Last updated on July 17th, 2019 at 04:43 am
The truth about Thailand…
I said it before and I will say it again I love Thailand. It is a very interesting country because it joins both absolute freedom and conservatism together. Also, beaches are nice!
So far I have visited Koh Samui, Phuket, Bangkok, Hua Hin, and Pattaya. Next time I want to make it to Chiang Mai.
Read my recent post about why I love Thailand and keep coming back here!
However, that is not to say that the country has changed and continues to develop fast. By that I mean it is not as affordable anymore like its neighbors like Vietnam or Cambodia. Especially during a holiday season.
Now that I came here for the third time the contrast to Canadian prices became even more apparent. There was/is almost no price contrast when visiting during high season.
That is why I decided to come up with this myth list to help your planning and give you a fuller picture about Thailand.
Here are new myths about Thailand:
Thailand is cheap.
It might be cheaper during off season months, which are the end of November till the end of February. Depending on location, Thailand is more like Beverly Hills of South East Asia.
Therefore, expect to pay the same if not more for the same goods, apartment and car rent, and other services. It also gets expensive when fruits are not in season, which is (surprise surprise) THE tourist season from December to end of January.
Thailand is dirty.
Some parts of Thailand are dirtier than others and I guess nothing comes close to Singapore. Comparing to Vietnam or even Bali it is a lot cleaner. A lot! I was surprised the whole month I stayed in Phuket how even remote parts were either clean or cleaner.
Thailand has everything.
Since it is developed better than its neighbors Thailand does have almost everything one might desire. I recently saw a medical and plastic service package offered at the airport and shopping malls. For me, it was a challenge for me to find a diaper cream, baby ready-made formula or swim diapers.
I ended up finding the only two options available at Big C and buying both of them. Sorry for the next mama on a mission!
Shopping is good.
Shopping is horrible when it comes to local fashion. There is none. There are either malls with global brands that one can find anywhere or local markets where I would rather save my money and buy something somewhere else.
For everything else made in Thailand, the quality is just not there even if it looks cute.
As for jewelry and famous silk? The prices are so inflated that again one might find a better deal for a quality made pieces somewhere else.
Read my local and authentic shopping guide here. It is especially awesome because items listed are under 50$.
All alcohol is expensive.
Who knew that Thailand makes its own wine?!
Imported alcohol and name brands are expensive in Thailand. However, they do have their own wine production in the North. Wine is made not only from grapes but from mangosteen, lychee, and other fruits.
It tastes sweet and delicious and for the price of 150-180 THB, I enjoyed many bottles. Also, it is not that boozy like the regular wine. Some of it has only 8% alcohol. It is like drinking juice at times. The variety ranges from Red to white to rose.
It is important to note that in some parts of Thailand, like Phuket for example, alcohol in general can be bought during specific hours. Read below why.
It is only a Buddhist state.
Buddhists make 95% out of total population of Thailand. The rest 4.5 % are Islamic. The Southern part of Thailand is where most live and therefore point #5 is enforced in every mall and store. There are also more mosques in the South so the praying can be heard all over the island when the time comes.
Chopsticks are native to Thailand.
They prefer fork and knife. In most places, they have chopstick for tourists who assume that all of Asia is the same. If you pay attention at local eateries they do not use chopsticks. Locals almost always prefer regular cutlery.
Driving is almost headache free.
Road accidents are common in Thailand.
Though the way of life in Thailand is Sabai-Sabai and the traffic is calmer than in North America road accidents are common. Mostly they involve scooters and cars smashing together. In Phuket, I found roads were exceptionally good even for North American standards. However, that is not to say that there is no risk.
Unfortunately, mountainside roads are poorly lit and when it gets dark it really is dark. A naked tourist eye can’t see 10 meters ahead even with the beams on. So please drive carefully and responsibly, avoid after sunset hours, and buy insurance.
Read my post about why I paid a bribe for my A+ driving skills.
Hope you feel prepared more than when you started reading this post. I enjoyed Thailand very much and would recommend it to anyone who hasn’t been to South East Asia. In fact, if you are starting the tour Thailand should be first because of its similarity to the west and the least amount of culture shock comparing to the rest of Asia.
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