Student Life: Thailand

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สวัสดี Sawadeekha (not spelled correctly but that is how you pronounce it)

I’m now in Thailand! I’m from Canada so adjusting to the heat has been a challenge at times but doable.

For the most part it has been the humidity that I’ve found most noticeable. I feel like I’ve run a few kilometers when I’ve just walked a few minutes. I also drink a lot more water now. Before coming to Thailand I scoured the Internet for tips and suggestions.

Here is what I learned from that search. Important things you learn from blogs:

1) Never touch someone’s head in Thailand—it’s considered a sacred part of the body.

2) Do not point at things with your feet or show the sole of your foot. The feet are the lowest part of the body and therefore dirtiest.

3) Tuk tuks are “dangerous”/dangerous, but fun.

4) You must visit the Grand Palace at some point and Ayuthaya and various other places.

5) Always tell the taxi driver to turn on the meter or else they will make up an extreme price.

6) Be wary of the tap water but it won’t kill you. Take it slow.

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7) Be careful with the street food but it is delicious—”aroi” means delicious if you want to convey your opinion.

8) If you learn a bit of Thai the native people will be happily surprised.

9) Thai people are very friendly.

10) Thai people know a bit of English.

11) It is ok to haggle for an item on the street. In fact, it’s expected. You will pay at least three times a native Thai anyway.

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12) Do not disrespect Buddha images or icons.

13) Do not disrespect the royalty.

14) Keep an eye out when you cross the street—cars have right-of-way.

Of course when I arrived I found that though most of these facts were true Thailand is still full of surprises.

Things you learn when you get to Thailand:

1) No one has a kitchen here. The culture is to eat out for every meal.

2) It is common to do your own laundry by hand.

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3) If you are in the centre of Bangkok students and some surrounding people have stilted English. When you get out to an hour outside of Bangkok pretty much all English vanishes.

4) Tuk tuks are really expensive in Thai terms and should be negotiated. The locals no longer really use them so they are based around the rich tourists.

5) You will have to pay far more than a native Thai (unless you are in a mall) no matter what you do. I’ve been around a German who’s pretty fluent at Thai who ends up with the same prices as I do.

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6) A good Internet plan or cellphone plan is hard to acquire because you don’t want to sign up for a year contract.

7) Some phones do not work on the same frequency as Thai phones so unlocking will not help in some cases.

8) Iphones and macs are universal—or at least they translate to Thailand. There are mac stores and equipment here. You can also plug a mac cord (with the box) into a Thai socket because the box is a transformer. 

9) No one signals or really follows the rules of the road, so be aware if you choose to drive that Thai people are very aggressive drivers.

10) Don’t forget to grab some toilet paper from a dispenser on the way in. Often there will be no toilet paper by the actual toilet. I’ve even experienced washrooms where there is no nozzle to wash yourself if you forgot the toilet paper. 

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6 thoughts on “Student Life: Thailand

  1. A passerby says:

    Just a Thai passerby.

    1) No one has a kitchen here. The culture is to eat out for every meal. >>> I think this is a misunderstanding. Thai family usually has a kitchen. The reason
    we eat out it because it’s easier and cheaper in both time and cost, esp. for family in big city like Bangkok.

    • The Doorstep Traveller says:

      Good point, this is actually an old post that I finally uploaded. I figured out later that what I’m seeing is only a phenomenon present in small apartments. It makes sense that families and people further from Bangkok have kitchens.

      Keep in mind this is also from a student perspective (and an exchange student at that) so I constantly see small cheap apartments that do not have kitchens.

      But thanks for pointing that out! I want this blog to be a place where people can learn so it’s good to get different perspectives. If you notice anything else in this blog please feel free to say something.

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