I am generally asked for admonition on traveling to Thailand. Having spent the bigger allotment of the accomplished three years in Thailand, I ability be able to action some advice.
More specifically, I am asked about training Muay Thai in Thailand, as that has been the agitator for my campaign there, and has taken up the aggregate of my time.
That said, I consistently yield time to biking the country anniversary time I visit, and acquire been adored to acquire begin some appealing amazing places forth the way. I will allotment some of those with you later.
Let’s aboriginal allocution about some basics and bolts about traveling to Thailand.
Lodging is cheap. Aliment is cheap. Busline in and about Thailand is cheap. BY FAR, your bigger amount will be accepting there… your airfare to Thailand. This can be about bargain as well, if you do it right. Obviously, planning avant-garde will advice cut your airfare expense, but getting adjustable on your biking dates will advice as well.
In absorption to just about aggregate I abode here, amount will be anon afflicted by the time of year you intend to biking to Thailand… including airfare.
Keep in mind, there is some accord and take. You may save some money, but as a result, acquisition yourself getting rained on daily, or constant some appealing hot days. November to February is the a lot of big-ticket time to biking to Thailand. The acclimate is AMAZING, but apprehend restaurants, city-limits streets, beaches, etc. to be arranged abounding of tourists, and prices for aggregate from abode to auto rides to be about bifold the price.
Rainy division is May to November. Backing canicule in Thailand are in fact actually pleasant. Generally times, it will cloudburst like crazy for 30 minutes, and be brilliant dejected skies anon thereafter. The streets will flood like rivers, and there will not be a billow in the skies 20 annual later. The temperature stays warm, so unless you baker if you get wet, backing canicule aren’t so bad.
The hot division runs from March to June, and it can get REALLY hot (100 degrees +). Decidedly for training Muay Thai, aback the training centers are all outside, it can be actually challenging. You will diaphoresis A LOT, and fatigue abundant faster than in the added times of year.
So, I anticipate your aboriginal footfall in because a cruise to Thailand, would be to adjudge what it is you wish out of your trip. Obviously, if you wish to island hop, or affair like there is no tomorrow, appear during the active season. But, as I said, you will pay a little added for everything.
If you are advancing carefully for Muay Thai training in Thailand, any time of year is just as acceptable as the next. As I said, if it’s hot, it’s hot, but chic sizes are about smaller, and you get a lot of absorption from the trainers. During the active season, some gyms can be a complete madhouse.
Most places you appointment in Thailand English is spoken. Obviously, the further abroad from cities and day-tripper attractions, the beneath English will be spoken. A lot of artery signs and abounding storefronts are in English as able-bodied as Thai. (Although abounding of the storefronts are somewhat absurd as they sometimes will boner their English translations).
It wouldn’t aching to apprentice some Thai afore traveling to Thailand, but it is a actual harder accent to aces up. If you bethink to accomplishment anniversary book with the chat ‘Krap’ if you are male, and ‘Ka’ if you are female, the almsman of your concern will apperceive you are getting friendly.
Krap is arresting about in amid ‘Crap’ and ‘Clap’. The ‘R’ and the ‘L’ and array of melded together. Some locations of the country, it will be arresting ‘Kap’.
* ‘Sawatdee Krap’ = Hello and goodbye
* ‘Korp Kuhn Krap’ = Thank you
Clasping your easily in a adoration position and accedence your arch is aswell a admiring way to abode somebody.
Some tips on the ‘prayer position’ bow:
* Placing your fingers at your button = Somebody in the annual industry
* Placing your fingers at your adenoids = Somebody of according status
* Placing your fingers at your forehead = a Monk or somebody of top status
* Placing your fingers aloft your arch = Reserved for Royalty
**Jutting your button against Thais (Like the American ‘What’s up’ motion), can be apparent as advancing by Thais. Nod avant-garde to be friendly.
Four things you DO NOT wish to do in Thailand:
1. Challenge a Thai baker to accomplish you something spicy. Even if you like your aliment spicy… they yield it to a accomplished added level.
2. Acquaint a Thai beating babe you wish ‘Strong Pressure’. 98 lb women will accomplish you cry like a little babe if you’ve never had a Thai beating before.
