Without a Hitch, Roughing It in Thailand

Nothing beats true adventure tours in Thailand. It is a land of fun, exotic cuisine and a melting pot of culture unique even in Southeast Asia. It has something for everyone – but especially for an intrepid jungle trekker and outdoor explorer. Strap that backpack on and enter a steamy, mysterious world where temples and skyscrapers sit squarely next to each other.

Before you pack your bags, keep a few things in mind:

Pack smart. Packing light means packing smart. Look for light garments that can be easily folded, washed and reused. Multifunction garments are a must. Pack a light blanket and towel. Accommodation here is wonderfully welcoming, but you may find yourself stranded outside the common bathroom with a towel older than you!

Get the best backpack and pair of good shoes you can afford. You will be riding a lot of tuk-tuks (pedicabs), buses, walking the towns and villages and more. Well-made gear will last through the weather and travel, but also stop your back from aching, your feet from swelling and turning your adventure into an exercise in misery.

Cash on hand. If you can change money before you leave your country, do so. Exchange rates are higher in airports, so you may not get the most out of your money. You do not want to end up stranded at the airport without a single baht to your name while some tourist hawker waves a Tours in Thailand sign at you!

Water. This may be a tired maxim but tours in Thailand can be ruined by a bout of stomach flu, or a fever you just quite cannot shake. Developed country stomachs cannot handle water from the tap so buy bottled every time. If you cannot stand the thought of constantly having to pay for water, bring a filtration device or a reusable tumbler.

Eat everything cooked. Until you acclimatise (or until your stomach does) avoid fresh greens or raw fruit. [Unless you are travel-savvy enough to have packed vegetable wash.] Looking forward to eating fresh greens? Mix one part vinegar to three parts water to rinse your veggies in – it is an organic wash that can help kill microorganisms.

Bring meds. Check and double check your painkillers, vitamins and any medical necessities. You may want to add a few water purification tablets too. Over-the-counter meds are not a rarity in Thailand, but you do not want to find yourself stranded in the middle of a temple tour with a nasty case of the hives. If you are allergic to food or medication, keep a note on your person (preferably somewhere where it can easily be seen) in English and if possible, Thai.

Stay fit. If you are used to exercise, hit the markets and temples right off the bat to help you work off that jet lag. Rent a bike to tour the city if you want to keep up your exercise regime, sign up for a muay thai class if you have the time, swim or dive.

Use the network. Before checking into a hotel or signing up for a tour, use the power of the Internet. Many ratings websites give you an honest write up. Join forums, ask questions and plan out your route and trip accordingly.

This exotic Asian country is an adventures haven. Many tours in Thailand are geared towards the discerning backpacker. Make the right decisions and your money will go a long way towards creating that out of the country experience you have always wanted.