This is the Thailand that I Love

S and B at Khong Klong Beach

Me and my Soul Sister having a ball in Thailand last July

“Why is the key on the door knob?”, my soul sister asks me.

Me: “I don’t know, I thought you kept it.”

SS: “We slept the whole night with the key on the knob!?!”

Me: “I guess so.”

SS: “Is it really this safe in Thailand?!”

Me: “Actually… I forgot to lock the front door yesterday while we were at the beach. Ooops.”

SS: “You have to write about this!”

Me: “About the key?”

SS: “No about Thailand! I don’t know anybody else who knows Thailand the way you do. You really have to show them your Thailand. Write something like 25 Reasons Why I Love Thailand.”

Me: “You mean 57983735034 reasons why I love Thailand right???”

I love Thailand This Much

I love Thailand this much

Just like any first time solo adventurer, I found myself facing my fears head on on my very first night in Thailand. There I was in my room in Bangkok shaking, afraid and search for flights to go back home. I wanted to quit this idea. But I couldn’t because I had 16 flights all over Southeast Asia to my name. On top of that, I really, really wanted to know why most travelers love Thailand.

Two years after that night, I can’t believe that I actually spent four months in this country alone and found myself booking a trip to Krabi again last July to meet one of my best friends for our annual soul sisters adventures. I just couldn’t wait to show her the country that I love. That was the plan for the few days that she was there and also… to spend another month living in an island in Southern Thailand.

Whether you are traveling solo, or with your best friend, girlfriends, partner or family there is definitely something for EVERYONE in Thailand. It’s a magical country that is meant to be savored and enjoy the many delights it has for its travelers.

They say that pictures say a thousand words so in this photo essay, I’ll share with you some of the most memorable experiences I had in this country, in the hopes that you too would find your way to discover a country you just might fall in love with.

1. The Lost in Translation Adventures

Engrrish

!

This. This is the type of sign that will make me want to commit violence. I don’t know who I’m going after first- the person who wrote this or the one who added “side”.

Ladyboy toilet

Only in Thailand do they have a ladyboy toilet.

I lost four

The restaurant lost four and I lost my mind when I asked what it was.

Pork with Sweet Words

I wanted to find out how this pork is trying to romance me.

Basil Leave Menu

And my all time fave- the many variations of the Basil Leaf

A chat conversation with my soul sis:

I texted my soul sis, “Don’t you just miss the food from Brazil?”

SS: “Brazil?”

Me: “Yes. Fried rice with vegetables and brazil leave.”

SS: “Are you on drugs?”

Me:  “No need. I’m on basil. Basillesve.”

SS: “Please leave me alone.”

Yup, Thailand is that kind of drug that will give you a natural high.

2. The Tiger Adventures

This is how you get a tiger to chill and pose with you on cam:

Tiger 1

3- Stroke his back gently

Tiger 2

2- Laugh your way with him. He’ll relax then will start giving you an unimpressed tongue out.

Tiger 4

1- And when all else fails, just be yourself and trust that he’ll smile. He will with his fangs out. ; )

If you want to visit Tiger Kingdom to hug and play with some tigers, it’s in Mae Rim

3. The Elephant Adventures

I don’t know anyone who goes to Thailand without wishing to have fun with the elephants. Here are my faves:

Anna and the Elephant in Pai

“Lady you have to send our message so people will visit us and nobody gets hurt.”- elephant to me during an intense conversation

Anna with the elephants

Actually they kinda get camera shy after you give them a bath

Anna kissed by an Elephant

But if it’s your lucky day you might actually get a kiss. Woot!

If you want to have the most amazing time with these kind and loveable creatures, I wholeheartedly recommend you going to Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai. It’s not like the typical touristy park where you ride an elephant. This park is a rescue and rehabilitation center for elephants.  You can volunteer to help or you can also go for a full day adventure. The fee that you’ll pay to visit will go to the care of these rescued creatures. So not only will you have lots of fun with them but you’ll also know that your money is going for a wonderful cause. Win-win!

4. The Landscape

Thailand is filled with incredible landscapes. Here are my top three:

Anna at the Golden Triangle

The point where Thailand, Laos and Burma (and Miss Annzventures) meet

Southern Ko Lanta View Point

The viewpoint at Southern Ko Lanta

Anna in Ko Phi Phi

And the Ko Phi Phi Viewpoint

Ko Phi Phi viewpoint is one of the best viewpoints you will ever want to see. I haven’t been here until my third time in Ko Phi Phi. It’s quite a long trek so don’t forget to bring sunscreen, mosquito repellent and a GIANT water bottle on your way up. The view is stunning on the top and is absolutely worth the sweat. So girls, lets work out those glutes!

