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How to Get a Thai Tourist Visa as a U.S. Citizen

True story: I almost didn’t have my visa in time for my departure to Thailand. Thai visas are one of the more complicated to obtain and there are many rules and regulations, which is why I want to tell you all how to get a Thai Tourist Visa. It’s important that you alott yourself enough time before traveling to Thailand to ensure you receive your passport and visa back from the consulate in time for your trip.

thailand visa for us citizen

This is how to get a Thai Tourist Visa if you’re a United States citizen.

Note: You must have at least 1 blank page left on your passport and at least 6 months validity until passport expiration to apply for a Thai visa.

Step 1: Decide which type of Thai Visa you need.

The U.S. Embassy to Thailand will give you more in-depth information.

Tourist Visa

If you want to travel Thailand for more than 30 days, you will be required to get a Tourist Visa prior to arriving in Thailand.

  • Single Entry Visa:

    The tourist visa must generally be used within 90 days from the date of issue and allows an initial stay of 60 days. Once in Thailand, you can extend your visa for an additional 30 days, for a 90 day total. To extend your visa, it costs 1900 baht and you can do so at the immigration office in Chiang Mai or Bangkok.

  • Multiple Entry Visa: 

    For longterm Digital Nomads, this is the solution to your worries. If you want to stay in Thailand for longer than 90 days, you’ll have to get a Multiple Entry Visa. If you’ve ever heard of the term “border runs,” you’ll get further aquainted with them during your stay in Thailand. You also might need to show bank statements to prove you have a minimum of $7,000 USD in the bank when applying for your Thai tourist visa.

Work Visa

All foreigners interested in working in Thailand must obtain a Thai work permit and a Thai work visa.  In order to receive a work permit, a company, foreign government, or other organization in Thailand must file an application on the behalf of the work visa applicant. Once obtained, the work visa is valid for one year.  For more information, please consult the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Royal Thai Embassy in Washington, D.C. websites.

how to get thai visaStep 2. Say Cheese!

You’ll need 2 identical headshots of yourself. With all the requirements that go into a passport or visa photos, it’s easiest to meet the needs by going to a drug store like CVS, Duane Reade, or Boots and get your photo taken. You’ll need 2 photos sized 3.5×4.5 cm.

Step 3: Get the right envelope and paperwork

First thing’s first –> Print Visa Application from online.

The Thai Consulate is pretty specific when it comes to how they want to receive your application and passport to review. Pick up a USPS Express Mail envelope with the $22.95 stamp and include: visa application, passport (yes, your actual passport) recent photos, print out of arrival and return flights. If you don’t have onwards plans solidifed when you apply for your visa, it’s a safe bet to book a cheap throwaway flight if you have to or rent a ticket from FlyOnward.

I found a $70 flight to Kuala Lumpur through AirAsia that I purchased for the sole purpose of including in my visa application and show to immigration upon arrival.

Be sure you include in your envelope:

  • A copy of your bank statements to show at least the equivalent of appx. $700 per person.
  • A return envelope so they can mail your passport back to you
  • Arrival and return flight information
  • Your passport
  • Visa Processing Fee:   $40 USD
    Payable in money order only, made payable to “Royal Thai Embassy”.

Mailing address:
Consular Office
Royal Thai Embassy
2300 Kalorama Rd., N.W.
Washington,D.C 20008-1623

Please allot for about 2 weeks turnaround time once you mail in your application for it to be reviewed and sent back to you.

Do not overstay your Thai visa!

It is illegal to overstay your visa in Thailand. And I don’t mean illegal like crossing a street when the light is red, I mean illegal illegal. It is not fun to be detained or questioned in a foreign country, especially an Asian or Middle Eastern country where rules aren’t as lenient. The fine for overstaying a visa is 500 Baht per day, up to a maximum of 20,000 Baht.

And most importantly, have fun in Thailand!

 

Hi, I’m Chelse! I am a Digital Nomad obsessed with traveling the world and seeking adventure beyond the 9-5 office life. When I turned 25 I decided that I was going to stop making excuses and do what I’ve always dreamed. I went from having 0 stamps in my passport to 7 countries in 7 months. I encourage anyone who wants to live a Digital Nomad lifestyle to just buy the ticket first, and figure out the rest later!

Work Abroad with These 7 Remote Jobs

work abroad

Working and living abroad is a dream for many wanderlusters, especially for the millenial generation. I’m a great example of someone who took their own job abroad and am now a Digital Nomad traveling through Southeast Asia with my laptop, passport, and love of exploring new corners of the world.

If you’re ready to earn a living while living internationally, work abroad with these remote jobs!

TEFL/ESL

Teaching English as a Foreign Language or English as a Second Language is a popular option for travelers in their 20’s and 30’s who want to see the world, experience new cultures and enrich both the lives of themselves and their students. There are thousands of opportunities for TEFL, and the best part? You do not need an official degree in teaching to be eligible.

Of course, you will need to complete the necessary certification and be able to demonstrate that you will provide a high-quality educational experience, but if you meet those expectations, go for it!

Learn more about the TEFL program and get certified or view the top 10 TEFL job markets and salaries.

Interexchange

Interexchange’s motto is “Uniting People Through International Exchange.” The program features several different varieties of jobs and opportunities in many different fields including being an Au Pair, Volunteer, Teaching English, or working in travel and hospitality such as a restaurant, hotel, or tourist attraction.

Interexchange promises to guide you through the application process, match you with an employer, and answer any questions along the way.

FreelanceDigital Nomad Jobs

One of the most common avenues for travelers and Digital Nomads is being a professional freelancer. If you hustle and have the talent, you can make more than enough to survive by becoming a writer, social media manager, marketing consultant, coder, graphic designer, or any other computer-based profession that can be done remotely while you live and work abroad.

If you don’t have a steady client base just yet, check out Elance, Fiverr, UpWork, and Freelance.com for work.

Digital Nomad Coordinator

Remote Year is currently hiring  for a Videographer and Program Leader and with the Digital Nomad lifestyle exploding, it’s likely that several other travel + work programs will be expanding steadily. If you don’t see any open listings, contact Coliving and Coworking facilities and inquire about possible employment possibilities. Or, perhaps organize a trade exchange. Such as offering to work 15 hours per month in exchange for a free desk at the coworking office, likely saving you around $100 – $200 per month.

