Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Backpacking: Thailand

Ultimate beginner’s guide to backpacking: Thailand

 

After traveling through Thailand we have compiled all our tips and tricks to make this ultimate guide for all those excited, yet nervous backpackers out there! As you read through this guide you will find everything you need to know about accommodation, transportation, activities and food. Without further ado let’s get into it! 

Best time to go:

Depending on your travel type, whether you want a quiet oasis vacation or want to meet as many new people as possible, will depend on the seasons

High season- November- February

– Expect tours and accommodation to be racked up pretty high and also super busy

– Lots of people decide to go at this time so lots of 18-30 year old’s traveling around this time

– Along with this time the weather is generally known as the ‘cooler months’. Which is still close to and over 30 degrees

Low Season- February to October

– Lower pricing on almost everything

– I find this time easier to barter pricing, due to it being a bit slower and everyone wanting business

– Along with this, the weather is generally the hotter months of the year, June-August you are getting up to 40 degree in temperature (Keep that in mind)

Events:

Based on what time of year you decide to go will also depend on what major event or holidays they have going on:

 

Jan 1: Western new years, still a huge deal for them as well.

February 11: Makha Bucha now these days vary on which specific day it will land on due to where the moon is in its cycle. This is a very important day in Buddhist history.

April 6: Chakri, A day to pay respects to the Royal Family.

April 13-15: Thai new year, most important holiday in all of Thailand. Filled with lots of festivals, parades, and expect to get wet while traveling through this time as they use to cleanse themselves for the new year!

May 5: Coronation day, A day where the country celebrates the current King.

June 4: Visakha Puja, a Buddhist holiday where a Buddhist celebrates 3 major events in his life: Birth, Enlightenment and Death.

July 8: Another day that falls on a different day each year due to the cycle of the moon, this day celebrates a Buddhist sermon day.

August 12: Is both the Queen Birthday as well as Mother’s day in Thailand.

October 23: Chulalongkorn Day, celebrating King Chulalongkorn’s life and death. He was the king that allowed Thailand to a freedom of religion and also Thailand’s independence.

November 3: Loi Kratong, another festival that depends upon the cycle of the moon. This is not a National Holiday but it is a huge festival celebrated on the 12th full moon. This is also known as the “Festival of lights” everyone floats candles down the river canals or releases floating lanterns.  December 5: Father’s day in Thailand.

December 10: Constitution day, the day Thailand signed its own constitution.

 

As well as the Full Moon party festival, now this celebration also depends on when the full moon of the month would be, you can visit the full moon site to find out the exact dates.

 

Activities:

Looking to do something during the days or at night, you can pretty much find anything to do. Along the beaches there will always have options to go island hopping or go on a boat tour, but on your more laid back days you could go paddle boarding or surfing. There is a lot of different places that offer daily packages, do your research and search around. Some companies will have online reviews or you might find good places form fellow travelers, take your time to find the best options.

( I will have a blog post of different things to do in each place very soon, stay tuned!)

Accommodation:

Everything is relatively cheap in Asia, we never planned anything too far ahead. We liked the freedom to plan day by day for the fact that if we did or did not like the place we were staying we could go somewhere else or stay a little longer since we had the flexibility. The two booking apps we ONLY used were hostelworld.com and booking.com. These two companies helped us out tremendously and made our bookings issue free. Now depending on your travel type and budget, accommodations can range anywhere from $3-$60 a night!
( I will have a blog post of the TOP places to stay in different places soon, stay tuned!)

Transportation: 

Transportations can be one of the more extravagant expenses over seas. The options available are:

Tuk-Tuk’s – Can range from 30baht to 300baht ($1.15can- $11.50can) This is one of the harder things to barter in Thailand but be aware and don’t let them rip you off! 1500baht is WAY to expensive and 500baht is still pretty pricey!

Taxi’s – Make sure when getting a taxi that it is a metered taxi or they will charge you like crazy!

