Tips for Senior Citizens visiting Thailand
April 25, 2019
A lot to do, but with some planning
Travel when you want because age is just a number and ifs and buts are just excuses!!
Thailand has become an extremely popular destination in India over the last decade. It is a destination for everyone and not just the millennial or couples. There has been a significant rise in the number of senior citizens travelling to Thailand. With a rich offering, from boutique hotels and resorts, Michelin star restaurants, luxury dinner cruises, popular roof tops bars and a range of world class spas, to a host of activities like shopping at the floating market, Thailand is an ideal getaway for travellers.
Travellers above the age of 55 or senior citizens, as some might call them, form a fast-growing segment that spends well and likes to travel in small groups. Thailand offers a wide range of destinations and activities for the senior citizen making it a popular destination amongst this segment. Since Thailand is in close proximity of India, availability of several direct flights, visa on arrival facility and favourable warm climate through the year have made Thailand the preferred choice of senior citizen travellers.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), along with World Integrity Centre (WIC), organised ‘Amazing Thailand Golden Experience’ in March to attract the senior citizen travellers to Thailand. According to TAT New Delhi director Isra Stapanaseth, “Apart from the various attractions, warm Thai hospitality and welcoming nature of the Thai people is one of the main reasons that makes Thailand a favourite holiday destination among senior travellers.”
Apart from its idyllic beaches, Thailand offers a variety of other experiences. One can take a tour of the bustling streets of Bangkok, known around the world for its amazing street food. If you are a nature enthusiast, then a visit to the Khao Yai National Park in central Thailand is a must where you will come across beautiful waterfalls. Apart from the regular animals that can be seen here, the park is home to around 300 resident and migratory birds and has one of Thailand’s largest population of hornbills.
From kids to senior citizens, this magical country has activities for everyone. A visit to the Phuket Trick Eye Museum is a must. If you think it is an ordinary museum then you are in for a surprise. It is a great place to spend a couple of hours taking photos and interacting with all the 3D displays. The country is also home to approximately 400,000 Buddhist temples. A visit to Wat Pha Kaew, the temple of the Emerald Buddha in the Grand Palace grounds in Bangkok, is a must as it is considered to be the most important spiritual site in Thailand.
If you are a sports enthusiast, then go for a match of Muay Thai boxing, the most popular spectator sport in the country. You can watch as the professionals show their martial arts skills every night of the week. The sport is extremely famous amongst the locals and the tourists. Also, if you are a history or war enthusiast or a Hollywood fan and have always wanted to visit site of the epic war film, Bridge on the River Kwai, then drive about 200 km northeast of Bangkok and reach the historic bridge and imagine yourself with the Oscar-winner David Lean and his star cast in the midst of action. Another memorable trip is a visit to Ayutthaya that was once the largest city in the world. The temple ruins of the historic city, about 80 km north of Bangkok, are some of the most magnificent in Thailand.
Lastly, since you are here don’t forget to shop for yourself from Siam Square in the capital. Filled to the brim with shopping malls, cinemas, restaurants, and hair-dressers, Siam Square has small fashion design boutiques and vintage shops, where you will get plenty of options to shop from.
If you belong to this exclusive group and believe that planning a trip before visiting always helps, then here is a list of things that you need to keep in mind before visiting Thailand.
Tips for the seniors
We spoke to Riddhi Roy, operations manager of Dolphins Travel, a Kolkata-based travel company, about the tips for senior citizens visiting Thailand.
“Even though Thailand is an exceptionally friendly destination, it might be a little bit troublesome for the senior citizens. If they are planning to travel to Thailand, then I would suggest them to keep a few things in mind before making that trip,” says Riddhi.
Currency Exchange is very important because only the local currency (Thai Baht) is accepted there and therefore a little knowledge about the currency is mandatory. There are many money changers all over the country, so try to compare the best rates for your USDs before changing money.
Guides are also very important because language is a barrier there. Local people do not understand English and thus guides play an important role. Also, I feel that guides are the best ambassadors that can intrduce a country, its culture and its practices to the tourists.
Dressing the right way is also a very important factor. Wearing cotton clothes is almost a must in Thailand. The temperature is hot and wearing comfortable clothes is most important. Also, the senior citizens should avoid going all traditional in their dresses because it gets difficult to enjoy certain activities.
Food: The choice of street food is enormous and so are the options in restaurants, malls and hotels. But, for senior citizens, I would not suggest trying too many local dishes at one go. After an age, our body doesn’t permit a lot of experiments thus Indian food is an option for those with delicate digestive systems. But one thing which is a must try in Thailand is fruits. It is a country of fruits and I bet they have sweetest fruits ever. Drinking water and fruits will not let you get dehydrated and help you endure the heat and enjoy the trip.
Places to see: There are lots of places to see and the places that a tourist or a travel agency usually covers are the Alcazar Show- cabaret dance show, Coral Island, Nong Nooch Village, Safari World and Marine Park, and Temple tour.
Another travel agent, Anjani Dhanuka, chairman of Aircom Travels, a leading travel agent in Kolkata, mentions a few basic points that senior citizens should always remember while travelling to Thailand.
According to him, senior citizens should always stay near city centre area so that they can get transport easily. Also, they can face difficulty due to heavy traffic in Bangkok if their hotel is far from the centre.
They should always keep photo copies of the visa and passport with them as immigration check is frequent these days. The original passport should always be kept inside the locker in the hotel.
Medical Insurance is a must for senior citizens travelling to Thailand as good hospitals are too expensive, charging a minimum 40,000 Thai Baht (INR 88,000) a day.