Other Remote Work programs include:

YonderWork

Remote Experience

Hacker Paradise

We Roam

Peace Corps

The Peace Corps is an incredible U.S. program that sends volunteers across the world for making a difference hands-on through health and education initiatives, agriculture, community building and more. At the end of your 27 month journey, you will be given a stipend to help you re-acclimate and the Peace Corps can also help you pay off some student debt.

Is Peace Corps Right for Me?

I know a young woman who is currently serving in Swaziland and I am so moved by her dedication and thankful she posts photos to social media. This option truly allows you to make a difference while assimilating into local culture.

 

Photo Credit: Samantha Snodgrass, PC Swaziland
Photo Credit: Samantha Snodgrass, PC Swaziland
Photo Credit: Samantha Snodgrass, PC Swaziland
Photo Credit: Samantha Snodgrass, PC Swaziland

Startup Founder

business startup digital nomad

If you want to take your business idea to the next level, becoming a founder as a Digital Nomad is as popular as ever. Once you launch, I highly recommend 2 things: sign up for as many presentations and business development seminars as possible. This is what makes Chiang Mai so desirable for business owners to work abroad.

The second thing is to grow your online presence and social media. Check out this Social Media Academy. It’s a self-paced online “course” that teaches you everything you need to know about professional use of Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest for your new business. I see, time and time again, businesses who think they don’t need to invest time and money into their online presence, and they are so wrong.

Cruise Employee

International cruise companies like Norweigian and Carnival are always actively recruiting young adults to live and work at sea. Job openings include kitchen staff, maintenence, housekeeping, day care attendants, and so much more. You can find almost any type of job aboard these vessels – even performing! Audition to be an entertainer on board and it might be your first step to becoming a star.

Royal Caribbean Career Opportunities

Disney Cruise Line Careers

Princess Cruise Line Career Opportunities

Carnival Career Opportunities

SilverSea Career Opportunities

If you’re from the United States, check out the State Department’s website for a list of helpful programs and legitimate ways to work abroad.

Hi, I’m Chelse! I am a Digital Nomad obsessed with traveling the world and seeking adventure beyond the 9-5 office life. When I turned 25 I decided that I was going to stop making excuses and do what I’ve always dreamed. I went from having 0 stamps in my passport to 7 countries in 7 months. I encourage anyone who wants to live a Digital Nomad lifestyle to just buy the ticket first, and figure out the rest later!

The Most Important Lessons of Being a Female Digital Nomad

female digital nomad london

These are the Most Important Things I’ve Learned Being a Female Digital Nomad

There are many things I’ve learned about my myself and the world around me during my first few months of being a Female Digital Nomad. In my opinion, these experiences are priceless and have taught me more than any job, parent, friend, or classroom, ever could.

Most lessons come with experience, and as I travel to more places, I’ll be able to pick up more along knowledge the way. But there are a few core truths I’ve learned so far. And in my opinion, these are the most important things I’ve learned so far from being a Female Digital Nomad.

Listen To Your Gut

If being a Female Digital Nomad means you’re traveling solo, one of the most important things to keep you safe is to listen to your gut and pay attention to your surroundings. If you are walking down the street in the dark or a particular taxi driver is giving you bad vibes, don’t feel about about stopping in your tracks and getting yourself out of that situation as soon as possible.

I once lied about my songtaew stop in Chiang Mai for no other reason than I didn’t like the new passengers who hopped on board. I was supposed to get off about a mile away, but I hopped off the back of the red truck, paid the driver 20 baht, and waited for the next one. No biggie, because peace of mind is priceless.

I was supposed to visit Sydney, Australia recently and I didn’t get on a plane as I was boarding.  I wasted hundreds of dollars I had already spent on a non-refundable flight and hostel for the sole reason that I had a panic attack physically could not get on the plane. It just didn’t feel right. I followed my intuition, but I didn’t feel good about it. I knew I was wasting money, but I don’t have any regrets. I’ll get to Sydney another time. Your peace of mind being a female Digital Nomad is priceless, and that is one of the most significant things I’ve had to learn.

Buy Travel Insurance, Splurge on Flight Protection

flight protection

I have travel insurance through World Nomads and Travelex, but I just recently began adding flight protection when I book my tickets.

Hindsight is 20/20 because I reallyyyy wish I had bought insurance for that flight to Australia that I didn’t get on because $500 is a lot of money to lose on an unrefundable ticket. But I don’t purchase flight protection for all of my adventures – I usually abide by the $300 rule. Meaning, in my opinion, flight insurance is only really worth it if your flight is over $300. My standard travel insurance World Nomads didn’t cover the missed flight, nor did I splurge the extra $30 for flight insurance in case I needed to cancel for any reason. I learned my lesson.

Check out my favorite travel tools

Use Tripadvisor Reviews to Scout Fast Wifi

Do not book that lavish trip to Thailand based on it’s beautful pool alone. Yes, a lavish rooftop pool makes for a killer instagram photo, but remember that you’re there to get work done. Do a quick search on TripAdvisor or Expedia based on reviews from other travelers about what that apartment or hotel is actually like. Unfortunately, being a Digital Nomad isn’t all about the perfect instagram pic, you’re actually there to work – and you can’t work if the wifi is slow or intermittent. Sometimes you will have to choose the less pictureque hotel, homestay, or Airbnb if the wifi is more condusive to a successful work environment.

If you have a surprise conference call and can’t make it to the cafe or coworking office, you’ll be so thankful that your residence has strong internet service. It’s worth it to read the reviews before you book!

Do Not Risk Your Health

For the most part, I got really lucky in that I had no injuries while traveling, which many travelers cannot say the same. Just walk around Pai, Thailand and see all the backpackers bruised and bandaged from motorbike accidents. I did, however, get a pretty bad case of Dengue fever/food poisoning for two weeks while I was in Chiang Mai. It put me on my ass for several days where I was sending illegitimate emails to my coworkers (although thankfully not to my clients) and walking to 7-11 for water and Tylenol like a zombie.

It is so important to take care of your health when in a foreign country before it gets too serious. Go to the doctor as soon as possible if you think you need to be seen by a practitioner. Trust me, the local doctors and nurses are professional usually half the price of treatment that you’re used to if you’re an American.

I went to RAM Hospital in Chiang Mai and was pleasantly surprised at the modern facilities and compassionate care. My outpatient and medicine total bill was less than $100 USD.

Don’t Neglect the Tourist Hotspots!

female digital nomad malaysia

Yes, I know you are in your particular desinaton to work and not play, but remember why you became a Digital Nomad in the first place – to experience life outside your comfort zone. So go ahead, take an afternoon off to explore caves, tour temples, hike that mountain. Because, if you hole yourself up in your apartment or coworking space, what’s the point anyways?

