Just got back from Thailand a week ago, still looks like I have dandruff and a skin disease. That is what happens when you live in Chicago and your Irish skin doesn’t see sunlight for 7 months straight. Thailand is a world of wonder – I highly recommend it for any adventurous soul.
Some things I learned (in no particular order):
- That’s a long-ass flight from the Midwest. Wear cotton undies on the plane and bring your prune juice to keep your life on (gi) track.
- The humidity is usually a higher number than the temperature. Bring a hat fellow curly hair peeps.
- Hookers are legal. And also show up in your lap when looking the other direction. Keep your legs crossed.
- Avoid the ping pong show. Don’t ask, just do.
- Multiply your normal sun screen spf by three for dat strong Thai sun.
- See one temple, you’ve seen them all. And cover your shoulders for Pete’s sake!
- Reclining Buddha is cool and all but that few hundred year-old lazy, relaxing chica takes a train, a bus and two ferries to get to and they push you shoe-less past her in 4 minutes and that’s all the time you get with her.
- The Bangkok Transit System (BTS) was great! Easy to follow and air conditioned. Don’t be a fool and stand in the marked queue lines. Only a tourist would do that.
- Prepare your tip and form of payment before you ask for the check – they hover. And by hover I mean stand in your personal bubble until you hand it back to them.
- Speaking of asking for the check, you have to get up and ask or you’ll never get it.
- The CHANGover is real. Google it. (Here, I did it for you.)
- Most everyone speaks English, we are so lucky. However, they will take advantage of you for quoting Tuk Tuk and taxi rides – practice your haggling skills beforehand. Download Grab (similar to uber or lyft) prior, then you know a fair price for a car.
- You need cash money. You can’t get by with a non-international fee credit card on this trip (but I would still get one if you plan to travel a lot – I like the Chase Sapphire). Most places are baht only. Temples, transportation, Thai restaurants – I used my credit card at the hotels only for the most part.
- They don’t de-bone their fish. I repeat, there WILL be bones in your fish. Opt for the chicken or duck.
- We genuinely felt safe in both Bangkok and Phuket at all times. Didn’t notice any fishy business other than those in the ocean and that one time I made the mistake of ordering it in my pad Thai.
- Support the locals! Shopping in the stores and at the marts is a great way to give back to the country. Going off the beaten path led us to some great findings. Avoid waiting until the airport to buy your now expensive souvenirs. Oh, and they all sell the exact same stuff. Literally, the exact. same. stuff.
- Setting up tours by local guides is the best way to do anything. Tuk Tuk evening food tour was amazing in Bangkok and John Gray’s sea cave canoe tour in Phuket made memories to last a lifetime. Pro tip: byob on the canoe cave tour
- Thai massage = ouch. And three days later? Still ouch. But boy was that cheap!
- Thanks to a cat café we stumbled upon in Old Town Phuket, turns out I love hazelnut cream in my green tea. My life has been forever changed.
- I just wanted this post to have an even number.
Friendly reminder that the middle seat gets both armrests.