Thailand travel tips for tourists who are traveling off the beaten track need to be a little different. It also requires a different mindset than that of the typical tourist. It is easy to fill your Thai holiday if you have a busy itinerary of popular tourist attractions in Bangkok or boating excursions on the islands. When you go off the beaten track to Northeastern Thai provinces like Sakon Nakhon, you have to make a more concerted effort to create a great travel experience. But it is that personal effort which makes off the beaten track holidays so rewarding and unforgettable (and often life changing). It’s the difference between being a spectator and a player in the tourism game.
Over the years, we have developed what we call the 5 by 5 itinerary for traveling off the beaten track in Thailand (or in any country). It’s not your typical tourism itinerary, but more like basic Thai Travel Tips for how to approach each day of your holiday, guidelines which (if you follow them) guarantee that you’ll end the day feeling good, your spirit and mind filled with a sense of accomplishment. In fact, these tips are also a good way to approach every day of your life.
The key word here is “find”. Don’t just be satisfied with photographing something beautiful that every tourist photographs in the usual way. Look for interesting objects, quirky products, flora and fauna, and unusual perspectives. Aim for photographs that your friends on Facebook will say “Wow!” or “Cool!” when you post them on Facebook. Sharing your beautiful finds with others is uplifting, because the world needs more beauty these days.
When traveling in Thailand, you are going to see lots of things you have never seen before. Don’t just wonder about them, and leave it at that. If you visit a Thai temple and are curious about a Buddhist or Hindu statue you see, take a photo and use Google’s photo search to learn more about the mythological figure. When off the beaten track, you aren’t going to see many English signs. So, use the camera function of Google Translate to instantly translate Thai signage into English. Learn some new Thai language and practice speaking it to someone. Look for unusual items in shops and see what you can learn about them. Share anything fascinating that you learn with your friends on Facebook. Everyone likes learning about cool things.
This is also an easy one to accomplish when traveling in Thailand. You may have your favorite Thai dishes from eating at Thai restaurants at your home country, but don’t simply stick to those! Try as many different Thai dishes, desserts, and drinks that you can. Don’t be afraid of tasting fried crickets just once! Take a motorcycle or tuk tuk taxi. Visit a Thailand art gallery. Do a workshop involving traditional Thai arts and craft, such as Indigo dying or weaving. Meditate at the top of a mountain! Visit a Thailand spiritual retreat. The possibilities are really endless.
Feeling a sense gratitude (and expressing it silently to yourself or out loud to others) is one of the best ways that you can increase your overall happiness level. There are so many things (big and small) that we should feel grateful for, but we ignore or either take for granted. Take nothing for granted! Modern life is filled with things that people 100 years ago would have viewed as a miracle. It’s a wonderful world. Be thankful for it. And be especially thankful for the Thai smiles you see each day, and every little bit of friendly hospitality that is extended to you.
We have all heard that expression about performing random acts of kindnesses. Make it a daily part of your holiday in Thailand. When you start actually looking for kindness opportunities, you’ll be astounded how many there are. Little things, like smiling at others, being courteous, picking up a piece of litter, offering a seat to someone who is standing, refusing to lose your patience or getting angry (even if it is justified), accepting that Thai culture is different than your own and embracing those differences when interacting with Thai people, showing genuine interest in what others are saying to you or showing you, offering to help someone who is struggling lift a heavy object, paying a generous tip, etc., etc., etc.
If you practice these 5 by 5 Thailand travel tips every day, you can be assured of an enriching holiday.