Things I will… and won’t…miss about Thailand

For those of you who don’t know… Dan and I have booked our flights back to the US on March 22nd. We will be flying into Raleigh, NC and staying for a few days before heading up to MA. While we are sad that our travel time is coming to an end, we are very excited about being home. It’s been a long journey.

Here are some things I will miss about Thailand.

1. Thai Food – Noodles, curry, and all of the street carts. Almost all of the Thai food is really tasty. Dan loves a specific stiry fry with chicken and ginger. My favorite dish is one with chicken, chili, and basil. I’ve never been big into curry – but now I love it. Green, yellow or Red. I’ve also never eaten so much rice in my life. It’s yummy and a good, inexpensive go-to. And the fruit is so good. Sweet and fresh. No wonder I’ve never been excited by fruit at home. Here, you can grab a mango, pineapple, papaya, banana, draggon fruit, or passion fruit from a cart where they will peel it, slice it up and hand it to you in a bag with a tooth pick. Yum.

"Fried Chicken with Ginger"

“Fried Chicken with Ginger”

Night Market

Night Market

Noodles

Noodles

Thai Iced Tea and Fried Rice

Thai Iced Tea and Fried Rice

Our lunch packed in banana leaves for a lunch in the jungle at elephant nature park

Our lunch packed in banana leaves for a lunch in the jungle at elephant nature park

Vegetable Fried Rice with Pineapple

Vegetable Fried Rice with Pineapple

2. Tuk-Tuks – Easily the most fun way to get around. They’re like a rickshaw, but with a motorized scooter on the front. Some places, like Patong Beach on Phuket have decked out tuk-tuks with colorful seats, big speakers and lots of lights. You’d think they were all on an episode of ‘Pimp My Ride’ or something. Inexpensive and much nicer than walking in this heat.

Tuk-Tuk

Tuk-Tuk

3. Massages – They’re amazing. Most importantly, they’re cheap so you can afford to get one every week or more! Seriously, at $6 or $7 an hour… nothing can beat it. You’ll spend more at Starbucks!

Tea and Slippers at the Spa

Tea and Slippers at the Spa

4. The Local People – typially the most interesting part about travelling. While we haven’t gotten to know too many people on a personal level…we’ve gotten a feel for the language, the culture, the struggles and the pleasures of living in Thailand. One of the most amazing things to me is how genuinely good the people are here. Sure, some will try to make you pay an extra buck for a ride if you are obviously a tourist… but can you blame them? I must have asked this question a million times on our trip. “Is it safe here? Can I walk around at night?” The answer was always yes. There is next to no crime in tourist areas. Other than the ocassional pick pocket or purse snatcher – you’re not going to find much worse. Nobody is violent or trying to hurt you. And, you don’t have to worry about wandering into the wrong neighborhood. They are a peaceful people.

Selling at Sunday Market

Selling at Sunday Market

Karen Village People

Karen Village People

One of our guides, Joe

One of our guides, Joe

Hill Tribe Children

Hill Tribe Children

And the town drunk, quite possibly the nicest man alive

And the town drunk, quite possibly the nicest man alive

Things I WON’T miss about Thailand…

1. The Thai Toilet – I mean really, where do you put your pants? And how do you not pee on your shoe? My legs just aren’t strong enough to be squatting all the time. Plus, traditional toilet or Thai toilet… all toilet paper goes in the trash can instead of getting flushed. So gross. But, most people just use the Bum Gun anyway so it’s fine??

2. Brushing my teeth with bottled water – you have no idea what a reflex it is to just turn on the faucet and stick the tooth brush under. Each time I did it I immediately smacked myself in the head and wondered if I would be spending the next three days in the bathroom. The bigger issue though, of course, is that people don’t have access to clean water. ┬áHaving said that, the locals could use and drink the tap water in most places that we went. For us it was just a matter of not being used to the specific bacteria their water had. They might have the same problem drinking our water.

3. “Eastern” Breakfast – No, I don’t want teriyaki fish for breakfast. I don’t even want salad and rice. Just a piece of TOAST would be fine! One piece of toast!?! Sometimes… not possible.

4. The lack of a ‘top sheet’ – Apparently, using a top sheet on the bed is an American thing. We first discovered the lack of top sheet in South Africa and thought we had a forgetful housekeeper. Not true. After a few more hotels… and a few more countries… we’ve come to find out that we, in fact, are the minority. Most places just have the fitted sheet on the bed and the comfortor on top of that. Crazy.

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