Category Archives: Bangkok

Thailand – what shocked me the most


As soon as I stepped my foot on Thai soil, I knew there were things waiting for me that would leave me completely shocked and speechless. Not only because I had never left Europe before going to Thailand, but also because naturally I like to be comfortable as much as possible wherever I am. I have to confess that I hadn’t done much research before getting on a plane so everything I saw was extremely new and exciting to me.

Thailand left me speechless indeed – with its unique beauty, amazing people and, well, strange things that happen quite randomly. Here’s something from what I can remember:

1. Toilets

When I first arrived in Bangkok’s guesthouse, I was taken to my room and was told there was a toilet and a shower shared with a room next to mine. I went to see and was surprised to only see one door – if it’s toilets then where’s the shower? Later on I found out the shower is actually installed right above the toilet using less space and being (probably) more comfortable. It took me some time to get over my first reaction of “Oh how gross!” To my greater surprise later on I found out they didn’t have toilet paper. I thought maybe they’ve ran out but as I traveled more around Thailand, I realized they just simply don’t use toilet paper. And obviously it became clear to me what that strange hose next to the toilet is for.

2. Smiles…everywhere

Living in the Czech republic, I am quite used to everyone minding their own business, not really looking at each other let alone talking to strangers on the street. It comes around to me as natural to just walk past someone without even noticing, maybe looking at them for a brief moment then looking away without expecting them to look back at you. You live your life here unnoticed and while someone might feel uncomfortable not being exposed to social contact while in Prague, the rest of us consider it quite likable. In Thailand, however, people do look at you. And when you look back, they smile. Whoa! And I don’t mean the “fake smile” I sometimes see here in Prague, the real smile that comes from the heart. I probably had more people in Thailand smiling at me in those 10 days than I had here in Prague the past year. Thais want to look at you, talk to you, get to know you. And while this might sound awesome (and it truly is), sometimes I felt like people were being too social. But maybe it’s just me not being used to it.

3. Nightlife

It’s not only crazy discos and clubs with loud music. Bangkok seems to transform into a completely different place at night. You go out there and it is as if you could feel life pumping all around you. We went out our first night in Bangkok and ordered Red Bull & Vodka. Well, this is it – Thai Style:

Yeah, they have Red Bull in small bottles and Vodka was actually Bacardi…

Sex shows and sex tourism in general would probably deserve their own post. Everywhere you go in Thailand (we did Bangkok, Pattaya, Koh Samet and Phuket) – there are girls waiting for customers. Or girls performing “ping pong shows” which means putting and getting out random stuff in and out of their vaginas. Nights in Thailand can get as crazy as nowhere else in the world. In my opinion, at least.

4. Just random stuff 

Like a friend of mine (male) getting a neck massage from some random guy while washing his hands in Bangkok’s night club’s toilets. Just randomly.

5. Ladyboys

I had never seen a transvestite before going to Thailand, but ladyboys are not transvestites. At first you don’t notice anything but when you look for a bit longer, you can usually tell. Reminds me of how we went to 7Eleven and my friend was like “Look at that guy”, I had no idea who he’s talking about until I noticed there was something strange about a cashier girl. There were ladyboys dancing on poles in night clubs as well. When I was flying back from Bangkok, I saw a book dedicated to ladyboys in an airport bookstore, still regret not buying it.

6. Muay Thai Boxers

There is nothing surprising about Muay Thai in Thailand, but I was shocked to see boxers of 7 years of age competing and beating up each other.

7. Stray Cats and Dogs

Everywhere. Especially on the islands. I talked to an owner of a small restaurant in Koh Samet and he said they were harmless, they just liked to live there. There are dogs on the beach, dogs in cafes, dogs on the streets,… There was one that would lie in front of our bungalow door every evening. They’re used to being around people and are quite friendly.

8. Food that is ABSOLUTELY delicious

I never really tried Thai food at home except maybe for “Thai Style risotto” that they have in a local Italian restaurant. I did expect it to be amazing but not THAT amazing. Food that you can easily get at every street corner blew my mind. Phad Thai, Thai ice coffee, Thai style pancakes, Thai Curry, noodles with shrimps,… Ahhhh!

Oh, Thailand… I miss you.





Chaotic. Seemingly lawless. Different.

Chaotic yet very lively. Different yet similar to what I’ve seen on TV. A crazy place.

The airport is huge but not too different from what I’ve seen so far. A cute little Thai girl running around smiling at me makes me feel like I’m in the right place at the right time. Getting public taxi is easy but I find out Thais can’t really read English letters. Thankfully I have a map with me. The taxi driver is all smiles but looks doubtful of the place shown on the map. He starts waving at me to follow him in his car and I do. It is hot and humid, as if you could smell the ocean in the air. In the taxi the air conditioner is full on and  I even feel a bit cold after a while.

As soon as we get out of the airport, I see the real thing. First impression is close to thoughts such as “What the hell am I doing here?! Where am I?!”. It is so different it even shocks me. Seems like people here live the way they want to live, nobody controls them. Even the traffic looks like cars just go whatever way they want. Our taxi squeezes in-between two other cars and I almost have a heart attack. The driver keeps smiling and occasionally looking at the map I gave him. “So you know where we’re going, yeah?” – I ask. He smiles. I guess Thailand really is the land of smiles. After a while our taxi is going through little “sois”  and I feel a bit doubtful. The little streets are full of people – walking around, sitting around, selling something. “Are you sure we’re not lost?” – this time I don’t ask out loud.

Trusting the driver turns out to be the right thing when suddenly the car stops. “Here, guesthouse.” He points at a tiny house and I realize we really did find it. “Thank you, you’re so awesome!!”

I guess Bangkok is the city you can either love or hate. You might feel like the latter but if you look at it for one more minute, you realize it could be everyone’s heaven on Earth. You can do anything in Bangkok. Meet anyone.

After having to wake up the receptionist sleeping on the couch, I finally check in at the guesthouse. I find out time difference with home is 5 hours which is not that bad but I sleep the whole day.