Busses – Good for long routes throughout the country, however, unless you are really good at directions and constantly paying attention the bus in the cities can be more difficult to follow.

Motorcycles – Pretty cheap to rent day by day, only downside is they take your passport for insurance purposes. Also there are a lot of other travelers looking to sell their motorcycles so it’s easy to find one to buy in hostels and hotels, which can be a cheaper option.

 

Food:

You MUST try street food, some of the food will look gross but some of it will be the best thing you’ve ever had! Lots of Thai food is very spicy but also packed full of flavor! Don’t be afraid to try something new! If you are still hesitant and you just want to stick with western food there are a lot of restaurants with available options!

 

Tours:

Now, if you are not ready to do things on your own quite yet, there are some great travel companies you can book through!

Contiki – Packages start at $5,799 for 27 days or go as low as $880 for 9 days! They have tours for north and south Thailand, also plenty of island hopper tours. This website gives you great travel options as well as payment plans so you don’t have to pay all up front!

If you decide to book with them you can click on this link for some serious savings!!

http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-8308014-12845457

 

Life before work – This travel company is more targeted towards the younger demographic. The people you meet through this company will be those who are big into adventures and looking to have a good time! Packages start at $6,770 for 80 days or go as low as $990 for 11 days. These tours have the options to really combine any tour together.

 

Busabout – These last two companies have great options for those freestyle travelers. Busabout has great options and tours for a wide range of travelers with all different travel styles. Ages range to a high demographic, rather than it being more in the twenty age range. Tours usually start at $800 and go upwards from there.

 

Free and Easy Traveler – Another great freestyle travel company for those wanting the freedom to explore. I have heard such great reviews from friends who have booked with this company. They allow you to have a “set schedule” but also give you a ton of free time to explore on your own.

 

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21 photos that will make you want to go to South East Asia NOW!

After coming back from South East Asia all we have wanted to do is get on the next flight out and go back. I thought I would bring the beauty of these wonderful countries to you. Enjoy!

20161116_175330604_iOS.jpgChao Phraya River, Bangkok

20161118_075943192_iOS.jpgAngkor Wat, Siem Reap

20161127_051043315_iOS.jpgKoh Rong Samloem, Cambodia

20161201_020744730_iOS.jpgEnjoying coffee- DaLat country side, Vietnam

20161201_040242571_iOSBig Smiling Buddah, DaLat country side

DCIM100GOPROCanoeing through HaLong Bay, Vietnam

20161207_000734487_iOSCat Ba- HaLong Bay, Vietnam

20161211_042146000_iOS.jpgElephant Jungle Sanctuary, Chiang Mai

20161211_185622000_iOS.jpgElephant Jungle Sanctuary, Chiang Mai

20161220_091410211_iOSBig Buddha, Phuket

20161214_123205771_iOSFull Moon Party, Koh Phangan

 

20161117_085246149_iOS.jpgTukTuk through Siem Reap, Cambodia

 

20161206_083922.jpgHiking through the caves in HaLong bay, Vietnam

20161201_103648.jpgHiking through Elephant waterfall, DaLat.

20161117_094448040_iOS.jpgSiem Reap, Cambodia

 

20161210_094051292_iOS.jpg3D art museum, Chiang Mai

20161205_073731392_iOS.jpgHaLong Bay, Vietnam

Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Island hopping through Cambodia

Full Moon Party, Koh Phangan

Railay Beach, Thailand

 

Now go out and explore this spectacular world of ours!

Josh & Hannah

P.S. Make sure to go follow us on our social media so you’re kept up to date with all of our adventures. 🙂

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Doing Calgary Stampede right.. FOOOD STYLE

If you have no idea what the Calgary Stampede is then you’ve come to the right place. Stampede is a once of year occurrence where the entire city dusts off their cowboy boots and hats and everyone plays cowboys for 10 days. But don’t expect your new expensive cowboy boots to stay nice for very long as the weather turns the entire city into a freaking ocean. Also a time where people get so wasted that they get Eiffel towered behind a bar.

