8 years ago
Know Before You Go: The Philippines & Thailand
  • Posted May 30, 2013
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Every woman who has ever seen the Bachelor, has dreamt of riding elephants on the beach in Thailand, while most men probably have a different kind of Thai fantasy. Thailand and the Philippines are two gorgeous countries boasting miles of coastline, affordable accommodations and a rich history and culture. But before you travel to these Asian countries, there are a few things you should be aware of if you want to be a good travel companion.

The Philippines:

  • Apply for a visa
  • English Speaking Friendly
  • Food is safe, but don’t drink the water
  • Best places to visit: Manila, Cebu, Boracay and Subic Bay
  • Monsoon season is July to November

Most people get around via motorcycle cabs called “tricycles”, and public transportation is very affordable. There are a few areas most tourists should avoid due to crime, terrorisms and habitual kidnappings. Please do your research if you plan on going inland in the Philippines or stay in the metropolitan or resort areas for safety. Tourists are also warned to be wary of money exchangers and vendors who are known for ripping people off and harsh negotiations.


  • Apply for a visa
  • Only carry cash
  • Food is safe, but don’t drink the water
  • Best places to visit: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket

Chances are you might have heard some things about Thailand, whether it be in popular culture or from a friend. Thailand is known for embracing sexuality, known internationally as the sex capital of the world as well as a hot spot for the LGBT community. It’s also been given the unfortunate distinction of being a popular area for sex trafficking. But most people should not be concerned about safety as long as they do their research ahead of time.

Thailand is coincidentally also known for being one of the nicest countries in the world, where everyone always smiles and is courteous. A well known Thai greeting is the wai, where two people greet each other by facing each other and pressing their palms together while bowing their heads slightly. This is something you will encounter from the moment you enter the country and you should reciprocate the wai.

Everybody goes to Thailand expecting to ride an elephant, and you can. But the truth is, an elephant endures a lot in order to be trained to safely cart wide eyed tourists through a jungle or on a beach. Most elephants you will encounter are sad, abused creatures that will break your heart. Instead of supporting their abuse, visit an elephant sanctuary instead. You will still be able to interact with an elephant with out contributing to its abuse.

Ever been to Thailand or the Philippines? What would your advice be to a first time visitor? 



8 Responses to “Know Before You Go: The Philippines & Thailand”

  1. JennMT says:

    All personalities and perspectives are welcome on this blog, while personal attacks and name calling are not. It’s inevitable that there will be disagreements, but let’s handle it as mature adults with class to keep the dialog constructive and respectful. Please refer to the “Blog Etiquette” section for more details. Now comment away and let’s enjoy the blog!

  2. Ian says:

    Vacationing to the Philippines? Make sure you spend a few days in Makati City to learn of the Philippines before you head out to that fine destination by the beach. Spending a day or two in the city will give you a glimpse of what the locals are like, their cultural practices and those peculiar Filipino habits.

    When in the Metropolis avoid public transports especially at night, better take a taxi if you don’t have a rental car. Its good to be adventurous but in a lot of times its better to be safe. I travel to Manila often and know my way around and when you’re in a taxi, lock the doors and never dangle your fancy mobile phone…

    And by the way Filipinos are very friendly bunch so enjoy the Island hospitality….

  3. missmaine says:

    is not just boracay, manila and cebu that you guys should see, there are many breathtaking places you can visit in the Philippines like palawan, batanes, vigan (m2m), if you want to find some sanctuary, come here and you wont regret 🙂 everything is affordable and the people are very hospitable

  4. MsBlis says:

    Thailand is gorgeous!! I can’t wait to go back! I never saw anyone do the wai thing though! Phuket is a party city and the locals are super friendly and will tell you exactly where the best spots are! If you rent a car get a GPS and follow traffic the streets are dangerous during the day, at night most everyone walks! Oh you can also hire a cab for the day, the drivers love it and won’t ditch you if you promise a generous tip! My advice, touch the monkeys, visit the bug Buddha and avoid “the Show” if you don’t have a strong stomach and a spectacular sense of humor.
    I stayed at a 5 star resort on a private beach, for about the same price as a holiday inn!

  5. Alex says:

    Hi Jenn. You’ve put together some really handy tips in this post.. Thailand (and Asia in general, for that matter!) is such a fantastic destination. No wonder it’s proving so popular at the moment.

    Best wishes, Alex

  6. xylem says:

    You must research first about the place, the culture of the people, do check also the affordable place to stay. A lot of best places to have a vacation in asia indeed, do check asian-wonders.com for your asia travel guide. =D

  7. Adam John says:

    Hello Jenn,

    Nice comprehensive article. I live in the Philippines and have travelled to Thailand on many occasions. I would have to say that keeping your health in check is very important.

    You mentioned about drinking the water, I have met so many people who forget about this.

    Essentially use bottled water or you will most likely get sick.

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