How to prepare for Thailand -What to Pack
I generally travel light, I pack for a one-month stay, tenant T-shirts, or are these can be printed tees but generally just like wear. I also pack three pairs of jeans. The obvious cameras and recording gear if needed will also accompany me. Make sure to bring at least three button-down shirts, something nice. Remember the Thai are very competent in the way they dress, but more importantly they’re very observant and the way you dress. Thailand is always hot, remember that if you think you’re going to pack a suit. I’m not saying it’s a bad idea, but the months I’ve traveled to Thailand, I never wore one. If you like to wear shorts bring to pair as well as bathing gear. There are plenty of places to do laundry in Thailand, and to do it very cheap. If money is no option, use the services given to you by your hotel. However if you are thrifty, there are many services that you can call to come pick up your clothing and do it at a quarter of the price the hotel will charge. So as far as undergarments and socks, ring what you need for five days. I bring a nice pair shoes and some sandals also. Keep your toiletries to a minimum, with exception for Cologne, everything is extremely cheap in Thailand. I also bring a laptop, that is Skype enabled and has the feature to use unlimited calling within the United States for free calls back home. This I find works better than bringing a magic jack with a portable phone which was my old option for calls back home.
How to prepare for Thailand – Finding a flight
I generally use the services given by Kayak or Orbitz. This is not a bad way to travel, and if so my favorite airline has always been Cathay. However, I like to hit multiple destinations for is inexpensive as possible. I have found a great way to do that. US Airways is coupe old with Barclay’s MasterCard. They have a frequent-flier program at USAirwaysMasterCard.com. I received no royalties for this information, but I will say there is a loophole that I am exploiting with it. US Airways doesn’t fly to Thailand, however, they have partnerships such as Thai Airways, that does fly to Thailand. 3 to 4 times a year, US Airways MasterCard offers double miles that you can purchase through their website. I purchase 40,000 miles, which gives me the required 80,000 miles for the flight. Here is the best part, on the way to Thailand, you stop at a major hub. Why not spend five or six days there, you can schedule a layover in Japan Hong Kong Taiwan or other major hubs, and not incur any more costs. You can choose to do this on the way there, or on your return flight. Now you have purchased one flight, at a decent discount, while getting another travel destination thrown in for free. I do this every time.
How to prepare for Thailand – Destinations
Obviously I’m speaking of travel to Thailand, with a stop for for five days in Hong Kong or Japan. I use my base destination in Thailand, as Bangkok. Bangkok is a 2 1/2 hour drive from Pattaya. Pattaya, is is the most wild, nightlife in all of Thailand. Bangkok, is everything but beach. If you want to fly to some beach destinations, I suggest Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Phi Phi, or Krabi. These however are heavy tourist destinations. If you do the required amount of preparation, on Camfrog or Thai love links, you will find in most cases that Bangkok will be your best starting location to find the girl that you’ve met online. Most women I meet tend to be from Bangkok and if not around the surrounding areas, although this is not always true it seems to be the norm.
How to prepare for Thailand – How much money to bring?
Great question. I suggest getting a capital one card for all overseas travel, again I have no affiliation with capital one, I just use them because they’re one of the only credit cards I know of that will not charge you overseas fees. So, I charge my room, and my transportation, and food that I buy at my hotel of choice, all on the credit card. If I am going to stay in Thailand for 30 days, I will bring enough spending cash, to cover food outside of my hotel, drinks, and money spent for dates in Thailand. I usually budget, $100 a day. Now, some days I spend $30 and others $250 but rarely do I go below or over these limits. I find spending a tricky thing to explain here, as I do not go on many “Tourist” type of expenditures, like fishing, sailboarding, water skiing… You get the point. I have never had a problem with my credit card in Thailand, but I only tend to use it for hotel services and travel within the country. Please remember to inform your credit card company that you will be overseas on the dates that you are there and what places you will travel to prevent fraud. How much cash do I carry on me, never more than 100 American at a time, or usually 3000 baht. If I need more, I can refer back to my safe at my hotel. I also carry a copy of my passport, not the original documentation. Never exchange money at the airport, these are the highest rates. If you must do so, do for an amount that is less than $100 but more than 50. This way you can get cab fare, and other necessities, before you find an ATM. Finding an ATM will be easy once in Bangkok. Use your debit card here for the best rates.
How to prepare for Thailand – Hotels
I will be doing reviews on hotels that I have stayed in, while visiting Thailand. I try and spend between 30 and $45 American per night and get high-quality locations and accommodations.
How to prepare for Thailand – Taxis
I have a section dedicated to taxis because on every trip I have encountered, the taxi driver is my nemesis. The taxi driver makes very little, regardless of where he lives. Keep this in mind, when he tries to cheat you from where you’re going and how much you are going to pay. When you leave the airport, make sure to ignore all the tourist designed accommodations that will lead you to somewhere that you do not want to go. These are high-pressure salespeople, ignore and walk outside the airport. Look for the taxi meter line, stand in line there, tell the associate where you want to go, and make sure the driver knows you want to use the taxi meter. When using a taxi from your hotel, if you are with a Thai girl or someone you plan to meet in Thailand that is Thai, let them take care of the taxi driver, as they can get a much better price than you ever will. However if you are using the taxi by yourself, tell the driver I would like to use the meter. Far too many times the driver puts a hat over the meter and charges you a set price. Sometimes the price he gives you is better than that of the meter, as he keeps the whole fare and cheats his employer. However if you are new, or I suggest with going by the meter as this price is fairly low.
How to prepare for Thailand – Health
Stop worrying, you’re going to be okay. However, most of the time, when I arrived to Thailand, I inevitably get sick. The long flight, no sleep, change in hours, change in diet, will most likely play on your health. Always drink bottled water, don’t worry about ice and major resorts, you can ask them if they are I system is filtered, I have found this to be true in most bars in Thailand. I stay very simple, when it comes to food in Thailand. I love Thai food, don’t get me wrong, but the first three or four days, I eat chicken and rice. The beef in Thailand to me has always tasted funny, I don’t suggest it. Or I also take Pesto-Bismol in the morning, just to put a coat on my stomach for the first two or three days. Mixing your bottled water with a vitamin powder is not a bad idea. After the first three or four days, your body has ingested, enough of the bacteria in the foods and vegetables, that you should be good to go on most of what Thailand has to offer. Street food is always a gamble, but I think I only lost on that one one time, and I never truly got food poisoning, as you know food poisoning usually lasts 4 to 5 days. The most common health hazard, is nausea and a bad stomach. The medical service in Thailand, is usually top-notch. Bangkok is known, to have one of the most premier hospitals in the world. The service is excellent, and the cost is very low. If ever I’m stuck without health insurance, I hope it happens in a place like this, where something that costs $30,000 in the Western world, might only end up costing me two or three thousand in Thailand. However, I did get an eye infection one time, and with medication and treatment I spent a total of 30 dollars.
Just remember, when investigating how to prepare for Thailand, not to be fearful of exploration. Using the judgment that you have back in your host country is more than enough. This is a friendly place, with its share of crime just like any other place, and ordinary common sense will keep you trouble-free. I have never encountered a problem to this date. So Enjoy.