Thailand in a Nut Shell

I’ve just spent eight days wandering around Thailand. I did my best to take notes about things I saw, places I went, and my general feeling about Thailand during my stay. I managed to turn seven of those days into blog posts, which you can read in chronological order here:

In a Nut Shell

As I traveled and wrote down notes, I kept wanting to have some sort of list to summarize my overall feelings and give some tips to future travelers:

  • Bangkok is very developed — roads, infrastructure, shopping malls, 3G — but still very cheap compared to Nairobi. I’m not sure how they do that!
  • Bangkok’s train system is awesome, and there are even MRT / subway and BTS / skytrain apps / maps on the Android market. The one piece of advice I have is to learn that red is BTS (skytrain) and blue is MRT (subway).
  • After traveling in Africa for many years I got the feeling that Thailand is “backpacking for dummies”, but I was only in and around Bangkok, and then a bit in the South; the North might be a completely different story.
  • In the Thai language, “ph” is hard, not soft; it’s easier to just imagine there’s no “h” at all. For example: when you are trying to go to the Hua Lamphong railway station, you want to say “Lampong”, not “Lamfong”.
  • The island of Koh Samui is simply called “Samui” by the locals. That’s “Sam-wee”, not “Sam-mooey” (like the Brits would say).
  • The best beach on Koh Samui is Lamai. It’s relaxed, there’s a great bookstore (Island Books), and there are less drunk college kids than at Chaweng.

Back in Nairobi

I’ve been back in Nairobi for only a few hours and I already miss Thailand. First of all, it’s 15 degrees and overcast in Nairobi, so that sucks. Second, I just loved Thailand, the food, the people, the scenery, etc… everyone was so nice, the country is extremely backpacker friendly, massages are awesome (1/4 the price of here in Nairobi). I can’t wait to go back (but now I have an itch to go to Vietnam)!

Sadly, I only have one picture of myself from the whole trip…

Alan in Lamai beach, Koh Samui
Alan in Lamai beach, Koh Samui