I read a lot of travel blogs and a continuous peice of advice is to skip the popular tourist landmarks and instead go where the locals go. Well, yes, ok sure, but I am still a major advocate for fighting the crowds to see those hotposts. They’re popular for a reason! You can tell friends incredible anecdotes from places they’ll recognize like “Oh wow, when I was at the Eiffel Tower, I saw the most romantic marriage proposal!” A win/win!

The Importance of Saying Thank You

Say “Thank You” to your boss, the universe, god, whoever you have to that you feel you should show appreciation to for giving you the opportunity to be a Digital Nomad. It’s not always a glamorous lifestyle, but man is it worthwhile. We are privileged to have such an incredible lifestyle so it’s important not to take it for granted.

If you are a writer or keep a journal, jot down a few awesome, out of the ordinary experieces you’ve had in the past week so that you can look back and remember. Gratitude is key 🙂

Work 8 Hours, Sleep 8 Hours, Play 8 Hours

Update: the nighttime view is even better. I have a lot to be thankful for today. 🌃✨

A post shared by Digital Nomad 🌀Solo Travel (@hashtagtourist) on

“How do you have so much time to knock around and do so many fun things during the day? Don’t you have a job?”

Yeah, but while you choose to go to another dinner with your fiance, or stuck in commuter traffic, or sitting on your couch watching television after work, I’m trying new cuisine or enjoing a cocktail in a skyhigh hotel overlooking the city. I gaurantee most people wake up, work 9 hours, go home and sit on their couch until bed, and wake up and do it all over again.

It’s all about how you are spending your free time. Sure, because I instagram all the exciting things I do when I’m not working, doesn’t mean I’m never working. You just don’t instagram your bingewatching session of Netflix.

Sign Up for a Travel Rewards Credit Card

I’m not made of money, and most Digital Nomads aren’t either. I previously laid out my income and how I was able to save $5,000 for traveling and a major part of being able to afford this lifestyle is from redeeming every travel or airmile reward possible. I’ve personally used and recommend Barclaycard Arrival, Chase Sapphire, and Capital One Venture cards, although I don’t love the changes to the Capital One Venture interface lately -it’s not as user-friendly as it used to be.

The Barclaycard Arrival also lets you earn bonus miles by sharing travel stories, tips, and photos. How cool is that?

It also pays be loyal to an online reservation company when you book travel. I’ve been using Expedia for several years and now have Gold+ status. This means I have access to free VIP features, room upgrades, free cocktails at the hotel bar, and other perks.

I Am in Control

female digital nomad bali

I am still learning and teaching myself that I am in control of what I want to do each day. Whether it’s as small as where to eat for breakfast or which country to go to next. I have total control and can do absolutely whatever I want. This has been a weird thing for me to adjust to. I am fiercely independent anyway, but I find myself second guessing things like “Ugh, Chelse, don’t go to that same cafe again today for breakfast – try something new.” But then I’m like: SISTER, IF YOU WANT THAT SAME EGGS BENEDICT AGAIN YOU TREAT YO’SELF! Or, if I feel like lying in bed all day even though I’m in Bali, the epitome of paradise, I’m not going to make myself feel guilty about it because it’s what I want to do.

Hi, I’m Chelse! I am a Digital Nomad obsessed with traveling the world and seeking adventure beyond the 9-5 office life. When I turned 25 I decided that I was going to stop making excuses and do what I’ve always dreamed. I went from having 0 stamps in my passport to 7 countries in 7 months. I encourage anyone who wants to live a Digital Nomad lifestyle to just buy the ticket first, and figure out the rest later!

How to Survive a Long Haul Flight

digital nomad blog

This is assuming you (like most of us) cannot afford to treat yo’self to a first class ticket on a long haul flight. For the rest of us, there’s a few tricks you can use to survive a long haul flight.

First thing’s first, if you booked an international flight on AirAsia, do not pass go, do not collect $200, rebook your flight right now if possible.

One day I will write a blog about how saving money is not worth flying AirAsia, but until then, just trust me.

Hydrate

Learn from me when I tell you not to be tempted by free booze served on international flights. Yes, a calming glass of wine or gin and soda to take the edge off is 5 points for Gryffindor, but try not to go overboard. Alcohol will dehydrate you fast when you’re 30,000 feet in the air and the last thing you want to be in that metal tube is dealing with dry skin, motion sickness from the turbulence and booze combo and then feeling hungover after you wake up… still have 4 hours left until wheels down.

Pro tip: Chug a gatorade or sports drink in the terminal before boarding. You’ll be thankful for those extra electrolytes before boarding a 15 hour flight.

Use SeatGuru

seat guru long flight

SeatGuru is an amazing tool to survive a long haul flight. You have the ability to choose the best seats on a plane, even if you’re flying economy. You can read other passenger reviews, view real photos from real travelers, and doublecheck the configuration to make sure you’re not stuck next to the bathroom for 12 hours.

Upgrade Your Ticket

survive international flight

If possible. I had a 16.5 hour flight from NYC to China en route to Thailand and I was dreading this long haul flight. I had never flown China Southern Airlines and didn’t know what to expect. I couldn’t find any upgrade information online and their website is very difficult to navigate if you’re not in China. So I asked the ticket agent how much an upgrade cost for Premium Economy and to my surprise, it was only $250 USD! It was the best money I had ever spent traveling. Premium Economy gives you access to slippers, hot towels, custom meals, wider seats, quieter, cabin – I mean, I felt like I was flying in luxury(-ish) all for $250!

If you’re not backpacking, or super strict on budget, do yourself a favor and ask the gate attendant how much an upgrade is. You’re more likely to get a better deal right before the flight because the airline would rather sell those tickets at a discount than have the seats go unused.

Charge Your Devices, and Then Charge Again

Most airlines nowadays have USB ports built into their seats, but don’t risk it. See above rant about AirAsia. I recommend a portable cell phone or tablet USB charger like TYLT. If your airplane has onboard wifi, that’s also a battery drainer so be strategic if your seat doesn’t have a USB charger.

Other than that, bring a few old school books or magazines to read! Flights are the perfect time to take a break from the digital age and catch up on a New York Times Best Seller. 

