Thailand is a Southeast Asian country known for its tropical beaches, opulent royal palaces, ancient ruins and ornate temples displaying figures of Buddha. In Bangkok, the capital, an ultramodern cityscape rises next to quiet canalside communities and the iconic temples of Wat Arun, Wat Pho and the Emerald Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Kaew). Central Thailand is home to the ancient city of Ayutthaya, founded in 1350. Its ruins, which include the remains of palaces, temples and the Buddhist statue of Phra Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, now form the Ayutthaya Historical Park.
How to travel to Thailand on a budget
Thailand is a beautiful country with a lot to offer tourists, but it can be expensive to visit. Here are some tips on how to travel to Thailand on a budget:
1. Choose your destination carefully
Thailand is a large country with many different regions, each with its own unique attractions. If you’re on a tight budget, it’s important to choose your destination carefully. The most popular and expensive areas, such as Bangkok and Phuket, are likely to be out of your price range. Instead, consider visiting some of the less touristy areas, such as Chiang Mai or Krabi.
2. Travel during the off-season
The best time to visit Thailand is during the cool and dry season, from November to February. However, this is also the busiest and most expensive time to travel. If you’re on a budget, it’s better to visit during the off-season, from May to October. Prices are lower and there are fewer tourists, so you’ll have a more authentic experience. Keep in mind that the weather is hot and humid during this time, and there is a risk of typhoons.
3. Find cheap accommodation
There are many ways to find cheap accommodation in Thailand. One option is to stay in a hostel. Hostels are usually much cheaper than hotels, and they’re a great way to meet other travelers. Another option is to stay in a guesthouse. Guesthouses are often family-run businesses, and they typically offer simple rooms at very reasonable prices. Finally, you can also try Couchsurfing, which is a great way to meet locals and save money on accommodation.
4. Eat like a local
One of the best ways to save money in Thailand is to eat like a local. Street food is very cheap and it’s often of a higher quality than the food you’ll find in restaurants. In addition, Thai food is delicious, so you’ll be able to enjoy some amazing meals while you’re here.
5. Use public transport
Public transport in Thailand is very cheap and efficient. The best way to get around is by taking the bus. Bus tickets are very affordable, and the buses are comfortable and air-conditioned. Another option is to take the train, which is slightly more expensive but still very reasonable. If you’re traveling to a remote area, you can also take a minibus or a songthaew.
Haggling is a way of life in Thailand, so don’t be afraid to bargain when you’re buying souvenirs or other items. It’s also common to haggle for taxis and tuk-tuks. If you’re not sure how to haggle, just remember to be polite and to start with a lower price than what you’re willing to pay.
7. Visit free attractions
There are many great things to see and do in Thailand, and many of them are completely free. For example, you can visit temples, markets, and parks without spending any money. You can also take part in free activities, such as yoga classes, cooking classes, and Thai language lessons.
8. Get a Thai SIM card
A Thai SIM card is very cheap and it will allow you to stay connected while you’re in Thailand. This is useful for keeping in touch with family and friends, as well as for finding your way around. You can buy a Thai SIM card at the airport or at any convenience store.
9. Use cash
Thailand is a cash-based society, so it’s important to have some cash on hand. ATM machines are widely available, but they often have high fees. Credit cards are accepted in some places, but not all. To avoid any problems, it’s best to use cash.
10. Stay safe
Thailand is generally a safe country to travel to, but there are some risks to be aware of. For example, it’s important to avoid scams, such as people offering to help you change money or to buy train tickets. There have also been reports of sexual assaults, so it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and to trust your instincts. If you’re ever in doubt, it’s best to ask a local for help.