Backpacker's Dream: Thailand
So like many college graduates, I wanted to travel the world and explore as much as I can. The dream of leaving the desks, laptops and weekly assignments at home, in exchange for world learning. The experience you get from walking new streets and trying local foods that you have never see before. It is priceless
First location most people think of when I mention Thailand is probably Bankok so lets start there. The Capitol of Thailand a bustling metropolis filled with cars, people, shopping and a endless amounts of delicious food.
In Bankok getting around the city I found I got by using Tuktuk's and Taxi's the main mode of transportation. The Tuktuk a great way to get around in short distances and it a thrilling ride. A motorcycle attached to a two wheeled open carriage zipping through the city. Taking one of these, after a few Chang beers you will have a blast. But buyers beware, it is independently owned so if you get approached by a Tuktuk driver, be ready to haggle for the price. Some of these guys can be quite aggressive with the pricing to tourist, so my general rule of thumb is say no to the first price and offer half. You will also want a set price before getting in the vehicle. You do not want to arrive at your destination and find out they are charging you $50 for a 5 min ride. So as long as you take these precautions. I found every ride with a tuktuk was great. ......Except for one ride.
After getting dropped off to the Bankok night market, we enjoyed our night of shopping, eating and drinking. But on the attempt to go back to the hostel the tuktuk's were all waiting charge 3x the amount as getting there. I do have to mention that walking around Bankok at night with shopping bags is not a great Idea, and they knew that. Keep in mind in thailand it is a great skill to do quick math. Sometimes its best too not start a tuktuk night market fight, for $4 increase in prices for a ride home. Yes it will feel like a trap, but if this happens to you I will suggest taking a moment to let the alcohol wear off and think that the increase is really not that much more. How else are you gonna get home at 1230 am drunk with shopping bags?
The one benefit of the countries progression is you used to haggle with Taxi's just like tuktuk's. But in 2020 they are required to use the meter just like any taxi in north america. You will find the occasional taxi haggler, but you can just go to the next taxi and ask for the meter. I would sometimes haggle just for the fun of it and try to get a flat rate deal to my next destination. Which for me was normally towards food.
From the street vendors to high end restaurants the food is unbelievably good. Some of the best foods I have ever tried here was from street vendors and night markets. Most of the time they are community organized and family owned stalls, specializing on 1 or 2 dishes.
Like stall in front of MBK shopping mall this master of her craft is Thailand's national dish Shrimp Pad Thai. The prices to eat in Thailand is hard to resist. One plate of Pad Thai here was only $2.50 CAD or 60 baht in Thai currency, and you will find these great prices everywhere, maybe cheaper in the smaller towns.
I have backpacked Thailand in 2010 prices were even better. At that time Chang beer was 25 cents and a plate of plate Pad Thai was $1. But coming from Canada where beers are $5 and noodles is $15, Thailand is still a bargain.
Since Covid-19, going to back to thailand is gonna to take awhile, so too kick the craving I think I will make Pad Thai and post it on my next post.