My trip to Thailand was my first backpacking experience and I learnt a lot from it! I newly found out that backpackers don't have a lot of money and they tend to stay at budget hostels (not hotels) that costs not more than 20 USD per night. Cheaper is better as you tend to spend more on transportation and food.
While backpacking, it's so easy to forget about your obligations as a Muslim, especially when you're out of your country into regions unknown to you. If you don't perform your daily prayers, who's there to advise you otherwise? If you don't fast, who's there to remind you? If you don't wear hijab, who cares? Most of the times, you might actually think it's safer NOT to wear hijab due to Muslim phobics out there. You might even be tempted to share a room with a non-related male. But GOD cares and HE is watching over you. #notetoself
|Exploring the historic ruins of Ayuthayya. Once the center of Siam's ruling.|
- Study beforehand the place you're gonna visit. The train/bus routes and the fares. Also nice to know where the backpackers area are at each province. Saves you a lot of trouble (and money).
- Some people might offend you for wearing a hijab and starts asking you awkward (and sometimes annoying) questions such as, "Why wear it?" "Why are you a muslim?" "I don't have a religion, why choose Islam?" This is when you start polishing your Islamic preachings if you know how, that is. LOL.
- Try to get used to other people dangling or offering beer and alcohol at your face. Don't get offended and please don't drink.
- There are a lot of stray dogs in Thailand. Adorable! Don't be too obvious on your fear of them. The dogs are harmless!
- Avert your eyes when you see half-naked people around. It's a norm when you choose to stay in dormitories.
- Always bring your valuables with you in small backpacks or sling-bags. ALWAYS! Even when you go to the ladies' room.
- Be friendly, yes, but don't overdo yourself. You might be misunderstood.
- Accept who the other travelers are as you want yourself to be accepted. =)
- True enough, it's important to bring a kiblat kompas and know beforehand the praying times in the countries you visit. But again, prayers are performed only three times a day. Jamak all the way! =p
- You may not bath for 24 hours straight when you choose to travel via trains and buses due to cheap tickets. Hygiene can be an issue to some. Try to refresh yourself with wet tissues during these travels.
- Halal food can be bought from Muslim traders. (Hint: especially those who wear hijabs whilst selling food!)
- Occasionally, a stranger or a local would come up to you and say "Assalamu'alaikum" which is a totally AWESOME experience!