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Archive for April 22nd, 2010

Thailand Wrap Up

Thailand is a pretty kick-ass country.  The fact that it is sooooo touristy did rub Kelly and me the wrong way from time to time, but hey…places are touristy for a reason, right?  Overall, we had a great time and of course, hope to make it back one day.

The Landscape

You’ve seen the pictures.  Awesome beaches, jungle, and mountains.

The People
Thais are so friendly!   Although at times, they kill you with kindness while ripping you off.   We did appreciate the fact that women are a bit more respected here; we were never harassed (unlike in Costa Rica and South America) and actually felt quite safe everywhere we went.   You can get by without being able to speak Thai, although the language barrier was definitely more of an issue for us here.

A popular stop on the ‘backpacker trail’, we met tourists from EVERYWHERE, but mainly a lot of young Brits traveling overseas for their first time.   Also, a ton of Canadians…it was great to meet up with the two Jeff’s and hang with them and their fellow countrymen. 

The Costs
Thailand is cheap, but not nearly as cheap as we’d thought it would be.   After breaking our budget in New Zealand and Australia, everyone told us ‘oh, don’t worry…in Thailand, you will get by on $10-$15 a day’. These people obviously did not travel here during high season.

While street food is dirt cheap, accommodation was still pricey in our opinion – $10 per person, per night for a room in a guesthouse.  For the full moon party, we paid $45 a night.   Northern Thailand is a lot cheaper and we paid roughly $5 per person, per night for our accommodation.   Bus transport was reasonably priced, but the buses were pretty ghetto.

The Food
FANTASTIC.   Spicy curries, greasy fried noodles and rice, tangy soups, yummy pad thai, tasty meat skewers, fresh seafood, fruit shakes (our favorite was watermelon)…the list goes on and on and we cannot say enough about how wonderful and cheap the food is Thailand. 

 A lot of U.S. travel health warnings urge travelers to ‘avoid street food’ for sanitary reasons, which is hilarious.   It’s convenient, cheap, and DELICIOUS!!!   After Hong Kong, it is definitely one of our favorite food cultures.

Of course, there are still plenty of McDonald’s if you need your comfort food fix.

The Booze
Beer. Our choice was Chang because it was the cheapest and tasted good, but a lot of people preferred Singha or Tiger.

Buckets. Ugh.  Most people’s bucket of choice is vodka and Redbull, but there is no way Kelly and I could stomach that disgusting mixture.   We went with the plain vodka/soda route which wasn’t much better because the club soda SUCKS here.

Other Random Thoughts
-There are a lot of squat toilets in Thailand.  Western ones exist as well, but instead of pushing a handle to flush, you fill a bucket of water, dump it in the toilet, and repeat this process until the force of the water has pushed everything through the pipes. 

-The Thais don’t use toilet paper; they have a water sprayer next to the toilet that you use to clean yourself, which we actually got quite used to and sort of prefer.  We liked to call it the ‘bum gun’.

-Riding in a tuk-tuk is fun!

-If you come to Thailand and plan on visiting any of the temples, bring a scarf or sarong.  Upon entering a Wat, your shoulders and legs must be covered.  Also, don’t point your feet towards an image of Buddha or he will be pissed. 

-Now, onto Laos!

 
 

 

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