Newbie World Traveler? 5 Reasons to Get Started in Thailand

You'll never forget your first passport stamp.

Goal: Become a serious world traveler. Step one: Visit Thailand. 

Why is the Southeast Asian nation a great place to get that first stamp in a blank passport? As part of our Tour Group guide to Thailand, seven travel experts who know (and love!) the place share their takes.

1.  It offers something for everyone.

“Thailand is the perfect place to get your feet wet as an amateur traveler. Geographically, the diversity is extreme —  and extremely awesome,” says Michaela Guzy of Oh The People You Meet

Annie Sustain of Travel Shus adds, “It’s got a perfect mix of beach, mountain, city, culture, temples, amazing food. Thailand is everything you’d want.”

2.  It’s exotic — but accessible.

Traveling someplace far flung where you don’t know the language can seem a little intimidating to newbie jetsetters — but Thailand is welcoming for tourists. “There’s a lot of other travelers there, so you’ll never feel alone,” Shustrin says. 

Echoing the sentiment, Jessie on a Journey's Jessica Festa adds, “They have a really advanced tourism infrastructure. You’ve got the culture, but you can also stay away from the culture shock if it’s not exactly what you want.”

Triphackr’s Clint Johnston describes it as “very friendly and laid back.” 

3.  The food is to die.

The national cuisine is recognized the world over for flavor and freshness. “Thai culture is known for amazing food. the street food is unbelievable,” Johnston says. 

What are some menu must-tries? “After you have the pad Thai, you have to get sticky mango rice. It’s so delicious,” says C'est Christine's Christine Amorose.

4.  You’ll try something new.

First-time visitors to Thailand are sure to try something new — either taking in seriously unique and breathtaking landscapes, or stepping outside of their comfort zones. 

For sheer stunning beauty, you can’t miss the beaches. “My favorite beach is Krabi beach,”  says Fresh Traveler's Patricia Serrano. “The government has made it illegal to peddle and sell on the beach. there aren’t going to be any hagglers trying to sell you stuff while you’re just chilling and enjoying the view.” 

Or make like Teri Johnson, who runs Travelista Teri, and go for an experience unknown to Americans who don't travel: “I went to a fish foot spa. What is that? Well, you’re getting a pedicure from fish and they’re nibbling at the dead skin on your feet.” Whatever works!

5.  You can spend or splurge.

“Thailand is a great destination if you want to go splurge on luxury hotels and not break the bank,” Guzy says. But Johnston points out it’s a fine place to spend $5 or $10 a night as a backpacker, too.

Your own weekly getaway awaits — Tour Group premieres Tuesday at 10/9c.

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