Don’t Forget To Explore Beyond The Hotel

Written by: Simon Philipp | Published: November 2, 2020

At the moment it can feel that staycations and domestic trips within Thailand are all about getting a great hotel deal. However, we believe it should be more about the fantastic opportunity to spend more time discovering the beauty of Thailand. It’s time to explore Bangkok and explore Thailand!


As such, it should not be just about “The Best Hotel” for a Staycation. In this article Simon, the owner of Expique, presents an argument as to why we hope domestic travellers will explore deeper and support local tour operators and communities who usually rely on tourism.

The Current Situation

With borders still more or less closed, for people living in Thailand this now means more time to explore Thailand. However, with every travel business in Thailand now competing for the domestic traveller this means there are so many deals at the moment. At it’s core it feels like it is great hotel deals that are attracting customers. This is both the case, for staycations and for travel within Thailand.

Furthermore with schemes like the governments “We Travel Together” scheme (Rao Tiew Duay Kan), Thai citizens can get a subsidy of 40% for their hotel bill, flights, and many of their meals. There is now the “Expat Travel Bonus” scheme, where every expat in Thailand is eligible to receive THB 1,000 discount per night at any of over 300 participating hotels across Thailand.

These schemes of course are helping hotels, restaurants and even some shops, but what about tour companies and the people who can show you the real Thailand?

People are using this opportunity to explore places that they have always wanted to visit, but we still believe travellers can get a deeper experience. When locals travel they need a hotel but they don’t usually think they need a tour.  The dynamics of the local domestic customer, whether it be Thai or Expat, often mean they will explore an area by themselves rather than with a tour. As such it is a really hard time for tour companies.


There Are Many Great Experiences To Be Had. So Get Out And Explore!

As an owner of a tour company in Thailand, I am using this time to both explore Bangkok and explore Thailand more. As I do, I try to support other tour operators. For me it is both an opportunity to learn more about Thailand, and also see the kind of tours and experiences that other companies are offering. There are so many great experience to be had.

Here is a short overview of the sort of experiences that we have had over the last few months.

Explore Bangkok and Beyond by Bicycle with Just Nok

Expique team exploring Nakhon Pathom by bicycle

Many people are surprised to hear how popular bicycle tours are in Bangkok. After all, most people think of it as a busy and congested city! Over the last few months we have enjoyed re-connecting with Just Nok Bicycle Tours and discovered many new places with her. Cycling is definitely a great way to discover new parts of Bangkok and the surrounding countryside.

Drive Around Northern Thailand in a Tuk Tuk with The Tuk Tuk Club

Driving a Tuk Tuk in Northern Thailand

There is so much to discover in Northern Thailand and possibly the most fun way to do it is by driving around in a tuk tuk. The Tuk Tuk Club is Thailand’s first self driving tuk tuk tour company. You start with a lesson on how to drive a tuk tuk and then you are ready to explore. You will be accompanied by a guide to ensure you don’t get lost and you discover the most. They have programs from 1 – 10 days.

Of course you don’t have to travel all the way to Northern Thailand to enjoy exploring by tuk tuk. You can enjoy a tuk tuk tour in Bangkok, even though you can not drive it yourself.

Explore Thailand Through Community Based Tourism with SiamRise

Community based tourism in Phattalung

We have known the team at SiamRise for a while, but never actually been on any of their programs. On a recent trip to Southern Thailand, we decided to check out one of their community based programs in Phattalung which is hosted by their local partner BuddyNatures. While we could have explored by ourselves we discovered so much more by exploring with a local and connecting us to do activities with local communities. Such experiences can be done all over Thailand.

Visit an Ethical Elephant Sanctuary

Visiting Elephants World in Kanchanaburi

Many of the most well known ethical Elephant Sanctuaries have really expensive visit programs (2000THB+). These are designed for inbound tourists who are happy to pay for a once in a lifetime experience. Very few locals will pay this price and therefore elephant sanctuaries have been hit very hard, yet elephants still need to eat.

Several sanctuaries now allow people to come for a short visit for free but do hope you will give a donation. This is not always advertised, but worth asking about. We have visited a few over the last few months and this includes Elephants World in Kanchanaburi.


Take a Food Tour in Hua Hin with Feast Thailand

The main reasons for visit Hua Hin are usually rest and relaxation at a nice hotel. However, there is a lot to discover including food! We recently had the opportunity to explore with Feast Thailand. There are so many local eateries to discover, and for a similar price to eating in a restaurant at a top hotel you can actually enjoy a food tour and discover a lot more, and be a lot fuller!!!!!

Given our love for food we would recommend doing a fun tour in every city in Thailand including a food tour in Bangkok. Even locals may discover new things!

Conclusion: If Planning A Staycation Also Take a Tour!

If planning a staycation in Bangkok, then why not stay somewhere around the river or Old Town and also take a tour. Check out the best Bangkok hotels for staycations and all our experiences in Bangkok!

If travelling further a field, the options are endless!



Explore Thailand with Expique

At Expique our mission is to help people discover the real Bangkok (and beyond) and the local cultures. Our current focus is to provide the best content available to plan a trip and discover Thailand.

Prior to COVID-19 our focus was on offering a range of experiences in Bangkok including our award winning Bangkok Night Lights Tuk Tuk Tour. These have now been temporarily suspended.

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About Expique

Expique is an award winning experience operator based in Bangkok. We show guests the beauty of Bangkok through tuk tuk tours, food tours, eScooter tours, walking tours, cooking classes and a lot more.

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