Thailand is a massive tourist destination for for many reasons. Beautiful beaches, amazing food, affordable accommodation, laid back lifestyle, temples, dive sites, easy transportation and general good vibe makes it an easy start to the backpacking route or a perfect getaway for the holidays. No wonder that over 15million people visit “The Land of Smiles” every year and Bangkok is one of most visited cities in the world.
Travel through Thailand and you will notice many different cultures that either are content with the laid back way of life lingering from the past or you can find new funky upcoming hip places that still embrace the strong traditional beliefs most Thai people carry. Where ever you go in Thailand you will be greeted courteously and made to feel welcome.
The food in Thailand is great from sweet to spicy and cheap in most places. Some of the best places I have eaten have been shacks on the street and like most recipes one Green Thai curry in one restaurant can be totally different from one in another. The best way to find out what you like is try it all, start with mai Phet (less spicy) to Phet Phet (very spicy) – work your way up. My favourites have to Penang Curry, Som Tam (Papaya Salad), Larb Moo- all are simple, spicy and flavoursome.
Transportation is easy whether you want to fly, catch a train or bus. There seems to be endless tourist information shops that will sort you out with your means of transport. If you do travel by bus be aware they generally do not arrive on time, will stop for food very 2 hours but generally clean and comfortable although they do drive fast.
Learning Thai is quite hard as its has phonemic tones mid, low, falling, high, and rising. Therefore one word can mean 5 different things depending on the way it is pronounced. There is said to be around 44 constants and 13 vowels in the Thai language and learning is one thing, being able to write it is another. Try and learn the basics if you can an simple hello and thank you go along way especially with a smile. Thais are generally very courteous, never raise your voice to them and respect their customs and beliefs. One of my favourite and fun times in Thailand is during SongKran – Thai water festival – everyone joins in and throws water on each other, a great fun and wet day.