If you’ve read my blog before you know that I am a traveler and travel alone quite often. It started around 2006 while I was going through my second Divorce and working at my first real corporate job. Before then I had been a single Mom for many years and was quite content with going places on my own, or taking the kids out for hikes or weekends to visit my family so traveling alone was just a natural next step. My first time traveling alone was a business trip that a VP at our corporate office asked me to make. The offices were in Los Angeles, CA and I was based in Seattle, WA. My second Husband and I traveled a lot, so I just remembered how we did things together, just minus having him to do some things for me. That trip sparked an addiction in me to go to places outside of my home as much as possible. From visiting my parents at their winter home in Palm Desert, CA or Vashon Island, WA for the summer to checking out Kayak.com’s last minute weekend deals to Arizona or California somewhere (sorry, Kayak doesn’t have their deals anymore, but they were around $300 for 2-3 days flight and resort stay).
I started dating my third Husband in 2008 and married him in 2010. He liked that I traveled since he enjoyed traveling as well. We began traveling together and I started this blog with my my first post of our trip to Palm Desert, CA to visit my parents with the kids in November of 2009. We would often talk about places we would like to go and I would research some of the things we could do while there. Thailand was on both of our list, and became an obsession of mine. I researched on Google any chance I could get and bookmarked tours and cool places to stay on my computer. The bookmarks gathered for years and were organized by price so that we could plan based on what we could afford. In 2014 he told me he wanted a divorce and my plans for Thailand changed. I traveled to India and Nepal in 2015 and my life changed. I ended up moving to Nepal and eventually opened up a small shop in Pokhara Nepal’s popular Lakeside. Living in Nepal I met many people fro all over the world. People that also travel a lot, most of them traveling throughout Asia. Nepal was their stop either in the beginning, middle or end of their tour of Asian countries and Thailand was almost always on their list as well. I would tell them that I wanted to go someday and would most often get an earful of where to go and what to visit. Not once did I ever think to ask “Is Thailand safe?” or the thought of it being safe or not ever cross my mind.
In April of 2017, 3 months of my tourist visa were up and I had to leave Nepal for a bit before I could come back and finish out two more months on the allotted 5 months per year for tourists. The previous year I flew the 22 hours to the United States, but for $1,500 average for a flight and the cost of living in the states was way out of my price range and not worth the travel time and headache this time. So I looked at costs to fly from Nepal to Thailand, duration of flights and how much it would cost me to live there for a couple months.
Here’s what I learned:
Beautiful, elegant Thailand has always been on my personal list of must-see places. For years, I thought about a visit to this corner of the world. One day recently, I decided it was time to stop thinking about it and start doing it. I was very lucky to have to time to explore this magnificent Asian nation. If you’ve always dreamed of visiting Thailand, it’s easier than ever right now. There are lots of great flights that will bring you right in the heart of the country. You’ll find incredible food, lush countryside, amazing scenery, fabulous beaches and history that stretches back thousands of years. I am so glad I took the plunge and made this place my temporary home.
The Best Time to Visit Thailand
One of the most important questions any traveler must answer is when to go. Like any other destination, there are times of the year that are particularly popular and months and seasons that are not as busy. After thinking about it, I went there in the late spring. May and June fit into my personal schedule very well. For me, this plan had several advantages. This is the period when monsoon season starts. If you’re going at this time, keep in mind it can be a bit rainy. At the same time, there’s a real payoff. For one thing, there were virtually no tourists anywhere I went. This meant no long lines, or high prices as well as my pick of hotel rooms. It also meant that I had many of the beaches to myself. The beaches in the region are well worth seeing as they have long, clean lines of sand that gently bring you down to the waters. If you do come here during this time of the year, keep in mind that you’ll have day or even three where it would rain continually. This is a great time to explore the local towns on foot or by busy. The rain will clear away periodically. You’ll get a break of beautiful weather like I did with plenty of sunshine and beaches that are largely free of other people. If you have the patience and love solitude, this is the perfect time of year for you.
Average Cost per Day
Budgetary considerations are important before you leave. I was able to budget only $10/day and it worked for me perfectly. Each meal was about $1.50 for basic Pad Thai. For about $3 more you can get a more complex meal like Thai Basil, Fried Garlic or add meat like seafood, chicken, or beef. If you want to drink alcohol, this will increase your basic costs. I stuck to beer bought by other tourists (men often bought me drinks). Bottled water is another good option. It’s relatively cheap about $.60 each. In addition, I also made sure I had money for a few more bucks. It’s only about a buck to rent a comfortable and convenient chair on the beach for the day. This way, you don’t have to lug one with you everywhere. I also put in $1 for a coconut that a local would cut up for me and I used to help keep cool all day long. Coconuts are everywhere and they’re really cheap so try them if you can.
Best/Cheapest Places to Visit
In addition to my costs for food and relaxing on the beach, I also wanted to keep to relatively cheap places during my trip. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to do this here, especially during the rainy season when locals are happy to get income from tourists. One of my favorites is Lonely Beach. It’s got almost everything you want. It’s centrally located with clean water and lots of places to party at night. Best of all, it was pretty cheap. My bungalow was $10/night. If you want reduce your costs even further, there were some places that offered a stay for only $2/night. These are hostels and they’re a really good bargain. There are also lots of bungalows that will keep your daily rental costs at this price if you agree to eat at the onsite restaurant. It’s a good choice for the traveler who wants to get involved in the local culture or people who just want to rest and chill out the way I did when I was there.
Living Like Kings
Some tourists had a bright idea to help lower their alcohol costs. They were even able to go drinking for free. All they did was grab one of the flyers from the promoters you’ll see everywhere on the beach. They would then cash the flyers in and get their free beer as well as barbecue. After that, it was on to the next place they had in mind and cashing in by doing it again. They were living like kings that way and not spending anything. One of the great things about visiting this country is you can really do that all the time. Your biggest cost will probably be just getting to the country from another part of the world. After that, once you’re here you can take advantage of all sorts of low costs at every turn. This is the perfect place in the world to go if you want to live well but you don’t have lots of money. You don’t need much to be happy in this part of the world. I was able to keep to a very low daily budget and still enjoy myself a lot.
What I Learned From My Trip
There are lots of things I learned from my trip here. The first thing I really learned is you can go somewhere on the off season and still have a really great time. You don’t need to head out whenever everyone else does. You’ll still have fun even when it’s raining. Another thing I learned is that I don’t need a lot of money to be happy. I was able to spend lots of time in a beautiful location for very little money. Sitting on a fabulous beach is one of life’s greatest pleasures and it doesn’t have to cost very much. All I had was a nice chair, a bungalow and some basic meals — and I enjoyed myself for weeks. So what I learned most of us is that I can do almost anything and go anywhere I want. That’s the best lesson of all no matter where you or what you plan to do in your life.