Thailand is a perfect stop on a RTW trip
If you are researching an extended trip, or best of all a proper round the world trip, then Thailand should definitely be on your itinerary. My first time to this country was as part of my yearlong RTW trip, and I’m planning on coming back again soon for even longer this time.
There are almost no good reasons NOT to pass through Thailand on a long trip of the area, but even still, I’d like to point out some of the best reasons to make sure to include it on your trip.
Getting to Thailand is easy
There are four major air travel hubs in Europe, three in North America, and three in Central Asia. In real terms, these are cities that you can reach in one flight from nearly anywhere on the globe. In Asia you have Hong Kong and Singapore, but really the cheapest of all is Bangkok.
This means that flights to Bangkok tend to be unusually cheap, due to crazy amounts of competition. Say you wanted to fly from Istanbul to this part of the world. If you wanted to first stop in Bali or Manila or Hanoi, it could be a rather expensive flight. But if you look at flights from Istanbul to Bangkok, which is about the same distance as those others, more or less, it’ll almost always be cheaper.
Bangkok is a great introduction to Southeast Asia
When you get to Cambodia or Laos, things get pretty serious pretty quickly. If you’ve just come from Cairo or Sydney then that could be a bit of a rude awakening and it might be difficult to really figure out how things work in SE Asia. But Bangkok is an excellent bridge between those more modern places and the lush and rural regions of this area.
First off, cheap hotels in Bangkok are pretty easy to find, and you should have no trouble scoring a nice room with A/C for around US$20 per night if you look around, and much less than that for a hostel bunk or private room in a flophouse. Some people might recommend that you steer clear of the infamous backpacker ghetto neighborhood called Kho San Road, but many people really love it there and find it’s a great place to party with people from around the world.
Plenty to do throughout Thailand
Once you see all the main sights in Bangkok it’ll be time to get deeper into your surroundings. Thailand adventure tours are popular and they are quite cheap if you look around a bit. You can book these sorts of things from Bangkok, but that is not always a great idea. Competition among local firms is fierce so many of them cut corners in order to keep their prices down. If you are buying travel medical insurance this might not be a big deal, but if you are just out there winging it you might consider going with one of the better known companies.
Have a mini holiday in Thailand
Most travelers looking for a bit of culture will love Bangkok as well as Chiang Mai up in the north, but if you are more interested in sitting on a lovely beach and enjoying reasonably priced drinks then Thailand has got you covered. Phuket is a possibility, though it’s more known for posh resorts than for cheap bungalows. Look into Kho Samui and the islands on that side of the peninsula. For very little money you can book a really nice room on the beach that will probably be more interesting than a large resort in Phuket anyway.