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10 Reasons Why Thailand is Worth Visiting

I’m writing this from my Bangkok apartment. I’m not sure how many times I’ve been here, or how many times I’ve crossed the border. I’ve given up counting. All I know is that 5 passports have passed between this trip and the first. I have no way of knowing how many times I’ve arrived in Bangkok. All I know is that I will return year after year. To take a break, work, write, and enjoy the weather, blue skies, and storms by the open window at night.

“Thailand”, is my typical answer to all the wannabe travelers who are looking for a first time destination, to start their journey or to take their first backpacking steps. Most of the time it’s not too hard to convince them to travel to “the land of smiles”, the country has a lot to offer and it’s usually at the top of their list anyway, but sometimes I end up facing some pre-made counter arguments that explain to me that Thailand is far from being the “hit” country that I describe.

Because it’s too much, because it’s finished, it’s “has been”, full of tourists, full of lady boys and old men who are running after them with their walkers. Because Thai people eat dogs and cats and pretty much anything that moves (it’s true, a friend of a friend of my second cousin told me so) and it’s dirty – as in, you touch a banana and you get aids, butt worms, and turn yellow- and it’s smelly and gross. And anyway, the country is not so nice, and it’s doesn’t look as good as on the pictures…

I’m not going to try to defend a country that clearly doesn’t need my help to attract thousands and thousands of new travelers every year; so instead of trying to debunk every misconception about this country, I’m going to tell you why visiting Thailand is definitely worth it!

bangkok-city-street

Why Thailand is (still) Worth Visiting

1 – Because Thailand is highly touristic

Wait. What? I should travel to Thailand BECAUSE it’s touristic? Yep.
Why do tourists go somewhere? Why is Country A more popular than Country B (trying not to offend anyone here), well it might be because Country A has more to offer. Ok, it’s usually not the only reason –it’s not that simple- but that’s the beginning of the answer.
Thailand’s popularity didn’t come of out of nowhere, it was built over the years based on everything there is to do and see here.
You can start your journey in Bangkok, enjoy a fresh coconut on a tropical beach the day after, and hike the hills around Chiang Rai not long after that… and the best part? It will be so easy to organize! In Thailand traveling is made so easy that you can plan a three-month trip in 10 minutes with buses, hotels, visas, and flights without having to move a finger.

Ok, if you’re a long-time experienced traveler with dust in your hair and a permanent tan then maybe you’ll find Thailand a bit too touristic, maybe you’ll have a better time in a more quiet part of the world but for the rookies, for the new backpackers, or for those who want to enjoy a country without having to think too much about planning, Thailand is the best choice.

2 – …But not everywhere

Sometimes you just need to take one step aside. Tourists usually travel like lemmings, following each other, always doing the same thing. So if you’re tired of the crowd, all you have to do is get off the path and you’ll enjoy a completely different experience.
Are you in Bangkok? Turn left instead of right to explore a secret market far from the overly touristic alleys in the (not so great) Chatuchak Market. In the North, skip Chiang Mai, keep driving and you’ll soon find yourself surrounded by empty rice fields and quiet villages. No other noise than the one of your own engine. No more 7/11, no more McDonalds. Even a Pad Thai could be difficult to get there.

There is the top North and the East part of the country (Check Isan if you really want to be alone) and at least ten islands that haven’t been (yet) colonized by tourists – but hurry up, it won’t be long before travel agencies start sending people there!

3 – For the tasty Thai food!

It’s not only that everything is good in Thailand; it’s good pretty much everywhere you go here! You can almost be sure to get good food in every single restaurant! There is, of course, a few tourist traps, some places to avoid –and those are usually quite easy to spot- but in 99% of the case you’ll finish your lunch or dinner with a smile on your face and a happy stomach. Because that’s a part of what traveling in Thailand is about: pleasing your stomach!

And don’t listen to those who are saying that Thai food lacks variety, that it’s only rice and noodles and nothing else. When it comes to food Thailand is one of the richest countries in Asia: you could stay here for weeks without eating the same thing twice (as long as you manage to go beyond the usual Pad Thai and fried rice).

