"Thailand, great time but not again" Top 5 Page for this destination Thailand by vtveen
Thailand Travel Guide: 31,193 reviews and 78,875 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.
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
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:culture, temples, way of living, cheap
- Cons:scenery, too many cheating people, commercialised
- In a nutshell:unique experience, but not again
We reached this hill tribe village after our visit of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep by climbing the road, which became very... more travel advice
After our visit to the umbrella village of Bor Sang we went further east and passed the pleasant looking village of San... more travel advice
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