What To Do In Thailand For The First-Time Traveler

Life Writer
10.04.18 10 Comments


A trip to Thailand is like a backpacker’s rite of passage. Well over 30 million foreign tourists (farang) visit Thailand every year, a tradition that’s been ongoing for decades now. This means there’s a very good chance that your first big trip abroad will be to SE Asian nation (at the very least, it’s on your list).

That’s a good thing. Because you know what? Thailand is freaking awesome. The food, the weather, the people, the sights, the parties — they all add up to one hell of a good time. From the jungles of the north to the white sand beaches of the Bay of Thailand, the country has it all. You can trek, SCUBA, eat some of the best street food on earth, and attend one of the wildest parties on the planet in one 24-hours swing.

To help you prep, we thought we’d parse some of Thailand’s highlights and hidden gems. Below are ten “must see” experiences that do a pretty solid job of sharing Thailand in a nutshell. Of course, there’s always more to see and do depending on what you’re into. At the very least, consider these places and activities as a place to dive in and get a feel for the country.

Basic phrases:

  • Sa-wat dee (hello)
  • Khrop koon (thank you)
  • Gee baht? (how much)
  • Khor tort (sorry)
  • Neung, song, saam, see, haa, hook, jet, baat, gow, sip (one through ten)
  • Tuk tuk (small, three-wheeled auto rickshaw taxi)

Average Exchange Rate: $1USD = 30 Baht


Getting to Southeast Asia is easier and cheaper than ever. Budget carriers like AirAsia have deals from America (Honolulu) to Thailand for as little as $250 each way. It’s worth noting that these are bare bones tickets and you’ll have to pay for extras like checked bags, meals, and seat reservations.

If budget air travel isn’t your jam, it’s still fairly inexpensive to get from the U.S. to Thailand. Check out Kayak or Skyscanner for dates that are cheapest to fly and book when the price hits your budget. It’s also worth keeping an eye on Secret Flying just in case a deal pops up (that can happen literally any time). In the end, a flight to Bangkok generally hovers around $600 to $700 roundtrip. If you keep an eye on the prices, you may get lucky and score a ticket for $400-$500.


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