Wheeew, now that we have gotten the somewhat negatives out of the way there are a ton of positives to look forward to every year.

Calgary Stampede
Calgary Stampede

Rodeo’s and Chuck wagons

Now if you’re a true cowboy then this will spark your interest… Now since this isn’t a blog about being a cowboy. Long story short, you get to see people flown into the air by wild animals. You also participate yelling at the top of your lungs at some horses with wagons race around a race track.

Chuckwagon Races
Chuckwagon Races

There is also lots of entertain from rides to winning prize and of course alcohol being a big factor but, let’s get to the most exciting part. FOOOOOODDDD.

Now Josh and I’s main goal is to literally eat our way through the world so you’ll see a lot of food on this blog. (Sorry to those who are hungry) But every year we go down to the Stampede with a wad of cash and eat till we roll out of the grounds. Now with that being said there was 34 new food items to try and I don’t know about you but we are NOT Olympic eating champions, so we tried what we could find and what our stomachs could handle.

You can take a look at the blog that the Calgary Stampede put out to see what we could’ve ate.

http://blog.calgarystampede.com/2016/05/03/34-new-foods-hit-the-stampede-midway-in-2016/

 

Feast your eyes on this delicious dishes

BIG PICKLE CORNDOG

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Now this was definitely invented by someone with a love of pickles, we really built up high hopes for this one but was shortly disappointed with the taste factor. You could definitely taste the deep fried batter but if we were to be blind folded you would’ve never known there was a hotdog inside that pickle.

 

MAC AND CHEESE STUFFED BURGER

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Yet another dish we built up high hopes for and being such mac and cheese lovers this was sad to see the burger was not stuffed how they advertised it. Now we know that advertisement lies most of the time but we were expecting more. On the other hand the burger it’s self was to die for, savory meat and a great balance with the toppings, definitely would eat this one again!

 

GOD FATHER MAC AND CHEESE

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Of course we had two mac and cheese dishes… But OH MY GOODNESS this was so flipping good! The only down side to this dish was it was super filling and get really chewy the more cheesy goodness you had; we decided to take this one home to eat later.

 

DEEPFRIED OREO MILKSHAKE

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And this is where we get diabetes, I am not sure how on top of everything we ate leading up to this we still managed to finish this. But oh my, this was the best milkshake I think I ever had. It had such a smooth consistency that we drank the entire thing without even noticing it, oops…

 

CHICKEN TERIYAKI PEROGIES

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I don’t even know where to start with these. This was the top of my list to try out and man it was worth wait. Sadly we had such a hard time finding this food stand but when we did I could not contain my happiness, kind of like a child on Christmas day hehe… These were by far the best things we ate this year, we almost got a second round. 10/10 would recommend!

 

DEEPFRIED REESES PEANUT BUTTER CUPS

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This was the one hing that was not advertised on the original blog we found but this was something we didn’t see last year so we thought why not! Myself having the sweet tooth this was delicious. The only down side is that it was a mess after the first bite in so grab a ton of napkins!

 

 

DEEP-FRIED TEQUILA SHOTS

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Spoiler alert this wasn’t real tequila… Sadly because these were sold on the midway they technically can’t sell liquor on the midway. These lovely deep-fried cake cubes were merely infused with tequila so by the time they were deep-fried they weren’t really tequila shots. The first one I had, had a ton of flavor but Josh’s and my next ones just simply tasted like batter. I was very sad about these…

 

And last but very not least

 

POUTINE STUFFED CORNDOG

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Now we had to have this one the second day we went cause after the tequila shots we weren’t feeling well. Now these corndogs were not what we were expecting, they were actually pretty darn good. They came with homemade gravy which kind put the cherry on top of it, and no there was not fries inside it was just a dog mixed with cheese curds, but what a great dish to end this year’s eating extravaganza!

 

 

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Until next time <3

Our first EVER post: Start here

Wow. Our first EVER post?! We never thought in a hundred years that we would be starting a blog post. Don’t get me wrong neither myself or Josh was ever good a English so it’s like we are in a different life, haha. All jokes…

Now where to start? I guess you should know some thing about us.

