If you’re keen to avoid tourist clichés, these need-to-know travel tips will help you experience the real Thailand.
Taking a when-in-Rome approach to your Thai holiday is a great way to save money and steer clear of tourist traps. If you’re on a tight budget, surviving on just a few hundred Thai baht
a day is feasible if you know where to find local prices.
Here’s how to live it up like a local in Thailand:
• Use public transport – From tuks-tuks to budget airlines, Thailand has plenty of transport options for travellers to choose from. Buses and trains are popular with locals, while most of the Thai islands can be accessed by ferry. Sure, you could hire an air-conditioned minivan and a private driver, but public transport offers a fascinating glimpse into the everyday lives of Thailand’s locals. It’s also the more adventurous (not to mention cheaper) option.
• Eat street food – To get an authentic taste of Thailand’s famous curries and noodle dishes, you can’t go past the street food scene. Whether you want to dine out in a Bangkok noodle shack or snack on fried oyster in Phuket (the city’s signature dish) the best Thai cuisine can be bought on the street for just a few Aussie dollars.
Even if you plan to save money by living like a local while in Thailand, it’s still essential to keep plenty of cash handy. To avoid getting stung by fluctuating exchange rates, get yourself a prepaid travel card.
The Cash Passport
locks in the exchange rate on the day you load your currency and can be used wherever MasterCard is accepted.
Explore the Countryside
Once you’ve had your fill of Bangkok’s bright lights and Ko Samui’s wild full moon parties, rural Thailand offers plenty of peace and quiet. In sharp contrast to the sprawling cities and idyllic beaches Thailand is renowned for, this part of the country is serene and uncrowded. Spread out between the rice paddies and lush rainforests you’ll find traditional villages with guesthouses, yoga retreats and luxury resorts.
If you’re looking for beautiful landscapes, the north of the country is known for its majestic mountains, the south for its gorgeous coastline and the central regions for their ancient ruins.
The only catch to exploring rural Thailand? The lack of credit card facilities. Be sure to stock up on plenty of Thai baht before your trip to avoid getting caught out with no cash in the countryside.
Indulge in Spiritual Sightseeing
In addition to its abundance of natural beauty, Thailand also has some of the most stunning Buddhist temples in the world. Even if visiting sacred spaces isn’t your thing and you’d rather be lying on the beach sipping Chang beer, the intricacy of these architectural wonders will leave you gobsmacked.
Be sure to check out the following temples while in Thailand:
• Sanctuary of truth – Found in the eastern city of Pattaya, this impressive structure features elaborate carvings and a mix of Buddhist and Hindu motifs. It’s over 100 metres high, and is made out of wood, stone and recycled glass.
• Wat Arun – Known as the Temple of Dawn, Wat Arun sits on the edge of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok. Its name comes from the way the rising sun turns the outside of the temple golden each morning.
• Wat Chaiwatthanaram – This ancient stone temple dates back to the 17th century. It’s located in Ayutthaya, a city of spectacular ruins located around 80 kilometres north of Bangkok.
• White Temple – Featuring breathtakingly intricate carvings and Buddhist sculptures, the White Temple looks like something out of a fairy tale. It was almost destroyed by an earthquake in 2014, but has since been restored to its former glory.
To make your temple experience extra special, try and time your visit with a traditional Buddhist service.
If your departure date is looming and you still haven’t organised your foreign exchange, don’t sweat it – Thai baht is one of the eight currencies covered by Travel Money NZ’s Cash Commitment
. This means we always try to keep Thai baht stocked in our stores, so you can pop in and get some whenever you need. If we don’t have any Thai baht available, you’ll get to choose between a Cash Commitment Bonus and a Cash Commitment Voucher.
Now that you know what to expect from your trip to Thailand, there’s no time like the present to start stocking up on cash. Visit your nearest store
or order your Thai baht online
to get your foreign currency organised today.
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