Before going anywhere I definitely get a little fantasy about how great and wonderful it’s going to be. Thailand was no different, I probably watched the movie “The Beach” one too many times and figured Thailand would be all exciting adventures and beautiful beaches. And to be fair, it is those things, but it’s also still a country with quirks, and things you wouldn’t think about or expect.
Here are 10 things to know about Thailand, that know one every tells you
Don’t flush toilet paper or anything else down the toilet.
Some bathrooms will have signs to remind you not too, but some won’t. Just to err on the side of caution, and for the sake of anyone else who might need to use that bathroom, just don’t flush any paper.
The bathroom, or any room with a drain is probably going to smell.
In the US we have this U bend in all our pipes that blocks any smells coming back up our plumbing. That U bend in the pipes doesn’t seem that common in Thailand, meaning any room with a drain in it can get stinky.
There are weird smells just in general.
I’m not totally sure the cause of this, but I’m going to assume that the combination of street food, imperfect sewer systems, construction, and I’m sure plenty of other things contribute to the strange and sometimes shocking smells you will get a whiff of.
Cars drive on the left.
Just like in England, cars, bikes, scooters, and tuk tuks drive on the left side. So make sure to look before you cross the street, especially in cities like Bangkok where the traffic is crazy and scooters will be zooming around and inbetween cars.
There are wild street dogs everywhere.
For the most part these dogs are fine if you leave them alone, but at night they can become territorial, so be cautious when you pass one on the street.
7/11 is where you can get pretty much everything.
Just like in the US, 7/11 is the best place to snacks, sodas, and other random things you might need. In Bangkok, 7/11 is like Starbucks, in that there is one on practically every corner. You can also get SIM cards for your phone there, and refill your plan when you need to.
There is water leaking and dripping everywhere onto the street.
Again, I’m not sure why or where this water is coming from, but I’d avoid mystery water if you can.
Your feet will always be dirty.
Because you are continually taking your shoes on and off when you go into places, you end up wearing flip flops most of the time. And after walking around all day in sandals your feet are just going to be dirty.
Helmets for scooters and motorbikes are basically nonexistent.
None of the locals seem to wear helmets. The first time we rented a scooter the helmets they offered us were too small for Rob and too big for me, so we ended up without helmets.
Street food is amazing and should definitely be tried.
Buying meat from a little cart with a makeshift barbecue might seem like a sketchy thing to do, but it’s delicious. And in reality you have just as much of a chance of getting food poisoning from a restaurant as you do from a street vendor.