Saturday, November 09, 2013

Tips: Solo non-Thai-speaking Female Traveler to (some parts of) Thailand

Returning safely from a solo backpacking trip to Trang (Thailand) recently, I have been wanting to write a post like this. As far as I am concerned, I had had difficulty seeking some useful tips for a first timer like me =) Whatsmore, travelling to a town where not many have heard of. I think the tips could be valuable for not just ladies, but everyone who intends to travel to some parts of the land. To disclaim, this post is strictly applicable to travelling to some rather not so commercialized and remote districts of amazing Thai soil. 

Sneak peek of quiet Trang

Tip 1. Equip yourself a Thai language dictionary, or keep quiet

I found that majority locals do not speak English. Local coffee shop workers, hotel masseurs and vendors in the morning markets do not speak English. Worse still, local tour guides do not speak good English. Sign language helps, but not much. Hence, you are most advisable to bring along a dictionary for a fulfilling trip. I am not saying that my trip wasn't  fun but you know, it could have been better if I was warned of this. Many local pharmacists, some shopkeepers and Sri-Trang Hotel receptionist speak English clearly, and succinctly.

Tip 2. The power of bargaining

Everything in Thailand is cheap when it is converted to most of the currencies. Yet, I despise those who bloodsuck us just because we are tourists/ travelers / backpackers. Anyways, save and except for 7-11 and supermarkets and shops/hotels/places where prices of goods are clearly spelled out, I may suggest you to try bargain your way out. Cab or tut-tut drivers would use their best endeavour to overcharge you. All you need to do is to ask how much are they charging before the journey, start bargaining by letting them know the lowest price you are willing to pay and bargain thereof. Eventually, you may not be paying the lowest price you desire, but let me assure you that a fairer price would be paid .
After all,  all of us hope to travel smartly  =)