Terrific, Turbulent, Thailand – Travel Tips
by Tyler L. Le Moyne College, TBC Fall 2017 and Spring 2018
My journey to Thailand with TIPS:
Travel has been easy to come by since my arrival in China. Beijing has allowed me to get around not only other parts of China but also around Asia. I took my opportunity to plan a trip to Thailand for my spring break this year… I had other options such as Laos, Australia, Tokyo and Seoul among others but ultimately I went with Thailand.
In my preparation for Thailand I decided to look into flights roughly a month to about two weeks before spring break. I thought this would be the best time that tickets were the cheapest. Sure enough the ticket prices were great! I booked my ticket out of Tianjin to Macau and then to Bangkok where I would travel to my final destination of Krabi. In total I took seven flights and missed one (unfortunately). I was able to find cheaper flights with connecting flights thrown in here and there, aka the main reason I had seven total flights. In addition to flying I had a train trip and a few bus rides around Thailand. For me, it was a lot of traveling in a short time, but I really enjoyed myself.
For me, this was my first time traveling alone in a foreign country! Traveling in the US is no problem because everyone knows English and are understanding of what is typical. A little tip when you travel: always expect the unexpected because almost everything but yourself is out of your control. This was something I just learned recently, and to think I woke up early to account for getting around was an understatement, essentially you can never be too early.
Day one consisted of me waking up at roughly 6am to make sure I was getting to the train station on time. In Beijing, almost no matter what time of day it is can be crowded, especially at major hubs of transport. So I made to sure I had plenty of time because if I missed that train, it would’ve inevitably made me miss my first flight. Oh and yeah, make sure you have some music and movies downloaded of course – your favorite playlists, that one movie you’ve been dying to watch on Netflix, or even podcasts you’ve been looking to get into! It really makes the time in between travel valuable alone time, a period where it is just you and no one else! Back to my trip… because I planned to travel outside of China it was important that I had a second visa entry to get back into China after my trip was over and thankfully I did have a second entry. I had a copy of my passport and a copy of the visa in case I had run into any trouble, can never be to careful. Nevertheless, my day was really a lot of traveling, a train ride, 2 plane flights and a night hostel.
Bangkok -> Krabi
Here is where I missed my flight, it was dark and early in Bangkok. I stayed the night at a hostel simply for a bed, but I may have been there less than five hours in total. Nevertheless, the wifi failed me, and I blame missing my flight on this because my reservation didn’t exactly load and tell me what airport I would be departing from and well… Bangkok has two international airports and I just so happened to guess wrong. Anyway, I made it to Krabi after buying a second ticket. If avoidable do not fly with Thai Lion Air, I didn’t find the customer service to be very great after I missed my flight. They were reluctant to help.
Touchdown! I had finally made it into my last destination and it was time to enjoy myself down by the beach with a little bit of sun and new found friends. I would encourage everyone to stay at K-Bunk Slumber Party if in Ao Nang, Krabi or even Slumber Party, the two are under the same management but I was able to meet a lot of fantastic people in the area. At first I was off to myself and hadn’t talked to many others but once I was out of my shell, meeting people was never easier. Especially, it’s likely anyone in a conversation doesn’t know each other either. So, if you find yourself a little closed off don’t worry and get out there and talk to anyone, you might hang out with them all day or just five minutes but its worth it to meet other travelers! In reality its possible to do this at any hostel but the sentiment is all the same, push yourself out of the comfort zone and meet new people.
Oh, do not let me forget about the food. Oh the food, was fantastic and of course you aren’t going to get any better Thai food than in Thailand. Thai pancakes would have to be my favorite, light pancakes served with fruit of your choice, and Nutella or another topping on top, delicious. I found myself stopping often at local street side vendors during the day to try their food! If you ever in the mood for something more western, it is available for sure, and there is no doubt you will find a 7/11 within half of a mile of wherever you decide to stay. Thailand has it all in terms of food. Nevertheless, if you were thinking of Thailand for a nice trip, you will not regret this trip.
Another key factor in my decision to travel to Thailand was that it was well within my budget, I may have spent a total of $350 in flights, would’ve been less had I not missed one. However, with all the hostels and food I would say the trip didn’t cost more than $500, which I feel is a fantastic spring break get away – a week in Thailand under the sun, mountain hikes, bike rides and nothing but fantastic food. This is definitely a trip for friends, yourself and even family, and if given the opportunity I would most definitely do the trip all over again, and maybe visit parts I missed out last time!