When it comes to dream vacation destinations, Thailand is one of a select few that gets mentioned by seasoned travelers as a place that novice wanderers should venture to on their first trip abroad.
If you have decided to pull the trigger on a pair of round trip tickets to the Land of Smiles, this guide will show you how to make your first trip here a perfect one.
1) Lock down the Thai villa of your dreams
The first step to planning an unforgettable vacation in Thailand is to book an accommodation that will set the tone for your entire holiday. This will be where each day of your vacation will begin, so it ought to be an epic pad.
While there is nothing wrong with getting a hotel room, this country presents a unique opportunity for you to raise the stakes with regards to accommodation, as amazing values can be had if you make money in a strong currency (such as the US dollar).
You may be wondering how much luxury villa Thailand rent? While there will always be uber-expensive units at the top of the market, most suites cost much less than what you would pay for a similar unit in the Caribbean, Europe, or in the United States.
For instance, there are villas that come with private pools available on Koh Samui for less than $75 USD per night.
Still too rich for your blood? There are serviced apartment units that go for $26 USD per night in Chaweng Beach that come with a shared pool on the property.
Don’t think that these amenities are afterthoughts, as they often have sleek modern designs, are impeccably clean, and are surrounded by tropical greenery.
For what you would pay for a modestly-priced dinner at home, you can experience luxury that would easily cost you north of $100 USD per night elsewhere in the world.
2) Sample the best cuisine Thailand has to offer
Striking the perfect balance between hot, sweet, bitter and sour, Thai cuisine has taken its rightful place alongside the best culinary disciplines in the world.
While you can (and should) evaluate restaurants where you wish to dine on rating sites such as Tripadvisor, it is important to note that some of the best Thai food in Thailand isn’t necessarily found in its five-star restaurants, but in hole-in-the-wall joints and at sidewalk eateries.
If you see a crowd of locals crowding around a specific stall, get in line and order what they are having – chances are excellent that you won’t be disappointed.
3) Don’t confine yourself to the resort – sign up for an excursion/activity
As nice as it is to lounge under the tropical sun while slurping on the best banana shake you’ve ever had in your life, Thailand has many other factors that makes it distinct from other parts of the world.
Its hard to appreciate these highlights if you stick within the bubble that a luxury resort provides, so don’t be afraid to break out of your shell.
From the limestone karst islands of Ang Thong Marine Park, to the countless Buddhist temples that bear no resemblance to the churches that many of us grew up with back home, there is much to see.
Be sure to sign up for a guided tour, as they will be able to provide you with context and a backstory that will allow you to appreciate a tourist attraction on a deeper level.