Every fibre of my body aches to live in Thailand.
I step outside, the heat wraps around me, and the smells waft up my nostril. Despite the stench of durian, rotten fruit, previous evening’s garbage and falang vomit, I feel alive.
Two steps later, I’ll smell incense and pork roasting and all will be good again.
Every step in Thailand brings you something new to savour: tastes, smells, warmth, humility, friendliness and spiritual peace.
Here are 13 reasons why I love Thailand so much.
Australia is a culture that is rigid with rules, fees, fines, taxes and expectations. Our natural state of being is freedom. We actually hate being placed in boxes as it limits our ability to thrive and grow.
I love what seems to be almost an absence of rules in Thailand. Despite this people generally go about living their life making responsible decisions and being kind to one another.
Thai is the only style of food that I could eat three meals a day for the rest of my life and be deliriously happy.
The Thai create dishes, whose ingredients, when separated from the whole, stink and look inedible, but when joined with the others creates an explosion of flavours that leave you desiring only that food for the rest of your life. (I even learned how to cook Thai food while there… sort of)
Thailand is an exotic country. There is so much to appreciate and savour here that is unique and different.
I love their cultural celebrations, their religious ceremonies, their strange food, beautiful beaches and charming people.
4. Friendly and fun people
Thais aren’t so friendly that they will go out of their way to talk to anyone who walks by. They do respect your privacy, but if you are interacting with them, then you are welcomed in like part of the family.
You instantly feel good around them and all your guards drop because you know all they bring to the table is acceptance, warmth and love. On my recent trip to Thailand, I laughed a lot with the Thais and I realized just why they are so awesome.
They want to laugh more than they want to argue, complain or be bitter.
It’s all about the sanuk. Why would you want to view life in any other way? Life is fun! Don’t take it too seriously.
5. Spiritual beliefs
The Thai people amaze me with how thoughtful and considerate they are. They’ll deviate two blocks on the walking tour just to buy you a bag of food to munch on because you look tired and hungry. Even though you just ate for the tenth time two minutes ago.
Their attitude is to be kind always.
Choose happiness, be respectful, consider others, laugh often.
I love how they stop to honour Buddha and the King at every photo and statue they see. They bend low to pass you something with two hands. They greet you with a wai blessing. They are so reverent and believe that your actions have consequences, so choose the actions that bring about those happy, positive results for all people involved.
I don’t know why I love the Thai language. I think it’s because it’s exotic and the only language where I can have very short conversations in it. This is because we lived in Bangkok for 6 months and so picked up a bit.
Apart from the intonations, which I struggle with, I find it quite a simple language to learn and I love trying. I also love to see the joy from Thai people when you practice speaking it with them.
They will sit for hours teaching you and laughing with you at all your silly mistakes and pathetic attempts!
7. Being present
Thailand forces me to be present in every moment. It’s not just a street I can walk down in mind preoccupation, but an adventure I share with tuk tuks, cars, mobile street carts, motorbikes, people, all moving amongst one another. I’m forced to be present or die. This is living.
Besides there are so many great things to take in when in Thailand why would you choose to live in the world of your head?
8. Learn to deal with Chaos
Thais learn to get along with the chaos and I do when I’m there. The chaos looks maddening but it does not disturb their inner peace.
One just has to be in the middle of a Bangkok traffic jam to see this in action. It progresses in an orderly manner of acceptance. There is rarely a tooting horn or a word shouted out in anger. They just laugh, shake their head and say “This is Bangkok – Mai Pen Lai.“
9. Acceptable to be whoever you want to be and you’ll still be loved
One of my favourite things about Thailand is that you will be loved and accepted no matter who you are and what you believe in.
I loved how the lady boys were treated with respect and love within the schools I taught at. They were teased in a friendly way and hugged often by other boys. There was absolutely no bullying at all-ever. All of them were treated in the respectful way that says You are a person just like I am and for that you deserve to be honoured.
10. Cheap Living
I love how in Thailand I could have a maid, eat out for every meal and have snacks in between and have a massage at least once a week and would have barely made a dent in my money.
You can live well in Thailand. And life is for living well.
I love how you can barter for a fair price and I LOVE that unlimited phone data that is super-fast is 400 baht for the month.
11. Beautiful Beaches
Thai beach living is for me. The beaches are stunning, the sand soft and white, crystal clear, blue or jade water, depending where you are. The water is calm and gentle and beckons you to come snorkelling and play with tropical fish up close.
Restaurants with cushions and fresh barbecued seafood and glorious sunsets wait for you of an evening. A hammock could be stretched up somewhere between trees or on the veranda of your beach shack and touts walk past selling your fresh pineapple on a stick.
Oh and somewhere in the background, chill out vibes are playing.
12. Moped and tuk tuks
I love a wild tuk tuk ride coming home from Khao Sahn Road at 2am, Bangkok traffic has almost disappeared and you clap and laugh as your driver careens around bends on one wheel. Yes. I did say how I loved the absence of Rules. I just find tuk tuks fun.
And I love cruising around the islands and mountains on a back of a moped. Just me, Craig, the wind, sun and stunning scenery to explore. (Check out more tips on getting around Thailand)
13. Night life
In Thailand life begins at night time. With everything in our home town closing by 5pm we really miss the Thai night. You could wander the streets shopping at night markets, stopping for a feed at street stalls and roam the streets with a beer in one hand and full conversation with friends and giggles with locals.
Not too mention the cheap massages you can get at markets.
Need travel tips for Thailand?
Check out these posts:
- Things to do in Bangkok – City Guide
- 19 tips for visiting Thailand with kids
- 48 hours in Phuket
- Chiang Mai for families
What is it that you love about Thailand?
Share in the comments.