Have you ever heard of the saying "beginner's luck?" Well, let me tell you, that doesn't apply to beginner travelers. My first trip to Thailand was far from lucky; it was riddled with rookie mistakes and traveler slip-ups. Don't get me wrong, Thailand is undeniably one of the most incredible places on earth, but my lack of preparation became painfully apparent during the journey.
If you're planning a trip to Thailand, fear not! I've gathered some crucial tips to help you avoid common mistakes.
1. The first piece of advice I have for you is to pack a well-stocked medicine kit and listen to your mother! Let me share my experience. As I was packing my bags, I found my mother sneaking an emergency kit into my suitcase, loaded with all sorts of medicines. At first, I chuckled at the thought of needing all that, but boy, was I wrong. One day, I carelessly sipped on a Diet Coke filled with ice at a local restaurant, and that's when the first mistake happened. The next three days were spent bedridden with sickness. Lesson learned: always drink from sealed bottles! As you may not be accustomed to the unfamiliar germs present in the local water.
2. My second advice concerns visiting temples, especially during hot summer days. Avoid going to popular temples in the afternoon; instead, opt for an early morning visit. I made the error of visiting 'Wat Phra Kaew,' also known as 'The Temple of the Emerald Buddha,' in Bangkok during the afternoon. The combination of scorching heat and overwhelming crowds nearly caused me to faint. Trust me, an early morning visit allows you to fully appreciate the beauty and serenity of these sacred places without risking blackouts.
3. Lastly, if possible, plan your trip to Thailand during the winter season. My original plan was to relax on Patong Beach for the remaining vacation days. Unfortunately, all I ended up lying on was my hotel bed because it started raining and never seemed to stop. August might be tempting due to work holidays, but it's also the month with a high probability of bad weather. If you have the luxury of being flexible, consider going for New Year's Eve and indulge in the mesmerizing fireworks and floating lanterns on the beaches.
To ensure you make the most of your Thailand adventure and avoid repeating my blunders, I've transformed this article into a helpful checklist for your trip. Now you can plan your Thailand vacation worry-free, as we've got you covered!
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Written by Guidee team member Francesca Carofiglio, an avid traveler and marketing professional.