I’m writing this post from Kalaw in Myanmar because I’ve just come back from a wander into town, where I realised today is the day of the full moon, so nowhere is open.
Before Myanmar I was in Thailand for a month, so I’d like to think I learned a lot about the place and the culture. I had an amazing time, some places more than others (big up Pai!) but thought I’d write a blog post not only about why Thailand is amazing, but also why it isn’t—because no one writes about that.
As with everything, these are my own opinions, so people are likely to disagree.
- The food. As previously mentioned in other posts, I’m a foodie. There are absolutely tons of street food stalls selling Thai food (I tend to stay away from seafood even though I LOVE it) and not once have I gotten sick, despite numerous people warning me not to eat from stalls. It’s authentic! I can’t not! The curries are my fav though. To be honest, I got bored of Thai food by the end and couldn’t bring myself to eat any more noodles!
- It’s beautiful. No matter where you go there are temples, all with intricate detailing and pretty colours. Even the scruffy streets I find beautiful in their own way. The markets are colourful, and the scenery can be breathtaking (another shout out to my fav place Pai, and also Koh Tao).
- The religion. I like that the majority of the country believes in something more, whether or not it’s something I believe in. It’s nice seeing them come together and celebrate their beliefs, and seeing people worship so enthusiastically is refreshing.
- There’s something for everyone. You can be a big-money-baller or a budget traveller and you’ll still be able to travel Thailand.
- It’s well connected. It’s so easy to book travel to the next place you’re going to, even on the same day you’re planning to travel. Most hostels can sort you out.
- There is an abundance of like-minded people so it makes it easy to travel alone. You’re always going to meet people and sometimes you’ll end up going to the same destinations together, or meet up occassionally.
- A lot of Thai people speak pretty good English. I didn’t quite appreciate it until I came to Myanmar, where I have struggled the majority of the time.
The bad and the ugly
- The majority of the time people are trying to sell you stuff. Quite often I’ve been having a nice little conversation with someone at a market, thinking ‘aw they’re so lovely, asking how my day is’ then BAM! they’ll start trying to sell you something. Or in Bangkok they’ll come up to you while you’re eating in a restaurant and just stand there, even when you’ve said ‘no thank you’ five times. I stopped walking up to stalls in the end, unless I really wanted to buy something, because they’d jump straight out of their chair shoving a bracelet down your throat if you were looking for longer than a second.
- People will constantly shout ‘taxi?!’ at you. Even if they heard you say ‘no’ to the guy next to them, they’ll still ask you.
- Cockroaches, rats, mosquitos. Need I say more?
- I have never been so sweaty in all my life.
- Most places are really westernised or over-populated with tourists who do nothing but go out and get wasted every.single.night— which kind of takes the beauty out of travelling for me (sounding like a grandma I know!)
- The street animals. I’ve seen way more dogs than cats, but they all absolutely break my heart when I see them. So skinny, scared and lonely. I wish I could just set up a dog shelter right now for them.
In no way do I want to sound like I didn’t enjoy my time in Thailand, because I absolutely loved it! I’m even going back for 3 weeks after Myanmar (mainly to teach English). I just thought I’d give a twist on the usual ‘why I love ….’ post.