Request a Special Meal or Bring Your Own

The key to make sure you survive a long haul flight is to treat yourself as best as possible… even if you’re sitting in coach. If you can, pack a healthy, tasty meal that you can eat on the plane (no liquids) or at the very least visit your airline’s website to manage the booking and request a special meal. Different airlines provide different requests, but most offer vegetarian, vegan, diabetes, low fat, low sodium etc. meals for international destinations.

Pick a Seat in the Back

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 6.01.57 PM

Sitting in the back of the plane ensures a few things. One, that there are less people who will be lining up to use the bathroom at the back of the plane. There’s also less foot traffic in general which means if you’re in an aisle seat, you don’t have to move your legs or head every 5 minutes to get out of the way for passersby.

I love the aisle seat for long haul flights, but I can never sleep because everytime someone passes, I feel like I have to move my leg or arm or head out of the way to make room. Sitting in the back away cuts down on the amount of people in the aisle, which I love.

Pack Slippers in Your Carry-On

I knowwwww that space in your carry on bag is a luxury. But hear me out…

If your flight is 12+ hours, you’re gonna be so grateful to have a comfortable pair of slippers to put on your swollen feet, for a couple of reasons. Hopefully, if you’re drinking enough water on your flight (which you should be doing), you’ll be getting up to use the bathroom a few times and please for the sake of humanity do not walk to the lavatory barefoot or in your socks.

Alternatively, on a long flight, you’ve probably already slipped your shoes off and tucked them under the seat in front of you. Instead of taking them off and putting them back on, you’ll be so thankful to have a pair of soft slippers with you. Plus, my philosophy is that you should always bring whatever makes you feel at home or treat yourself to feel special during a miserable long flight.

Get a Massage Before Your Flight

how to survive international flight
Feeling GOOD after a massage in Thailand before a flight.

I recently got a Massage Envy account after a recent experience involving a delayed flight.

I was stranded in an airport after my flight was delayed after having just landed from an 8 hour flight. That long haul flight was miserable – tense muscles, uncomfortable back pain, you name it.

During the layover, I decided to grit my teeth and purchase an hourlong massage at one of those relax parlours in the airport terminals. It was expensive-as-hell but so, incredibly worth it. My next 12 hour flight was comfortable, pain-free, and relaxing. I also just got a massage before a cross-country roadtrip, driving across the United States for 6 days and I promise you, I would not have enjoyed it as much had I not gotten a massage the day before I left. It made a HUGE difference!

Items You Do NOT Want to Forget to survive a long haul flight:

An Eye Mask

A sweater if it gets cold

Personal headphones or earbuds

Phone charging device

Chapstick

SLIPPERS (See above paragraph)

Baby Wipes to keep fresh

Q-tips or gum for your ears

Hand Sanitizer

 

Hi, I’m Chelse! I am a Digital Nomad obsessed with traveling the world and seeking adventure beyond the 9-5 office life. When I turned 25 I decided that I was going to stop making excuses and do what I’ve always dreamed. I went from having 0 stamps in my passport to 7 countries in 7 months. I encourage anyone who wants to live a Digital Nomad lifestyle to just buy the ticket first, and figure out the rest later!

Why I Chose Chiang Mai as My First Digital Nomad Trip

Chiang Mai, Thailand is easily one of the most popular cities in the world for Digital Nomads to call home, or at least spend a few months in. For some, Chiang Mai is the total package. It certainly is a unique town, busting at the seems with culture and a thriving nomad scene.

So what makes Chiang Mai for Digital Nomads and remote workers the best? Check it out!

Excellent Wifi

Cafe views on Nimman Rd. Loving the people watching and bustling vibe in Chiang Mai!

A post shared by Digital Nomad 🌀Solo Travel (@hashtagtourist) on

Chiang Mai is a cafe capitol of the world, that’s for sure. I lived in the trendy Nimman area of town near Doi Suthep and there was no shortage of cozy spots to work for creatives like myself. Strong coffee paired with strong internet connection is just one of the reasons why I had such a successful and productive couple months in Thailand.

I had internet access my entire time I was in Chiang Mai, although that changed dramatically when I spent a weekend in rural Pai.

 

A Strong Nomad Community

One of the perks that drew me to Chiang Mai was the already established group of Digital Nomads that inhabit the city. Especially in the neighborhood of Nimman, where I resided. Because of the strong ties between Chiang Mai and remote workers, you can easily make friends from all over the globe and bounce your business ideas off people who understand and “get it.”

To meet fellow nomads and get work done in a productive environment, definitely think about joining a Coworking Office. A few of the most popular and recommended include:

Punspace (Tha Pae Gate)

Punspace Nimman

CAMP (in the MAYA Mall)

MANA

For weekly organized presentations on a variety of different business, nomad, skillshares themes, join the Digital Nomad Coffee Club.

Digital Nomad Coffee Club in Chiang Mai
Digital Nomad Coffee Club in Chiang Mai

Access to Western Culture

Chiang Mai for Digital Nomads is the best of both worlds. I was surprised at how modern parts of the city are and the western influences you can find throughout the city. KFC is huge in Thailand, and there’s also your typical fast food restaurants like Pizza Hut and McDonalds – both of which deliver 😉

The cafes are also modern and luxe, featuring brews from all over the world and tea served in glass decanters. And if you’d rather get your fast wifi and coffee in a more familiar setting, Starbucks is conveniently located throughout the city as well. But be warned, the Thai Starbucks locations are western priced. Meaning, you’re still going to pay about $5-$6 USD for a coffee, instead of the more typical $1.50 – $2.50 brew at a local cafe.

Successful afternoon at the #NomadCoffeeClub networking and hearing stories from entrepreneurs. See you all next week! ☕️

A post shared by Digital Nomad 🌀Solo Travel (@hashtagtourist) on

 

If you live in Nimman or Huay Kae, the MAYA Mall is a particular treat. You can walk to the mall and find 5 floors of tech, shopping, a food court, grocery store with western foods… basically anything you could ever need! My typical day included eating Pad See Ew in the “basement” of the mall at one of the food stalls, heading up a floor to Starbucks and working for several hours, then heading up another floor and getting a massage for about $5 USD. Ahhh, the life.

PS. If you tell your songtaew or Uber drive you want to go to MAYA, it’s pronounced “May-YAH” with an emphasis on that second syllable. You’d be surprised how often a driver didn’t know where the heck I wanted to go if I pronounced it like “May-a” or “My-ah”

MAYA Mall Chiang Mai
MAYA Mall in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is Hella Affordable

OMG you guys. If you ever need a reason to pack up and move to Chiang Mai, this is it:

I SAVED money by living abroad.

