Myths to Perfection-Thailand

Tripoto
13th Sep 2019
Photo of Myths to Perfection-Thailand by shish ranjan singh
Day 3
Photo of Walking Street, Pattaya City, Bang Lamung District, Chon Buri, Thailand by shish ranjan singh

Chapter 1

Assumptions

Ever wondered visiting a place that makes you feels more familiar than your own home. Before leaving for this place what I came across had two perspectives.

First, whatever content I read, watched or came across randomly over the internet showed the positive aspect of this place.

Second, whenever I talked to someone about this place I got mixed reviews. Nevertheless, I travelled and when I returned back I was full of positive vibes, new learning and better understandings. During my 6 days of journey of three of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, I was able to experience a newer dimension of humbleness and hospitality. Thailand is always ready to mesmerize you. Be it its scenic beauty or its cultural understandings, there is no way these can ever be compared.

Ever wondered visiting a place that makes you feels more familiar than your own home. Before leaving for this place what I came across had two perspectives.

Still, I tried below to resolve some of the common myths that people have about Thailand and what I came across.

Day 6
Photo of Grand Palace Wat Phra Kaew, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, Thailand by shish ranjan singh
Photo of Siam Center, Rama I Road, Pathum Wan, Pathum Wan District, Bangkok, Thailand by shish ranjan singh

Thai Temples - One is not all

Some travellers tend to visit only a few temple complexes amongst many that are present in Thailand. Yes, there are no single structures at many of the places rather they have many large complexes with enriched Buddhist influences and historical significances from Thailand, Sri Lanka, China, Cambodia and Vietnam. All these places have their own cultural substance and have different architectural masterpieces. Even if you have seen a few it truly does not mean you have seen them all. Obviously, you can't visit all as these are numerous still try to visit as many as you can without compromising other aspects of sightseeing as there are many landscapes that are ought to be visited.

Understanding the Sin City

Though these things are witnessed everywhere but the other side makes you understand Bangkok or any other city in Thailand are epicenters to adult entertainment. Thailand is more famous because of its panoramic landscapes and friendliness. Countering these statements why People believe the other way around and what eventually is the ground reality what I experienced was somewhat different.

Last year Thailand's earning from foreign tourists jumped to the third spot leaving behind France. A study by leading daily Financial Times says Indians are one of the prime reasons why Thailand grabbed this spot. In 2017 Thailand earned 818 million $ and are having high chances that within 5 years It will leave behind Spain to grab the second spot. In 2017-18, 1.4 Million people travelled to Thailand. On average there is a 10% increment of Indians visiting observed. Thailand is famous for its beaches and is easily accessible by many Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore with daily non-stop low-cost airlines. Currently, Free Visa on arrival had made accessibility easier. Then why perspectives amongst Indians are different?

In 2017 Thailand earned 818 million $ and are having high chances that within 5 years It will leave behind Spain to grab the second spot. In 2017-18, 1.4 Million people travelled to Thailand. On average there is a 10% increment of Indians visiting observed.

Though examples are everywhere in Thailand but let's consider Bangkok- Capital of Thailand. Primarily, Bangkok has two tourist sections- Sukhumvit and Khao San. Sukhumvit is a tourist area whereas Khao San is a traveller area.

Khao San is famous amongst western traveller and they prefer to live there. This area is also a party and backpackers hub. Most of the tourism centric places like democracy monument and the famous Grand Palace are not far from this area. Also, for backpackers most of the cheap hostels are easily available in this region. Sukhumvit is famous because of being a commercial centre of Bangkok with many major malls and Hotels. Also, this is the most loved area in Bangkok by Indians because of shopping centres and night markets. A reason why Indians primarily develops a false impression about Bangkok is because when they book a travel package or plan an itinerary usually they get accommodation in this area. Two of the most famous adult entertainment zones named Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy are in this region. As most of the Indians come to Bangkok with their accommodation in this area they never explore the major tourist centre Khao San. Though these places are officially there but these are just one part of the city which on the other hand has so much to offer. With more Indian travellers visiting these places a perspective gets inked. A general study says most of the Indians that travel Bangkok visit these places. Imagining what impression we leave as a traveller. I believe this statement has a bigger question mark.

