January 12, 2014

Thailand: the country of the eternal smile

Thailand is a country known for the eternal smile, it is true, thai people always smile, their kindness and welcome smile is the most known cultural thing around the world.
I always wanted to visit Thailand and when in the end I was there I could understand why. It is a beautiful country, a budhist country mainly, full of temples, colorful clothes and charming people.

I learnt a lot of things being there for two weeks so here is my take away:

Welcome people, very introvert though, it is very rude to express their feelings they are very reserved but kind and helpful. Of course it is a touristy country and sometimes you might feel  like a walking dollar winding around the streets.
Sawadeeka is hello in thai, it is always good to do what you see is normal where you travel, so learning a few words will do no harm and help get closer to locals.

The King
I was very surprised to see images of the king and the royal family everywhere, they treat him like a God almost. In the cinema we could hear a song and everyone suddenly stood up and so did we. It was the king’s song and everyone needs to stand up before the film starts, it can be quite shocking at first.

Not spicy means spicy, this is one of the first things I learnt. In Europe we are very used to thai mild food but the truth is that is spicy indeed. So, if you are not a big fan of spicy take a closer look to the things you order. Thai food is delicious and I am a spicy fan so I was in paradise: curries, pad thai, noodles, soups, mango with sticky rice, desserts, tropical fruits…
There is a whole new world of flavours to discover, my recommendation is to take a cooking class, you will enjoy and learn a lot about the ingredients, herbs and all you need to cook thai at home.

Places to visit: Bangkok, beaches, Chiang Mai
There are lots of places to visit in Thailand, the one I liked the most was Chiang Mai in the north, beautiful town very authentic, cheap as chips and although is touristy it is more local than other areas.
Bangkok is a city you can’t miss, the contrast of old and new, luxury and poverty it is amazing how different can be this city.

Beaches are great in Thailand, it is a good choice to spend some time relaxing on the beach, exploring islands and some nature parks.
Remember that Thailand is quite a big country, so plan ahead how far you can go and what places you want to visit, and do not pack your schedule so you have time to relax as well.
Get ready for the heat and mosquitos, you also need to visit your GP for any vaccines you might need before travelling.
Safe travels and enjoy Thailand!

This is Meritxell Garcia, from Barcelona I almost lived here all my life but I also lived in London and in France. I have always worked in the hospitality industry and I love it! I thought that my experience and my professional background as well as my love for my city Barcelona and Catalonia could help others visit the area as a local.

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1 comentarios:

"Not spicy means spicy" is a rule you learn fast traveling! Hah, even saying "Just a little bit spicy" is usually a good opportunity to humble yourself in Asia, hah.

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