Published 28th February 2020
Are you thinking of going backpacking in Thailand this summer? If so, here’s everything you need to know before embarking on the summer of a lifetime!
By definition, backpacking is a form of low-cost and independent travel, due to Thailand’s safety and relatively low cost in comparison to European and North American nations it is easily understandable why every aspect of backpacking in Thailand is on the rise. With hostels and guest houses easily found throughout the country, this only facilitates the process of travelling and backpacking around Thailand!
Thailand almost leaves backpackers spoilt for choice from all the various and distinct attractions that attract tourists from across the globe. From its natural beauty to cultural heritage and its world-renowned beach and boat parties, this stunning nation has a great variety of aspects that appeal to every individual travelling through it.
Due to transport links, most visitors will arrive via Bangkok because this is where the largest international airport in the country (Suvarnabhumi Airport) is located.
The Thai capital is the world’s most visited city, suggesting there is much more to it than merely in being well connected regarding transport links! Stunning historical temples and monuments are a major attraction here, and the majestic Grand Palace gives a great insight into the monarchic history of Thailand all while being able to lay your eyes on impressive architecture.
Bangkok is also full of Buddhist temples; these fantastic structures are incredibly crucial to Thailand due to the heavy belief in Buddhism throughout the country and make for a remarkable visit due to the gorgeous and precise artwork such as paintings and sculptures that can be found both on and within them.
The bustling city of Bangkok does, however, have much more to offer young backpackers, with the mythic Khao San Road being seen as the hotspot for backpacking in Thailand. This lively street is lined with market stalls where you can find everything and anything, ranging from clothing to souvenirs and delicious (and not to mention, cheap!) street food.
The area is also recognised for its animated nightlife filled with pubs and clubs, and it is incredibly easy to find a backpacker party and meet others from around the world who also converged to Thailand for fantastic backpacking experience.
The South of the country tends to be the destination of choice for those backpacking Thailand in search of warm crystal-clear seas and stunning white beaches. However, there is much more to the Andaman coast than the picturesque views it offers.
Firstly, for those attracted to the natural beauty of Thailand and its flora and fauna, unforgettable experiences are not hard to find in this extraordinary area. Ranging for incredibly colourful and diverse coral reefs filled with thousands of tropical fish to the lush forests surrounding these beach sides destinations.
For many, this is also an opportunity to have an encounter with an Asian Elephant, although it is recommended to do the necessary research on which refuge to visit to ensure that funds are not going to an association that abuses these gentle giants. This region of Thailand is just as attractive for its nightlife, particularly the city of Phuket is known for the various bar crawls, and some of the backpacking parties Thailand has to offer – the world-renowned
Bangla road being the most popular nightlife hotspot. For those less attracted to the tropical beaches, heading North from Bangkok leads to a much more relaxed and less touristic side of the country that is at times preferred by those backpacking Thailand. Not only does this region of the nation lead to borders with the different but equally beautiful countries of Laos and Cambodia!
In the North of the country, the natural beauty of Thailand is the biggest attraction, as are the impressive rice fields. There are, however, still many cultural experiences with more beautiful Buddhist temples that can be found throughout each town and village.
With the central city in this area, Chiang Mai, the main attraction is the lovely old city and the Wat Phra Singh temple. However, as with the rest of Thailand, there is an excellent variety of other attractions ranging from trekking across the stunning jungles, visiting elephant sanctuaries or strolling through the ever so busy markets and quirky cafe’s.
With Thailand being generally quite warm throughout the year it is recommended to usually pack summer clothing, although it is always recommended to have a few warmer items of clothing such as a hoodie and some pants can be beneficial for the long journeys where the air conditioning tends to be on quite cold.
A scarf can also be useful to cover up while visiting the various temples throughout the country.
Finally, items such as a headlamp, microfibre towel and comfortable shoes are a backpacker’s best friend for any destination!
The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and the NHS has up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk
Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk
The advice can change so check regularly for updates.
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