10 FACTS ABOUT JOSH:

1)  I was born in Missisaga, ON 22 years ago then moved to Tsawwassen, BC then I moved once more to a little town called Okotoks, AB all before the age of 10, but don’t worry I have not moved since.. 🙂

2) I have a little brother that sometimes I love but then I really dislike strongly at the same time…  He decided to pack up and leave for school across Canada, so why not leave and travel for months too?

3) I grew up playing hockey and lacrosse. But between the two of them I decided lacrosse was by far my favorite sport so I have played for the last 15 years.

4) I love always being active, from being outdoors or even just a couple hours at the gym.

5) And what kind of guy would I be if I wasn’t in love with gaming? So I guess that’s number 5.

6) I am kind of an adrenaline junkie so to get my fix every once and awhile I purchased a motorcycle a couple years ago.

7) I recently had a good friend pass away, who’s passing really made me re think about how short life is and what is out there to experience.

8) If I could live off of one food for the rest of my life, it would be a nice juicy steak.. Man I could go for a good steak right about now.

9) I am a band-aid, now that I have thought of it I don’t think I’ve ever made it through a season of lacrosse without hurting myself.

10) I’ve always wanted to travel  but since meeting Hannah she has grown my travel bug 100x more in size.

 

 

10  FACTS ABOUT HANNAH:

1) I was born and raised in a small town in Northern BC 20 years ago called Dawson creek (and no not where the TV show was filmed..)

2) On just my dad’s side alone there is over 100 relatives from aunts, uncles, cousin, second cousins, you name it. There is A LOT of us, and still growing!

3) I have had a strong passion for music and singing since I was 2 years of age. Ever since then I’ve competed in singing competitions, talent shows, lead roles in plays, etc.

4) I have played volleyball for 11 years up until this year, which is the first year I haven’t, due to the fact that I had knee surgery in December from a volleyball injury which has put that sport on hold 🙁

5) I have three tattoo’s and counting, all of which have great significant meaning to me.

6) I have a pin collection that I started when I was 8 years of age and it is my sole purpose for the rest of my life to get a pin from every city. (we got a lot of traveling ahead of us)

7) My biggest role models are my mom & dad. I don’t know what I would do without them. They have been there through the best and worst times of my life and I couldn’t appreciate them more. <3

8) My favorite movie of all time has to be the Devil Wears Prada, nothing better than a strong independent women sticking it to the man.

9) I am such a kid at heart, like I still cry at Bambi every time I watch it & come on who didn’t love baby Dory on Finding Dory. ADORABLE.

10) If I could live on one food the rest of my life it would be PIZZAAAAA!!

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Now it’s like you’re our friends, so welcome to our story!

 

As for traveling here are some of our plans for the next year or so.

In November we would like to travel to Thailand and attend the Full moon party there! That plan is still on the back burner, but Australia/ New Zealand is the top of our list.

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Not sure how long we will stay but we plan on just buying a ticket for December and taking off! You know maybe we will run into a group of hippies like my cousin did and just travel all over Australia, honestly we have no set plan we just want to start somewhere!

So since we have 6 months before our big adventure we will be doing more and weekend trips, hiking, and lots of adventuring to give you guys some fun blogs before the more fun blogs come along.. ahah.

Stay tuned 🙂

 

About Us!

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Welcome to our page!

Our names are Hannah and Josh, we both grew up in small towns in Canada where we found that they were not able to give us the outcome we dreamed for; so we packed up and moved to the big city. We both met each other going to school in Calgary, AB, became friends and started to fall in love. Not long ago we realized we wanted to do more and spend more time together, so we question each other why not travel? We thought to ourselves there has to be more than just 9-5 jobs every day of our life till we are 75 years of age… That was not what we wanted. So here we are planning out the rest of our lives to travel.

 

Follow us on our journey 🙂