As soon as you walk out the door in Thailand, you feel as though you’re swimming in the heat of an outdoor oven. It’s palpable and sticky but all you can do is grin and bear it, wearing as little clothing as possible and as many layers of mosquito repellant as you can.
I wasn’t sure what to expect before I left. I was a little trepid about getting lost or scammed. Thankfully though, we didn’t land in any major predicaments and from what I’ve seen, I conclude that Thai people are a polite lot with gentle smiles and kind eyes.
We travelled to the busier parts of Thailand and I found that besides the intricate palaces and temples scattered round the city, the landscape was generally quite common and plain, filled with juxtapositions of paint split walls and the mild luxury of muddy water fronts. It gives off a feeling of development and potential but also the sense of being able to enjoy the simple life – the small things.
Whilst Sydney is trying to squeeze everyone into a box of do’s and don’ts, Thailand’s mentality is if you can conceive it, do it. And a golden example of this is through their roads and traffic.
You have no idea how fun it is when you’re taken on a spin with a tuk tuk. For us, we experienced a roller coaster ride of swerving, driving at high speeds on the wrong side of the road, having items of clothing nearly blow away in the rush of the moment and all the while, you’re hearing the thud of bass rumble through the seats in your typical party-themed tuk tuk.
The motorbike taxis are not much different to the aforementioned (a tamer case of fast and furious) but I found myself gripping onto the shoulders of my drivers with iron grip whilst they swerved through traffic jams, always nearly grazing your knees in the process. Only the feeling of being on a bike, having wind lap at your face and the little smile you get from realising you’re doing the illegal is so freeing. It’s really something you can’t enjoy in Sydney without worry.
Thailand’s next standout is probably the food and let me tell you, I almost felt like royalty when I was eating at the beach. Having vendors physically come to you carrying platters and platters of fruit, fresh crab, grilled seafood and fried goodness was absolute bliss. All the while, you’re chatting with friends, lounging on a reclining chair and sipping on fresh coconuts, realising every second moment just how good life gets. We probably tasted most, if not all the dishes that came our way and we ate till we almost ran out of spending money. And yet we were so happy to be broke. All in for the experience!
Thailand was definitely a valuable trip and if it taught me anything, it’s that you can find happiness in any situation if you choose to.
I already miss the streetfood and the busy nightlife. Travel squad better be ready for round two 🙂