Can you believe that I’ve been in Thailand for over 6 months! That’s half a year! I still can’t believe it, in one aspect it feels like it was yesterday that I was in England and in another it feels like I’ve been here ages!
We’ve had so many ups and downs and have learnt so much! So I thought I’d let you guys know what I’ve learnt about living in Thailand and give you tips for if you ever visit yourselves!
#1 Drivers are crazy!
One of the biggest problems in Thailand is the driving style of some of the locals and even some westerners. We’d heard so many horror stories before we left of the terrible accidents that happen on Thai roads. When we got to Hua Hin we understood! It’s like the rules here don’t apply to some drivers, they’ll go when it’s a red light or won’t stop when it’s a pedestrian crossing. A lot of the taxi drivers drive as they please, speeding past everyone and weaving in and out of traffic dangerously. We’re lucky in that we’ve only ever had one accident, we were in a car and someone in a bike went straight into the side of us. Luckily no-one was injured but you just have to keep an eye out always for bikers on both sides of your car.
#2 Bring your own toilet paper!
If you haven’t been to Thailand or haven’t heard of the ‘bum gun’ before, you’re seriously missing out! I was mesmerized when I sat on my first Thai toilet and noticed a small hose next to it. Apparently it’s a lot cleaner than using toilet paper but Skye and I still haven’t converted from toilet paper yet! So if you’re a little uncomfortable with the ‘bum gun’ remember to carry some tissue or toilet roll with you in your bag. Most hotels will have proper toilets but some local toilets are literally just a hole in the ground! I’ve tried my hardest to avoid these but sometimes when you have to go, you have to go!
#3 There’s 7/11’s on every corner!
I’d never been in a 7/11 before I arrived in Thailand and they’re like the best corner shop you’ve ever seen! Skye and I love to grab a few snacks, BBQ and Roast Chicken flavoured Lays (Walkers), lots of cookies and Magnum Ice Creams! They’re great as you can get pretty much everything in there from fruit and veg, to frozen food, bread, toiletries, cold drinks, seaweed and fish snacks and all sorts in between! They can also cook toasties for you on the spot! They’re not too expensive either and there’s always one 5 minutes away from the other so you know you’re never too far from one!
#4 Share Food Culture!
When you order food in Thailand, it’s a lot different than in England. Out of all the food you order, whatever is cooked first will be brought out straight away. You could then wait another 5 minutes for your next lot of food. As soon as it’s cooked they bring out your food so it all comes out at different points. We’ve learnt that in Thai culture too they will just order a bunch of dishes to put in the middle of the table and you all share each others. So if you’re precious about people taking your food, make it clear or else they’ll just grab some off your plate! We’re used to this now and sharing food is good because you can try lots of different foods but Skye was shocked when his friends first grabbed a piece of pizza off his plate! Another thing is Thai restaurants don’t give you knives. Most Thai food is rice, soup or noodles so they have no need for knives, so get used to using a fork and a spoon instead!
#5 Religious Don’ts!
There a few things we’ve been warned against here in Thailand, many for religious reasons. Thais see heads as the most spiritual part of the body and you should never touch a Thai persons head, not that you would go around touching peoples heads anyways! The feet are seen as the lowest and dirtiest part of the body so you should never point your feet towards anyone or touch anyone with your feet. Even if you have your legs crossed you should have your toes pointed away from people. Pointing your finger is also seen as impolite, especially pointing towards a photo of the King. Thais are generally tolerant if we make a mistake but it’s just polite on our behalf to try not to offend anyone.
#6 Land of Smiles!
Another is that Thailand is classed as the Land of Smiles. I can say that this is true! Everyone here is very polite and will try and help you with everything you need. They love to make conversation with you, intrigued about your life, and when we tell them we’re from Manchester they go crazy because most Thais are obssessed with Man United! They are very understanding and love to laugh and make jokes with us. Some of my favourites have actually been Grab taxi drivers. We’ve met some lovely people who’ve made conversations with us whilst driving us around! Another point to add is that yes there are dogs everywhere! I haven’t seen as many in Bangkok as in Hua Hin but there are loads of them. You have to be careful when you see them, some can be lovely but some of them can be dangerous if provoked. We’ve realised they don’t really like the loud noises of cars and bikes! My advice is just steer clear of all dogs and cats because they could have all sorts of diseases.
I hope you liked reading about the 6 things I’ve learnt whilst being in Thailand! If you’re planning a trip don’t forget to take these things into account!