a Thai curry.
They say, “it’s the people that make the place what it is”, it couldn’t be more true for any other place than Thailand. Hospitality and the welcoming outlook of the Thai folk are one of the first things that will catch your eye when you visit Thailand. So, for this the best way to explore Thailand is with a local guide. Befriend a local during your visit and request them to show you around the city or just recommend a few places, not only will they oblige but will also have amazing recommendations for you. For instance, I visited the Songkran festival on my last trip to Thailand, something that I was completely unaware of and would have missed if it hadn’t been suggested by my local guide.
While exploring the destination and sight-seeing are definite must dos when on a holiday, remember to take some time out to unwind and relax. Thailand which is known for its spiritual vibe offers a range of rejuvenation centres and spas where one can meditate in the calm of the woods. A holiday is meant for rejuvenation and to de-stress, so try not to fill up your itinerary with a whole lot of sight-seeing and hopping around from place to place. Find time to laze by the beach or go for a long walk in the woods, reconnect with your inner self and the holiday will enrich you mentally and physically.
– APURVA SHRIKANT KULKARNI