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  • Writer's pictureÈric

Our good feelings after travelling as a couple for 5 weeks in Thailand

Updated: Jan 26

Thailand is huge and has so many different things to offer (from beautiful mountains and waterfalls, to spectacular beaches and underwater landscapes as well as amazing temples and Buddhist culture) that it was difficult to put everything inside the time when the free Visa as a EU-country is valid (30 days), so we chose to stay 5 weeks in Thailand and do a Visa extension. If you're interested on the Visa extension let us know below in the comments and we'll do a post explaining how we did it in order to save time and money.


Trixi did again a summary of our trip in a beautiful drawing using watercolors as done for the last trips in South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Singapore.


Thailand drawing of 5 weeks travel


Good feelings after travelling for 5 weeks in Thailand


  • People’s smiles and sympathy Thai people smile a lot to tourists and also between themselves. They also laugh a lot and seem very happy. It's very nice to see a smile whenever you talk to a person in general. In fact, Thailand was called Siam before, which means the land of smiles.

  • Beautiful traditions and peaceful religion The majority of the Thai population (95%) are buddhists and it’s amazing to see how many traditions around this religion they have built. Moreover, they welcome tourists from any genders to their religion and you even have the opportunity of integrating into it by staying at Buddhists residences eating, sleeping and learning about their culture and religion for free for up to 10 days. There was one nice place that was very popular among tourists during our Mae Hong Son loop trip in the north of Thailand. It was also a beautiful place. Moreover, since religion plays a big role in their lives, they have built beautiful Buddhists constructions, which brings us to the next point.

  • Beautiful temples and Buddhists sculptures The temples, shrines, Buddhists sculptures and offering places are in many places in Thailand, from private houses, to boats, to beautiful colorful cities. You can see a summary of many of these places in our posts about Bangkok, Chiang Rai, and Chiang Mai.

  • Beautiful landscapes and nature on land



The landscapes in Thailand are beautiful. In the north there is a lot of variety, from beautiful waterfalls, to beautiful tea plantations and amazing caves.

Mae Hong Son tea plantation

Three elephants swimming on the river

Around Bangkok, there are also national parks with beautiful waterfalls, monkeys and elephants.


Beautiful waterfall Thailand

And in the central and south islands (see Koh Kood and Koh Lanta posts) it’s full of beaches with turquoise water as well as monkeys and other animals.

dusky eyes monkey on a tree
  • And underwater


The landscape underwater is also very beautiful. We didn’t get to see as many big animals as in Raja Ampat or Komodo but the colorful coral and the amount of life underwater is breathtaking.




  • Very easy for vegetarians The restaurants don’t offer lots of vegetarian options by default but whenever you ask they are very used to preparing vegetarian food for a cheaper price. They cook very nicely, with similar ingredients but with mushrooms and tofu instead of meat and fish.

  • Great road infrastructure compared to other South East Asian countries We rented cars three times (in the north and middle) and motorbike twice (in the islands) and we must say that these are the best roads we have seen in South East Asia so far. There are some potholes but in general they are in very good condition. The people don’t drive very well in general, since we’ve heard some people don’t have a driving license and many people drive without helmets, which makes Thailand the No.1 country in Asia having more road fatalities, but it’s not because of the road quality.

  • English is quite good Their English is in general quite good, one of the best countries we've seen so far during our trip around Asia, apart from Singapore.

  • Openness Thai people are very open to tourists of different nationalities as well as people having different sexual preferences and genders. It's nice to see such an open country in Asia. However, we've heard from expats that if you're trying to open a business in Thailand it's a bit trickier if you don't speak their language.

The not so good feelings about Thailand

  • Cash, cash cash (and fees, fees, fees) One of the worst things as a tourist is that the country doesn’t accept cards almost anywhere except for resorts, airports and shopping malls. And even in these places, you can expect a surcharge from 3 to 5% on the original price because of paying by card. This already tells you how much of a thief the local banks are. But it gets even worse when withdrawing money (which you must since everything is with cash). All banks charge you 220 THB, which is about 6€. So even if you got smart and are getting the best payment methods and cards to avoid paying fees abroad, you will need to pay quite a lot to the Thai banks. Since it’s very hard to plan how much money you will need for 5 weeks travelling, we had to withdraw 8 to 10 times, meaning we gave away 50 to 60€ to banks for free! That’s like 2 weeks of restaurants with delicious Thai food. One of the reasons why it’s so hard to plan is because very often you need to pay a deposit for renting motorbikes (3000 THB), renting cars (5000 THB) and even for staying at hotels (1000 THB). The worst was when we needed to leave a deposit of 1000 THB for a hotel that was at the airport forcing you to withdraw money that is not even worth exchanging at the airport…

  • Sometimes their answer is no, even when the question was not understood A bit similar to what you can experience in Japan and Indonesia, they sometimes answer no even if the question you posed was not understood. We would therefore recommend asking a couple of times and even to different people if you’re asking something important such as at what time does the bus to the airport come?

  • Plastic is still an issue We didn't see rivers full of plastic and we didn't see mountains of plastic by the roads but there's still quite a lot of plastic on the roads. We have the feeling this is improving very rapidly since in many places in big cities or airports there's a recycling culture and also a way of using reusable cups for drinks.

  • Pollution and chaos in Bangkok is next level As many Southeast Asian big cities, Bangkok is no exception for pollution. The city is full of pollution and you can notice it every evening by the sunset that is covered by a big cloud of smoke that makes it less visible than normal. A cloud of smoke that seems to be coming from the pollution of the metropolis. You can of course also notice it when walking by the smell and the difficulty breathing air that doesn't smell badly. Apart from the pollution, the city is very chaotic with quite a lot of noise from traffic, especially during traffic jams, which brings us to the next point.

  • Getting from one place to another within Bangkok is extremely inefficient! Getting from one place to another in Bangkok is so inefficient that the best way to go from one place to another at the center is by… foot. We actually tried to walk to our hotel from the Siam center (shopping center) and it took us 40 minutes walking. When we walked we saw the bus we were supposed to take being left behind us.

  • If you have a sensitive stomach, be prepared for some stomach ache Èric has a sensitive stomach and Thailand is not made for you if you have sensitive stomachs. He was having a stomach ache every week, more or less every couple of days. Trixi with a much tougher stomach was also having problems twice for a couple of days. In general, Thai food is very spicy, and while we got used to eating spicy and we like it, it seems as if our belly is not used to it yet ^^ moreover, sometimes we have the feeling that we had stomach ache because of fish that was not properly stored, especially when eating seafood in the north…

Summary

Our five-week journey through Thailand showed us a mixturey of contrasts - from the enchanting smiles of the people and the serene Buddhist traditions to the diverse landscapes above and below the water. The country's interesting culture, stunning temples, and welcoming locals left us willing to come back to Thailand in the future!


However, beneath the surface, challenges emerged. Navigating Thailand's cash-centric economy proved being more expensive than expected. We also had some communication hiccups from time to time, and were surprised about the pollution of Bangkok.

Despite the chaos of Bangkok, Thailand's warmth, people, landscapes, delicious vegetarian offerings, and efficient infrastructure stood out.


Join us in our next post as we will deep in on our first experiences in the Philippines, where we'll be spending our delve into the intricacies of extending our stay, offering insights to fellow travelers seeking to immerse themselves in the Land of Smiles while navigating its quirks. 🌏✈️ #ThailandDiaries #TravelTales #ExploreWithUs

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