by Gewn Rosales
Been there seen the movie, got the Tshirt!!.
It is amazing the fact that one can still take some time off from an incredibly busy schedule of work and family life and travel to exotic Thailand.
But one needs to or one has to even for just once in his life. Thailand is perhaps one of the most picturesque countries in the whole world.
And it’s inevitable because Traveling to Thailand offers more than just sight-seeing. Travel to Thailand is an education which you will never be able to get from school or books.
Reading about a Chiang Mai is far more different than when you actually experience the sights, the culture, and the people there. Travel is basically an education about doing things, of making decisions on your own or with your family, and of interacting and getting along with people who don’t normally encounter every day.
Even just eating Pad Thai at a small, out of the way restaurant and riding an Elephant are more fulfilling and enjoyable than just reading everything about it.
But there are survival tips so one can enjoy traveling fully:
* You don’t go to a new place or country unarmed or not ready, before you venture into the unknown, do some research. Read about Thailand News. Read about the place beforehand.
* Once there, buy guidebooks but don’t limit yourself to the guidebook. It’s nice to venture out to rough destinations or to off-beaten paths once in awhile. And Thailand has plenty of this. Here are more tips so you can survive your Travel to the Land of Smiles.
* Inform members of the family or your trusted friends about your travel agenda, especially when traveling to not so safe or unpredictable places. You wouldn’t want them to worrying about you every single minute that you don’t call.
* Pack for worst case travel or weather conditions but never over pack. Ever heard of travel light? It’s the best kind. heavy luggage or even a heavy overstuffed backpack is no fun at all. Besides your back would thank you for it in the long run. And whatever you didn’t bring, you could always buy once you get to your destination. Thailand has a warm climate so a light jacket will do if you ever get cold.
* Be informed. Know Thailand news and its local events, or even politics so that you are not caught off guard in and between rallies, protests or political clashes. Remember Bangkok.
* Visit its government internet site and find out if there are any travel bans anywhere. Find out if it is safe to visit.
*Learn about weather conditions. It may be summer and dry in your place but it may be rainy Weather in Chiang Mai already.
* Get a flu shot and always carry a basic medical kit that includes aspirin for possible headaches due to heat and exhaustion, band-aids, alcohol, anti-diarrhea pill and antacid especially if you’re not used to spicy and curried food that is Thai Street Food, anti-allergy pill, gauze bandage and hydrogen peroxide just in case you do some Trekking and get cuts and bruises along the way. It’s always best to be prepared.
* Make checklists. Keep important documents and telephone numbers handy. Check to see if you have your passport, plane tickets, credit cards and atm, visas, driver’s license and other forms of identifications. Know your credit cards, atm and insurance hotlines; airlines and airline ticket numbers; telephone numbers of your country’s embassies, trusted family and friends’ telephone numbers and email addresses.
* Bring a mobile phone if you have one. Or if you don’t have one, buy local phone cards to call and inform your family that you’re safe and sound.
* For women, dress Wearing conservative. long pants and respectable clothes (no tank tops and shorts) will gain you an extra measure of respect. Thailand is a conservative country. Thai culture greatly differs from American culture and other cultures
* Do show respect for the King. It’s the law. In fact, do show respect for the country. National anthem is played every 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. in public places, and even before public events like Chiang Mai Festivals. And always avoid untoward remarks.
* Do show respect for their religion (Buddhism), their temples, Buddah and monks.
* Do not touch people on the head, a body part which is considered sacred.
* To avoid getting pick pocketed. Get everything in one bag. This is what backpackers do. Keep valuables hidden. Blend in if you must. Avoid dangerous places especially if you’re traveling alone.
* And the most important tip of all: it isn’t about the places you visit; it’s about the people you meet. And you will surely meet a lot of interesting people in sunny Thailand.