Thailand was the first country I ever travelled as a backpacker. It was the first country I became an expat in. It was the first country to really capture my heart and make me realise my passion for travelling.
There are many reasons why I love Thailand and here are some of the main ones;
1. The People.
Ignore what you read or hear in the Western media. It’s all false because every day I am blown away by the kind warm hearts of Thai people. Their generosity is some I have never experienced before. Everywhere you look they are smiling, If you are in some sort of trouble, all they want to do is help you. They aren’t trying to con you; they are genuinely just trying to help you. Let me tell you two little stories. Recently, I got sick, I had no energy to leave my house to go do my laundry or get food. The people in my town heard of my illness and the laundry lady came to get my clothes and returned them to my house all washed, dried and ironed the next day. She came because she thought it was strange I hadn’t been that week. She came to see if I was ok. Half an hour after this, her sister arrived at my house, with some homemade soup and a meal she had cooked me. She even came with breakfast the next day. The second story is; Last week, I went to a restaurant for some lunch and I accidentally left my iPhone in the basket on my bicycle for a good 40 minutes, outside in full view of everyone. Literally, anyone could have picked it up easily without anyone even noticing, When I returned, my phone was still there and hadn’t been touched at all. They are the most genuine kind-hearted people I have ever met. I could write for pages about their kindness and how misunderstood Thai people are in the Western world.
2. The Sun.
With Thailand being a tropical country and me being from rainy cold England. It’s no surprise that I love the heat. It just makes me happy. Yes, there are days where I wish it would cool down or rain, but most of the time I love it and I have never felt so healthy. YES!! VITAMIN D!
3. The Culture.
Although I have never felt “culture shocked” in Thailand. It does have an amazing culture to it. From the amazing cuisine, festivals, traditional dance and music, traditional clothing, the monarchy and religion. There is always something new to dive into the depths of the country’s culture.
4. The Food.
I always hear people say at home, how much they love Thai food, but have never been to Thailand and experienced the real deal. You can’t get the authenticity anywhere else in the world than in the country the food originated. There is such a massive difference, from taste to price. I have eaten some things I never thought I would; I have learnt to try things at least once. It’s one of the best things about Thailand is the crazy amount of dishes on offer nearly everywhere you look across the country.
5. The Way of Life.
I admire the way that Thai people live. They live a simple laid back life, with hardly any worry in the world. They see a problem and if they can’t do anything about it, they let it be. They don’t let small things stress them out. They don’t judge people either. I strongly believe that the Western world could learn from Thailand. If you are gay, then that’s fine, no one judges. If you are transgender, that’s fine. In fact, it’s accepted from such a young age. No one is ever judged. At the end of the day, it’s all about happiness and along as you are happy then what else really matters, right?
6. The Beaches.
The postcard-perfect beaches glisten the coasts of Thailand, with their white sand and sparkling turquoise waters. Thailand has some of the best beaches there is to offer. They are a little bit of paradise, on the mainland and the many islands that surround Thailand. Perfect for some relaxing.
7. The Mountains.
It’s nice to have a little bit of home. In my favourite area of Thailand, deep in the north are the steep mountains that are covered in dense jungle. Thailand really offers the best of both worlds, from the beach life to the nature life. Both beautiful in their own way.
8. The Shopping.
I just can’t even leave this out, from shopping for food to strolling around many markets that Thailand has to offer. It is a shoppers dream. Everything is so cheap and even cheaper when you bargain, which is a number one rule when shopping in Thailand. Bargaining also makes the whole shopping experience so much more exciting. The markets have everything you can imagine on offer, from the typical souvenirs, clothes, handbags, jewellery, photos right up to live animals such as puppies and even squirrels. My favourite markets are the “Night Bazaar” in Chiang Mai. This is a large walking street that sets up every evening, it has such a great atmosphere and is a great walk around to see what is on offer. I always end up going every night of my stay in Chiang Mai. The second one is “Chatuchak Weekend Market” in Bangkok or better known as the world’s biggest market. Every weekend 15.000 stalls open selling everything you can imagine. You cannot get around the whole market in one weekend. It is impossible.
Thailand and I now have a history, a long-winded history that will forever be a part of me. It’s always a sad time, every time I come to leave the Land of Smiles. I am dreading the goodbyes I am going to have to say in a few months when I leave this beautiful country one more time. The country that truly made me feel like I had a purpose and the country that welcomed me with her open heart. Forever my first travelling love.
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