When I am talking about traveling to Southeast Asia, I obviously won’t miss Thailand. I guess most of us has used to come to Thailand at least one time when travelling to SE Asia. And of course I am one of those. To be fair, my first impression when I came here for the first time after spending almost a month in Cambodia is …I didn’t like Thailand very much.
Firstly, an unexpected encountered at immigration with custom officer. They speak English not so well and very grumpy. What he did to me was throwing back my passport in front of me and spoke with an irritating voice just because I forgot to fill up my accommodation while he got enough two hands to give it back to me properly. But I am tolerant man, so I don’t care as long as he let me pass the gate. Secondly, the girl at the money exchange counter was not really friendly when I changed only 100$ and she even did not look at me back when I say thank to her. I also found that every traveler in Bangkok is very hard to approach, they are virtually expat and very rich tourist, then who mind to talk with a peasant without even a penny and change only 100$. Well, maybe fair enough 🙂
Why 100$ ?? ok, let me make this sincere for you. My budget to travel around Southeast Asia for a year is only 500$ so do the math and you will see how much should I spend for each country. But I still survive so far, and of course, I had to wear many different hats. (but not a drug dealer man)
That is just one of many bad experience I have had in Thailand. But I think, every country does and everything always has pros and cons. So what we have to do is to skip the tiny hole on big wall and take that as a lesson. Maybe don’t forget to fill up your accommodation in the blank and please change a lot of money.
And how about now ? Like or dislike ?
Living in Thailand almost 2 months has really changed my mind about this beautiful country. And I totally fell in love with it. When my friend Alessandro Schneider ( founder of www.staydu.com ) flew to Bangkok from Bali for our first meeting, (sounds like we met on gay dating website eh ?) We have had a really great time and funny experience in Bangkok during 2 months. I will tell you things that make me so loved up about Thailand.
1. THAI PEOPLE ARE SO NICE. In my experience about some place I have been so far. I can confirm that Thailand is a country of a thousand smiles. Ah of course they cannot smile when they are sad or cry, but in general, they are friendly and very well-deposed. I have had so many helps from Thai people when I got lost in Bangkok or even when I hitchhiked from Bangkok to Malaysia (please check my article about hitchhiking from Thailand to Malaysia). They are willing to help you as much as they can even they can pay for you the bus ticket if you get lost. Well, don’t think I cash in on them man, can’t sleep with that at night. I can afford to pay for bus ticket by myself.
2. BANGKOK CITY IS A HIVE OF ACTIVITY. Our apartment located at Silom road. From there we can walk to Pat Pong road and Khao San road every night. It took about 45 minutes for Pat Pong and an hour to Khao San, I guess, cannot remember exactly. Bangkok at night is mystery and glorious. Ambling around the concrete jungle from street to streets, smelling the delicious odour from street foods will make you appetite for a bite. Seriously, I can’t help every time we walk by a street vendor or the smell from pad Thai just make me drooling.
To be honest, my favorite shop in Thailand is 7-11, I found that it just makes your life so much easy with a lot of already made foods and bakeries. It was through that convenient shop to help me save so much money in Thailand. I will reveal how to spend 1 dollar in Bangkok for one day. Of course, this is just for fun only and not recommended you to follow. I did it sometimes but it’s not good at all. Let me show you, so as we known 1$ = 30 bath
1. Go to 7-11
2. Scouring for a instant noodle shelf and find a dwarf glass which cost only 5 bath ( the price is already up at the moment ) and buy 3 glasses
3. Keep going to the fridge and get 3 bottle of small water which cost only 5 bath.
Then you have a full meal with food and drinking 3 times a day with only 1 dollar.
3. THAILAND CUISINE. I think one of the reason made Thailand as my best candidate so far is Thai cuisine. I love spicy so needless to say I love Thai food. Especially Pad Thai. Bangkok is a culture nub of Thailand with diverse communities like ethnic Thais, Chinese, Hindus, Muslims, Christians… so it also affects to this country’s cuisine. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that many people visit Thailand to savor the exotic cuisines of the place. Unfortuanately, I cannot afford to try any foods in Thai restaurant, but the street food only somewhat tell the diversified cuisine in this country.
4. KHAOSAN ROAD & PATPONG STREET. The name already tell everything by it self. Bangkok for notably at Khaosan road and Patpong where you can find a good sport for yourself, Ping Pong show. Almost everyone from tourist to local people converges on Khaosan road at night. If you don’t like crowded or the heat, steer clear this place. I always stay at Khaosan road every time I come to Thailand, especially If you are really travel on a budget, try Mama guest house down a quiet street in between Khao San Rd and Rambutri Road, the place has a dorm fan room for just 80 baht a night, single fan rooms for 150 baht and double fan rooms for 250 baht. Toilets are outside the rooms. It was very simple, with about 4 bunk-beds in it. There’s a beauty salon downstairs. Tel: +66 (0)2 629 2603 Address: 90/11 So Rambutri Road.
Pat Pong is a entertainment district in Bangkok. I called it’s a heaven on earth. Patpong is known as a red light district at the heart of Bangkok’s sex industry. The fact that makes me come to know Pat Pong is some tuk tuk drivers offered me a Ping Pong when I was walking on the street at Khaosan. I was quite surprise since why these guys want to play ping pong with us, lol and just only when they showed the pictures, every suspicions just disapear right off the bat. Anyway, go there and check it out guys, it’s worth to give a shot, but don’t get addicted.
5. BEAUTIFUL ISLAND. Thailand has hundreds of islands both in the Gulf of Siam and in the Andaman Sea. All of the islands of Thailand are coastal islands. To be honest, I haven’t had a chance to visit any Island in Thailand but I’ve heard a lot about its beautiful. When I was in Phuket, I can see lots of Island tour offered from travel agent but I am just cash-trapped at that moment, so see you in another time maybe.
6. FESTIVAL. I don’t know exactly how many festivals are celebrated throughout the country. But I think I just spent one of the best one in Thailand. If traveling to Thailand in April, you will be soaked over yourself in Songkran festival (check my article for Songkran festival). Only one word to describe this event “MADD BRICK” sorry two words. It’s freeze not because of the dropping temperature. This is an traditional new year event of Thai people. The only time in year people can splash water to each other without getting mad. If you can’t swim, don’t come at that time, I am joking. Just make sure that you will be equipped with rain coat, water proof bag, camera case, 5 bath coin as much as good to buy ammunition and last but not least A GUN. And then embark to jump into the battle and get wet. I found that the weather in Bangkok just gets cold extraordinarily when I am totally soaked. I have some good tips for you.
– Keep staying away from the air con in 7-11 as far as good.
– Keep 5 bath coin to buy water
– Stay away from a bucket with full of ice inside, or you’re gonna get freeze, literally.
7. THEY JUST DON’T GIVE A SHIT WHAT YOU DO. Well the last one is a bit personal. But I found that Thai people is quite open mind and not so as curious as Cambodian. I found it’s really annoy me every time when I am going out with a white girl in Cambodia. They just throw me a quizzical survey and keep whispering to each other. But I don’t have any problem in Thailand, they just don’t care what you do, as long as you don’t tell them “hey !!! look at me”
That’s is, that is 7 things that make me love Bangkok so much and want to go back and live in Bangkok. Just please sharing your great experience about Thailand in particularly or about your travel in general. I would love to keep in touch with people who has the same passion for travel.