Travelling to Thailand was my first experience with another culture. Before I headed to Thailand back in 2008, I had only travelled across Europe. This still is one of my favorite journeys. It was short but definitely one of the biggest experiences of my life when I decided I want to spend more of my life on the road. After the cultural shock I fell in love with Thailand, friendly people, delicious cuisine and reasonable prices. But it doesn˙t end here. There are many many reasons why Thailand is a perfect destination if you are traveling abroad or overseas for the first time.
Bangkok has good connections with the rest of the world and a lot of direct flights from Europe. You can even find some hot deals for return tickets from Europe to Bangkok that cost only 250 or 300 euros. There are also some great direct flights to Bangkok if you are short on time and don´t want to waste your time on airports. And a lot of connections means a lot of competition and consequently lower airfare prices.
Good connection #2
Suvarnabhumi Airport Bangkok is the sixth busiest airport in Asia. It was also the most popular place in the world among Instagram photos in 2012! Bangkok is a great starting point if you plan to travel to other countries in Southeast Asia as well. Low budget airline Air Asia is especially helpful if you are looking for some budget and last minute deals. Of course there are also bunch of other airlines you can choose from plus some great international train connections.
Visa or not?
Citizens of certain countries may visit Thailand even without visa but only as a tourist and only for 30 days. How awesome is that? Check out if you are among these 54 nationalities because it is much more easier to start a journey without bureaucratic process. AND it saves you some extra €€€ which you can spend on Thai massage, yay! After 30 days you will have to apply for visa, visa-run options have been banned.
Bangkok is a huge city with a population of more than 8 million people! Nevertheless, I fell in love with the city immediately. There you can find a super invention named sky train, this is how you can navigate the city. Countless temples, street food vendors, shopping malls, cruising Chao Praya river and friendly locals, who will approach and help you when if they will see you standing on the street with map, looking totally lost. Despite being a modern metropolis, Bangkok is still so different from European cities, which makes it just perfect for your first contact with Asia.
Delicious and cheap food
I made a major mistake on my first trip to Thailand. I didn`t try any street food. Ok, now you can stop rolling your eyes. If you haven`t tried Thai street food, you haven´t been to Thailand. I passed this exam on my second trip to Thailand when I became obsessed with street food, especialy Pad Thai. Eat as much street food as you can, the prices start below 1 euro! From noodles, to meatballs, from fruits to seafood, you name it. And then eat it all!
Thailand has a great climate and sun will shine on you whole year round. You don`t need bulky clothes, it is like endless summer. This allows you to travel light with littleor even without luggage. My friend and I couldn’t believe seeing people travelling to Thailand with empty suitcases and coming back with full ones, because shopping there is much cheaper than in Europe. Well, we just ended up buying another suitcase!
If you love nightlife than you will love Thailand. Nightlife is not held only in basements, clubs and rooftop bars. Nightlife in Thailand is everywhere. On the streets, markets, karaoke bars, just everywhere. Actually, evenings became my favorite part of the day in Thailand. Streets are so alive and noisy and colorful, it is really hard to get bored.
Beaches like paradise
You must have heard about Thai´s beautiful beaches unless you live in parallel universe 🙂 Contrary to some other dream beaches, which are remote and expensive, Thai beaches are well connected and much more affordable than some other exotic destinations. There are many tropical islands to choose from, or you don´t need to choose and go island hopping instead.
Thailand has developed traffic infrastructure in the cities and in between the cities which allows you to travel easy and smart. Head to the north to Chiang Mai with legendary night train or to the south with night bus and you will wake up in paradise. It is easy, it is cheap, it is safe.
Tourists are already there
This is not an advantage for many of travellers of course, but if you are travelling abroad for the first time it is much easier to conquer cultural and other shocks if you join some other groups of travellers and maybe you meet some new friends. Best part of travelling is making friends from all over the world and Thailand is just perfect for that.
Friendly people everywhere
Thailand is also named a Land of smiles. No wonder why, because people are smiling all the time, and beside that, they are really helpful and Thailand is one of the countries where you feel most welcome at any time. And you can forget about intrusive suspicious dudes offering you just anything. While strolling down the main street in some cities can be an extremly frustrating, you can be completely relaxed in Bangkok and enjoy your city exploration.
Ok, Thailand is still much more expensive than some other countries in Asia but it is still much cheaper than Europe. So Therefore you can also get a bed for 5 euros. Awesome, ha? On the other hand, even fancier hotels are pretty much affordable in terms of prices compared to some European capitals. So if you cannot afford luxury in Europe, you can definitely do that in Thailand! Nice hotels that would cost afortune in the West are actually very affordable in Bangkok. just mention how nicer hotels that would cost a fortune elsewhere are more affordable in Bangkok. Nasa Vegas is a real budget hotel, while Galleria and Aetas serve those who prefer more luxurious accomodation.
I could mention safety issues before but it would definitely deserve its own paragraph. I felt extremely safe in Thailand. I wouldn’t go and wander alone in the night in strange areas – I wouldn´t do that nowhere in the world, for sure! But I felt safe on the local bus, at the market, in the bars, just everywhere. I am pretty sure it wasn’t just me. If you are too concerned to travel because of safety reasons, visit Thailand. I´m not saying nothing bad can happen, of course not. But you will feel much safer there, than probably in many other ˝western˝ countries.
Would you visit Thailand, when travelling for the first time? Which other countries would you suggest for first time travellers?