It is really difficult to give advice to people when traveling abroad because you don’t know where they are coming from, but I have a couple things that I know would have helped me I don’t know if it will help others, but hopefully it will.
1) Be careful when having good or bad expectations. Expectations can ruin something especially if you are easily disappointed. Thailand won’t let you down, but you don’t want to expect too much or something super extravagant and you don’t want to expect bad experiences either because they will be bad if you go into it negatively.
2) Talk to other tourists. I thought that I didn’t wan’t to go to many touristy areas when I got there, but when I did, I met people that gave me advice that turned out to be useful. Talk to the locals too, they obviously know what they are talking about!
3) “Stop and smell the flowers.” I don’t necessarily mean this in a literal sense, but definitely live in the moment. Have fun with whatever you are doing and let the experiences take you away, but every once in a while just stop and look around and take it in. 🙂 It feels great.
4) Let go of your schedule and let go of plans. No matter what you are doing in Thailand you will always end up not doing something that you anticipated doing or you will end up doing something that you didn’t anticipate doing. If you just go with the flow you will have a much better time than getting all worked up about getting lost or attending some academic event that you weren’t expecting.
5) Have as much fun as possible! How often are you going to be in Thailand?! Or in Naomi Timm’s words “Be a fun haver!” 🙂 I got annoyed with people when they told me this when I was tired, but I’m glad that I didn’t miss out on all the fun. Looking back I know I would have probably wished that I went out more if I didn’t.