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Thailand: Impressions and Departing Thoughts

Thoughts and impressions on Thai culture, it's varying modes of tourism, and this wonderful nation.

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Visiting Thailand

I had a wonderful, eventful, fun, amazing 2 months in Thailand that went too darn quickly!
I'm really, really sad to be going.
I've made true and wonderful friends, both local and farang, and learnt / was inspired by a culture so different to my own..... I will definitely be coming back!!

Thai Culture

Courtesy

Being polite, moderate, calm and understanding is an integral part of being Thai and Buddhist.
Observing simple but firm rules will mean the difference between being seen as obnoxious farang, or a gracious guest and potential friend.
Remember; the feet are the dirtiest part of the body, never wear shoes into a home, or touch your feet at a dinner table.
The head is the most sacred part of the body - and must never be touched univited.
Never, ever pat the head of a child - it will cause great offense.

Thai Speak = Sweet Music

Thai's rarely raise their voice, even when being festive.
I was with a local friend in Bangkok on a crowded Skytrain. The train was packed but so whimsially (almost musically) quiet, with chatter everywhere
A group of European tourists bounded in at one stop, yelling and bumping into local people without apology or care, or even awareness of the environment and mood around them.
I felt a little off, but looking around the train you could see how silent, disappointed, even incensed some of the local people were.
Later my friend, told me that kind of loud behaviour contravenes teaching at school and by parents.
Thai's are open minded folks but do appreciate visitors making an effort to adopt at least some of their courtesies and customs.
If you choose not to, don't expect any recourse, however don't expect to make friends either.

Listening to Thais (especially ladies) talking to eachother is a marvel - it is a tonal language that flows wonderfully. I love it!
They say French is the most beautiful language - Thai surely is a contender.
Even on TV and radio - interviews are like music to my ears. I have no idea what is being said but could listen all day!

At muay thai training, we are taught - never, ever get angry or show aggression. It is a sport of endurance and tactics, not anger.
Fight with a calm and clear mind, and respect for your oponent
This exemplifies the Thai ideal in a broader sense- always remain calm, and smile when there is a disagreement.
Resolve issues with an open and understanding heart and find the outcome is always mutually agreeable.

Buddhist Thailand

Thailand is about 98% Buddhst - and firmly so.
Most Thais go to Temple, meditate, pray and worship Buddha, and live acording to his teachings (though eradication of materialism hasn't quite sunk in yet).
When I say most Thais, I do mean most. At a club in Bangkok I met a group of Gen Y Thais who are investing THB10,000's into their temple for "lucky".

Tourism in Thailand

Adventure and Backpacking

I found Thailand to be a backpackers dream. Bouncing between the islands, finding nice digs and fun stuff to do was easy. They make it SO easy.
From diving, to rafting, skydiving, or finding a secluded beach to bronze yourself on.... like Axl sang, "it's so f*****' easy"

Though I loved the Full Moon Party it was a bit sad to see such a beautiful place get so trashed. It's good to see that this sort of thing is confined to Haad Rin beach. All other beaches I visited were so gorgeous, well maintained and beautiful!

In the north, trekking and jungle adventures are really fun!
Chiang Mai really is a traveller's paradise, and the trips from there are really wonderful!

Fitness and Health Tourism

I initially came to Thailand to do a detox and yoga program. This particular program isn't really offered at home, and I found many retreats offering the same very comprehensive, well run, ideally located, and widely praised programs to choose from in Thailand.

Same goes for muay thai camps. It is the ultimate fitness sport requiring supreme determination, agility and strength. The many camps offer programs from 1 day to monthly. I met so many people; both men and women, who come here to do muay Thai for a couple of weeks and end up staying 3 months!!! These places are so efffective, well run, fun to be part of and cheap - it's almost intoxicating!
There are HEAPS of other retreats for yoga, etc, too.
In my reasonable amount of travels, Thailand is #1 for variety and stuff to do (India is next so this may change)

So long.....

I initially only wanted to stay 2 weeks here because of how commercial, etc I heard Thailand had become, (it probably is a hipster's nightmare in that sense) though stayed 2 months, because there is just so much to do and appreciate!
Once you spend a few weeks here, get to know the culture and places, you'll find it is an amazing country!407265_101..04304_n.jpg

Posted by SkinnyFists 01:48 Archived in Thailand Tagged thai_culture thai_tourism

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