Yep. MHMM. And I didn’t even penny-pinch. Actually, I lived like a damn Queen. Weekly massages, nice meals, lots of lattes, you name it – I did it. I liiiiiiived in Chiang Mai, and I was still able to put a few dollars in my savings account thanks to the low cost of living.

I lived in 2 adorable studio apartments that I rented on Airbnb that were about $400/month, however, if you don’t rent on Airbnb and just walk into apartment complexes in town, you can easily find studios for $250 to $300 USD. I did have to pay an electric bill at the second apartment I stayed at that was 600 baht which is a grand total of… $18.

In one sentece: Chiang Mai for Digital Nomads is an affordable alternative to paying rent and bills in your hometown.

One of my studio apartments
One of my studio apartments in Chiang Mai

Some of the most common expenditures in Chiang Mai and their prices include:

Massage: 250 Baht / $7 USD

Local Specialty Coffee: 50 baht / $1.40 USD

Songtaew Ride from Nimman to Tha Pae Gate: 30 baht / 0.86 cents

Street Cart Dinner: 40 baht / $1.15 USD

Large bottle of water at 7-11: 14 baht / 40 cents USD

Chang or Leo pint of beer at a restaurant: 60 baht /  $1.70

Reputation for Friendliess Towards Expats

For the overwhemingly most part, Chiang Mai locals were extremely friendly and helpful to myself and my friends. There’s a reason Thailand is called the “Land of Smiles.” The Thai that I interacted with were always warm and inviting. I made friends with the schoolgirl baristas at my local Starbucks, sat in the front seat of a Songtaew and helped the driver practice his English, and practiced my Thai with anyone who was willing to listen.

I don’t know if I had a unique experience or not, but all I can say is that I always felt nothing but inclusiveness from those around me. I always felt safe, I never felt like I had to guard my personal belongings or walk faster in dark alleys.

Chiang Mai was the perfect home away from home and I can’t wait to return <3

 

Hi, I’m Chelse! I am a Digital Nomad obsessed with traveling the world and seeking adventure beyond the 9-5 office life. When I turned 25 I decided that I was going to stop making excuses and do what I’ve always dreamed. I went from having 0 stamps in my passport to 7 countries in 7 months. I encourage anyone who wants to live a Digital Nomad lifestyle to just buy the ticket first, and figure out the rest later!

Guest Post: 10 Tips for Efficiently Working From Home

This is a guest post by my friend Chloe over at Messy Room, which is a fabulous ‘lil Lifestyle Blog if I do say so myself. For the Digital Nomads and Remote Workers, here are some fabulous tips for working from home. Enjoy!

digitalnomadworkfromhome

10 Tips for Efficiently Working From Home

Working from home comes with a lot of distractions. When you’re sitting at home all day, you constantly see chores that need to be done. Sometimes neighbors, maintenance people, and other disturbances stop by. There’s a bed. A couch, probably. Maybe even a TV in front of that couch. Netflix. How I Met Your Mother…Person of Interest…Once Upon a Time…

Brb…

See how easy it is to get distracted?!

Unfortunately, work won’t wait for us to binge watch all 8 seasons of Psych before it leaves Netflix (still bitter about that one), so it’s important to create processes to help you work efficiently while still being surrounded by all of your things. Here are our tips to stay focused while working from home.

1. Create a designated working space.

Working from home with so many sitting areas makes it seem like you’ve got a lot of choices. But if you work in your bed, a space your body knows as its sleeping area, you’re only going to want to take a nap. If you work on the couch, a space your body recognizes as a place to relax, you’re going to have a tough time staying focused on the task at hand.

However, having a designated work space in your home that you only use for work, helps get you into the right mindset for getting shit done.

2. Establish a morning routine.

Waking up early and putting in the effort to get ready for work, even when you’re working at home, makes a world of difference in your attitude and productivity for the day. Set your alarm for the same time each day, then determine what you want to accomplish before you start working. Maybe you want to work out, take a shower, eat breakfast, get dressed, sit and drink your coffee while catching up on the news, etc. Create a morning routine that works for you and that starts your day off on the right foot.

By actually getting ready for work, you’ll have the frame of mind that you’re actually sitting down to work, rather than lazily moving from the bed–after hitting snooze ten times, naturally–to the couch and pulling out your laptop.

3. Structure your day.

With the flexibility that working from home provides, you might find yourself jumping from one task to another or trying to multitask and, ultimately, getting next to nothing done. Stop that.

Instead, structure your day the same way you would in the office. Do you have certain tasks you like to get done first thing? (These are typically the highest priority tasks, while you’re most focused.) Keep the same routine at home. Take calls during the same time frame each day, work on similar tasks during the same set hours, what have you.

4. Take breaks.

Working eight straight hours can do a number on your productivity. No matter what corporate America says, our brains were not designed to work that way. So take short breaks every couple of hours and move to a different part of the house during your lunch break so you can take some time away from work.

5. Get dressed.

Seemingly, one of the biggest perks of working from home is that you can literally work in whatever you want: pajamas, sweats, your birthday suit. But moving directly from your bed to your work station in the same clothes you slept in makes it difficult for your brain to realize you’re moving on to a new activity.

Making it a priority to actually get dressed every morning is a great way to start off your work day. You don’t need to wear a pant suit or pencil skirt in your home office, but getting out of your pajamas and into some day clothes can help you to define the line between at home time and work time.

6. Get out of the house.

Yes, you should have a comfortable home office to work in the majority of the time, but you have so much flexibility when you work from home, and you’d be a fool not to take advantage of it sometime. Find a cafe with wifi or co-work with a friend or colleague. Take advantage of outdoor public spaces when the weather is nice and grab a nice, hot cup of joe by the window of your favorite coffee shop when the weather is cold and rainy.

7. Keep consistent work hours.

Some of us telecommute some days and are in office others. Some of us work with a completely virtual team. And some of us are freelancers or business owners who get to make our own schedule. If you’re still part of a team, you may already have set hours that your boss requires you to work. But if you answer to yourself, it can be tempting to work sporadic hours.

The best way to work from home efficiently is to keep a consistent work schedule. Maybe that’s 9-5 for you. Some people prefer to have their own time in the morning, and work later in the afternoon/evening. If you have the freedom to create your own schedule, make sure that it’s in your optimum working hours, but also make sure that you keep to that same schedule everyday.

