Things to see in Thailand
One week down in Thailand. Thus far I’ve almost drunken myself sick, and explored way less than expected in Bangkok. Learned some lessons of the road, and avoided death or injury on a scooter while exploring Chiang Mai.
Here is week one’s overview and some tips.
Is Bangkok the craziest city in the world?
Having spent 5 days in Bangkok I’m almost certain I don’t ever need to return. But I do think everyone should experience it firsthand.
First things first. You need to stay at Mad Monkey Hostel near Khao San Road. The hostel is upscale with a great bar and pool. I met many people whom I kept in touch with and hope to see again later on my trip and later in life.
Khao San Road is a strip that turns from gigantic market place during the day to ultimate street party in the evening. Bargain for everything under the sun including the coveted Thailand gypsy pants to tasers during the day. Night time get ready to dance the night away drinking buckets, sucking laughing gas and eating fried scorpions or Tarantulas.
Tips for Bangkok
Haggle everything. The first price is always jacked up and you can expect to pay ⅓ to ½ of that.
Avoid the 20 baht tuk tuk ride. It’s full of upsells from suits to plane tickets and shitty temples. The running joke out here is the tuk tuk mafia.
Take metered cabs.
Avoid ping pong shows. You’re putting cash in hands of human traffickers.
Visit sky bar – rooftop with view featured in The Hangover.
Visit a floating market outside of Bangkok.
Stay at Mad Monkey hostel.
Get out of Bangkok sooner than later.
Get a massage – they start at $8.
Wat pho and the grand palace are the best temples to see In my opinion.
Should I visit Chiang Mai?
Slower and much more refreshing is the northern city of Chiang Mai. Many people here come for days and end up staying weeks, months or even years.
A major theme I’ve discovered in Thailand, is to not plan ahead. Come with an open mind and an open schedule. I booked plans for over half my trip and ended up missing out on some awesome experiences and leaving some great people. For example, driving mountain roads on a scooter to the hippie town of Pai a few hours from Chiang Mai because I prebooked a flight down to the islands.
Chiang Mai has great food, lots of waterfalls and ELEPHANT SACTUARIES!
Tips for Chiang Mai
Stay at Dee Jai backpackers. This is a large hostel with people that are there for a good time. Chiang Mai doesn’t have a huge party scene so you’ve got to rely on your hostel. Dee jais has a pool and bar down the road from the actual hostel that you get in free for. Chill by the pool all day and drink in the bar or in the treehouse all night.
Rent scooters – wear a helmet – and explore the waterfalls and mountains surrounding the city
Eat Khao Soi. It’s a dish specific to chiang mai, it’s a mix of egg noodles, a coconut curry broth and meat and veggies. Potentially the most delicious meal I’ve ever tasted.
Visit Zoe in Yellow for a party night.
Spend time with elephants. I did a half day tour with INTHANON ELEPHANT SACTUARY. There are different types of elephant tours. This one is the real deal with serious respect for the elephants they rescue. No riding and they adequately feed the elephants. Not all places do this.
DO NOT RIDE ELEPHANTS. The seats you sit on are attached to the elephants with hooks and stab them while you ride. Feed them, pet them, hug them. But don’t ride them.
Spending time with elephants face to face is an experience unlike any other. Book through Dee jai backpackers.
Ride the mountain road to Pai and go to Pai.
More tips and tricks for Thailand and southeast Asia
I’m only the first week into my trip, visit back soon for more insider tips and follow me as I tour south east Asia to China!
Have you been to Thailand and southeast Asia before? Do you have any tips I’ve missed or suggestions of places I should go, or things I should see? I would love to hear from you.
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