3. Acquaint your Muay Thai Trainer you wish to go abounding contact.
4. Play Connect Four with a Barmaid.
Let’s allocution about those three of those things now (More on barmaids later);
You will never aftertaste added amazingly beginning and adorable bake-apple and vegetables anywhere. Thai aliment is acutely flavorful, and actual affordable.
They like their aliment spicy, and addition acceptable byword to bethink is ‘Nit Noy’. That agency a little bit. If you are asked how ambrosial you wish your food, ‘Nit Noy’ is the way to go.
My claimed admired Thai bowl is Tom Yam Goong. It’s a soup with lemongrass, chilli, galangal, adhesive leaves, shallots, adhesive abstract and angle sauce, harbinger mushrooms and prawn.
I aswell LOVE Green Curry, but it is hit and miss. Some places beating it out of the park, and others, it is just so-so.
I actually like Thai beer, and they acquire some appealing acceptable whiskey’s as well. ‘Sangsom’ is my admired whiskey, and ‘Singha’ (Pronounced ‘Sing’) is by far my admired Thai beer (Pronounced ‘Beea’)
Be actual accurate not to booze tap baptize (Nam), and watch area restaurants get their ice. You can get REALLY ailing from this if not.
You can acquisition a anniversary of some array appealing abundant any time of year. Thais adulation to bless life, and BUDDHA. There are some VERY aberrant traditions associated with some of these celebrations. Others are amazingly beautiful, and some that are complete fun.
The strangest anniversary I saw was a array of humans that had broken their bodies with swords and duke guns… actually afraid through their skin, with claret decrepit from the beginning wounds. As the array proceeded down the street, these individuals would stop and acquire offerings of aliment and booze from the humans watching the parade.
The a lot of beautiful anniversary complex hundreds of humans absolution lanterns into the sky at the aforementioned time.
And the Most Fun was a gigantic baptize fight, area EVERYONE had eject accoutrements and baptize balloons and the complete boondocks abolished anniversary other.
I acquire no abstraction what the acceptation abaft any of these contest was, but it was actually an acquaintance to be a allotment of.
Aside from these celebrations, there are night markets all over the abode area you can acquirement aggregate from amazing artery food, to drinks, and souvenirs, trinkets, clothes, electronics… appealing abundant annihilation you can imagine, and VERY low process. If you adore bartering, you will adulation these markets. If you wish to aftertaste some REAL Thai food, you can adore aggregate from squid to abysmal absurd crickets, roaches, and ants… a part of added things. Wash it down with a Singha, and it is not bad eating.
If you are searching for a REAL party, however, you will charge to arch either to the city-limits or the islands.
Every city-limits has it’s affair artery that is arranged abounding of tourists adequate the corrupt ancillary of Thailand… and there is affluence of it. From Ping Pong shows, to Go-Go bars, and every added affectionate of bar you can imagine, they acquire them. NOTE: You cannot ‘un-see’ a Ping Pong show. Try as I might, it’s an angel I cannot blemish from my memory. I acclaim you skip it, unless that is your array of thing.
The BIG parties yield abode out on the islands, however. Koh Phangan is home of the Abounding Moon Party. It is the abode to be if you are adolescent and searching for fun. It’s a bit of a adventure to get there. You will charge to fly to Koh Samui, afresh yield a bear over to Phangan, but it is annual the trip. Primarily tourists from Europe and Australia, the Abounding Moon Affair is a part of the bigger and best parties in the world. They appear already a month. I acquire been to three of them, and they acquire ALWAYS been jam arranged with beautiful, alert people!
I did see a lot of drugs getting acclimated at the Abounding Moon Party, but I HIGHLY acclaim you beacon bright of that notion. Go on YouTube and attending at the altitude in Thai prisons attending like, and if that doesn’t alarm you abundant to abandon them, you are a big abundant idiot to deserve to acreage there. Thai badge yield drugs VERY seriously, and they will lock you up and bandy abroad the key. They acquire been accepted to accomplish accidental stops of foreigners, and yield urine samples. If you are dirty… abroad you go! Samsung and Red Bull will get you top abundant anyway.
NOTE: Red Bull is a artefact of Thailand. The Red Bull you get there, will not even resemble to applesauce you would get in the states. It is like Red Bull on Steroids, and it tastes WAY better.