8. Don’t snack.

When you’re only 15 feet from your kitchen, it is way too easy to get up from your desk, walk to your fridge or pantry, and just start grazing all day long. It’s like the Freshman 15 all over again. Whatever you do, don’t allow yourself to snack all day long. Put up caution tape or a baby gate in front of the doorway into the kitchen if you need to.

9. Take advantage of free and inexpensive online apps.

When working remotely, especially when part of a remote team, communication and project management tools are essential. Check out Google Drive or Dropbox to house your files in the cloud, so you have access to them from any computer. Use communication tools like Google Hangouts, Slack, or Hipchat to stay in touch with your team/coworkers and/or your clients. Try project management tools like Trello or Asana to keep up with tasks, especially tasks that require multiple team members to complete.

10. Don’t allow disruptions.

Many people don’t understand that working from home is just that: working, but at home. So when friends and family suggest getting together for lunch, or just want to drop by and hang out, it’s important to make sure they know that you are very much still working, and are not available. It’s okay to take advantage of your flexibility occasionally, but make sure these disruptions aren’t happening so much that you’re not able to get your work done.

With so many jobs being completed fully online, working remotely is becoming more and more popular, and some companies have entirely remote teams. When your team (and also your salary) are relying on you to still complete your work, it’s so important to learn how to work efficiently while still being in your own space.

This is a guest post from Messy Room, a lifestyle blog that discusses jobs, business, finance, home, sex, relationships, and opinion articles that help to empower women.

Hi, I’m Chelse! I am a Digital Nomad obsessed with traveling the world and seeking adventure beyond the 9-5 office life. When I turned 25 I decided that I was going to stop making excuses and do what I’ve always dreamed. I went from having 0 stamps in my passport to 7 countries in 7 months. I encourage anyone who wants to live a Digital Nomad lifestyle to just buy the ticket first, and figure out the rest later!

How to Spend 3 Days in Pai, Thailand

3-days-in-pai-thailandIf you’re backpacking through Thailand or living in Chiang Mai as a Digital Nomad, be sure to spend a weekend in the hippie town of Pai, just 3 hours to the north of Chiang Mai.

Pai is a small town that packs a lot of action. Be sure to visit some of these spots while passing through or spending a long weekend of 3 days in Pai!

Visit the Pai Waterfalls

There are many waterfalls to visit when you are in Pai, Thailand. My favorite was the Pam Bok waterfall outside of the city. You can rent a motorbike from just about anywhere in the city center – rent one and visit all of Pai’s waterfalls in one day!

 

The Pam Bok waterfall was the easiest climb to get to the actual falls. A simple trail and wooden bridge brought me to the falls.

The Pam Bok waterfall was my favorite because it involved only small amounts of climbing and sketchy foot bridges to get there 😎

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Bring your water shoes (to protect your feet from the rocks at the bottom of the water), a dry towel, and a couple beers to sit down and relax with friends. This waterfall is much more chill and less of a party spot than other waterfalls in the surrounding area.

Mor Paeng waterfall is the most crowded waterfall in Pai and is a hotspot for sweaty backpackers to cool off in the water and catch some breeze coming off the mountains.

How to beat the heat in Thailand. Step 1: find nearest waterfall 🤗

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Beware. Of. The. Slippery. Rocks.

I faceplanted once and saw many others take a nosedive. Which is especially scary because the waterfall has some height to it. If you slipped off the wrong rock, it’s a several feet drop that could seriously injure you. I wouldn’t recommend taking fancy cameras or anything not necessary with you for the climb, you could damage your property and you’ll need full functionality of all your limbs to navigate to the top safely.

Relax at the Land Split

The Land Split, or land crack, is on the way to the Pam Bok waterfall, so make an afternoon out of it and do both activities at the same time.

The owner used to be a farmer, but when the earth split his property in half, this savvy businessman decided to turn it into a small tourist destination.

He will provide free fruit, banana chips, nuts, hibiscus tea, and jelly in exchange for a donation. He also gave us a bottle of homemade wine, pour small glasses because it was more like saki or moonshine as far as taste.

I donated 100 baht because the owners were so welcoming and friendly. It was a perfect place to rehydrate and relax in the hammocks after motorbiking in the sun all day.

Swim at the Secret Hot Springs *Shhh*

Well, I can mark off "take a swim in the natural hot springs of Thailand" off my bucket list 📝

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There are 2 natural hot springs we had heard of during our weekend in Pai. The Sai Ngam Hot Springs and the Pai Hot Springs.

We went to the Sai Ngam hot springs, which is a national park, and fairly hidden compared to other more touristy springs closer to the city. It was further away by motorbike and much less expensive. We pulled up to the park ranger and paid him 60 baht per person for entry. It was a lovely little spot with bath water temperature springs and crystle clear water.

Although BE CAREFUL – the final leg of the way there on motorbike was very tricky. Steep downsloping curves and long stretches going up hill made me think our little motorbike wasn’t up to the challenge, but thank goodness we made it. Also, thank goodness I was on the back so I could close my eyes and not look at the winding roads.

Pai Canyon

This weekend involved lots of climbing and I only complained a little 😏

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An Instagrammers paradise! Get tons of cool action shots after a short climb up the mountains (using stairs, a luxury!). Two different paths. I’m terrified of heights so I avoided one path and hung out under the gazebo taking in the views while waiting on my friends to return.

Once they got back, we trekked the regular path and took in the views, the breeze, and of course tons of photos! The heat is a major factor at the canyon and combined with climbing, you’ll want to bring a water bottle along. If you forget water, no worries, there are street vendors selling bottle for 10-20 baht a pop.

Nightlife in Pai

Nightlife in Pai isn’t what you’d find in Bangkok, hell or even in Chiang Mai. There’s a few bars dotting the streets, but don’t expect a club scene. We had a drink at Sunset Bar, and while the view was great if you don’t have a scooter, it’s a fairly long walking distance from the center of town. It was actually a little overrated from all the amazing things we’d heard about it.

We also passed Don’t Cry Bar and it looked like a good time, if you’re intoxicated enough to handle all the blacklights and neon 420 signs. Of course, you can find Mushy Shakes, Shroom shakes, just about anywhere in Pai so be careful and make sure you have a safe way to get home if you choose to partake 🙂

Did I miss anything that’s a must-do while spending 3 days in Pai? Let me know in the comments!

Hi, I’m Chelse! I am a Digital Nomad obsessed with traveling the world and seeking adventure beyond the 9-5 office life. When I turned 25 I decided that I was going to stop making excuses and do what I’ve always dreamed. I went from having 0 stamps in my passport to 7 countries in 7 months. I encourage anyone who wants to live a Digital Nomad lifestyle to just buy the ticket first, and figure out the rest later!

