Thailand is a great country for travelling, working, or retiring. No matter how long you stay in the Kingdom, you’ll find that certain aspects of Thailand cannot be replicated in your home country. This list will ignore the usual negativity that you see on other sites. There will be no mention of the TM30, dual pricing, or corruption. There will, however, be a few ‘bucket list’ items for you to focus on while you’re in the Land of Smiles.
Now, here are the top three things you will miss about Thailand.
1. Weekend vacations
Domestic travel in Thailand is cheap and fulfilling. No matter where you are in the country, you’re no more than five hours away form a beach or a national park.
So just how easy is it to travel around the country? If you’re in Bangkok, there are three main bus stations (Sai Tai Mai, Mo Chit, and Ekkamai) that will get you anywhere you want to go for under 1,000 baht. Busses and vans leave every half hour or so, and while the ride not be the most comfortable you will arrive at your destination.
Quick, cheap travel translates to spontaneous weekend trips. For around 3,000 baht you can book a weekend vacation staying at a hotel near the beach. What’s the best domestic trip you can take in your home country? Would you ever disappear for the weekend on a whim? Probably not, so enjoy it while you can.
- Do a day trip that involves a domestic flight. Fly somewhere in the morning, explore during the day, and fly back at night. Plan ahead and get round trip tickets to Krabi for around 1,600 baht.
2. Food is everywhere
It takes me five minutes to exit my condo and find a local shop serving delicious home-cooked food. If I’m feeling extra lazy, 7 Eleven is even closer and there are tons of palatable microwavable meals to choose from. I have never needed to travel far for food, and now Food Panda and Grab Food makes sedentary lifestyles even easier to maintain.
In your home country, you probably limit how often you allow yourself to eat out. You sit in traffic on your way to ‘fast’ food. You open and close your empty fridge in the middle of the night because you know that it’s too late to go looking for food. It’s moments like these when you’ll miss Thailand.
- Try literally every street food cart and/or mom and pop shop in your immediate vicinity. Whether you’re living in a condo or on holiday in a hotel, explore your area and you might find some hidden gems. If you’re not sure what to order, just see what the last customer got and copy them.
Photo: John Campbell
3. Bum guns
If you disagree with this one, I don’t know what to tell you. Bum guns are ideal in Thailand’s humid weather. They’re refreshing and exotic to foreigners who are inexperienced with them.
More commonly referred to as bidets in the West, bum guns are more hygienic than toilet paper. I don’t have any quantifiable proof for that, but I can give a quick list of visual metaphors to get my point across: peanut butter and napkins, maple syrup and a towel, finger paints and A4 paper… you see where I’m going.
- This coordinates pretty well with the street food adventure. Have your fill of Thai food and then make your way to Terminal 21, the home of the best public toilets in all of Thailand. I won’t spoil the surprise, but suffice to say you will be pleasantly surprised.