Thailand is one of the most alluring countries rich with culture and natural beauty. I have been back twice and I am still not even close to quenching my thirst for everything the country has to offer. However, because the country is so frequently visited by tourists, it is one of the trickier countries for a few reasons.

DON’T: Animal Tourism

I am guilty of not understanding the issues with animal tourism. Thailand’s animal tourism is one of the worst due to Elephant Trekking (aka riding). How great of an Instagram photo would that be riding an elephant, right?? Wrong. If you don’t believe me, here is an article from PETA on nine reasons why you should not pay money to this industry. Taken from an article on BBC in 2017,

“Thailand uses roughly twice as many elephants in tourism as all the other countries combined. The vast majority of these elephants are captured from the wild.  The process starts soon after it is captured. It is often referred to as “breaking-in ” or “crush”. Their handlers – mahouts – are dependent on the animal for their livelihood. The report finds that mahouts also endure “unacceptable” living conditions and earn poor wages in many of the elephant camps.”

Please simply educate yourself before giving money to these cruel industry.

DO: Haggle with Tuk Tuks/Taxis

Because of southern Thailand’s popularity, the taxi/tuk tuk drivers love to take advantage

of foreigners to make their living. Most Taxi or Tuk Tuk drivers will want approximately 200-300 Baht for a ride about 1-2km. To put this into perspective. the average monthly salary in Thailand is 9343.95 THB/Month, which comes out to around $300, so paying the equivalent of $7-$9USD for one taxi ride is a little pricey. It’s hard in Phuket, but try to talk them down from their high prices! Many times, I even refused to pay for a taxi/tuk tuk because the unfair prices, began to walk away and then they’ll change their mind. It pays (literally) to negotia

te!

DON’T: Get Conned in Bangkok

Bangkok for some reason is famous for ConMen. There will be sooo many locals telling you the temples are “closed for construction,” “don’t open until 1pm,” “closed on Tuesdays” and so many more! The first time I went to Bangkok, I had mentally prepared and I STILL got bamboozled by someone telling me he was a teacher and he always takes his kids on this special boat tour… $65 later and I was made a fool. It sounds dumb now, but they’re great actors!

DO: Muy Thai

So random coming from me. This activity genuinely did not cross my mind until my second trip to Bangkok. Muy Thai has such a rich culture and watching this live wasn’t just a sporting event, but a true glimpse into some major traditional in Thailand. I LOVED it! On Sundays, you can go to a place called “Channel 3 Stadium” and watch a live Muy Thai fight for free starting at 1:30pm!

DON’T: Settle for Group Island Tours

Research online and see what you can do. The Thai islands are filled with tourism and speedboats, but a long boat experience is much better! You can either take the ferry out to Phi Phi Islands and rent a longboat from there or you can hired one online like I did from Krabi! As you can see, I’ve done both. The longboat experience is extremely useful for seeing as much as you can in one day, but for a more relaxed and authentic experience, I vote longboat.

DO: Enjoy yourself!!

Thailand is one of my favorite countries in the entire world which is why I’ve been back twice in 10 months. I still need to go back to visit Northern Thailand. Like I said, it’s a tricky place to be, but you will absolutely love it! Here are some pictures & thank you for reading!!

Grand Palace in Bangkok

street fruit stands & markets everywhere!

the famous Maya Bay of Phi Phi Islands

Phuket at sunset

Krabi

bought this jumper in a Bangkok market for $10USD

rooftop views in Bangkok

 

XOXO Happy traveling 🙂

 

PS. I have tons of fun clips on the “highlights” portion of my instagram page @along.came.alex. Just head to instagram & click on the “Thailand” highlights bubble!