The Things They Don't Tell You About Travelling in Thailand

by - 3:00 PM


Here's the thing about Thailand: every twenty-something who wants to show off and try to be a traveller goes there. When they come back it's all one big success story of a wonderful time with a little bit too much alcohol and a whole lot of awesome people.
Here's another thing about Thailand: every traveller over thirty is also completely obsessed with the place. Nothing but great reviews from them: 'Thailand has the most amazing nature/culture/cities!'
Now don't get me wrong, I like Thailand too. I can see where all those people are coming from. Thailand is pretty great. But to be honest, all I can do is laugh when I hear others talk about their trip to Thailand as they went to heaven on earth. Where are all the practical, funny and somewhat gross things about travelling in Thailand? Well, in case you're wondering the same thing, here they are! Because travelling in Thailand is pretty awesome, but there are some thing you should know before you go!

Water bottles are water bombs
When the Thai first saw a bottle they must have thought: "Let's fill that thing until there's absolutely no room left, not even for a single drop of water!' And so they did. Thai bottles are filled to the rim, which makes opening a bottle of water tricky business. After all you don't want to spill it all over yourself - like I did the first couple of times. The best way to open a Thai water bottle is by putting it down on a flat surface, slowly taking the cap off, then slurping that first sip out of it. There's really no alternative. Unless you wanna spill it and look like you peed your pants. Drinking water straight from the tap is only recommended if you'd like to spend your time in close proximity to a toilet.

Thailand is a wifi valhalla
When I left for Thailand I expected to have a stable internet connection in my hostel. Maybe. If I was lucky. I know hostel wifi; even if they say it's there, there's a fair chance it's not there. I was fully prepared for an involuntary internet detox. And then I arrived in Bangkok. And there was free wifi everywhere. In hostels, in restaurants, even in the tiny food places that were no more than three tables in someone's living room! It wasn't the crappy slow wifi that colleges and schools are so proud of, oh no, it was that sweet superfast wifi that would never let you down. It was ideal for live tweeting and posting terrible selfies on instagram. I felt like I'd died and gone to blogger heaven.


Toilets are complicated
While we're on the topic: I like toilets with toilet paper. I know that's a weird thing to say, but think about it: you appreciate toilet paper too and you probably don't realize it until there is none. Which could totally happen in Thailand. Sometimes there's toilet paper, sometimes there isn't. Sometimes when there is toilet paper you can't flush it because it'll clog that toilet and you'll have to throw it in a bin next to the toilet instead (wonderfully hygienic, I know). Sometimes there's no bin and you have to flush it anyway. But wait, there's more! Sometimes your toilet is just a hole in the ground, like in France! In that case you have to scoop water out of a bucket to 'flush' the toilet. So you see, going to the toilet can become quite a complicated situation. Do check what kind of toilet situation you're dealing with before you find yourself needing a bathroom and not having all the... let's say 'necessary equipment'.

Locals like your flip flops - a lot
In Southeast Asia it's normal for people to take their shoes off before entering a house. Hostels and guesthouses do the same thing, so there'll be a shoe rack for you to put your shoes in. With this system and the scorching Southeast Asian heat you're probably going to want to wear flip flops.
Now what happened to me was this: for one night we stayed with locals in a mountain village near Chiang Mai. As usual I'd left my flip flops outside. When I had to go to the bathroom, they were gone. Then my hostess walked past me - on my flip flops! After a while, when she didn't need them anymore, she put them back and I quickly put them on. When I returned to the room, she was wearing my mom's flip flops. Moral of the story: keep an eye on your freaking flip flops!

Bonus round!
There are 7Elevens at the corner of just about every street. You can apply for a visa upon arrival. Most of the stray dogs are adorable, some, just a few, are pure evil. Boats are safe, even though they might look like floating death traps. The humidity will try to kill you. Women can't come close to monks (no idea why). There are loads of small travel agencies where you can easily by tickets to other places in Thailand. Stepping on money with the king's face on it is a big NO. Wear a shirt with sleeves and long pants when you want to visit a temple. And did I mention the humidity will try to kill you?

As you can see travelling in Thailand isn't all rainbows and unicorns. Rain and elephants would be more appropriate in this case. But with a bit of preparation you'll have the time of your life in the kingdom of Thailand!

x Envy

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17 Fellow Ramblers

  1. Nice post! Thailand sounds so interesting, I have never been there before and I am surprised as you are that there is wifi everywhere.
    Róisín
    totallyro.blogspot.ie

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    1. The wifi situation still surprises me, but made me so freaking happy as a blogger!

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  2. Omg, I can totally relate to the bit about the bathroom situation! When I was in China, we learned to carry our own toilet paper, and it took a little while after I got home to get used to throwing it in the toilet. Oh, and those bathrooms that were just sort of a ledge over a pit were 0 stars, according to me and the folks I was traveling with. Despite that, I wouldn't trade my time there for anything, and I know you feel that was about Thailand!

    xx
    Emily

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    1. Good to know the situation in China is similar! I find that you do get used to those pits, despite them being absolutely awful. Just think about all the gender issues it'd solve if all the toilets were like that, haha.
      And indeed, I do feel like that about Thailand!

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  3. The flip-flop ordeal made me chuckle. I've never been abroad before but I would like to go to Thailand, thanks for the heads up about the toilet situation though as I'm not sure how I'd fair with that. I think seeing stray dogs would upset me, I'd want to take them all home with me.

    Beth | Quirks and Queries

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    1. The flip-flop thing still makes me laugh too, it's just too funny. I hope you get to go to Thailand one day. You do get used to the toilet situation very quickly and not all the toilets are like that. When you stay at hotels you'll have a regular toilet.

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  4. This was such an interesting post to read! I would stress out so much with the super full water bottles I'm clumsy enough already 💖🍵

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    1. The water bottles are the number 1 cause of stress among some tourists, I bet! It's so difficult to handle them without spilling too much.

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  5. This was a brilliant post to read! It's so strange how things are different around the world especially toilet situations though curious about the flip flop situation. I admit that gave me a little giggle.

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    1. Thank you! I think the flip flop story makes most people laugh. I makes me laugh, even after all these weeks, hahaha

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  6. Well, despite all of this, it sounds like you had a great time! I'm not sure about the evil stray dogs though....

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    1. Yeah I had the best time! Those dogs traumatized me a little though...

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  7. I love that you don't just show the glossy exterior.
    It's crazy that there's wi-fi everywhere, but *how handy*?
    Gave me giggle with your flip flop story!
    Cora ❤ http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk/

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    1. I'm glad to hear you like my style! I wasn't sure if people would appreciate brutal honesty about certain topics. The wifi is the best thing ever, the flipflop thing not so much, hahaha

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  8. hahahaha you write the best travel post babe! you honestly crack me up every time! And the wifi point was a nice thing to know because I assumed the connection would be terrible there!

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    1. Aww thank you, that means so much to me! I assumed there'd be no connection at all, but in some places it was actually better than what I've got at home. Wish I'd know that before I went.

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  9. This sounds like you had a wonderful time! This post is also incredibly imaginative; I think you should definitely be a travel blogger. Keep them coming!

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