I arrived from my first trip from Thailand solo a couple of weeks ago and I wanted to let you about my general feeling about the country.
My first thought: OMG the humidity!
To start, let me acknowledge that this is going to be very obvious. I know. But for me, the first thing that surprised me in Thailand was the weather. I came from (North) Europe, almost winter and after 16 hours of arctic temperatures (on the plane). Even though I tried to have some light clothes on, as soon as I arrived to Bangkok I started sweating. I could only think OMG, how can it be this hot? And all of this was inside the terminal. I never realized it had AC, when I left I thought I was going to melt on site. All of my clothes were sticking to my skin and you could chew on how dense the atmosphere was. There was so much humidity!
Since I was aware I was going to be exhausted after so many hours of flight, I had decided to book a taxi aforehand. Usually, any closed transportation in Thailand has AC, and usually it is as cold as it can be. And that made my hour and a half to my hotel door a pleasant journey. But a couple of hours after I left the hotel the next day I was confident I was going to die by heat… There was not a single centimeter in my body dry. I drank about five liters of water and I evaporated it all. Obviously, I walk for 8h under a killer sun… I don’t take taxis! (I only said this for a couple of days…)
Anyway, you can like more or less Bangkok, but it’s a crazy suffocating city!
Have you tried Thai food? Read about my experience here — A love/hate affair with Thai Food
Thailand is a country with many faces
Yes, I know it’s the most typical topic out there. But in this case, it couldn’t be truer. It’s really shocking. When I arrived to capital and I saw those roads with ten lanes per direction. And those temples crowded with people. Or when I moved to the south and I saw those touristy beaches. With all those parties, much more alive than Bangkok, but at the same time not that crazy (even though I didn’t visit big islands…). And what can I say about the lovely North, where everything is much more relaxed. I came back from Chiang Mai absolutely in love with the city. The city vibe and the calm of a quiet town… the perfect combination!
The lesson I bring from Thailand
In a word: patience. When I organized my trip, I already planned to spend a day every time I moved to a new place. And indeed, I spent most of it in doing so. The planes are usually punctual. And that’s it. Any other transportation method can be an adventure. You may be in a bus heading to the south and that the bus driver decides to stop for a while to have lunch. Or that you are in songthaew for 8 people and you end up sharing the space with 23 more. Or maybe, a trip that is supposed to last 3h ends up taking up to 5h because the driver had to run some errands in between. I’m aware that holidays are to relax and not worry about when you get to your destination. Yes, they say, enjoy the moment. I will agree with you all, but it always takes a little bit to get into that peaceful state. And when in Thailand, well… either you accept this or you end up crazy!
About going to Thailand solo
Even though I am used to travel alone, I have to admit that initially, the idea of going to Thailand solo was a bit intimidating. It’s a common destination for backpackers, but it was my first time in Asia and I wasn’t sure about what to expect. But I had a nice surprise. I have never been in a country with more people traveling alone, specially women. It was inspiring. And except for some lonely taxi driver asking about where your husband/boyfriend/whatever was, in general lines, the country is quite used to solo tourism. That, along with prices so low that you can go to very nice hotels for a few Baht makes of Thailand a fantastic destination to travel solo!
What did you think of Thailand the first time you were there? Let me know in the comment section!