How to Become a Female Digital Nomad

how to become a female digital nomad

“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It’s lethal.” – Paulo Coelho

I became a Female Digital Nomad out of necessity. Necessity to explore and out of fear that 20 years from now I would be filled with regret. And as luck would have it, the planets aligned and I became a location independent worker after years and years of wishing I had the opportunity to travel.

As I’ve said before, I think working remotely is the key to a happy and successful work/life balance and I could scream from the rooftops how much I believe in its mystical *powers*. So let me give you a brief outline how to become a Female Digital Nomad. Because, let me tell you, the hardest part is 100% buying the ticket. Everything else, you figure out as it comes!

Hi, I’m Chelse! I am a Digital Nomad obsessed with traveling the world and seeking adventure beyond the 9-5 office life. When I turned 25 I decided that I was going to stop making excuses and do what I’ve always dreamed. I went from having 0 stamps in my passport to 7 countries in 7 months. I encourage anyone who wants to live a Digital Nomad lifestyle to just buy the ticket first, and figure out the rest later!

Work Flow Goals: The Benefits of Batchworking

BENEFITS OF BATCHWORKINGAs a Female Digital Nomad, I’ve learned a lot on the road: How to live 3 months abroad with only one carry-on suitcase, how to sleep well on a 16 hour flight, and how to get a full day’s worth of work completed in half the time.

Yep, I am 100% more productive as a Digital Nomad than I was working in an office thanks to the benefits of batchworking. And it doesn’t all stem from being inspired by new scenery or creative coworking offices, but because I have embraced batchworking as a way of life on the road balancing travel and my full-time job.

In fact, most of what I do in Digital Marketing can be “batched” one way or another. Often saving time, effort, and clutter within my work flow.

What is Batch Working?

Batchworking is a type of routine that focuses on completing a single task in the moment before moving on to the next. Essentially, it keeps both your mind organized as well as your to-do list. For example, I work in Digital Marketing so my batchworking might look similar to this:

  • Monday – Write 5 blogs
  • Tuesday – Schedule all client social media posts
  • Wednesday – Create all social media advertisements for the month
  • Thursday – Design graphics for the week to use for social media
  • Friday – Weekly reports

Of course, I do other things than listed above, but the point is that I have a specific focus for how my time is allocated. And therefore, my frame of mind is already prepared to kick ass on that goal for the day.

The Pomodoro Technique is an excellent tool for newbies to get used to batchworking and re-focus their routine.

Why is Batchworking Beneficial for Digital Nomads?

No matter how organized you are, being a Digital Nomad means your life is a little messier than others. Them’s the breaks. Living out of a suitcase, not having a “homebase,” working from different cafés each day: This is the dream (holla!) but it’s an easy transition into a life of mental messiness which affects your productivity.

Especially for someone who is naturally “all over the place” in general. I am the type of person if I don’t have lists or a clean room, I can’t focus. These are physical aspects of “messiness” that batchworking can help remedy – the clutter of your mind within the workday.

When I first began my career as a Digital Nomad, my work routine mimicked the traffic laws of Southeast Asia. Which, if you’ve been, you get the joke. HA HA – jokes on us because there are no traffic laws in Southeast Asia!

Multitasking is Not a Badge of Honor

When you boast about how many tasks you’re juggling, you’re not saying “I’m 100% owning these assignments to the best of my creative ability!” You’re actually saying, “I’m completing these assignments with moderate potential and it’s taking me longer to do so!”

Multi-tasking is the first way we work ourselves to mental fatigue, and ultimately burn out, which affects our sharpness and ability to create and solve problems in the most proficient way possible.

In an article for the the Harvard Business Review, Peter Bregman states that our productivity decreases by 40% when we focus on multiple tasks at once. And you can’t argue with Harvard… so there.

How to Get Started

So you’re ready to embrace the elite (just kidding) and begin batchworking? These were some of the things I did to get started. Trust me, I used to be a Juggler Extraordinaire and am now confident that I was wasting so many hours multitasking vs. working on one problem at a time.

  • Turn your phone off for 1 hour at a time and compeletely allow yourself to immerse your actions into the job you need to finish.
  • Take breaks. Choose a system what works best for you, but essentially work for a designated amount of time, and then take a mandatory break. I typically work on the 30/5 rule. I focus hard for 30 minutes and take a 5 minute break to stretch and take my eyes off the computer screen. I’ll repeat this pattern 4 or 5 times before allowing myself a longer break to lay down or eat a meal away from my desk.
  • Give yourself deadlines. This will begin to train your brain to estimate how long it will typically take to finish the task so you can maximize your schedule moving forward.
  • Don’t work in pajamas. Okay, this tip is 100% a personal opinion. I started doing this in college when I would dress up on exam days and I swear it helps! As a Digital Nomad, if you have a full work day or conference call, dress up! I’m sure there is a science behind it, but when you feel put-together, your brain agrees and elevates your performance. Placebo effect at its finest.

The Benefits of Batchworking You’ll Notice Immediately

Less stress trying to accomplish mutiple tasks by working inefficiently. When I could totally and wholeheartedly mark off an assignment, I felt in control and powerful. Yeah! Take THAT, to-do list!

Working less hours is one of the most noticeable benefits of batchworking – especially for Digital Nomads who don’t have the distraction of a bustling office to get you sidetracked. Immediately you will accomplish more in your typical 8 hour work day than ever before. And as a result, you will have more free time to explore the new city you’re in and play tourist for a day.

You’ll begin to know the value of your time. You know the phrase “Time is money?” Of course you do. You now see minutes as valuable time to be distincly focused and every wasted email or meeting as an opportunity to get something done.

Once you begin to value your time, you’ll position yourself so that others will respect your valuable time as well.

You’ll enjoy disconnecting. If you’re anything like me (or most millenials with office jobs) you do not find happiness when you walk away from your phone or tablet or laptop or desktop – you find unnerving anxiety if you’re missing something, like if a client or supervisor has an urgent message for you after hours. Committing to your designated work hours and then walking away from the computer once you’ve completed your assignments is probably the most freeing feeling as a remote worker.

I hope you’ll consider adopting this work routine to save time and effort! Do you have any additional tips you’ve learned while working remotely or more benefits of batchworking that I missed? Share them with me in the comments!

