Build Your Own Trip

Invisible, (and visible also) “tattoos” I bring back home after a Thailand vacation

They say Thailand is the best in term of the travel destination in Southeast Asia. And I can’t agree more with that opinion. The “Land of Smiles” took my heart from the very first moment we are together, and it is still owning my heart now. From a traveler who was surprised by the unique Thailand “sawadee” culture, currently, after a number of extended days on my trip, I got a lot of Thailand invisible and visible “tattoos” both in my body and my soul.

So you will know you have spent too many days in spectacular Thailand when you have these signals below:

–    Watermelon shakes are life. And you don’t know how to survive if there’s one day no more mango shake, or banana shakes, or any-tropical-fruit-shake in your life.

–    You go out for a quick mooch around the market. You say to yourself before leaving the hotel room that: “Just a real quick session, I will only take a look”. And you come back with beach sarongs, coconut bowls, bikinis, Buddha figurines, sneakers, watches, coconut oil cosmetics, and… oh, you really can’t remember. The problem is this issue keep repeating in every market in every-Thailand-town.

–    But your entire haul only cost you $20 because you’re a master haggler.

–    You’ve had Pad Thai or Tom Yum for more than 10 consecutive meals. And you are alright. You are okay. Actually, you feel wonderful.

–    You can cross the road with confidence. Big-confidence.

–    Clothes you brought from home have made way for banana t-shirts, Chang singlets, and bright orange elephant pants.

–    You’ve coined the verb “to be templed out” and gosh, is it a real thing.

–    Wading knee-deep into the sea, clambering up a ladder, and almost sending the other passengers over the side as you crash land in a long-tail is the only way to travel.

–    You’ve snorkeled with reef sharks, more species of fish than you can count and… oh look, a box jellyfish.

–    Wading knee-deep into the sea, clambering up a ladder, and almost sending the other passengers over the side as you crash land in a long-tail is the only way to travel.

–    You feel it is hard to breath to not have a Chang beer bottle at around 9 pm.

–    7/11 store is the mecca. And its foods are the chant.

–    You have a bamboo tattoo of an elephant, lotus flower, or the word for “courage” in Thai.

–    You’ve pretty much forgotten what a sweater is. And until you come back to your homeland, what is it seriously?

–    You’ve been stretched, crunched, and pounded in massage parlors across the country. But you still keep going back for more.

–    The prospect of paying more than $3 for a meal back home fills you with horror.

–    “One more night” of Maroon 5 is set “repeat one” on your phone. You realize there’s no such thing as staying in Thailand for too long, and head to the nearest immigration office to extend your stay.