7 things about Thailand that might upset you
By now means I want to create a negative image about Thailand. It really is one of my favorite countries, but like every country it has some flaws as well. This article describes some of those flaws. Some facts are horrible, some are annoying, and some can actually be funny when you have the right mindset.
Make sure you prepare yourself for some horrible facts before you plan a trip to Thailand. it is better to not be negatively surprised while you visit this country, even though you might just want to close your eyes from some facts, and pretend you don’t want to know. Here is a list of 7 things you don’t want to know about Thailand. Do you..?
1. (Stray) dogs
Dogs where one of the reasons why I did not enjoyed the Northern part of the country O well, maybe it was more the lack of decent fences that where supposed to keep the dogs inside. I remember walking down a street in Lopburi once, every step I took seemed to alarm a new dog. Those monsters where surrounding me with a terrifying barking symphony, and there was still so much road to go.
Even though it was hot, the whole experience gave me the shivers. Those small pieces of wood that where pretending to be a fence would most likely not hold even the smallest dog. I was constantly expecting to see one of those monsters doing a horse jump over the fence. Now that is not a nice situation when you are walking with a heavy backpack. In fact it is never a nice situation.
Do you have an apartment in Bangkok? You would probably not like to know is what going on behind those walls in your nice apartment. Those of you who have been following me on Facebook, must have seen regular updates of my ongoing war with the bugs in my room. Luckily it seems quiet on the front recently. Maybe due to the compulsive cleaning regime of my girlfriend Dianna. Thank you honey. 🙂
Most of the times I am on a war with ants. Which proof to be annoying as well as fascinating insects. They seem to be very useful as natures vacuum cleaner. However, if your are not fond of invasions, then I do advice you do not leave food residues in your house. They will come after it with military precision and dedication.
Thailand might look like the perfect holiday destination. Friendly Thai people, lovely beaches, peaceful temples and a cheerful nightlife scene. However realize that it ain’t all sunshine, zen and rainbows. I am sure that most of you guys have heard of the ongoing battle with political protesters in Bangkok. There are also constant bombings and fights in the south of the country, and occasionally there are problems at the border regions of Cambodia as well.
You might not notice it as a tourist but the use of violence is common in Thailand, and not only on a large (political) scale. There are many weird and sometimes horrible stories of tourists and expats who encounter bad tempered Thais. Believe me a bad tempered Thai can mean serious trouble if you push it to far. For the sake of your own health, swallow your pride and just walk away.
4. Exploitation of children
For those of you who travel to Thailand because of its infamous adult industry. Please be aware. The girls could be under aged. Sometimes they are even really young children. The country enforces strict punishments against people who exploit children. Sadly enough, there are still many crazy criminals who seem to think that it is normal to ruin children’s lives.
Be aware of scams, especially in big cities like Bangkok. There are a lot of different scams. Some of them are more bad then others, but they are always annoying. Some are easy to avoid but sometimes you get tricked even though you are on your guard. To make you feel a little bit at ease, you will most likely be charmed out of your money instead of being negatively harassed.
There are various ways to get scammed, but there are also various ways to avoid scams. Trust your intuition, especially in touristic places. When you visit these places it is better that you ignore people who approach you on the street. Most of the time they want something from you. Luckily people seem to be more genuine in non touristic places. There are a lot of locals who are helpful, without wanting your money.
Violence, (child) exploitation and scams are often practiced by criminals. Examples of places with a lot of organized crime are Phuket and Pattaya. In general you don’t have to worry of encountering any criminals. However, some of them are involved in touristic services like jet ski rentals and night live entertainment. Be careful not to upset criminals. Making a normal Thai angry is bad, but upsetting a Thai criminal can be especially unhealthy.
7. Rude behavior (land of the smiles?)
People talk about Thailand being the land of the smiles. However, sometimes you don’t want to know what is behind those smiles. The following sentence are occasionally spoken by Thai speaking people who accompany me on walks: “omg did you understand what those people just said about us.. so rude!” Sometimes I get an explanation at which point I feel the urge to turn around and make a fuss about it.
Learning a new language is great. However it can be difficult to stay calm if you understand what is really being said to you. The worst thing is that they often do it with a smile on their face. When you approach them they might think or say that you are but ugly and a complete loser. However, you could end up walking away while thanking them and thinking: ow those where such friendly people.
What kind of experiences in Thailand would you prefer to have erased from your memory?