Let’s be honest, these are probably the most useful things to know when travelling to a new place. Food, Transport, Nightlife & Accommodation in Thailand – Here is a very quick snapshot to give you some idea of what to expect for each.
Food in Thailand
Is BEAUTIFUL. Have you ever tried a Pad Thai? Seriously, you will want to eat one every single day!
Thai cuisine is boasting with flavours and diversity and is becoming more and more popular throughout the world. Pad See Ew is a must try! A simple dish of stir fried vegetables in soy sauce but so rich in flavour. It is a ‘go-to’ for most people.
TIP! Just be careful with the spice level.
The Thai’s are incredible at handling their spice. What Westerners believe is a 10, for Thai people it is a 5. We tried a local dish: Spicy Bat, which the Thai’s consider spicy, and it blew every single one of our heads off. We were unable to get rid of that taste for days.
As with most Asian countries, rice and noodles dominate the food industry. Unfortunately you may need to get used to eating this type of food for breakfast, if you’re travelling to non-touristy places. It may not sound bad, but for Westerners it can become messy, quite quickly. A week in, and my stomach was in pieces. I saw porridge on the menu one morning at a little cafe, and I was so excited to eat something that wasn’t rice. It came out, and I took one mouthful, and had to kindly dispose of it. It wasn’t porridge and milk, but a very bizarre salty rice dish. If you see porridge on the menu, it probably isn’t what you’re hoping.
I ended up buying a gigantic watermelon from the supermarket and a spoon which I carried round with me eating for the day haha. Yes I got hungry at times, but it was so good to give my body a rest from the heavy carbs!
There is a great selection of fresh fruit in Thailand which is a huge bonus. Smoothies and fruit juices are available on every corner. There are also many exciting, exotic fruits to sample.
TIP! Make sure you watch the locals make your smoothies/juices to see where the water is coming from. You cannot drink the water in Thailand and it has been known to make many people very sick.
I watched a lady make a smoothie for a girl I met using a tap from the pavement on the side of the road. She took it and paid, but was so wary of what may happen that she had to throw it away. Make sure you see them use bottled water!
Transport in Thailand
The transport in Thailand ranges from cheap, uncomfortable and lengthy options such as the overnight train or local buses, to more expensive, comfortable and efficient modes of transportation, including private vans, and flights.
There is something to suit every budget and time-frame.
We took a lengthy, night train from the North of Thailand to the South. It took around 10 hours, was an experience for sure but it is something I would probably never choose to do again. The beds were tiny, the corridors extra narrow. The toilet was a simple hole in the ground which you had to hover over on a moving train – not ideal. To climb up to my top bunk, I had to dodge the unprotected ceiling fan, trying not to get my hair caught and my bed was full of dead mosquitoes. Of course, this way of travelling is the cheapest, and if you are on a budget, at least this option exists.
However, if you have a few extra pennies to spend, I highly recommend taking a flight from North to South. We did this on the way back up, and it only cost a total of 30 euros. It took 1 hour, and was cheaper than we had expected.
TIP! If you are in a group, hiring a private van can be cheap. If you are by yourself, you will more than likely stick to public transport, or find a van that is taking other people too.
One thing to note is that the traffic is insane; people are pilled up on trucks. Whole families fit on one scooter and there are too many cars for its roads! If you are planning to arrive somewhere at an exact time, keep this in mind.
To get to the islands, there are tons of locals offering you a ride on their wooden boats. Some are assigned to a company, others aren’t. Both are cheap enough options and take around 1-2 hours depending on where you are going. Be careful not to take a boat in a storm. The sea becomes incredibly choppy and the boats tip drastically from side to side. I nearly cried at one point as I thought we were all goners. Jeeezzz.
Nightlife in Thailand
If partying is your thing, nightlife in Thailand is big. No matter which city you are in, there is always something going on. Bars, street parties, fire throwing. Bangkok’s Ko San Road is famous for its large strip of bars, and parties lasting through the night. The islands have also developed a party reputation so you will not be short of a good time.
Alcohol is extremely cheap in Thailand. The more inland you go, the cheaper is gets too. We paid 50 baht for a rum and coke, which is the equivalent to $2 AUD (roughly £1.20). Beer is around 0.80c and shot $1. “Buckets” are very popular in most bars. Your drink is served in exactly that, a bucket. They are big enough to share between two people.
TIP! When choosing buckets, be smart. There are the really cheap buckets, and the buckets that are slightly more expensive. Choose the more expensive, ALWAYS!
Of course, we chose the cheaper ones on our first night. The drinks tasted like bleach. No, I haven’t tried bleach before, but that smell that it gives off which lingers in your mouth, it tasted exactly like that. The following morning all of us threw up, bright fluorescent coloured sick. I would highly recommend paying a little extra and drinking the branded alcohol!
Accommodation in Thailand
Accommodation is very affordable in Thailand and you can stay in luxurious places without breaking the bank. For around 15–20$ a night you can stay in the most beautiful locations! There are also very cheap hostels available for anyone on a budget
We stayed in mid-range accommodation; from camping out next to the river, to home-stays and floating “card-board boxes” to 4* hotels.
Food, Transport, Nightlife & Accommodation in Thailand
Shop around and see what suits your budget. If you are by yourself, staying in a hostel or homestay will always be the cheapest option. If you are travelling in a couple, with a partner or friend, hotel rooms work out cheaper than paying for a bed each in a dorm room. They usually include breakfast too which is a huge bonus. Most hotels have Western food available for breakfast which is great, especially when you have been travelling for a while.
If you are in a group, look at hiring an entire villa to yourself. Airbnb always have great deals – check out their page and see what they have on offer!
If you are going to Thailand, check out my blog post: The Best Places to Visit in Thailand – Tourist and Non-Tourist Spots
Please leave any comments below if you have any questions, or something to add. We love to hear from you!