"Thailand, great time but not again" Top 5 Page for this destination Thailand by vtveen

Thailand Travel Guide: 31,344 reviews and 79,425 photos

Thailand was the last destination on our RTW trip and because we had never really been to south east Asia (apart from a couple of stopovers), we were looking forward to this completely different culture and way of living.

We started our trip with four days in Bangkok, sightseeing most of the highlights and with a bike tour through some slums of the city we also made a real ‘off the beaten path’ trip. We saw markets, shopping malls and a lot of temples; loved the hectic way of (outdoor) living and were surprised by the completely crazy traffic on the roads.

By night train we went to Northeastern Thailand - called Isan or Isaan. In Khon Kaen we started a road trip with a rental car to Chiang Mai. We drove through sometimes boring scenery, passed a lot of very average towns, which had not much to offer to tourists. Made a detour to Phu Rua National Park and visited ‘our’ most beautiful temple in Thailand, more or less in the middle of nowhere close to the village of Dan Sai: Wat Neramit Wipattasana.

We visited - again on bikes - Sukhothai and Si Satchanalai Historical Park with impressive old temple buildings. In Wat Phra That Lampang Luang we were witness of a local tradition called ‘Tan Lua Hig Prajao’, which means a donation of firewood for Buddha.

After a visit of ‘the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre’, north of Lampang, we reached Chiang Mai for the last couple of days of our Thai holiday. The city is called ‘The Rose of the North’; a nickname with expectations. But, with the exception of beautiful Wat Doi Suthep and authentic Sankampaeng Hot Springs, it was rather disappointing, with the touristy night market, the commercialised hill tribe village of Doi Pui and the fully overcrowded umbrella town of Borsang.

Great time

We enjoyed our trip to Thailand very much. The completely different culture, the marvellous temples (although after ‘36’ of them, it is not that spectacular), the temple complex of Sukhothai, our bike ride through the slums of Bangkok, the elephant centre, the really friendly people we met, like the owner of a internet café in Phitsanulok, drinking a cup of tea together, the ‘broom man’ and craftsmen at Wat Phra That Ban Phuan, a little girl showing us King Cobra’s in Ban Kok Sanga and many many more

Not again

But to be honest we met too many people who were not really gentle, just playing their role against tourists. We were cheated by taxi and tuk-tuk drivers, we were wearied of the aggressive market vendors, we were tired of the everlasting bargaining about almost everything, we visited a very commercialised mountain village where everybody was only interested in our money and we got enough of ‘helpful’ people just trying to sell another tuk-tuk ride. And we had enough of too old and fat (western) men with too young (Thai) girls going in and out hotels.

We smiled, were relaxed and polite, learned a couple of Thai words and were dressed appropriately.
We had a great time, but will not go back to Thailand again.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:culture, temples, way of living, cheap
  • Cons:scenery, too many cheating people, commercialised
  • In a nutshell:unique experience, but not again
  • Last visit to Thailand: Jan 2006
  • Intro Updated Feb 2, 2007
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Reviews (49)

Comments (9)

  • TrendsetterME's Profile Photo
    Apr 13, 2012 at 6:20 AM

    Hey Jaap, great and helpful tips of Thailand, also perfect photos, keep postin' mate ... :)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Apr 26, 2009 at 3:25 PM

    My comments on Vietnam are similar to yours on Thailand. I've been, seen and won't be back. I haven't been to Thailand yet to experience what its like there, hope its not as bad as Vietnam, but it sounds it.

  • junecorlett's Profile Photo
    Feb 21, 2009 at 2:11 AM

    What an honest page about Thailand, You too saw what we experienced. Old Fat Men with young Thai girls!!!! But we will go again as we love the beaches and water.

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Nov 9, 2007 at 12:00 PM

    Im not in a rush to go back either - enjoyed your tips though thanks.

  • GenuinelyCurious's Profile Photo
    Oct 16, 2007 at 1:35 PM

    This must be a famous cheat - I got caught too!

  • kht1468's Profile Photo
    Jun 10, 2007 at 5:44 AM

    We went here as well and it was amazing, not touristy at all... and we soaked our feet in the hot stream with the locals. Tip - don't be tempted to feel how hot the water is where you can boil the eggs like we saw one guy do!!

  • Sibbella's Profile Photo
    Feb 8, 2007 at 1:28 PM

    Amazing pictures!! You do have an eye for beautiful shots.

  • kzapanta's Profile Photo
    Feb 3, 2007 at 11:17 AM

    nice pics. jaap

  • Wann's Profile Photo
    Jan 24, 2007 at 7:08 AM

    Great written on every tips! Thanks for the honest! As a local here its just a deeply sad to hear, several times beofore repeat in the forum and here again but must admit they're just truely true, not only visitors who feel bad about all this! W.


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