We’ve returned from our trip to Thailand – ten days of beaches, rainforests, and more fruit smoothies than you could possibly imagine. It was a great adventure and a nice chance to see another side of Asia while we’re in this part of the world.
I made a few observations in between longtail boat rides and endless bowls of curry, which I can now share with you as my field-tested advice for travel in southeast Asia. You might not find all of these tips in your average travel guide, so pay attention:
– There is no limit to what can be hauled in the bed of a small pickup truck. Examples include water buffalo, loads of backpacking tourists, or mountains of coconuts with accompanying trained monkeys. Avoid following any of these loads while on a moped because load-securing devices are so overrated.
– You have no idea how much sweat the human body can produce until you try hiking in the rainforest in August. Trust me.
– The number one rule of the rainforest: never open your mouth when you look up. Monkeys have impressive aim.
– There are so many termites in the rainforest that you can hear them walking. Also, millions of marching termite footsteps sound alarmingly similar to a deadly snake headed in your direction. Try not to panic.
– I recommend against getting jungle ants inside of your pants. Just take my word for it.
– Gouramis are more than just pretty tropical fish for the aquarium – in fact, they are delicious when deep fried.
– Bangkok water taxi captains must have received their professional training as demolition derby drivers. This is important to remember when you are leaping from the pier.
– Approaching black clouds indicate that a torrential downpour is imminent. This is not the best time to purchase tickets to climb to the top of the temple, no matter how well you convince yourself that it will just blow right over.
– Hours of people watching have confirmed that tuk-tuk drivers and Have-I-Got-A-Deal-For-You scammers will avoid harassing you if you walk with a purpose. Avoid aimless wandering at all costs.
– Thai train schedule boards have a permanently displayed column for “delay”. Assume you’re going to be late, on the order of a few hours or so. This is not Japan.
Pictures? Of course I took pictures. Here is my best attempt at whittling hundreds of photos down to a reasonable album to share: