Two years, eight destinations, one country – that has been the quantitative story of my journey through Thailand for me till now. If I were to pen down each of the different kinds of experiences I have had in this country, it would be no less than a 500 page book of roller-coaster like proportions. From snakebites, accidents, being chased by wild boars out of a jungle, getting my debit card cloned to eating some amazing food, camping on idyllic islands and beautiful beaches, I have seen a lot in Thailand. Today, what remains with me of this wonderful country are four good reasons why I will go back there again.
Even before I had set foot in Thailand, I was already a big fan of Thai Food. From the legendary Tom Yum to the irresistible Phad Thai or the pleasantly spicy Som Tum, I can go on and on about Thai food. There is not a thing I don’t love about Thai cuisine partially because I have a decent tolerance level for spiciness as Thai food can be very spicy but more so because of the depth of all the unique flavors that emancipate from the food. Whether it is the floating and food markets in Bangkok or the night food bazaar in Chiang Mai, the food in Thailand will never cease to satisfy your taste-buds.
Thailand is called the Land of Smiles for a reason – the people of Thailand. Everybody who has been to Thailand or has Thai friends elsewhere, will agree with me that Thai people are a cheerful bunch. Whether you are in the big bustling Bangkok or the calm quiet Pai, the local people are always seen with a smile on their faces. Even though the people of Thailand (like most of South-East Asian countries) are struggling with their own problems and lesser privileges as compared to the other developed countries in the region (Singapore, Japan etc), they do not let that factor become a burden or a source of constant unhappiness. Majority of us travelers will swear by the Thai hospitality towards visitors.
Stunning white-sand beaches, lush green forests, hilly terrains, rocky roads, meandering rivers – name it and you’ll find it here. Well, except for snow-capped mountains!! Although mostly popular for the beautiful beaches and islands, there is a lot more to Thailand than sea, sun and sand. The greenery around the mountainous regions of Northern Thailand such as Pai and Chiang Mai are a pleasant contrast to the vibrant city life of Bangkok or the many lovely islands in the Andaman Sea.
Yes, this might be a surprising one. For me this turned out to be the most attractive aspect of Thailand. I have lived in some places which range from comfortable to perfect (Milan, Singapore). That is why I crave for a little bit of chaos where I won’t get annoyed for not getting a taxi or missing the 9 AM bus. This need not always been a bad thing as I experienced in Thailand. It was pleasantly chaotic and not annoyingly chaotic. I didn’t mind the honking of vehicles or not being able to walk at a brisk pace along the streets of Patong, nor did I mind the occasional traffic jams. I realized I did not want to walk briskly past anyone, I did not want to rush to catch any bus or train, instead I just went with the casual and relaxed flow of this beautiful country.
Everyone has a go-to song, book, movie. Thailand was my go-to place at a time when I was going through some tough times in my personal life. As I was sailing away on a boat in the Andaman Sea on a fine day, I actually beginning to realize the true meaning of Freedom. My friends and family keep saying that there is no need to go back to that country after some unfortunate incidents that happened in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. But would I stop crossing the road for the fear of getting hit by a speeding car?? You know the answer.