Build Your Own Trip

Signs prove that I’m in Thailand

I know I’m in Thailand when…

… suddenly I have a ton of tank tops and T-shirts, and flipflops, also 🙂

No matter what how much I love this country, I have to admit that Thailand is humid. Bangkok is one of the most humid cities in the world, averaging roughly 80% relative humidity year round, so it means you have to say goodbye to those fancy Chanel dresses, and hello, tank tops and T-shirts!

But it’s part of the culture, to have your typical outfit style like that in most of your Thailand trips. And the weather is actually not annoying all the time. After the first tough impression, you will definitely think that this type of weather is not so bad, especially when it fits perfectly with the cold Chang beer and your comfortable clothes.

…I become a master at price negotiating

Remember when you first get to this country, and you don’t know exactly how much a baht is worth? You got 32 of the little guys for your big American dollar, and they’re burning a hole in your pocket. But it’s not until you decide to say no to that 500-baht pair of sunglasses, not until the first time they snap their fingers at your back and say, “Okay okay 400 for you!” that the whole-new-world opens up. And you are not sure from which moment you became a master at price negotiating.

But bargaining is not easy, it’s a form of art. Approach negotiating as a fun game rather than with dread and embarrassment – or even worse, guilt. Realize that if you fail to negotiate a little, you’re spreading cultural mutation and possibly inflating prices for local residents. But never negotiate just for pure fun. If you begin negotiating with someone and agree on a price, failing to make the purchase is considered as a very impolite attitude. Don’t counter with an offer unless you’re willing to buy!

…I have a friend who is… elephant

Elephant camps are somethings which you should not miss in your Thailand vacation. And once you get there, lovely things will happen. You realize in the panic that the scariest point of this real, powerful creatures is not that they could crush you without a thought, but they are able to make your heart melt. Because there’s personality behind those strong eyes. Once you’re in Thailand and you encounter them for yourself, you’re also filled with a desire to see these elephants treated well. And from those natural emotions, you had an elephant as a friend.

…I think a massage is so magical

Honestly, I had never been a massage believer before my first Thailand holiday. It’s surely a comfortable activity after a long walking day in a tropical country, but magic? A little hard to believe there’s any magic here. Then Thailand lightened me! Over the course of 60 minutes, a small woman pressed and kneaded my skin and muscles in ways I never thought possible. It hurt at times, and at others, it was relaxing. But a strange thing happened — I started to feel better. Not just in my body, but in my mind.

My masseuse explained that Thai massage affects the flow of energy through the body. By massaging certain pressure points and “chakras,” she was able to release all the pent-up tension blocks and permit my energy to flow again. Try finding a cleanse in America for under $10 that can do all that.

…I actually enjoyed eating that cricket

And please don’t “Ewww” so quickly, as I am sure that you will enjoy too. The street food heaven of Southeast Asia always finds the way to be stand out. If this country is only about the wonderful Pad Thai and Tom yum, you may not remember about Thai food for such a long time. Therefore, the fried crickets and cockroaches, boiled maggots are there. By some accounts, it’s a tourist trap. Nobody really eats those. But hey, you’re in Thailand…who’s gonna know? And turns out, it’s not actually that bad. Salty. Crunchy. Like biting into a fried, crispy chicken skin, with bits of the leg that get caught between your teeth. Worldly people like to claim they’ll try anything once — time to pony up.