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Thursday, February 25, 2016

8 Things About Thailand I Learned as a First-Time Traveler


This entry is what you call "othering" to the nth level. I wrote this list way back in 2008 in my old, now-defunct blog, so I’m reposting this now. Please excuse the exoticizing and essentializing authorial voice. I was lazy to write a detailed travelogue, that's why.

1. Thais use straw when drinking.
Whenever you purchase a bottled water, soda, wine, soft drink and even beer (!) at 7-Eleven, a straw is always provided. It doesn’t matter what the drinkable item is.

2. Most Thais don’t speak good English.
And when they do, you have to pay attention to their pronunciation as there is no audible difference between how they pronounce r’s and l’s. Grammar Nazis will have a nightmare.

3. Monks are everywhere. 
This is no surprising as Thailand is a Buddhist nation. Some monks are barefoot and carrying a monk bag. They get free meals!


4. Thais love to eat.
Streetfood are everywhere and very cheap. A single meal usually starts at 20 baht.

5. If you need to a take leak, look for a toilet. 
Don’t ever ask a Thai person where the CR, comfort room or rest room is located. Chances are, s/he won’t understand what you are talking about.

6. It is more expensive to ride a tuktuk than a colored taxi.
Yes, for real! This is especially true to touristic areas. Tuktuk drivers tend to overcharge. I experienced it myself. So I suggest you take a colored taxi with a working meter to avoid getting ripped off.


7. The King is idolized and venerated. 
Photos of King Bhumibol are posted it any space imaginable - in the streets, restaurants, buses, even toilets.

8. Ronald McDonald is not an imperialist Buddhist. 
He greets every customer smiling and “wai’ing” with his hands pressed together.

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