Backpacker's guide to Thailand

misslpilon

Concept design of a backpacking travel guide to Thailand. Backpacking has become a popular form of tourism amongst young travellers over the past years due to cheap airlines and hostels around many parts of the world. This form of low-cost, independent travel is characterised by the use of a backpack that can easily be carried for long distances or long periods of time. The project objective was to create a tool for backpackers seeking information and advice regarding budget accommodations and lodging, packing, public transport, and sightseeing in Thailand.

BACKPACKER’S GUIDE TO

THAILAND

Top camping

sites & hostels’

Authentic

experiences

Fully updated

city maps


8 CONTENTS

Plan your

backpacking trip

Backpacking 101 .................. 10

Backpacker vs. tourists:

some definitions . .................. 10

Cultural immersion ................ 11

Common mistakes

& how to avoid them ............. 11

Health and safety ................ 14

Before you go ..................... 14

On the road . ....................... 15

Backpacking essentials .......... 16

First things first ................... 16

What to pack ....................... 18

Skivvy rollin’ ....................... 20

Compression packs . ............... 22

Transportation .................... 24

In the air ........................... 24

Over land .......................... 26

Public transport ................... 27

Food ............................... 28

Eating in ........................... 28

Eating out ......................... 29

Hostels . ............................ 30

Choosing your hostels ............ 31

Sleep-disrupting behaviours

& how to avoid them ............ 32

International relations .......... 34

Customs and visas ................ 34

Language barriers . ................ 35

Shopping tactics ................. 36

Street sellers . ...................... 36

Banking and ATMs . ................ 37

Communications ................. 38

Setting up your blog .............. 38

World wide web ................... 40

Going postal ....................... 41

Check-list before you go ........ 42

Northern Thailand

Bangkok ........................... 48

Wat Phra Kaew .................... 50

Wat Pho ............................ 51

Chao Phrya River .................. 52

Jim Thompson House ............. 53

Chatuchak weekend market . ..... 54

Culinary Bangkok ................. 55

Bangkok nightlife ................. 55

Ayuthaya .......................... 56

Ayuthaya historical park . ......... 56

Bang Pa ............................ 57

Sukhothai .......................... 58

Sukhothai historical park ......... 60

Si Satchanalai-Chaliang

historical park . ................... 60

Chiang Mai ........................ 62

Old city’s temples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64

Old city’s museums ............... 64

Nimmanhaemin ................... 65

Doi Suthep ......................... 65

Chiang Rai . ........................ 66

Minority cultures .................. 66

Day trips ........................... 68


CONTENTS

9

Welcome to

Thailand

Southern Thailand

Hua Hin ............................ 72

Beaches ............................ 72

Phetchaburi . ....................... 74

Where next? ....................... 92

Popular backpacking

destinations ....................... 92

Ko Samui & Ko Pha-Ngan . ...... 76

Beaches ............................ 76

Ang thong national marine park 78

Phuket . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80

Beaches ........................... 80

Ao Phang-Nga. ..................... 82

Water sports ....................... 83

Index .............................. 94

About the authors ............... 98

About the photographers ....... 100

Aknowledgments ................ 101

Ko Phi-Phi ......................... 84

Ko Phi-Phi Leh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84

Diving and snorkelling ............ 87

Koh Lanta ........................ 88

Beaches ........................... 89

Diving and snorkelling ........... 90

The information in every Backpacker’s

Guide is checked annually. Every effort

has been made to ensure that this book

is as up-to-date as possible at the time

of going to press. Some details, however,

such as telephone numbers, prices,

gallery hanging arrangements and travel

information, are liable to change. The

publishers can not accept responsability

for any consequences arising from the

use of this book, nor for any material on

third-party website.


18 PLAN YOUR BACKPACKING TRIP • BACKPACKING ESSENTIALS

What to pack

There isn’t any single packing list that is perfect for everyone.

Varied budgets, destinations, trip durations, and travel styles

create different packing situations. Use this list as a planning aid

for packing your backpack.

16 L BACKPACK

LAPTOP

LAPTOP

CHARGER

E-READER

(WITH E-BOOKS)

PHONE

CHARGERS

(+ ADAPTORS)

SUNGLASSES

BEACH SANDALS

CAMERA

PASSPORT, VISAS

LOCKER

CAMERA

BATTERIES

SUNHAT

FIRST AID KIT

(+ MEDICATIONS)

FLASH LIGHT

DUCT TAPE


BACKPACKING ESSENTIALS • PLAN YOUR BACKPACKING TRIP

19

SOAP

RAZOR

2X T-SHIRTS

TOOTHBRUSH

2X VEST TOPS

EAR PLUGS

TOOTHPASTE

SUNSCREEN

SWIMING SUIT

SLEEPING MASK

DEODORANT

3X UNDERWEAR

2X SHORTS

HIKING SHOES

3X SOCKS

MEDIUM

WEIGHT

HEAVY

WEIGHT

LIGHT

WEIGHT

Distribute the weight!

The key to a comfortable backpack is a balanced

load. The weight should be centered and close to

your body so that your bag isn’t pulling back on

your shoulders.


