From the Blog

September 16, 2014

A lesson in Backpacking

Straight from those that know

We recently asked our guests if they would share some of the tips they discovered while backpacking and in particular in Thailand, from their comments we have compiled the following list.

1.     You won’t need it: By Wilf Cutter

A lesson in Backpacking“The first mistake I made was before even getting on the plane it was simply trying to pack far too much into my Backpack, I must have packed the same ruck sack a dozen times and every time I thought I had removed all but the most essential of things it still weighed a hefty 30 pounds. I returned home months later with it being 50% lighter and still managed to bring back gifts for friends and family”

Our Comments: There is nothing worse than starting a new chapter in your travels with an excess baggage charge. Do ensure you know what the baggage allowance is for the airline you are flying with and bear in mind budget airlines restrict these allowances. You do not need a sleeping bag or towel, as Hostels in Thailand will provide them. Sun cream, insect repellents etc. can be purchased here, it is simply not worth carrying the biggest tubes of creams with the hope you will save a few baht unless you are looking to build up you back muscles.

 

2.     Water, water everywhere but nothing to drink: By Beth Vessel

A lesson in Backpacking“I had heard it all before and yet I still thought ‘it will not do me any harm drinking the water’ wrong, I had a nightmare and my travel plans went out of the window for 4 days”.

Our comments: Never drink anything you do not see opened in front of you and try to use a straw when drinking from a can or bottle (most convenience stores will supply you one if you ask), equally stay away from ice. On the same thread whenever you clean you’re Teeth never wash your brush or mouth with tap water always use bottled water. There is nothing funny about trying to find a decent toilet when the old tummy starts doing triple cartwheels.

 

3.     Why, why did I do it?: By Anna Brain

A lesson in Backpacking“I spent my first trip traveling during the day time and by the cheapest route possible, it cost me more in the long run and to this day I can still remember the horrible smells”

Our Comments: Try using transport that runs through-out the night as you can reduce your overall accommodation costs. Spend your money more wisely, for the sake of a few Baht more, you can get far better coach and train seats, it is always better arriving at a destination in good physical and emotional state than losing a day here and there through being cooped up in a smelly rickety bus. The costs of internal flights if booked far enough ahead can be the same cost of the train or coach here in Thailand.

 

4.     Critters: By Gale Knight

A lesson in Backpacking“I remember seeing my first rat running up the street and was horrified, it is not until you appreciate that in Thailand they farm them for food, what is someone’s worse night mare is some else’s dinner”.

Our Comments: With the climate here in Thailand it is not unusual to see cockroaches or our furry friends scurrying about the place, the kingdom is no dirtier than any other 3rd world country and a lot cleaner than most of its neighbours. While here do try to eat a bug, a bat or indeed a farmed rat you may surprise yourself on how they actually taste, one thing is for sure…..they do not taste of chicken.

 

5.     Paper backs: by Lee Dent

A lesson in Backpacking“It was not that long ago that when travelling it was always difficult to find something worth picking up to read then came salvation in the guise of a Kindle”.

Our Comment: It is worth investing in a Kindle or a small note pad and download all that you want to read in advance, instead of worrying about paperback books. Do ensure it has a descent camera and an internet facility that way you could have all your must have devises in one. Always remember to have your camera with you as the opportunity to see that elephant at play may never come around again.

 

6. Mad Dogs and Englishmen: By Dwain Lee

A lesson in Backpacking“Coming from a warm country I thought I knew enough about how the sun and heat can affect you….I was wrong”.

Our Comment: It can get very hot here and the humidity can be stifling, always ensure you drink plenty of bottled water and regularly apply a good high sun factor, suffering from dehydration or and sun stroke is never pleasant.

 

7. That’s fruity: By Gwyn Green

 

A lesson in Backpacking“I was always too scared to try the fruit as I had heard it would badly effect my stomach”

 

Our Comment: Thailand produces a vast variety of fruits, try to club together with others on your travels and try as many as you can, ask the locals how to peel them and always ensure the fruit is peeled in front of you that way there should never be a problem with the old tummy.

 

8. Lost my passport: By Dan Turvey

 

“I was for ever carrying my passport, credit cards and my ATM cards out with me and it happened…I lost the lot”

 

A lesson in BackpackingOur Comment: You do have a legal responsibility to carry ID with you in Thailand, but rather than risk losing your passport/driving license simply make a copy (picture only page) and have it/them laminated, also take a picture on your smart phone/camera of each item plus a picture of the TM Card (Embarkation Card) and the stamp in your passport showing the date you entered the kingdom, as a further safety measure back it up by sending it to a free cloud storage service e.g. Dropbox  This is a good idea for where ever you go on your travels.

Add to the laminated ID’s

  • Contact details of family/friends  in case of an emergency
  • Your travel insurance details Provider name, tele No and policy No
  • Return home flight details

Never take things out with you, that you do not expressly need for that day, try to keep the minimum cash on you and never leave valuables unattended.

 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank those that helped us compile this list and we do hope the information helps you make fewer mistakes, on what ever path you take in your travels. If you have your own words of wisdom please do send them to us and we will post them on a subsequent blog.

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