Hello- I’m back!
Sending some love from the beautiful island of Langkawi, am staying here for now. It’s such a lovely place. How’s your travelling?
Today am gonna shed some information for you guys who would want to try backpacking solo and to me the best place to start is Thailand. Here are my take on how to backpack in Thailand as well as travelling overland in Thailand! Enjoy!
Thailand is definitely one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Its country is made up from sandy beaches, emerald green waters, metropolitan Bangkok and the really beautiful mountainous Northern provinces. Do you know that it is possible to travel throughout Thailand via its railways and buses? I have been doing for a while when I started my travelling life to Thailand. It is actually pretty safe and definitely recommendable. Here are my tips on how you can do your own Thailand Overland Trip!
1- It’s so cheap that you would not believe that you are even paying it! Put it this way, a train ride from the Hat Yai to Bangkok cost only RM 55 (USD 15), that is a 22 hours train ride on its Non-air conditioned Berth. Cheap isn’t it?
2- For non-ASEAN travellers, look into your visa requirement carefully. If you are entering Thailand via land, you might just get 15 days. It is often travellers tend to overlook on this matter. For ASEAN travellers, you will get 30 days Visa on Arrival for free.
3- There are two types of buses, government or travel agency buses. There are times where it is cheaper to buy buses from travel agency. But you will have to play through with their scams, which can be a little funny sometimes.
4- Remember to have separate bags for your valuables and your other stuffs. There have been cases reported of bags being ransacked and valuables being stolen. Separate your passport, credit card and other valuables into other bag and bring it onboard with you.
5- From Hualamphong Train Station in Bangkok, you can find connecting train to other neighbouring countries such as Laos PDR and Cambodia. To get to Vientaine, you can get to Nong Khai border of Thailand and cross over to Thanaleng via the friendship bridge. As for Cambodia, you can take a train to Aranyaprathet and cross into Poipet, Cambodia.
6- Train food is relatively cheap but if you are truly on a shoestring, there will be vendors coming in at stations stops to sell food. It is cheaper than the canteen of the train. I find it tastier too!
7- 7-11 in Thailand is like not like in other countries, it is abundant and you can see it every 5 minutes of walking. Stuffs are cheaper here compared to normal stores. For example some large mineral water is only RM 0.90 (USD 0.30). I would recommend stocking up for long hours train ride from 7-11.
8- Try the night train if you are travelling long hours, you can save up on hotel/hostel fee for the night. Besides that you will arrive fresh at your new location.
9- In some places like Krabi or Chiang Mai, it is actually cheaper if you share and hire the whole Tuk Tuk (Songtheow) with other people for sightseeing. Plus it is much more flexible compared to taking tours from travel agency.
10- There are a lot of cheap hotels, B & B, hostels and guesthouses in smaller towns in Thailand. Why don’t you opt for cheaper stay and stretch on the days of your trip. Most of this places are actually pretty nice and cosy.
11- For nature lovers, head up north to Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. For those who loved the sandy beaches and clear water, head down to the Andaman and Gulf Coast for the islands. And may I suggest to those who are history buffs, head to Sukhotai, Ayuthayya or Pai as well as do not give Bangkok a miss for its metropolitan vibes!
Thailand is a beautiful country and I am definitely coming back to discover it all. Above all, a trip to Thailand will definitely leave a big dent of change in you and leaving you wanting more out of it. It is a country crazy amazing with history, culture and its peoples’ lovely smile, it’s why all travellers recommend it- Overland Travel Thailand the Land of Smiles! 😀