Thailand is the preferred destination in Southeast Asia by tourists. Most travellers begin their journey of discovery Asian culture in this fabled country, the perfect balance between East and West. Foreign yet familiar, adventurous, accesible and cheap to chill out in, Thailand has the right blend for backpackers. Although if you are looking for tradition, ancient rhythms of life and untouched places this is not the best country, since tourism has been highly exploted in the last years, specially in the south.
It is a country in which travelling is very easy: it has a reliable transport that facilitate travelling along the touristic routes, but we have also arrived to off-the-beaten-track places simply by hitching on the roads (Thais are always happy to help you). It is also very cheap for people travelling on a budget. It is easy to find cheap food, accommodation and transport if you shop around for the best prices.
The two “holy cows” of Thailand are monarchy and religion: Thai people tolerate almost everything provided that none of these two elements are insulted or offended. Thai people love their King and his image is printed in flags, boards, pictures and posters almost in every shop, street, official building and home of the country. They even wear yellow T-shirts, which is the color of the King. The dominant religion in the country is the Buddhism, that’s why it is very common to find orange dressed monks and golden, stone or marble Buddha statues almost everywhere.
Thai language is very complicated and has its own alphabet but it is worth to learn few words and sentences to be able to communicate with the locals, even if it’s just for fun. The biggest difficulty is that it is a tonal language: the same word can be pronunciated with increasing, decreasing, high, medium or low tone and, in theory, it can have five different meanings!
In conclusion, we love Thailand and we highly recommend travelling on this country for many reasons. The most important one is Thai people, very kind and welcoming, always with a smile and a great sense of humour. Other reasons are the amazing and still well preserved landscapes, the laid-back atmosphere, the delicious food and the rich culture they have. And this is after travelling just on the north of Thailand, we are so looking forward to get to the south and explore its wonderful beaches and islands. But this will have to wait a few more months (after visiting Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam).