I have officially been in this beautiful country for a month now, and although I haven’t been to many places just yet, I have been able to experience some truly amazing things.
1. The Beaches
What is the first thing that comes to mind when I say “Thailand”? BEACHES. And yes, all the amazing pictures on Instagram and Pinterest are exactly what you see, if not better, in person! The first beach I got to experience was Ko Samet (เกาะเสม็ด).
To get to the island, my friends and I needed to take about a 3 hour bus ride from Bangkok and a 30 minute ferry ride. When you first arrive at the island on Na Dan pier, you see this giant statue of Piseua Samut,also know as the ‘Butterfly of the Sea‘. This female giant of the sea came from Thailand’s most famous poet, Sunthorn Phu, in his writings of Phra Aphai Mani.
We were able to walk everywhere on the island, which allowed us to explore beyond where taxis could bring us. From the quaint little town to the beaches on the west side of the island, Ko Samet was definitely a great place to start our journeys here in Thailand. The best part about it? The sunsets.
2. The City
I’m from a small town in New Jersey about 20 minutes outside of New York City. Here in Thailand, I live in a small area known as Salaya about 20 minutes out of Bangkok. I may not exactly be a “city person,” but I can definitely get used to Bangkok.
Bangkok is an amazing developing city that buzzes all day long. I know what you’re thinking, I could never keep up with the hustle ‘n’ bustle of a city, but Bangkok is different. The buses, cars and people seem to work in perfect harmony as they circle around the many monuments, temples and markets.
3. The Language and Culture
Besides the obvious beautiful beaches and cities, I find the language and culture of Thailand rather breathtaking. There is something called the ‘Thai way’ that ensures everyone is given respect and patience. Thais don’t want anyone to lose their “face value” nor do they want to ever put anyone down. And the language? Amazing. I’ve been learning Thai for the month that I’ve been here and have already come a long way. The only part that’s tricky are the tones. You can say one word that is supposed to be said with a rising tone and end up pronouncing it with a falling tone and it will mean a completely different word! Luckily the amazing people here just giggle at you and try and help and understand the best they can.
4. The People
Which brings me to the final beauty of Thailand: the people. Ever heard Thailand being called the Land of Smiles? I have not met one person here, born and raised in Thailand, that has not had a smile on their face when they see or talk to me. I’ve never felt more safe and comfortable in a place other than my hometown.
“Mai pen rai” means no worries. Easy-going, hard-working, caring, patient, forgiving, happy and silly–all characteristics of the amazing people I’ve been so lucky to meet. Whoever it may be, they always have a giggle and a smile to respond to my terrible American jokes.
The world awaits…discover it.