And, if after some time you miss eating pasta, pizza, and burgers, don’t worry: Thais are pretty good at cooking those too!

Read also: 6 Reasons Why Food Is The Best Way To Experience Culture

4 – To meet people

And I’m not only talking about Thai people, but also travelers and backpackers like you. You’ll be amazed with how many traveling tips you can get in a bar, while drinking your Singha, how many times you’ll be changing your plans after talking to a fellow globetrotter.
I often get messages from people asking me if it’s worth going to Thailand alone, if it’s still fun and not dangerous. My answer is always the same: Man or woman, in Thailand you won’t stay alone for long.

5 – To make up your own opinion

Because after all we’re talking about YOUR trip. YOUR journey. So other people’s opinions about visiting Thailand should not matter. It’s ok to listen to tips and advice, but at the end of the day, you should go and see for yourself. Just because one person didn’t like a country doesn’t mean no one should go there anymore.
Oh, and stay away from jaded travelers – those who’ve seen and done everything and who’ll tell you, “Oh you’re going to Thailand? Why? It’s dead now, you’re 20 years too late man…”

6 – Because everything is possible (good and bad…)

Everything? Yes, everything.
Thailand could be hell, and paradise as well, and your experience will lean to one side or the other depending on your travel choices.
A family of five on a motorbike, an elephant in a pick-up truck, a giant water fight in Bangkok’s business area, an endless rave party under a full moon as round as the dilated pupils of your wide open eyes, or the quiet atmosphere of an empty beach, a fresh coconut in your hand, warm sand between your toes…
We could keep on naming things; we could make a long list of all these moments, all the cool and crazy experiences that make Thailand unique.
Here you will always find what you’re looking for –no matter what it is. But be careful: some experiences will take you to the hospital, and some will take you to jail….

Read also: Sandboarding and Dune Buggies in Huacachina, Peru

7 – Because of the location

Thailand is the gate to Southeast Asia. Look at the map: it’s right in the center.
It is for both the geographical position and the ease of travel that made Thailand, over the years, a giant HUB for backpackers in transit, on their way to Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam or Malaysia…
It’s the perfect place to rest and regain your strength before going on your way.
It can also be a great decompression chamber, the ideal location to get used to the tropical heat, the Asian culture, and the food before pushing further. Once you’re ready all you need to do is put your backpack on your shoulders and head North, South, East or West… it doesn’t really matter, you’ll find adventure in every direction.

8 – For the culture

I’m not talking about the Royal Palace, the temples or the museums (but of course these things should be part of the reasons why Thailand is definitely worth visiting). No, here I want to talk about people. Local people and their lifestyle.

I don’t really like the “land of smiles” concept. Thai people are just like you and me: sometimes they feel like smiling at you (maybe because they’re trying to sell you something) and sometimes they don’t (maybe also when they’re trying to sell you something).

Thailand has so much more to offer than just a cheap touristic cliché: The authenticity of the only country in Southeast Asia that has never suffered from colonization, preserving centuries of culture and religion and keeping intact the core of all their traditions.
Thai people are humble and open minded (and sometimes can be more progressive than some Western cultures; the way they accept transgendered people is one of many great examples), and they manage to achieve the perfect balance of religion in contemporary culture – a successful combination of progress, modernity, and tradition.

Read also: 9 Ways to Act Like a Local in Tokyo

9 – The cost of living

Ok, this is a bit tricky: I don’t want to encourage you to visit a country just because it’s cheap. I don’t like the idea of Occidental people going abroad just to enjoy a cheaper life without paying attention to the country that they are visiting. But, of course, when you start traveling you usually don’t have an extended budget, so Thailand is quite attractive as it is one of those rare countries where you can still live on a daily budget of $20 without having to sleep on the streets.

Of course it will depend on what you want to do and how much comfort you need, but if you can deal with dorms and street food then Thailand can be a super cheap option, and you’ll be able to spend weeks here without having to sell a kidney along the way.

