Best Way to Travel within Thailand
Thailand in recent years has become one of the most popular tourist attractions for Britons. Flights to Bangkok, for instance, go from a number of cities in the UK including all airports in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Bristol. Where you land will determine where you go afterward. However if you enjoy the freedom of doing your own thing, then it is wise to decide how to get there.
There are in fact three ways to get around Thailand – by air, rail and road.
Traveling by plane is fairly inexpensive with more than 12 airports to choose from and 3 domestic airlines – Thai Airlines, Bangkok Airways and the budget airline, Air Asia. Interestingly, all airports are within a couple of hours’ journey of each other. Not just that, a round trip between Bangkok and Phuket or Bangkok and Chiang Mai can cost very little.
If you prefer to see the countryside then train travel within Thailand is also quite cheap. Trains are comfortable fairy well maintained, although they are not the fastest way of getting about. The major reason for this is there are a number rail networks covering the regions of the country, but none oddly intersect. There are three classes available, with first and second class carriages being quite comfortable; some ticket prices may also include a meal. Third class carriages while not very comfortable have one advantage – no overcrowding. As such, traveling third class is great for short trips.
If your preference is to go by road, then you have a choice – rent a car or go by bus.
There are a large number of car rental companies available in the large cities; mainly large international businesses. Driving around Thailand is not difficult; they even drive on the left. The cheapest way to get around Thailand is by bus. Long haul buses, also called ordinary buses by locals, are comfortable and air-conditioned. Seats however are not guaranteed. They also make frequent stops, so if you don’t mind taking your time to get where you are going then traveling by bus should be a great adventure.
There are 76 provinces to choose from, so it is advisable to do a little research before embarking on a backpacking trip to the country. Accommodation options are great for the backpacker – there’s a lot to choose from: cheap guesthouses, beach bungalows, budget hotels as well as the traditional tourist resort hotels. If you are looking for bargains then try out Bangkok’s street vendors, in particular shops on Khao San Road, a regular haunt for the backpacker.
Thailand has a lot to offer the tourist whether you do it the traditional way or do your own thing. However it is important to realise that as with anywhere, it is wise to take precautions, and carry out a little bit of homework before you go.
Thai culture is completely different from Britain. As such make sure you know the customs, otherwise you could land yourself in trouble; even the simplest of behaviours can cause offence. For instance, kissing, cuddling and showing annoyance in public is frowned on. Dropping litter is illegal, while drugs found on you will end in a prison sentence.