20 PLAN YOUR BACKPACKING TRIP • BACKPACKING ESSENTIALS

Skivvy rollin’

Skivvy rolling is a method of packing underwear, or

‘skivvies’, into a compact bundle. Perfected by the marines,

this technique is one of the most efficient ways of packing

for long journeys. Give it a try!

1

Lay a shirt, preferably a

short sleeve t-shirt, flat

on the ground.

2

Fold your skivvies and place

in the middle of the shirt,

underneath its cotllar.

Tips

& tricks !

Fill in all the space

When it comes to

packing, you need to

make use of every little

inch of your backpack.

Stuff small or fragile

items into your shoes

to make sure every

possible space

is filled.

Stay fresh

Keep your clothes

smelling fresh! By

taking a few fabric

conditioner sheets

or scented drawer

liners, you’ll keep

your clothes smelling

sweet throughout

your whole journey.

Wear it on

When traveling with

bulky clothing items

is unavoidable, make

it a rule to wear the

most room-eating

garments on the plane.

You should be wearing

your hiking shoes for

example.


BACKPACKING ESSENTIALS • PLAN YOUR BACKPACKING TRIP

21

3

Fold

the shirt above the

shoulder on top of the folded

pieces of clothing. Repeat

with the other side.

4

Place

a pair of socks on top of

the shirt, crossing them toe to

heel right over the sleeves.

5

Grab

the top part of the shirt and

roll it tightly towards you. Leave

the two ends of the socks sticking

out on both sides.

6

Take

the ends of the socks

and slide them over the roll,

covering it entirely.

7

You

now have

your skinny roll,

the coolest and

most efficient

way to pack

your gear!


20 BACKPACKING ESSENTIALS • SKIVVY ROLLIN’

Bangkok

5

Main attractions

The main touristic

destinations of Bangkok

can all be reached by

public transport.

1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

Wat


Phra Kaew

& Grand Palace

Wat


Pho

Chao


Phyra River

Jim


Thompson

House

5

Chatuchak


Weekend Market

Bangkok


Behind a bend of the Maenam, the entire town

of Bangkok appeared in sight...

At a glance

Bangkok is the capital and also the

most populous city of Thailand. The

Chao Phraya River crosses its city centre.

Bangkok is well-known for its vibrant

street life and delicious street food, as

well as its many cultural landmarks.

Where to stay

Bangkok is home to a diverse spread

of modern hostels, guesthouses and

hotels. To make matters better, much

of Bangkok’s accomodation offers

excellent value, and competition is so

intense that fat discounts are almost

always available.

Arriving in Bangkok

Most tourists arrive in Bangkok by the

Suarnabhumi International Airport

but you might get cheaper flights by

choosing the Don Mueand International

Airport. This option is a little further

than the city centre, so be sure to plan

your taxi journeys ahead of time!

Suvarnabhumi International Airport

The Airport Rail Link (45B, 30 minutes)

operates from 6 am to midnight. Meter

taxis cost 200 B to 300 B, plus 50 B

airport surcharge and expressway tolls.

Don Mueand International Airport

Meter taxis cost 200 B to 500 B plus 50 B

airport surcharge.


BANGKOK • NORTHERN THAILAND

49

Bangkok’s Grand Palace is undoubtly

the city’s most famous monument.

Tips

& tricks !

Haggle, but nicely

When shopping in Bangkok, there’s

no barcode or set price. Haggling is

expected. Try it out! But instead of

adopting a confrontational attitude,

try a gracious, smiley approach. It

works better.

Avoid scams! Use the public transport instead.

Use public transport

Avoid the tuk tuk scams by using

the public transport instead. The BTS

(skytrain) and MRT (subway) are the

best ways to get around town. They

are clean, fast, and inexpensive!

You can purchase single ride tickets

at the machines or a stored-value

Rabbit Card at the kiosk.

Chatuchak Weekend Market has reached a

landmark status as a must-visit place for tourists.


Backpacker insider

tips and tricks

Suggested itineraries

for all budgets and

interests

Expanded coverage

of natural history

National parks and

reserves, including

those just opened

Fully revised details of

hotels, restaurants and

transport

36 fully updated maps

and town plans

BACKPACKER’S GUIDE TO

THAILAND

This is no ordinary travel guide, but a lively,

informative, amusing and sensitive account

to be enjoyed by beginner or advanced

backpackers. Thailand’s culture is revealed

through enchanting descriptions of people,

wildlife and attractions. Including more

than 200 special backpacker insider tips and

tricks, The Backpacker’s Guide to Thailand

is one of the most comprehensive and

practical travel guide to this enchanting

part of South East Asia.

Jeremy and Lauren Thompson have co-written

this book for Nomad Travel Guides. As authors,

lecturers and tour leaders, they have visited

Thailand on more than 20 occasions.

Enjoy the book on all your mobile devices ! Visit

nomad.com/backpackerthailand to download

your free Kindle or Apple e-book today !

ISBN | 898323 97 6

£ 16.95

0 85920 00306 5

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