Considering all the places I’ve been to, Thailand resembles paradise the most. Sunshine year round, most things are cheap, oh, and plenty of hotties on the streets, in malls and hundreds of nightclubs and bars.
Pretty much all you can ask for, and it doesn’t surprise that people come back, year after year. Nonetheless, there’s a couple of things REALLY bothering me, something I need to address to maintain objectivity.
1. Dirty Streets
Any normal person would jump back shocked when a rat suddenly runs across the way. Sadly, there’s so many of them that I’ve gotten accustomed, it became the norm. The nasty thing is that you see them near the food stands on the street, right next to a family of cockroaches running around hysterically.
Besides safety, this is the main reason I only get fresh fruits and coconuts off the streets. These are inside plastic containers and refrigerated in fresh ice.
Hygiene-standards are superb in most bathrooms, but they’re beyond words on the streets. Besides, most places look run down. Not more than in London, or most large cities, but certainly not up to what I’m used to from Central Europe.
The malls look extravagant, but many places outside look more like a slum, with water dropping from the ceiling and dirt everywhere. Again, I am comparing to the super-clean standards I am used to – Bangkok is not THAT horrible!
2. Pushy Salespeople
Anyone coming to Bangkok will quickly be annoyed by people approaching you from all sides, everywhere, at any time. I’ve learned to cope with it and rarely walk on the sidewalk if there are massage ladies or – at night – ladyboys in sight.
If there’s no other option, I carry something like a plastic bag (pretending I was shopping), look at my phone or play with my camera in order to look distracted.
Being nice is one thing, but good luck keeping up that facade when you get aggressively approached 20 times in a matter of minutes.
Try walking on the streets instead and now you’re dealing with an endless stream of taxi drivers stopping or honking. Everyone wants to take you for a ride and make a couple of bucks, perhaps even more if they are able to convince you to go to a places where they earn commission.
Ignorance or a quick gesture is often enough to be left alone. Having taxis always nearby is great when you need them, otherwise it’s more annoying.
Sure, you get what you pay for and I probably could’ve gotten an extravagant place also. Nevertheless, I’ve switched places 3 times during my stay and they were 16, 24 and 26€ per night. Cheaper than any hotel, but not super cheap either.
Granted, you can still save a lot of money by booking an entire month, but I am still surprised that the quality-price ratio isn’t higher. Also, I have to get used to the Thai living standard, which is essentially people living in one giant room that resembles a hotel room, doesn’t have a kitchen and occasionally lacks air conditioning.
The conclusive rant is reserved for just that, air conditioning. It really sucks, you easily get a cold and the fan is too loud. Once you turn it off, you’re happy for half an hour until you start breaking a sweat.
I know it’s weird saying that when one of the benefits of coming to Thailand is the climate. The heat is fine at night when going out, but during daytime it’s unbearable, especially the humidity.