NOTE 2: ALWAYS watch bartenders on the islands. They will serve you bedraggled ice (Resulting is VIOLENT illnesses), and abbreviate you on alcohol. Accomplish abiding they cascade it from NEW bottles. NEVER run a tab… they will spiral you in the end. Pay as you go. Lastly, if a barmaid challenges you to a bold of Connect Four, or any added game, for that matter… unless you plan on affairs them drinks… DON’T. They are GOOD. REALLY GOOD. They ability even bandy the aboriginal bold to accord you confidence, but the stakes will go up, and you will end up paying dearly. It can be fun, but it can aswell get adequately expensive.
Let’s allocution busline for a bit.
There are buses and trains that will get you beyond Thailand, but I acquire never been on one. Airfare amid cities is clay cheap, and I acquire heard the alternation rides can be appealing uncomfortable.
Ferries amid islands are sometimes air-conditioned crowded. Be abiding to go with a acclaimed aggregation that your auberge referred you to. Traveling to the berth ability be cheaper, but you may be arranged in like a sardine.
As for busline in and about boondocks (This is appealing abundant accepted beyond the country, with the barring of afar areas), Tuk Tuks (An open, but covered taxi) is the best, safest way to go.
I apperceive a lot of humans will acquaint you about how abundant fun it is to ride a motor scooter, and it is. But, actuality is my case AGAINST renting a motor scooter; Second alone to dog bites, motor scooter crashes annual for added injuries to foreigners than annihilation else. (Don’t pet devious dogs!!). Additionally, Thai badge are accepted to set up roadblocks and ambition foreigners for just about annihilation they can get a allurement out of them for, and if you’ve been drinking… they don’t blend around. If you assert aloft it, I apperceive a lot of humans who acquire busy them and had the time of their lives. I apperceive others who acquire been swindled by the being they busy them from, adage they could cause accident to the bike that was already there, and others who acquire collapsed casualty to Thai badge roadblocks. Rent a motorbike at your own risk.
Tuk Tuks are air-conditioned cheap, and will get you area you charge to get safely. You can pay a little added for a clandestine ride, or generally times, humans allotment a Tuk Tuk if you are headed in the aforementioned direction.
In abounding locations of the country, taxis are able-bodied accepted for ripping tourists off. Be abiding they about-face on their beat behindhand of what the disciplinarian tells you. The another is to accommodate a set amount for a ride afore you leave.
If you REALLY wish to go on the cheap, they acquire motorbike Taxis that you can ride on the aback of… angelic smokes, I did it once… never again. These guys are maniacs on there motorbikes!
Once you’ve gotten area you wish to go, actuality are a few tips on how to act;
Thailand is 93% Buddhist. A lot of Thais are actual amorous about Buddhism. Getting admiring of their ability is consistently a acceptable policy. Buddhist Monks are awful admired and any boldness against one, could acquisition you adulatory you hadn’t.
NEVER say annihilation aweless about any of the aristocratic family, decidedly the King or Queen. There is a ten year bastille book for accomplishing so, and this is no joke. This is usually a affair best abhorred unless you apperceive what you are talking about.
Always abolish your shoes afore entering a abundance or business, unless it is contrarily posted.
Stores will not advertise booze on Buddhist holidays.
Tipping is usually not accepted as a lot of restaurants cover a annual fee, but it abiding does accomplish their day if you do. I acquire gotten bags of breadth out of just giving 20% added on a meal that you paid next to annihilation for. Auto and Tuk Tuk drivers do not apprehend tips.
One of my bigger pet peeves about traveling to Thailand is walking on a beach, and seeing a young, admirable Thai adult walking duke in duke with a VERY old white dude. Foreigners appear to Thailand as sex tourists, and yield advantage of the bankrupt women. These women are victims in my mind, and I allure you to feel chargeless to bang any of these old geezers in the shin should you see them.
Must do things in Thailand
1. Thai Massage.
Thai beating is conceivably what I absence a lot of about Thailand. They are an complete MUST, abnormally if you are training Muay Thai. Aboriginal of all, these women are healers- Abnormally the earlier ones. They will acquisition injuries you don’t even acquaint them about, and fix them. They acquisition a spot, and go to plan on it. The next affair you know, you are as acceptable as new.
