Traveling is on the top of many people’s bucket list, and one of the most popular destinations amongst travelers is Thailand. This southwestern Asian country offers a huge diversity of experiences. Whether you prefer the hustle and bustle of a city break, a relaxing beach vacation, or a historical or wildlife-based trip, Thailand has something to offer to every person who chooses to visit. It is also very affordable, has delicious food and great deals when it comes to shopping.
However, due to it being such a popular tourist destination, you may want to make your experience in Thailand completely unique. A great way to do so is by experiencing the country as a local rather than a tourist. To help you achieve that, here are 6 tips to follow.
Learn Basic Thai
One of the best ways to begin life as a local in Thailand is by learning the Thai language. This will make communicating with the locals easier and many will instantly warm up to you because they will be impressed and appreciate the effort. Learning the basic phrases and other useful words will make you appear polite and will really help you to truly immerse yourself in your surroundings.
Stay in a Village
Thailand consists of more than just the large cities and beach resorts. In order to experience real rural life, you should consider staying with a host family in one of the local villages. Many of the Thai tourism agencies out there will offer a wide selection of Homestay experiences, from mountain settlements to seaside hamlets. A translator is provided, which will make it easier to communicate with the locals.
Cook Thai Food
Everyone enjoys eating Thai food, but it is rare for people to know how to cook it unless they are local of course. If you love the food and want to immerse yourself in Thai culture, then you should sign up for a Thai cooking class. Most of the Thai cooking schools out there will offer a half-day course for guests. Each class is different and will consist of studying ingredients and hand-on cooking.
Ride a Motorbike Taxi
Living like a local in Thailand does not mean that you have to get yourself stuck in traffic for hours on end. Instead of using an expensive taxi or touristy tuk-tuk to get around the country, you should choose to ride a motorbike taxi instead. The motorcyclists will know exactly where they are going and will get you to your destination faster. They are also more affordable. Just make sure you wear your helmet.
Try Street Food
While you can enjoy the famous Thai cuisine at any restaurant, if you want to immerse yourself in the local scene, you should try some of the Thai street food on offer. This authentic culinary experience will trigger a range of emotions, especially if you choose to take in a mouthful of crunchy insects. There will be some delicious delicacies too, such as kluay tod and spicy tom yum goong.
Haggle at Night Markets
Visiting Thailand’s night markets is popular amongst tourists, but not many have the confidence to haggle like the locals do. Trying to grab yourself a bargain is easier than many people think. Bringing out your inner salesperson, while impressing store owners with the basic Thai phrases will impress a stall owner to a point where they lower the price. You will be surprised at how much you can save.
Living like a Thai local does not require much effort, but the experiences and the memories you make will be truly unique and unforgettable. It also means you can see all of the things that the tourists go to Thailand for, plus many more hidden gems.