Welcome to Thailand
Thailand is paradise. It’s a magical place. Thailand has inspired scores of people to change their lives significantly. Many travelers have visited Thailand on what was supposed to be a two-week vacation, only to stay and refuse to go back home. It has that effect for some reason. If you talk to expats here, you’ll find that most of us have similar stories.
Thailand is what I call the Beverly Hills of Southeast Asia. While there is still some poverty and hardship present in the rural areas, I don’t consider Thailand to be a “developing nation” like Cambodia or Laos. Thailand is developed. Is it experiencing growing pains? Sure it is, just like any other country. But, even with the latest military coup in 2014, the baht (Thai money) barely fluctuated. That says a lot. I’m no financial genius, but you would think that if a government is dissolved, the exchange rate on the nation’s currency would tank, right? Nope, it didn’t happen here. Thailand’s economy is very stable if you ask me.
The infrastructure is on par with any Western country. That includes transportation, medical facilities, and communications. Cell service and internet is not a problem.
If you don’t like to rough it when you travel, come to Thailand. There are McDonalds and Starbucks in every decent-sized city in case you suddenly crave some familiar culture.
Get Off the Beaten Path
In the major tourist areas like Phuket, Pattaya, Bangkok, and Chiang Mai, the culture and landscape has changed to accommodate commercialism. If you really want to experience the hospitality and culture of Thailand, get off of the beaten path. Hang out in the smaller cities where there are fewer foreigners and no sign of tourists.
They say that Thailand is “The World’s Kitchen”. That’s an accurate statement. The food here cannot be beat. The prices are exceptionally cheap if you buy from the street vendors. Leftovers? That’s not a concept Thai folks embrace. Most of the food is fresh from the market and has never seen the inside of a freezer. Another plus is that you can find food twenty-four hours a day. If you get hungry at two in the morning, just walk down the soi (street) and take your pick.
Transportation to get around the country is efficient and very cheap! It’s safe to take a bus or a train. It’s not like taking a Greyhound bus in America, where you might disappear or have your bag stolen. The buses here are nice. If you pay a little bit extra, you can ride down below in the VIP seats. The chairs are like Lazy Boy recliners. I’ve been riding buses in Thailand for years and I’ve never had one single issue. (I don’t recommend taking a mini-bus, though. They drive those things too fast!)
Even the train system in Bangkok is clean and efficient. There is no similarity to the subway in New York City or MARTA in Atlanta. You don’t need to carry a gun to ride the train in Bangkok. It’s very safe and family friendly. The stations are well lit, open, and clean. If you are lost or confused, the cashiers will assist you in choosing the correct route.
Thailand is One of the Safest Countries I’ve Traveled To
Listen, there are problems, crime, and travel scams in every country in the world. I’m not saying that Thailand is perfect. What I am saying is that compared to most places, it’s inherently safe. It’s a hell of a lot safer than visiting the United States. You don’t have to worry about mass shootings or getting carjacked at a red light in Thailand. Someone may snatch your bag or your gold necklace (if you’re stupid enough to wear a big gold chain) but that’s about it. In America, they just shoot you and then take what they please. Think about that for a minute.
Yeah, there was a military coup in 2014. So what? I’m still here. I never felt threatened or have been in fear of anything since it went down. When it first happened, there was a curfew. Big deal. It was comical because a bar full of adults would clear out when it got close to the curfew time. That was the only real impact it had on me. It made us all feel like teenagers again, trying to get home before we got in trouble.
Friendly Advice for Travelers
If you’re thinking about traveling to Thailand, come on. You’ll love it. I stake my entire reputation on that claim.
Friendly Advice for Expats Living Here Who Complain
If you’re one of those expats here in Thailand who just sits at the bar all day, waiting to die, with your fat belly hanging out of your tank top, drinking beer, complaining, and posting negative comments about Thailand online, here’s my advice for you:
- Move back to England, Germany, Sweden, the U.S., or wherever you’re from.
There will be more room for those of us who actually appreciate and love our newly adopted country. You’ll be happier back home in the West, shoveling snow and paying outrageous taxes. Apparently, that’s what you’re missing.
Since we’re not Thai citizens, it’s a privilege to be able to live here. It’s not a right. It seems that some of you have forgotten that fact.
Best Way to Book Hotels in Thailand?
In Southeast Asia, I always book my hotel rooms online through Agoda. It’s a fast, efficient booking process and I’ve never had any issues. Most of the time, Agoda has the best prices. Check it and see for yourself. These links will take you direct to the Agoda city pages for: