Thailand a place of glorious contradictions….
Steeped in culture, deeply religious, modern and contemporary, fast paced and extremely relaxed, chaotic and well organised, most visited to most remote, misty mountains to long coastal lines , stunning natural beauty to man made natural wonders, modern urban-scapes to ancient relics, these are some of the things that come to mind when I think about Thailand. Blessed with a food diversity that is sure to numb the taste buds of the most seasoned and adventurous foodie and more than that, the sheer accessibility and affordability of the foods is even more mind blogging. The mobile food vendors peddling their dishes freshly prepared in front of your eyes are so ubiquitous all over Thailand that hunger is no longer an option one can exercise.
It is easy to fall in love with Thailand….
I have been visiting Thailand of and on since last 15 years, the last year and half I was in Thailand very frequently on work and the duration of stays were longer. As a result I got to experience a side of Thailand that is often missed by a casual visitor.
To capture this experience you need to be unhurried and your pace of exploration relaxed, to watch how an average Thai goes about his/her daily life you need to join them in their place at their pace.
Coming from India I find it easy to connect with the Thai culture, their family structure and values. The settings in Thailand specially rural are not very different from what you will chance upon in India. What I find extremely admirable as a human quality in Thailand is patience in the face of whatever life throw’s at them and an ever present smile on their faces. I do not know if it’s Buddhism that they draw their inner strength and character from, but whatever it is the average Thai is always smiling.
Thailand – safe, welcoming, diverse and absorbing
Thai society has one of the most tolerant outlook towards the LGBT community and they are an intrinsic part of the socio-economic fabric of the country. They can be seen everywhere in every sphere of human activity and it is a very refreshing site that these sections of the society have not been marginalised leading to ghettoisation.
Thailand has been voted amongst the safest and most welcoming places for foreign travellers. Tourism is a key revenue earner and critical employment generator for Thailand and it shows. One major draw of Thailand for an international traveller is its affordability, there are places to stay and foods to be eaten for every wallet, no wonder it’s a magnet for the western expat who’s dollar stretches a long way in Thailand. It is no surprise thus that Bangkok has been voted the most visited city in the world second year in a row beating Paris and London. Bangkok is also considered amongst the food capitals of the world along with Paris and Tokyo.
Cuisine I can retire on….
Yes If I had to chose one cuisine to retire on that would most definitely be Thai because I am most certain that even if I do not repeat a dish every single day, I would still be left with many dishes untasted.
White sands and turquoise blue waters…
Thailand is blessed with an unusually long coast line given her peculiar geographical mass that juts out into the sea. Along the coast line are some of the most stunning virgin beaches and jaw dropping natural formations that the nature has carved over several millennia.
Man made natural wonders…..
Thailand competes and competes hard for tourist dollars and in addition to natural wonders that it is blessed with there is a constant effort to create touristy assets. These man made wonders are an additional draw for visitors and cater to the requirements of adults and children alike.
Thailand is not only about world class shopping, food and luxurious sea side holidays, she has a lot to offer to those moved by religion and spirituality. In fact Thailand is so replete with Buddhist temples, monuments and sites dedicated to various interpretations of Buddhism that it would require a week long visit just to cover them
So whatever it is that drives you to travel go ahead and explore Thailand as it is sure to satisfy most if not all of your cravings.