Tea growing near Pu Mat National Park at Con Cuong, Vietnam.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Con Cuong (Pu Mat National Park), Vietnam.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Thoughts on Thailand so far

We've only been here for four full days, and only in the city of Bangkok... so keeping that in mind, here are our thoughts so far...

Yes, it's hot. Bangkok is one of the hottest cities in the world with a typical daytime high of between 32C to 34C (90F to 93F). Doesn't really matter what time of year, although some seasons get more rain than others. 

We're surviving, because we were mentally prepared for it. But I think we knew even before we came here that it's not a place we could live.

Air conditioning is almost everywhere, but that means of course that you have to stay indoors. We notice that some of the city buses are not air conditioned, but they travel with all the windows wide open. When we get to the national park area on the 13th, our room only has fans. We'll survive, the same way we survived boondocking (wild camping) along some of the southern Pacific coastline in Mexico. But in Mexico, you can easily head to considerable cooler climates inland, which it seems you might only gain a degree or two of relief doing the same thing here.

Prices are a little higher than expected. If you're playing tourist in Bangkok, you can easily spend a lot of money if you're out doing something every day. There is a lot of accommodation priced in excess of $100 USD a night if you like something higher end. However most people should be able to find something acceptable for around $50 a night. For perspective, we are paying just under $20 USD a night, but we are quite far from the city center, and you'll spend the equivalent of $10 USD a day per couple making your way back and forth using public transportation. 

Taxis are also more expensive than expected. The only way to travel really cheap here is by taking the non air conditioned buses, and the third class non air conditioned trains.

Meals, on the other hand, can be very cheap! And as delicious as we expected it to be. We've learned that street food in the markets is the way to go... you get a decent meal for about $1.50 USD. You can't buy the goods and make it yourself for less than that. Although, surprisingly, fruits are also more expensive than expected. A mixed cup of fruit at the market will cost you more than a meal in many cases. We checked the prices of fruit at the grocery store yesterday and it was higher than we expected. Eating dinner in an average standard type of restaurant will run about $10 USD per person, but of course there is a wide variation.

People... are very friendly! The Thai people love to smile, and everybody has been very helpful, friendly, and welcoming.

We stayed in yesterday morning, then decided to go to the huge Fashion Island shopping mall where there is a big grocery store. Hoping to find some gluten free bread, but with so much natural rice product available, gluten free just isn't a thing here.

Along the way, we stopped at a market stall for some lunch. 

Lots of choice. A plate of some kind of meat, with rice and veggies.
Total cost for lunch was 50 baht ($1.40 USD, $1.95 CAD) each.

In the big grocery store, the meats are all self serve.

Chicken, beef, pork chops... just put it in a bag and get it weighed.

Yesterday was some kind of holiday here, but the stores were all open... and they were packed!


Lots of people in the mall!

Quite a few high end shops in the mall... the iPhone store was doing brisk business. There doesn't seem to be a shortage of money with many of the locals.

We are headed out today to the "island" of Ko Kret where there is only two wheeled transportation allowed. Maybe we'll rent some bicycles!

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Record low deal on the Roku Ultra Streaming Device.

And in Canada...

KitchenAid Appliances are on sale.

2 comments:

  1. All very interesting to me! I noticed from your store/mall photos a lot of people are wearing masks. Is that left over from covid, do you think, or just something the Thai folks do? We only see an occasional person (generally elderly) wearing masks here in NC any longer. I wouldn't hestitate to if I were feeling under the weather or if there were a spike in covid or flu cases, but I haven't worn one in a long time.

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    1. Yes, quite a few people here wear masks and we honestly don't have it all figured out. We know from when we were in South Korea back in 2014, well before Covid that some people would wear masks then too so part of it may be a cultural thing that when they feel under the weather with a cough/cold that they wear masks to protect others from their germs. We have also wondered it they wear them to protect them from air pollution or is it still leftovers from Covid?!

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