Every Thai beating is different, but like Muay Thai, while anniversary gym is different, there are axiological similarities in each.
To be clear, there are beating parlors area you can get a rub and tug, but that is not what I am talking about here. (If that is what you seek, you will acquire no botheration award those blazon of parlors).
A acceptable Thai massage, however, is healing for the body, apperception and the soul.
2. Go to the Beach.
Thailand has some of the a lot of amazing beaches in the world. I would be autograph about them for canicule if that were the focus of this article. There are too abounding to list. See them all. They are all out of this world, and they all acquire their own audible personality.
3. Appointment a Buddhist Temple
Much like beaches, anniversary Buddhist temple is different. Do some research, and acquisition one that interests you. There are some that you can absorb a day hiking to, or benumbed a motorbike through the country to get to, but there are affluence in and about every city-limits in Thailand, that you will not charge to biking to. They are themed, so as I said, do a little analysis and you will acquisition some appealing alarming stuff.
NOTE: There are a lot day-tripper attractions in Thailand. Some admirable places, and of advance the Aristocratic Palace is appealing cool. I’m not actually a bout guide, and there are no abbreviate accumulation of them in Thailand… appealing abundant one on every artery corner. This is alone because there actually is a ton of accurate being to analysis out… they would be bigger ill-fitted to adviser you than I.
NOTE #2: Scuba Diving is AMAZING of the island of Koh Tao, as able-bodied as abounding added islands in Thailand.
NOTE #3: Koh = Island. If you see the chat ‘Koh’ afore the name of the abode you are traveling to, apprehend a bear ride in your abreast future.
4. Muay Thai
If you haven’t ample it out already, I am appealing amorous about Thailand. I actually LOVE it. I fell in adulation with Thailand because I got agape out by a Thai if I was 18 years old, and acquire been fatigued to Thailand to apprentice Muay Thai anytime since.
Let’s absorb a little time talking about training Muay Thai in Thailand.
There are several altered types of Muay Thai gyms in Thailand. Actuality is a account of some:
1. There are some complete ‘Ma and Pop’ blazon of gyms, that are appealing abundant adjacency gyms. These are actual difficult for foreigners to get into. You would acquire to apperceive somebody accompanying to anyone there, conceivably somebody that now lives abreast you. Don’t apprehend any of these places to allege any English, and actually appearance up in shape, or you will affliction it.
2. Larger acceptable Thai gyms are all over the abode in Thailand. Abounding of them do not acquire foreigners. Those that do, will not baby to them, and English is rarely spoken. Fairtex is a acceptable archetype of this. Unless you are ‘Somebody’, their Bangkok area will not acquire foreigners, but their Pattaya area will.
3. American and European gyms in Thailand. Believe it or not, there is an American Kickboxing Academy in Thailand, as able-bodied as Top Team, and several others that were originally based out of the Us and added locations of the world. They acquire opened up boutique in Thailand, and apply primarily Thai trainers. Abounding of these places are apple class, and acquire actual nice amenities.
4. Day-tripper Gyms al brindled all over Thailand. Thailand has abounding day-tripper attractions. Abounding of them are in limited locations. A lot of of these places acquire a Muay Thai gym that specializes in bead in customers, with a few locals that alternation there regularly. There is usually some ‘former amphitheater champion’ that is the citizen trainer, that will absorb an hour captivation pads for foreigners. Be able to acquire him appearance you pictures of him in his celebrity days, as able-bodied as any trophies he may acquire won.
5. Tiger Muay Thai. I gave this abode it’s own category, because it actually is in it’s own league.
This abode is exploding in popularity, with humans anatomy all over the apple advancing actuality to train. They acquire best trainers, and amazing abutment staff, a admirable (And consistently growing) facility, and aggregate you could possibly need. They acquire their own (Very nice) restaurant, lodging, exercise classes, MMA, BJJ, and Separate classes for beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
They are actual foreigner-friendly. The agents speaks English goodly. I awful acclaim this place.
There are added abundant Muay Thai gyms in Thailand. I acquire been to many, but boilerplate abreast all of them. Below is a hotlink to a website that does a appealing acceptable job of breaking down some of the added acclaimed gyms in Thailand.