5. The Beaches

Anna in Ko Lipe

At my favorite beach in the whole wide world

Ko Lanta white beach

And that island I fell head over heels in love with

I’ve written extensively about my top beaches in Southeast Asia and most of them are from the Thai islands. No doubt, the southern part of this country is filled with the most beautiful beaches in the world. You will find basically everything you want in the islands.

If you want parties, you can head to Phuket, Ko Pha Ngan and  Ko Phi Phi. If you want diving spots, you have the small little island of Ko Tao. If you want a quiet and simple island living, you can go to Ko Lanta or Ko Lipe. You get the gist. If God made paradise, it’s in Thailand.

6. The Bike Adventures

I get this question a lot – do you seriously drive a motorbike?

Yup and I love getting lost with bikes.

If you also want to get an HD experience with your Thailand travels, you’ve got to learn to drive a motorbike. Here’s where you start:

Anna in Pai

I left my heart in gorgeous Pai 

The best place to practice driving as a beginner is in Pai. It’s quiet and the roads are wide. However, I’m telling you that it’s very very lovely there. So much that you might not actually want to leave. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

For more advanced bikers and serious adventurers, the steep and S curves of Ko Lanta and the crazy highways of Phuket might just give you an adrenaline high.

S and I on our Bike Adventures

Here’s me and my soul sis getting gas before braving the roads of Southern Ko Lanta

Jill and I in Phuket

And with my friend who entrusted her life to me as I turned pro on Phuket’s crazy highways

Oh and driving is on the left side. And don’t forget the helmet badass chicas.

7. The Wonderful People

98%- the probability that I will get mistaken as a local.

“Oh sorry but I’m not Thai.”

“Ahhh you same same Thai people. Congratulations to meet you.”

You see Thai people have a unique flair of making you feel like you’re the most special guest in their country.

Pai pai pai

Whether they invite you to boil eggs at a hot spring even after having just met you, 

Nu and I in CMU

Or when your favorite street food vendor sheds a tear when you tell her it’s your last day in town,

Loves in Ko Lanta

Or when you meet that energetic lady who’s so excited to meet her very first two Filipina friends

While you will meet the friendliest locals in every country that you’ll visit, I have to give it to Thailand for being the land of smiles. Thais have a very unique way of making you smile. Everybody who has been to Thailand knows this fact… even those who do not look like Thai people.

Plus tell me, who doesn’t want to get a ride in a Hello Kitty tuk tuk???

8. The Ever Curious Thai Kids

Thai Kids

A resounding “helloooooo!” And little waves from these kids is what I got while biking

Trying to have a conversation with the lone English speaker.

Me: “Hi. My name is Anna. You?”

Kid: “Hi. Miss. Enna. Why you alone?”

Me: “I need to go back. Haad Phra Ae…”

Kids (correcting my pronunciation): “Haad Phra Ae!”

Me: “Yes. Help?”

Kid: “Why you no husband? No baby?”

Ahh the joys of solo female travel in Asia.

For the life of me, I still don’t how they can manage to ask personal questions despite knowing very little English. Nonetheless, even on a very hot summer day while you’re sweating buckets and finding your way while lost in your adventures, Thai kids just won’t fail to make you smile.

9. The Food, Glorious Food

Remember I stayed at a the home of the best cooking school in Thailand? Well, aside from learning how to get those dishes into my kitchen, here’s a glimpse to what I’ve been up to:

Food Tasting Menu

Time for Lime has the best gourmet Thai food in the whole country and they sure can back it up- with 5 free mojitos. Yes it’s that good!

TFL Pad Thai

Pad Thai, perfectly made

TFL Papaya Salad

Papaya salad with spiciness to hospitalization level, just the way me likes it

TFL Pumpkin soup

Time for lime signature pumpkin soup= heaven

I’ve had food comas in Thailand. Lots of them.

How I survived all of them still remains a mystery.

10. And most of all, the Breathtaking Sunsets

Ko Tao Sunset

Sometimes it’s red

Pink Sunset

Sometimes it’s pink

Sunset Hiding

Sometimes it’s shy and hiding

Sunset in Lanta 1

But often times it’s very pretty

Well, if these photos don’t inspire you to book a ticket to Thailand, I hope at least it made you smile. Can’t wait to hear about your adventures!

Loving Thailand long time,

The Ambassadress of Thailand

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Author:Anna

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2 Responses to “This is the Thailand that I Love”

  1. Joey T
    November 26, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

    I ♥ Thailand!!! Im laughing my a** off now b! Lots of fun memories.. cant wait to go back :) Great post ;)

    • December 2, 2013 at 10:53 am #

      <3