We’ve been in Southeast Asia for just over two weeks now, in Thailand to be exact, and it has been crazy. Wonderful yes, but slightly mad. We’ve also learned so much about this kind of travelling and about ourselves in this short time and I wanted to share this with you. It may come in handy for you too if you plan on heading out here in the future.
Don’t plan too much
I read this phrase so much when preparing for this trip and as much as I took it in at the time, I didn’t fully comprehend it until we were here. We planned our hotels and flights for Thailand whilst still in the UK and in these two weeks we’ve undone those carefully laid plans and changed them a number of times. We’ve skipped places, extended our stay in others, changed flights and swapped hotels. It’s so easy when you’re sitting in your local pub in England getting carried away about the trip to make too many plans. So from someone who is usually such a planner (who is slowly learning to calm down and go with it), trust me on this, having your whole itinerary sorted before you even leave home is not essential for your trip.
Top tip: We’ve found especially when flying from Bangkok that you don’t even need to book a flight until you’re at the airport. Just rock up to their sales desk and grab the next flight to your destination.
Getting round is difficult and sometimes expensive
Image credit: Dan Moore
If you’re not prepared to rent a vehicle in Thailand, or hop on public transport, be warned that you will be spending a lot of money on taxis, private cars/ vans and tuk tuks. We’ve fallen into the trap a few times of paying out more for travel because something was quick and convenient for us. Anything to get our bags off and out of the 36 degree heat. But try not to let that control your plans. We jumped on a train from Bangkok to Ayutthaya, and yes it was a little slow and yes it was warm, but we had the best time. The views we got out of the windows, that we would have missed if we opted for a car, were amazing and for 40 Baht (£1) a person it was totally worth it.
Top tip: To save some money try and get accommodation near either a train or coach station. It’ll mean you can walk to where you are staying and will end up saving you money on taxis to and from your hotel or hostel.
Don’t cram too much in
During our planning sessions we decided on how long we’d spend in each place and booked hotels based on our assumptions. We assumed getting to and from destinations within Thailand would be quicker than they are. During these two weeks we’ve visited Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, Kanchanaburi, Krabi and Koh Lanta. We skipped Sukhothai and Pak Chong, reduced our time in Kanchanaburi and added Krabi into the mix. Looking back if we’d stuck to our original plan we would have spent so much time and money getting to and from each destination, whilst not actually getting to spend any real time there.
Vegetarian food is sometimes a little tricky to find (but don’t worry we’ve found some)
Me and Dan are both vegetarians and as much as we enjoy a Pad Thai or a vegetable rice dish, it gets a little boring after a while. So after being fed chicken in a ‘vegetarian’ spring roll we decided on eating at veggie/ vegan only places if this was possible in every location. It does mean that we don’t just rock up to a place and pop in for food. Instead we spend ages reading and researching restaurants online or in guidebooks to try and find somewhere great. And we’ve been super lucky to find some amazing places. Chiang Mai and Bangkok were both great cities for vegetarian restaurants and we’ve found one great place here in Ko Lanta (that we’ve been to every single day). Don’t worry though a post or two about these places will be coming I promise.
We can’t get enough of travelling
Even before this trip we knew how much we both loved to travel. And now only two weeks into our Southeast Asia trip we’ve both realised that we want to travel a whole lot more. The list of destinations is growing and fast. We’ve been super lucky to be able to do this trip and hopefully we’ll be lucky enough to continue travelling in the future.
Have you been to Thailand recently? Is there anything you’ve learned about a trip like this that you’d like to share? If so let me know.
Until next time.