Hi, I’m Chelse! I am a Digital Nomad obsessed with traveling the world and seeking adventure beyond the 9-5 office life. When I turned 25 I decided that I was going to stop making excuses and do what I’ve always dreamed. I went from having 0 stamps in my passport to 7 countries in 7 months. I encourage anyone who wants to live a Digital Nomad lifestyle to just buy the ticket first, and figure out the rest later!

Surprise! Things Nobody Tells You When You Move to Thailand

Traveling to any new country is sure to bring culture shock, and it was no different when I spent 2 months in Chiang Mai, Thailand as a female Digital Nomad.

Living in Thailand is most certainly a life-changing experience, but if you’re thinking of buying that plane ticket, you should know these things before you go:

 

Things Nobody Tells You About Thailand

Electricity Sparks

My first night in Thailand, I spent about 8 collective hours Googling this problem and wondering what the heck I was doing wrong with my chargers and adaptor. I was staying in a comfortable Airbnb and was surprised to see blue sparks coming out of the socket when I plugged in my Mac charger. Petrified that I was going to somehow break my computer, or worse – set the place on fire, I frantically searched every article and message board to find out what the deal is.

Apparently, it’s completely normal and some say it’s actually a good thing because it means electricity is running fervently. Ha, I tried telling my Dad that the sparks were a “good thing” and I could hear his eyes rolling from 8,000 miles away. This is definitely one of the things nobody tells you about Thailand beforehand, that I wish I knew sooner. It would have saved me countless hours researching online. I’ve now become one with the sparks and welcome them with open arms. When I’m wearing shoes with rubber soles 😉

 

You Can’t Buy Buddha Souveniers

buddha thailand

This was the first thing I learned in Thailand because there are signs printed everywhere throughout the airport warning travelers not to even think about bring back a Buddha decoration back to your friends at home. There’s several rules and regulations about this like only Non-Buddhists are forbidden from taking Buddha statues, to requiring a permit, to being allowed to take Buddha statues as long as they are not antiques.

Advice? Save yourself the headache and buy an elephant keychain for your friends instead.

You Want Takeaway? You Get a Plastic Bag.takeaway bag thailand

There is no such thing as a “to-go box” in Thailand. A Doggy Bag is a better description for it because if you want to grab food and go home, it’s coming with you in a bag. Even condiments like soy sauce or salad dressing are poured into a plastic bag and given to you. I’ve even seen people walking around the streets casually sipping soda from a bag of ice and a straw.

Soup is also no exception – I learned this the hard way. One evening when I had a deadline, I tried to save time by ordering a bowl of Tom Yun Goong soup to-go and ended up walking 3 blocks back to my apartment carrying a very hot bag of soup.

Spicy Food, Man

street food thailand

I’m not an amateur when it comes to fiery flavors. I carried a bottle of Texas Pete with me wherever I went all throughout college and was beyond ready to embrace the Thai spices. What I was NOT prepared for, was my mouth to be set on fire by even the most unassuming food options. Even the 7-11 ramen noodles and fried rice played tricks on me. I couldn’t even handle the cup of noodles! And nowhere on the label did it mention heat index or use the universal sign for spicy food, the chili symbol. Lesson learned.

And this is why I have trust issues.

The Ladyboys

I thought the “ladyboys”  were mostly/only in the metropolitan city of Bangkok, so I was surprised my first time strolling the night markets in Chiang Mai to spot several Lady Boys all decked out like they were going to a beauty pageant. I was also pleasantly surprised to learn Thailand is very welcoming and accepting towards homosexuals. I’ve seen several in my everyday life working as servers or at coffee shops, but at the night markets you’ll see the particularly fabulous Ladyboys all dressed up in glittery dresses and stage makeup taking pictures with tourists for a fee.

Diabetes is Imminent

female digital nomad blog

They love sugar here so much, if you order Pad Thai or any typical Thai noodle dish, they’ll set out a cup of white cane sugar to pour on your… noodles. Ah yes, because crunchy granules of sugar is exactly what I wanted with my dinner.

Or if you order one of the popular Fruit Shakes from basically any street vendor in Chiang Mai, you have to specify *no sugar* because even though you’ve just ordered a mango, strawberry, coconut smoothie with yogurt, the woman making it is still going to try and add sugar syrup to your drink.

And don’t get me started on the insane amount of sugar syrup in the coffee drinks…

Basically, learn the phrase “mai waan” which is “no sweet” roughly translated in Thai.

Diabetes, I’m coming for you if I stay in Thailand much longer.

“Same Same”

Hahahaha this phrase is hilariously popular in Thailand and you’ll find shirts adorning “Same Same, but different” on any street vendor in the markets. I even own a tank top with this phrase in teal that I bought in Pai. The Thai’s use this to explain two things are… similar but different. Of course.

same same thailand
Wearing my fave “Same Same” tank top bought in Pai, Thailand

The Thais Love Their Cover Songs

They’re everywhere. I genuinely don’t think the Thai’s even know what the real Taylor Swift of Katy Perry actually sound like because all you hear are saccharine sweet versions of their hits sung by Thai singers in cover versions. On the radio, playing in the malls, in the bathrooms. I think it’s a strict copyright issue that prevents the originals from playing at large over the airwaves but it’s definitely something you get used to, and even begin to enjoy, after a few weeks in Thailand.

You Can’t Flush the TP

Trust me, there are worse things about the Thailand plumbing system than not being able to flush toilet paper. In fact, if you’re in rural parts of Thailand, toilets don’t even flush at all. How’s that an introduction to Southeast Asia?

If this is a hard issue for you, be sure to book your hotel or accomodation at more expensive places and confirm with reception the bathroom’s amenities. But I promise, it’s not a huge deal. Especially if you travel to the rural countryside and have made nature your own private bathroom. After that, non-flushing toilets is a luxury.

Sidenote about traveling to Thailand:

Please please do not patronize businesses who use animal cruelty on elephants for tourist destinations. Do your research. I can’t even post any photos because it breaks my heart so much. PLEASE think twice before riding an elephant or spending money at one of these destinations.

Were you surprised about these things nobody tells you about Thailand? What was the biggest culture you experienced in the Land of Smiles? Let me know in the comments!

Hi, I’m Chelse! I am a Digital Nomad obsessed with traveling the world and seeking adventure beyond the 9-5 office life. When I turned 25 I decided that I was going to stop making excuses and do what I’ve always dreamed. I went from having 0 stamps in my passport to 7 countries in 7 months. I encourage anyone who wants to live a Digital Nomad lifestyle to just buy the ticket first, and figure out the rest later!