A sordid picture

Day 2
Photo of ASIATIQUE The Riverfront, Charoen Krung Road, Wat Phraya Krai, Bang Kho Laem, Bangkok, Thailand by shish ranjan singh
Day 3
Photo of Chao Phraya River, Thailand by shish ranjan singh

Travelling to Thailand generates mixed emotions. There is no denying that all these areas such as the ones mentioned above and a few others are there in Phuket and Pattaya, All other places will always give the real essence and flavours of Thailand. There are ladyboys also but as I believe these are also not sordid rather you will have to understand it is a lifestyle choice that is accepted in Thailand and us as a traveller must respect it.

Another important aspect you will have to understand like many tourist locations in Thailand too you can face scams. There can be an experience when a tuk-tuk driver forces you to visit a place while saying that major destinations are closed today. Whenever you are travelling to a new location please do proper and thorough research. Also, try and use local transportation system as they are cheaper and easily available. Sometimes Google translator can also be very effective and Google maps can be extremely reliable. This will improve and apparently enhance your overall travel experience. Other than these actions Thais are extraordinarily friendly, humble and welcoming. The hospitality I experienced there was full of positive vibes.

Day 4
Photo of Maya Bay, Thailand by shish ranjan singh

Corrupt and Cheap

While there are many stories in favour of this and some against it, even I thought of being a little cautious. As I progressed in my journey and got accustomed to the place I would rather go ahead with my findings. Throughout those 6 days, I never felt a single moment when I was not safe. Administration, Police and security personal were very supported and prompt. There were times when neither I nor they were able to understand a single word still they were trying their level best to make me understand what they wanted to illustrate. Most of the places and monuments are free. Ticket rates at some of the places were similar for foreigners as they were for them. I can quote an example of the generosity what people showered.

Day 2
Photo of Pattaya View Point, Pattaya City, Bang Lamung District, Chon Buri, Thailand by shish ranjan singh

I required a memory card as one of the spare card I had was not working. I went to a shop near my hotel. Those Staffs that were there at that shop they welcomed me. They helped me with the right card. Following that when I chose the right one and when I give my card to pay they said," You might have to pay extra tax using this card. Please pay through cash" Of course all these efforts were though Google translator. In fact, I got an extra 10% off and the final amount I paid was approximately half of what I paid here. It truly does not mean everything is good and flawless. Yes, there are stories and articles suggesting us that not everything is out there is fine. True there can be a worst day of your life that can change the perspective but the very same time you will have to understand this can happen with anyone any single day anywhere in this world.

You might have to pay extra tax using this card. Please pay through cash" Of course all these efforts were though Google translator. In fact, I got an extra 10% off and the final amount I paid was approximately half of what I paid here. It truly does not mean everything is good and flawless.

Coming to the second half of this section, Yes Thailand is cheap and very much affordable. If you plan it good I believe 25000 INR (Roughly 350 USD, Depending upon season also) including flights (Ex-Kolkata) is more than sufficient to travel most of the places in Thailand. Yes, there are markets and stalls where you can get literally everything. Apple products running on Android and Android mobiles running on Mac. All aspects are possible.

Bangkok has plenty of shopping malls that suit all kinds of lifestyles and budgets. With onsite facilities like food courts, supermarkets, cinemas, games arcades, and multiscreen cinemas, it's quite easy to spend an entire day exploring a single mall in Bangkok. The city's best shopping malls offer unforgettable shopping experiences, in terms of diversity of products, accessible location in downtown areas, and overall shopping satisfaction. Whether you are looking for the most upscale, the trendiest, the funkiest, or the most specialised, you'll find them in this extensive list.

