The Beach- A Leo movie! The beach from “The Beach” has made the stunning Maya Bay one of the top destinations in Thailand
Bridge over the River Kwai- Winner of seven academy Awards, including Best Picture; based on a bridge in Kanchanburi that is part of the Burmese railway system where an estimated 80,000 people died during its construction
Muay Thai- The national sport and really badass.
Five Things I Can't Live Without
- My King. It is a very serious offense to talk down about the monarchy and people (foreigners included) can be jailed for a number of years. This includes stepping on money because the king’s face is on the money.
- Rice Rice baby. Consumed with almost every meal, I am also one of the largest exporters of rice in the world. Over 5,000 varieties of rice from Thailand are preserved at the International Rice Research Institute (yep, that’s a thing), of which my (old) king was the official patron. Mic drop.
- I put sugar in EVERYTHING. I add sugar to soup and dump gallons of condensed milk into any and all drinks. Bring on the sweet.
- Elephants! The national animal. It’s quite apparent too. Elephant everything is available everywhere you look.
- Mai pen rai. I have a saying that is the Thai equivalent to “Hakuna Matata”. For me, it’s a way of life. Don’t get worked up about things. I live my life with little confrontation and I believe that makes my life a lot more simply and enjoyable! There is little sense in getting worked up about things you can’t control. It just won’t help.
Ice Breakers Fun facts
- Bangkok’s full ceremonial name is Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit
- The demand for edible insects is so great in Thailand that they have to import over 800 tons per year from Cambodia, Myanmar, China and Laos.
- It is illegal in Thailand to leave the house without wearing underwear.
Deal Breakers Just No....
- Elephant riding: DO NOT- I repeat- DO NOT RIDE ELEPHANTS! Elephants are wild animals. Training them is not the same as training a dog. The tactics used are brutal and cruel. They are beaten into submission and prodded with metal hooks and the actual riding damages their spines. Some elephants are used for begging. Baby elephants are paraded around the streets and tourists can pay to take pictures and also to buy food to feed them. In addition to being separated from their mother, these elephants have also been tortured into submission. They are sometimes painted and they are kept in very poor conditions. Many are orphans, having lost their mothers to the brutality of the industry.
- Hill tribes: The Karen Long Neck hill tribe are mostly Burmese refugees- except the Thai government won’t actually recognize them as refugees. They can’t really make a living any other way so they open their doors for tourism selling souvenirs and collecting tips by posing for photos. Additionally, the heavy gold rings around their necks pose major health problems to the women. Many attribute the visit to be much like a human zoo.
- Tiger Kingdom: Touching a tiger is cool, right?! Except if you stopped to think about it for three seconds you’ll realize it doesn’t make any sense. In what world does hanging out with a tiger end well? The tigers are heavily drugged and kept in less than ideal conditions.
How can I help?
Don’t support these things! Boycott them! Make sure you do research on everything you do. By no means are these the only things to look out for.