Thailand is probably one of the most common backpacking destinations in Asia, maybe even in the world. When you go backpacking for the first time, chances are you will go to this ultimate backpacker paradise. There are several reasons why you should travel to Thailand at least once in your life. Here’s a list of 14 reasons why this lovely country should be on your travel bucket list.
1) Incredible beaches with clear blue water
Ahhh… the prettiness is real. When visiting Thailand, you will be treated with the best beach views. Clear blue water, white sandy beaches, palm trees: a true tropical paradise. It doesn’t matter how many times I get to see those views, I will never get sick of it. Also try to explore a bit. On Koh Phangan my travel buddy and I climbed down a water fall and ended up on the most gorgeous beach.
See that almost empty beach in the background? That’s the result of some exploring and hiking! ✌🏼
2) The weather in Thailand is always nice
One thing is certain: visiting Thailand equals nice weather. For most of the year it’s sunny and comfortably warm. Read more about the best time to travel to Thailand. Yes, there’s a rainy season, but even in those months you won’t be experiencing rain every single (second of the) day.
TIP: The climate on the islands is the most stable. So even when the main land experiences rain, go visit Koh Tao, Koh Phangan or Koh Samui to soak in on those well desered rays of sunshine.
3) It’s a very accessible and easy to travel country
There are overnight trains (Bangkok <-> Chiang Mai), comfortable busses, minivans, ferries, taxis, tuktuks… In Thailand it’s very easy (and fairly cheap) to get from one place to another. This is especially nice if you are a first time backpacker and you’re not feeling comfortable taking local transportation yet. There are tons of tour agencies where you can book your trips and even with their commission it’s still very affordable.
Overnight train through the jungle (BKK -> Chiang Mai)
4) Thai food is amazing
Tickle those taste buds with some amazing Thai food. There’s so much to choose from, and everything is super tasty. Rice with Chicken & Cashew stir-fry, Pad Thai, Tom Kha Gai, Sticky Rice with Mango, delicious Thai curries… foodies unite! The best thing is to get street food by the side of the road. Find the places with the tiny red or blue plastic chairs and just go for it. Don’t worry, it’s not bad for the stomach. Just check if there are locals eating at your street food joint of choice, if so, you’ll be fine.
Extra fun: do a Thai cooking course, so you can make these dishes at home. Definitely a must do in Thailand.
5) It is very cheap
Thailand is dead cheap. Love it. The street food is not only incredibly tasty, it’ll cost under 3$. And what about laundry? Just put it in a plastic bag and drop it off at the hostel or some little shop nearby. You pick it up the next day, fresh and folded, and you pay 1$ per kilo. A dorm bed will set you back between 5$ and 7$ a night (breakfast often included). Yep, you get a lot of bang for your buck.
6) There’s a 7-eleven on every street corner
The best supermarket in the whole wide world? Yes, Walmart and Carrefour are great, but my number one is 7-Eleven. It’s open 24/7, they have everything you need and there is aircon! Another big plus: they are everywhere. And when I say everywhere, I mean everywhere. You will find one on practically every street corner.
Something you should not miss: The 7-eleven toasties. They come in different flavours, f.e. Ham & Cheese, Chicken and Tuna. They’ll heat it up for you and you have the best snack imaginable for only 25 baht ($0,80 / €0,60).
7) You’ll meet a lot of solo travellers
Yep, you are never alone in Thailand. The country is very popular amoung solo travellers, and especially first time backpackers because it’s so easy to travel there. This means you never have to eat alone, party alone or do anything alone for that matter. It’s very easy to make new travel friends.
8) You can go off the grid if you want to
Care for some nature, caves and forests? Do you want to go off the grid and escape all partying and crowded places? The Khao Sok National Park is the place to go. You can stay in these fun little huts by the water, in the middle of the national park. Miles and miles of water and forest will surround you and it’s only accessible by boat. The ultimate off the grid experience.
9) The atmosphere in Thailand is very relaxed
I personally loved the whole uncomplicated and relaxed lifestyle in Thailand. You meet a lot of fellow travellers and locals, but no one judges you. Money and status don’t count: you only talk about experiences, travels, what you love about Thailand and these kind of things. If you want to escape the daily pressure called life, you will love this country for sure. It’s the ultimate tropical destination for a stress free holiday.
10) Party islands for the party peeps
You can go for a drink with some fellow travellers everywhere, but if you are really up for a party, Thailand will definitely treat you well. Of course there’s the Full Moon party on Koh Phangan. But don’t forget the ultimate party island Koh Phi Phi, where there are beach parties every single night. The next morning it’s all very relaxed, chilling at the beach with Bob Marley music in the background and slowly get rid of the (c)hangover (famous Thai beer is called Chang red.).
On Koh Phi Phi, prepare yourself for big buckets of booze, fluorescent bodypaint and ropeskipping & limbo dancing with the ropes being on fire. Yep, party like CRAZY! (and yes, this is the best photo there is. The rest is even more blurry)
11) Riding a scooter, all day every day
Not literally of course, but the scooter will be one of your best friend in terms of transportation. The joy of driving your own scooter and exploring the country like this, is undeniable. It’s possible to rent a scooter in f.e. Chiang Mai, and drive yourself to Pai. An incredible trip through the hills in the North of Thailand. You can stop wherever and whenever, to take photos or to go for a drink and a bite to eat. Ultimate freedom!
12) The perfect starting point of your Asia trip
Are you planning on visiting more countries in South East Asia? Thailand is the perfect starting point. Mostly because the ‘easy to travel’ aspect, it’s a nice country to get used to the backpacker lifestyle. When ready, you can start crossing borders. Thailand is connected to Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar (Burma). You can travel by plane, but many border crossings are easily done by bus. Every single tour agency you will come across, will offer such bus trips.
13) Everything you see is worth taking photos of
Are you a photography lover? Then you will love Thailand. The diversity in views and landscapes is huge, and everywhere you go you just want to grab your camera and start taking pictures.
14) There’s lots to do for every kind of traveller
Are you an adrenaline junky? Beachy person? A cultural traveller? A soul searcher? A sporty person? A nature lover? No worries, Thailand will suit you. There are temples and palaces, you can go diving on the islands and hiking in the northern highlands, you can visit the Khao Sok National Park or you can go on a meditation retreat with the monks.
In short: Thailand has it all.