Monday, March 9, 2009

Thailand Fun Facts

To any of you paying attention, you know this blog was delayed almost a week. My consistency is starting to fail, perhaps a foreshadowing of what is coming, but for now, thanks for your patience....
Just some fun facts, that never quite fit in any one category, from Thailand that every traveller to Thailand should know:

  • Never touch the top of someone's head - just as the feet are considered a degrading part of the body and you should be conscious of them, the head is considered a sacred part and should not be casually touched.

  • In all of Asia, pedestrians do not, I repeat, DO NOT have the right-of-way on the streets. My advice when wanting to cross a street in Thailand is to wait for Thai people to lead the way and just follow....

  • While the outside roads and some public spaces may not be spic 'n span, the insides of all Thai homes and business are as clean as can be. Always remove those shoes so you don't get the spotless floor dirty. One of the images that will always be in my head from Thailand is the focused sweeping of floors and walkways by Thai people. Inside it's cleaner than anywhere in the Western world, including even Sweden!

  • In Thailand, it's all about the rice. The verb "to eat" in the Thai language even includes the word "rice."

  • Walking around Bangkok, there might not always be the friendly sidewalks you're used to when you're home. Just beware that an easy walk can become riddled with obstacles with only one turn. My advice of course is to take a tuk-tuk. Also highly recommended is the Sky Train above-ground subway. Great air-conditioning on that thing.

  • There's not really a "winter, spring, summer or fall" in Thailand or SE Asia. It's more like "rainy, hot, hotter or hottest." We're in the hotter season right now - April and May are the hottest.

  • Just a couple more entries on the Tuk-tuk talker, then things change...stay tuned.
Pictures above:
1. The Giant Swing, which people actually swung from "Buccaneer Ride-style" in the early 1900s, is one of about three or four iconic symbols of Bangkok.
2. Exotic orchids and lilies are quintessential tropical and always catch one's eye around here.
3. The Royal Barges, an oft-used symbol of royalty and regality in this water-dominated part of the world, are an overrated tourist attraction in Bangkok.
4. Tiki wood is seen everywhere in Thailand, but not always in this dining room table set-up example.
5. In any traffic jam, you wanna be in a tuk-tuk.


Ang said...

OK, glad to see you back. Thanks for sharing the fun facts. I thought the love bug may have bitten you so hard that you lost your mind :-) J/k ... Miss you!

dan said...

"Foreshadowing"...huh? I'm picking up what you're throwing down.


John said...

It's about time you figured out the sacred head thing. I've been telling you for years to stop patting my head. Yeesh. lol.