Travelling is one of the best things a person can do with their time. It provides new experiences, it broadens horizons, and deepens our appreciation of the world around us. While many of us understand this when it comes to personal travel, we can tend to underestimate the benefits which can also arrive from a business focus.
The idea of business backpacking is one of the lesser-known forms of travel, but it’s also one that has been gaining increasing modern traction. Tied into the growing remote-working landscape, this concept can offer benefits far more profound than we might expect. Using some of Thailand’s most engaging locations as a base, we want to explore this idea, and why it could be a path well-worth taking.
A Little bit of Everything – Bangkok
Starting big, no traveler of Thailand could pass by the capital. So large and diverse is Bangkok, that it’s difficult to know where to even start heaping praises. From food to traditional architecture, modern convenience, and back to food, Bangkok is a city of opportunity, lined with millions of smiling faces.
In terms of business, this level of flexibility means you get out as much as you put in. Looking to replace or upgrade your electronic devices? Head to the MBK Center for the latest and greatest tech. After cheaper or more esoteric hardware? Check out the India Emporium Mall for second-hand refurbished devices that still hold up.
For travelers who already have exactly what they need, then rest assured that getting online in Bangkok is incredibly easy. Unlike many travel locations, the hotels and Airbnb’s in Thailand tend to be very free with their Wi-Fi connections, meaning no exorbitant fees holding you back.
Finally, there is also the option of Bangkok’s internet cafes, which are plentiful and cheap. This is something we can personally vouch for, having spent many hours tapping away at 24-hour establishments to complete business projects on time. Just be wary that, in most cases, you’re going to have to change the system languages for the computers first if you don’t read Thai.
Looking for Seclusion – The Islands
Sometimes to work on a project you need the benefits of a calm and uninterrupted mind. For backpacking business-people, some of the best locations to offer the seclusion you need are found on Thailand’s many islands.
As such a tourist-friendly country, you’ll never be left wanting for choice if this is your preferred way to engage. Islands like Koh Yao Noi and Koh Racha are perfect getaways to center yourself or give the quiet that many of us need to operate at full capacity. Make no mistake though, their seclusion belies their sophistication.
With high-speed internet and other amenities like air-conditioning keeping you connected and in perfect comfort, these are places that can feel impossible to leave. Of course, being able to relax on the beach after a hard day’s work is another enormous bonus, well worth the price of admission alone.
Finding Inspiration – Chiang Mai
This answer might seem a little cliché to a seasoned traveler of Thailand, but Chiang Mai is not a place anyone should miss. The capital of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is home to some of the finest illustrations of Thai history and culture, most notably through its Buddhist temples.
Lush with greenery, the relaxed atmosphere of the mountainous region is only contradicted by its developed infrastructure. This is a place where you can spend a morning out on a walk, see things you’ll never experience anywhere else in the world, and then return to work the same afternoon.
One suggestion we would make is to consider not staying exclusively within the areas dedicated to western tourists. You’re not going to be inspired if you do the same things you do at home, after all. This doesn’t mean missing the famous sights like Wat Chiang Man or the Saturday Walking Street, but it can include creating your own set of memories.
To this end, it can be worth devising your own mementos by spending some time with the locals. Rather than sticking to walking tours, just wander about. Instead of taking postcards for kiosks, take your own pictures of the aspects that stuck out for you, and get them custom printed in a way that reflects your appreciation. Simply put, you want to be able to hold onto the inspiration you find, that you might benefit from it when back in your regular life.
Taking Your Own Route
While the above examples we can personally vouch for, we cannot stress enough just how little these scratch the surface of what Thailand has to offer. Every time we’ve visited, we’ve found something new to do, even in places we considered fully explored. All of these elements can be leveraged into better business backpacking engagement, it’s just a matter of finding the right perspective.
Be flexible, remember to bring an umbrella if you’re not used to the heat, and, most importantly, eat as much as you can. Sa wat dii.