Just one reminder: Thai people need to feed themselves and for that they need to make money (just like everyone else), so be courteous and when it comes to bargaining try to stay reasonable. Sometimes it’s just not worth arguing over a 50-cent discount.

Also, don’t be surprised if you’re getting a “budget” room for a “budget” rate. Don’t expect to live like a King for nothing. In Thailand, like anywhere else, you get what you pay for.

10 – Just because…

Yes, why not? The country is there, it’s worth a visit, and it’s waiting for you! Do you have some time? Then just pack your bag and jump on a plane. Without listening to anyone, without asking questions or over thinking it. Fly to Thailand just… because.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is Thailand famous for?

When you evaluate what Thailand is renowned for, you’ll be surprised at how many choices arise. With its toes in the water and its head in the jungle, this lengthy south-east Asian nation seems to offer it all: thrilling city breaks, deep natural immersions, and world-class beaches. Thailand is one of the most visited countries in the world, with over 35 million visitors each year. Thailand is a fantastic, diversified nation known for a variety of things. From white sandy beaches and fantastic hotels to ancient temples and delectable cuisine, this tropical paradise just has too much to offer travellers.

When you evaluate what Thailand is renowned for, you’ll be surprised at how many choices arise. With its toes in the water and its head in the jungle, this lengthy south-east Asian nation seems to offer it all: thrilling city breaks, deep natural immersions, and world-class beaches.
Not to mention the delectable meals. Thailand is a mostly Buddhist nation, with over 41,000 temples and more being erected all the time. Many places allow you to see 4 to 5 temples on foot in a single day. The White Temple in Chiang Rai, Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok, Wat Ratburana in Ayutthaya, and Wat Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai are among Thailand’s most famous temples.

When is the best time to visit Thailand as a student?

Visit Thailand during the dry season, which begins in November and lasts until March or perhaps April and May for much of the nation.
The climate in the south varies between the eastern and western shores. The west coast is more pleasant in the winter, when diving and snorkelling are at their peak. Most of the year, the weather on Thailand’s east coast is pleasant. It rains the least in January and February and the most in November.

Overall, the months of November through February provide the coldest, most pleasant weather, with average temperatures in the low 80s, crystal blue waters, minimal possibility of rain, and lush landscape from the preceding monsoon season. Elephant Hills Tented Camp in Khao Sok National Park has the highest opportunity of observing animals between March and May; here you can explore stunning woods teeming with monkeys, feed and bathe gigantic Asian elephants, star gaze from the deck of your floating rainforest tent, and ride a canoe through spectacular limestone mountains.

The majority of hotels will charge a peak season premium from 20 December to 20 January (roughly), including required Gala Christmas Eve and Gala New Years Eve banquets. However, many hotels are no longer charging for Christmas Eve meals. Avoid travelling during the Thai New Year’s festival of Songkran (April 13–15, plus two days before and after); road accidents are at an all-time high, and anticipate severe traffic jams and packed eateries, among other things. It’s just not an enjoyable or safe time to travel.

How many days does it take to explore Bangkok?

There’s no way you could see all Bangkok has to offer in only a few days. You’ll need at least three to five days to visit this magnificent city. If you only have three days in Bangkok, spend the first one seeing the temples and palaces in the “Old City” districts of Thonburi and Rattanakosin, as well as the Chao Phraya River between them. Meanwhile, on day two, concentrate on ultra-modern places like Silom and Sukhumvit, where skyscrapers grow around Lumphini Park, Bangkok’s counterpart to Central Park. Day three might be spent in Chatuchak Weekend Market or just east of Bangkok at one of Thailand’s famed floating marketplaces.

If you’re visiting Bangkok for the first time, I recommend staying in downtown locations such as Sukhumvit, Siam, Silom, Pratunam, Riverside, Chinatown, or Bangkok Old Town. You may look at some of Bangkok’s top hotels. There are so many things to do in Bangkok that you should make the most of your stay there. I wanted to give you a fair mix of visiting the big sights as well as enjoying the culture and cuisine that Bangkok has to offer when I put up my day by day Bangkok itinerary.

AboutKara

I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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