Discomfort, Exhaustion, Adventure, Culture, Beauty and Fun.
When you see travel on Instagram you see Beauty, Fun and Relaxation.
When I think of travel I think exhaustion and discomfort. BUT, I also think exploration, culture and unfiltered beauty. These are some of the many reasons I fell in love with travel!
Because even through language barriers, spaghetti legs and holes in the ground disguised as toilets there is no way I’d rather travel.
Don’t get me wrong, I love sitting on a beach or in a resort drinking piña coladas just as much as the next girl. Honey, Sweetie, Darling, there is nothing quite like getting lost in a foreign city on an uncomfortable adventure. It makes for the most amazing memories. I’ve traveled to roughly 10 countries at this point and by far Thailand takes the cake. I easily fell in love with the land of smiles. Between the culture, people and the unimaginable beauty, I just can’t get it out of my heart. Thailand just did something to me, I can talk about why I love Thailand for hours on end but I’ll get to the point!
Here are 8 reasons you should travel to Thailand if you get the chance!
The Land of Smiles
The nickname originally came as a form of promotion, to be used as a slogan on pamphlets and brochures. The name stuck because it proved to be true. The people in Thailand make for the absolute best reason to visit. Every single person we ran into was nice and respectful or at least very good at saving face. Everyone wanted to know who we were, where we came from and why we were there. I can think of very few times I felt so comfortable with so many strangers.
Buddhism is practiced by a vast majority of the Thai people. It is common to see Phi houses (Spirit houses) outside of Thai buildings. Offerings such as juice and Baht are left to the spirits so they don’t bother those that are still living in the vicinity. There is this spiritual energy surrounding the country that just drew me in closer and closer with every breath. This amazing energy made me forget about my worries at home and forced me to look at things in a new light. An energy that I crave on a daily basis.
This reason to visit Thailand may be a bit biased. Elephants are my absolute favorite animal and my love for them grew immensely during my trip. Weather you get to just see them from afar or interact with them directly Elephants are a huge part of the Thailand experience. They are absolutely huge! Larger than I ever imagined! But they are sweet, gentle and soulful. I was fortunate enough to have many experiences with Elephants on my trip. I urge anyone traveling to Thailand with the intent to interact with Elephants to do your homework and visit sanctuaries that treat their Elephants well. Samui Elephant Sanctuary in Koh Samui is a good option. They rescue their Elephants and treat them well.
Bang for your Buck
$1 USD = 32 Baht! Aside from one drink purchase from the rooftop bar where The Hangover was filmed, Everything was SO cheap! We went out to eat, had dinner and dessert for roughly 50 Baht each. That’s less than $2 USD
So many moments of my trip were uncomfortable, it was hot, the toilets were glorified holes in the ground, the food was different and it was quite rare to find someone who spoke English. But through the discomfort I found the most amazing adventures. Though it was hot, that led to looking for different ways to cool off like running in the monsoon-like rain, swimming in a river surrounded by waterfalls, or bathing with elephants. Even the toilets were uncomfortably different leading to some of the funniest memories. Almost no one spoke English but that forced me to work harder to learn as much of the language as I could to get by.
Pad Thai, Mango Sticky Rice and Gaeng Mussaman oh my! Need I say more? With a balanced taste of salty, sweet, bitter and sour in nearly every single dish, Thailand has quite a distinct taste. While eating in Thailand be sure to wait a few days before indulging in the street food.You stomach may need time to adjust. Nearly every dish I had was nothing short of delicious. This is why I strongly urge you to give a try to some things a little out of your comfort zone.
*Fun Fact: Knives are not given with a meal, You are expected to cut any food with a spoon. Many Thais even just eat with their hands.
Family, Respect, Status, Patriotism, Smile, Religion, Superstition and Saving Face all play a huge part in Thailand’s culture. The culture may vary a bit between regions, but their core values stay the same. There are so many interesting things about Thailand, like the fact that at no point should you be above the head of Buddha. This is a big reason why so many Buddha statues are grandiose or high up. High points on buildings bring them closer to the heavens. I also visited a hilltop tribe and it was part of their culture to wear many many rings around their necks to stretch their necks and bring them closer to the heavens. You can get a sense for the pride Thai’s have in their country, religion and culture around every single corner.
Most everything I encountered in Thailand was something completely new to me. I can guarantee that anything you may encounter during your travels through Thailand will be nothing short of an adventure! Whether its swimming in waterfalls, trekking, eating street food or simply using the bathroom. You will not be disappointed in all that Thailand has to offer!
I entered into a world of wonder, adventure and strength. I did things that scared the crap out of me and was constantly in a state of awe.
I would have never thought in a million years that I would have traveled outside of my small town in New York to end up in a place as gorgeous as Thailand. I had no clue what to expect when I booked my trip and I must say that I don’t regret a thing! Thailand stole a nice big chunk of my heart and there is no doubt in my mind that it will steal yours as well!
Have you ever been to Thailand? What was your favorite part?