9 Signs that You Know You’re in Thailand
Thailand isn’t just a land of stunning beaches, friendly people, 5 foot long monitor lizards, cobras and the best curry on the face of the earth.
I’ve been stalked by 2 Thai lady boy prostitutes in this magical land.
I, not once, but TWICE saw the Royal Family’s motorcade whiz by me.
Once in Bangkok, once in Chiang Mai.
I’ve seen 6 inch long scorpions and monstrously large monitor lizards in Koh Lanta, wild soi dog packs in Pak Nam Pran and monks on 4:30 AM alms runs in Chiang Mai in the Land of Smiles.
I’ve spotted a few surefire signals that you’ve in Thailand after spending nearly 2 years in this country.
1: Majestic Photos of the King Greet You in New Towns
First off, RIP to King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
My heart goes out to the Thai people, who are in a year long state of mourning after the King’s death.
You will see 10 to 20 foot murals of the King at city limits and smaller photos in most Thai homes.
2: Standing to Honor the King before Movies
Kelli and I were a bit confused when we were asked to stand before our first movie in Phuket.
We soon learned that all movies begin with honoring the King.
This is a unique practice that displays the level of reverence the people of Thailand have for their King.
3: “5 in 1” Stores
If you see a building housing a:
- Laundry service
- Photocopier business
- Motorbike rental service
- computer/internet cafe
….all in 1 shop/store, you know you’re in Thailand.
4: Seeing 7-11s Everywhere
A few years back the island of Phuket had 219 7-11 stores.
Double that number if we’re counting all convenience stores.
My obsession with colorful (stop retching Kelli), off the wall, curiously concocted Thai snacks was borne of a 7-11 visit in Rawai, Phuket, in 2011.
I spied a hot dog bun filled with strawberry cream and raisins.
I was hooked.
Kelli was horrified.
5: 2 Words: Soi Dogs
Soi dogs, or street dogs, roam the streets of Thailand.
I once saw a pack of soi dogs overtake a traffic circle every night in remote Pak Nam Pran, Thailand.
We’re talking 10 dogs sleeping *in the middle of the road* after 9:30 PM.
Motorbikes and cars drove around the circle.
Or went in the other direction.
6: Smiles, Smiles, and More Smiles
Thailand is the Land of Smiles.
Most Thai smile like the Cheshire Cat when ya meet ‘em and greet ‘em.
7: Wai Guys (and Gals)
The wai, or traditional Thai greeting, of clasping your hands prayer-style and bowing, is crazy common in Thailand.
I vividly recall 3 young women Wai-ing Kelli and I when we arrived at our hotel at the Chalong Circle in Phuket, 5 years ago, 2 weeks into our trip.
8: Seeing Massage Parlors Everywhere
Although a few SE Asian countries are heavy on the massage thing, Thai massage parlors are all over the place!
Kelli usually camps out at/frequents these joints in spots like Koh Lanta, Bangkok, Pak Nam Pran, Chiang Mai and Phuket.
Massage parlors seem as omni-present as cheap hostels in Thailand too.
I had to mention a fabulous post I read recently by Nic at The Roaming Renegades.
She reviews a one of a kind boutique hostel in Bangkok that will make your head spin with all its amazing amenities.
Check out the post here:
9: Feasting at Buddhist Vegetarian Restaurants
We have our favorite place in Chiang Mai with the best mushrooms on earth.
Our 2 fave haunts in Phuket.
Just look for the bright yellow sign with red Thai wording.
Buddhist vegetarian restaurants are buffet style spots where you can eat like a freaking water buffalo for $1 – $3, USD.
We eat lunch at these restaurants virtually every day when we’re living in Thailand.
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