I fell in love with Thailand the first time I was there and have been back numerous times since. The thing that I love most about the country is the incredible richness of the culture that serves as a human backdrop to the magnificent physical beauty of the geography. It makes any visit to the Southeast Asian Kingdom a true feast for the mind and senses. Having gotten to know Thailand pretty well over the years, there are a few insights that I would like to share and myths that I feel are ripe to be dispelled:
- It’s Easy to Navigate
The Thai language is notoriously difficult to master, but fear not, as most people speak at least passable English. Having said that, seeing the sights can usually be better done with a qualified guide in order to get the most out of it. With Travezl, you can book by far the best quality tours of all the best sights and experiences to make your stay truly memorable
- Thailand is NOT the Cesspool of Debauchery That Many Think It Is
I’m not saying that there is no funny business going on. There is, but the vast majority of Thais are extremely religious, socially conservative and are mortified that their country is seen as the home of less savory behaviour by foreigners. They see their compatriots involved in these illicit trades as being exploited by westerners, who take advantage of their relative poverty to satiate their own cravings. For a fiercely patriotic people, this is a cause of no small irritation.
- The Food is Even Better Than You Can Imagine
Thai restaurants have become commonplace all over the world, however, the best Thai meal I have eaten in the UK does not come close to the most average that I’ve tasted while actually in Thailand. Even the most innocuous looking hole in the wall eatery will dish up spicy delights that are delectable beyond belief. As an added extra, the Thai really love their coffee, and the java is better than anywhere else in Asia (no pun intended).
- Nobody Loves Shopping Like the Thai
With the possible exception of my Mum, I have never seen people that love shopping with quite the same passion as the Thai. If there was an Olympics for shopping, Thailand would absolutely rinse the rest of the world. Tourists win out of this deal, as there are seemingly endless, air-conditioned malls at which to shop until one drops and find cool products at ludicrous prices.
- You Take Your Life In Your Hands Every Time You Hit the Road
OK, I might be over-dramatising a smidge, but first-time visitors will be absolutely horrified at the complete absence of any road rules – or at least the adherence to them if they do, in fact, exist. Driving in Thailand is like what I image being part of a swarm of bees would feel like – utter chaos. You wonder why they bother with lane markings since everyone drives wherever the heck they feel like.
The cacophony of horns is almost deafening, as everyone is on the ALL the time. For people who value life so highly, it’s really quite remarkable that they all drive like escaped psych-ward patients.
- Thais LOVE their Royals
As mentioned earlier, Thais are ferociously patriotic and their royal family are the focal point of their national identity. They speak about their beloved King and Queen with a degree of respect and adoration that you will rarely find here in the UK, where the royals seem to exist primarily to provide salacious headlines for tabloids.
I hope this has provided you with some useful insights that will prepare you for what you will find when you make it to this delightfully surprising country for a visit!