Cheap is something that can have both sides associated. If you consider it just the way Thais consider it yes they are cheap. But you will have to associate this fact that our currency is weaker. So, if you buy a water bottle in 10 Bath there, it means approx. 25 Rupee here. As a traveller, if you are visiting a place just to enjoy the place and landscapes obviously your expenditure will be far lesser than that of someone going on a leisure vacation. With all the luxury on offer cost of your travel will automatically increase and this can never be marginal. Also, you can bargain at almost every market. So on this front, I would rather say,"you will have to be little generic with your thought process. Yes, the place is cheap in one sense and I believe it is in a good sense".

You are lost - Cellular Network Issues

A country with 70 million of population can't be compared with a country with 1.33 Billion of populations.

Though this question is a bit controversial as I have not travelled all parts of the country but yes whatever I did I never faced any issue. There are 3 major Service providers in Thailand- TruMove, DTAC and AIS. I had traveller SIM of DTAC and AIS. I never faced a single moment when there was a loss of coverage. I was able to receive calls from India and was able to call back also. Even the 3G speeds of these providers were way faster than what I get in India. Why this question is a bit controversial is because we in India have a large population and load on these networks are way more than that of Thailand. A country with 70 million of population can't be compared with a country with 1.33 Billion of populations. You are never lost in Thailand unless you are lost at some isolated island.

Always Rains during Rainy season

I travelled Thailand last month. Thailand has tropical weather conditions. So If It rains it thunders. Though it does not mean you can expect constant rain. The best time to travel to Thailand is from November to February. This is the time when Thailand witnessed the highest number of headcounts. Post this summer in Thailand can be extremely challenging. Hot and humid weather with most of the locations in open air It can lead to a challenging task to explore all locations. Though due to the closure of peak season, the rate falls obviously. You cannot ignore the matter of the fact that this season can reduce the comfort level of your travel. There are websites such as Accuweather.com and Weather.com referring which you can get upcoming weather condition and indications. I personally used Accuweather constantly during my Andaman and Thailand visits and it was very reliable with their information (Both of these itineraries was during rainy seasons).

So, Yes Thailand has tropical weather but with efficient planning and research, you can have a great experience while travelling. Also, you can expect a much-reduced cost of travel if you are travelling during this period of the year.

Foods are spicy

It's not important how much spicy it is, the real question is how much spicy food you eat. Usually, If the level of spiciness that is there in Indian food is compared with the Thai ones sorry to disappoint you Thai meals are not at all spicy. Though I have not tasted all of them but surely with my experience, I can say so. The level of spices that are used in Indian meals are way more than any Thai item ate especially if compared with North Indian and Mughlai ones. Again you can obviously make them as per your taste. Thailand is a paradise for street food lovers. While walking you can find food stalls almost everywhere with all variants of veg and non-veg delicacies. Vegetarians may face some issues but for Non - Vegetarians this place is heaven.

Most tourists will undoubtedly take the risk of buying something they're not entirely sure what it is, only for it to be way above their spice comfort levels. However, not all food will leave you sweating. There are plenty of non-spicy options available, such as Panang curry or Khao Mok Gai, plus you could always ask for them to make it not spicy for you. One another thing that may lead to a bad experience is hygiene. So try and eat at a stall where you feel you can get good food. People outside India like Europe, America and Australia usually don't eat spicy food so they need to be little more cautious. Rest be assured you will get some great food taste and experience there.

Winding up

Thailand is beautiful landscapes, serene atmosphere, beaches, crystal clear water, temples, culture, party, nightlife, shopping and some amazing food. If you don't like these surely Thailand is not the right choice for you. Trust me the hospitality of the people of Thailand is unmatchable. The country is a brilliant amalgamation of day and nightlife. Although this can be difficult depending upon your nature and ability to gel but there are some high permutations of getting good friends. If you are looking for a good gateway that will change your inner and outer understanding this place is there to mesmerize you. No place is perfect in fact there are no fixed parameters to justify these but if there are Thailand will surely satisfy most of them.

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