Going over the 2 months spent in Thailand, we found it hard to remember any particularly impressive moments. I don’t mean to say that we didn’t like it or that it was a boring 2 months, not at all; Thailand is a very pleasant place to visit. Its very developed and as such it reminds one of European or North American settlements. And precisely for this reason it doesn’t pack as significant a culture shock as Vietnam or Cambodia. On the other hand, we’ve been touring around this region of the world for almost 7 months now and perhaps we’re getting jaded :)
Either way, we both agreed wholeheartedly that the best thing we enjoyed in Thailand was the food. The variety is incredible, even now we find street vendors selling deliciously-looking items we’ve not tried before! And of course its all very delicious. And cheap – usually $1 gets you nicely stuffed.
We can also brag about newly acquired skills – Thailand’s dedication to tourists ensured it was easy for us to attend massage, meditation and cooking courses.
People here also seem to spend more time smiling than not. Especially in smaller towns. And they speak good English. And they enjoy helping out, without having to ask too. This one time, we were lost in a new town, walking to hotel from the bus station and a Thai girl gave us a lift in her comfy Honda sedan, grinning radiantly all the way. Many a times the locals helped us gain insight into the mysteries of Thai food ingredients or oldskool medical balms in street markets and shops.
Probably the biggest mystery remaining is regarding His Majesty the King of Thailand. His imposing posters decorate every household, shop, office building, entrance to the city and everything else one can think of, and many things one wouldn’t think of. All Thai baht notes and coins are decorated with his picture; it is a crime to step on money. The locals, asked about the royal family, reply so quietly, you can hardly make-out what they’re saying and often drop the conversation all together. Not too surprising, given that even these days one gets landed in a jail cell for criticising the royals. So, we leave without getting to know the King, perhaps we should have asked to meet him in person.
Get another one of the intensive Thai massages is one of the items remaining on our todo list before we leave for Myanmar (Burma) tomorrow. Gerda has already had a pedicure, a manicure and a haircut (all for under $8, she tells me excitedly). I leave my haircut and beard trim for Myanmar, expecting to get a less conventional treatment :)
So, expect to hear from us soon, but not too soon – the word on the street is that Internet in Myanmar is crawling-slow and rarer than a honest politician… :)
PS: All the pictures from Thailand are now in the gallery, check ’em out!