Take a look at any list of the top travel destinations in the world, and you’ll see Thailand right on top (or at least, close to it) – and for good reason. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler, or a newbie to backpacking, Thailand has something good in store for you.
Over the years, Thailand has aptly earned the moniker: the Land of Smiles. The people of Thailand are known to be among the nicest, friendliest, and most helpful folks on Earth, and you’re sure to be greeted with warm smiles and friendly banter wherever you go. If you’re new to backpacking, Thailand is definitely the place to go because you can rely on help from the locals anytime, with a smile.
Without a doubt, Thailand has among the most ideal climates in the world; hence, why visitors from the colder regions of the west visit the country in droves. Thailand enjoys sunshine all year round, even throughout the so-called rainy season. So do pack the right stuff while backpacking – Thailand gives you the opportunity to show some skin!
3. Sand and Sea.
For most people, beaches are a must in backpacking. Thailand is probably best known for its numerous fantastic white sand beaches and virtually untouched aquatic wildlife, so it’s a match made in heaven!
Of course, the ‘different strokes for different folks’ adage apply. The many beaches of Thailand each has their own distinct personalities that cater to the varied preferences of their discerning visitors. For example, scuba divers and snorkelers looking to enjoy an unspoiled water world frequent Koh Tao and the Similan Islands. Ravers can’t get enough of the full moon parties of Koh Phangan, or the regular beach parties at neighboring Koh Samui. The nature-tripper will have much to gush about in Krabi’s Phi Phi Islands and Trat’s Koh Chang. The pleasure-seeker will never want to leave Patong or Pattaya Beach. And if you just want to spend the day baking under the sun, well, take your pick and go visit one – or all!
Possibly the main reason why most travelers (men, to be entirely accurate) frequent Thailand is the country’s famous sex industry. In Bangkok alone, a farang (Western) man – and in some cases, woman – can indulge in forbidden pleasures by simply visiting areas like Patpong, Nana, and the infamous Soi Cowboy. Such pleasures can also be found in the go-go and coyote bars that litter Pattaya’s famous Walking Street and Phuket’s Patong Beach. Tastes ranging from the conventional to the slightly askew to the downright sleazy are sure to be satisfied in any of the sex areas that can be found in most of the country’s tourist haunts. Whether you’re into skinny, bowlegged chicks, or the more voluptuous pre and post-op trannies, Thailand has it all.
Of course, this is probably not the whole point of your backpacking. Thailand, however, has a way of luring unsuspecting travelers into its raw sexual energy, and this has become the downfall of many a hapless farang who end up with empty wallets (all thanks to seemingly angelic bargirls who need ‘rescuing’), or worse, a plethora of undesirable diseases due to general carelessness. Know that by indulging in Thailand’s most famous industry, you are treading in dangerous waters, so do tread carefully.
Without a doubt, Thailand offers excellent shopping, definitely one of the best in the world. Bangkok itself plays host to numerous shopping districts where one can get anything from designer labels to cheap knock-offs. Those with heftier wallets frequent the Ratchaprasong area and its upscale malls with their numerous designer boutiques. The more budget-conscious, however, can be found haggling their way through nearby Pratunam, the Lumphini Night Market, the Chatuchak Weekend Market, and Bo Bae, Asia’s wholesale mecca.
Most of the time, shopping is practically unheard of while backpacking. Thailand, however, sells everything from clothes and accessories to the latest gadgets at incredibly cheap prices. Haggle like there’s no tomorrow, why don’t you? That’s part of the fun!
Indeed, there’s much to learn in backpacking. Thailand is an excellent teacher. No wonder newbies flock to the country by the thousands, and the veterans just keep on coming.