Thailand is a notoriously cheap country, both to live in and to explore as a traveler. But it does not have to be if you do not know some insider tips for taking in the best that this country has to offer without compromising your wallet. How to travel to Thailand? Let’s check out some of our recommendations!
Stick to local food
The entire country has great food and it does not have to come at a great expense. In fact, much of the food that Thailand is famous for are surprisingly inexpensive and often the street food vendors, who typically sell dishes for the equivalent of $1 or less, offer the most delicious stuff. Moreover, eating right on the streets is also such a great way to meet friendly Thai people and not have the large costs associated with some restaurants.
You will even easily find that the cuisine changes as your location do, keeping your food options interesting as you venture from one city to the next or even from one stop to the next in a city. Head to the streets of Silom Road, Soi 38 Sukhumvit, Soi Rambuttri, Khao San, and Yaowarat Chinatown for a mango sweet taste of Kao Niew Ma Muang, sour flavor of Tom Yum Goong, an evening meal of Thai noodles with gravy, Satay, pad Thai, the best Chinese-style roasted duck with a dark, spicy sauce over rice of Prachak Pet Jang, or a special green curry of Geng Kheaw Wan Gai to rock your taste buds!
You might know that Thailand has one of the best cuisines in the whole Southeast Asia but you will not experience truly Thai food until you have it offered by street food vendors in Thailand. Worldwide famous for its balance of sour, spicy, sweet and salt – the main feature of Thai cuisine, it is not just good, it is delicious and tempting. How can you say no?
Don’t be afraid to haggle
I would not recommend trying this in the convenience stores like 7-eleven and at Siam Paragon, Siam Center, Terminal 21, Central World, or other up-scale shopping malls, but there are still plenty of places in Thailand where bargaining is acceptable.
If you like markets, haggles, or some cool and quirky stuff, you will find shopping experience in the Land of Smiles very rewarding. While the malls in Bangkok are some of the fanciest in the world, local markets like Chatuchak Weekend Market, Flower Market (Pak Klong Talat), Bangkok Farmers Market, Klong Toey Fresh Market, Pratunam Market, etc. carry everything from fresh food to art. It is the outdoor markets and street vendor stalls that offer you prime opportunities to try and practice your haggling skills.
For most first time travelers on their Thailand tours, “Is it wise to put on my tough bargaining face, ready to seem unhappy, and walk away from any sellers who do not offer a discount on what is written on the price tag?” might be a question readily on their mind. But you should know that the point of bargaining is not to see the vendor lose money, but rather to get a price that is reasonable for both parties. Though haggling is a big part of the dominant discourse on traveling in Thailand, an aggressive, confrontational approach is not the way to bargain. Just do it with a smile so that nobody loses face.
Ask the locals for their recommendation to make up your mind
Thailand has always been a cheap travel destination offering the most value for your money. But some areas are more expensive than others and wherever you go there are some tricks you can use to help you save big money. And asking the locals for their recommendations to pick the right area to stay, the best cheap eats, and the most exciting places to visit can give you more for your money. Thailand is not called the “Land of Smiles” for nothing. On your Thailand travel tours, you will definitely be surprised at the friendliness and kindness of open and kind Thai people, which you might not have expected.
Sure everyone is in a hurry a lot of the time and focused on surviving a busy workday, but they are all willing to do you a favor. Have the chance to interact with locals, then you will discover great people.
Get out the map
It is easy to look at a map of Thailand and let your eyes boggle over the endless possibilities – Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket,…. the list is sure to be endless. So, it is wise to group the sights that you want to see my neighborhood so that you visit a city or one area of the city each day. For example, visit the Grand Palace and Wat Prakaew one day, and Ko Samet and Ko Chang Islands another day.
Thailand can be a cheap country, with pricey admission fees and tours that will not challenge your travel budget. But do you know all of the best Thailand experiences that will not cost you a dime?