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Is it just me or does it feel like every second day I’m seeing some article shared on Facebook about tourists in Thailand. So what’s the deal with the tourists in Thailand? Tourists, travelers, whatever you want to call them, all the people that travel to Thailand go there for the same reason: to travel and see the beauty that Thailand has to offer. And of course it being a cheap destination helps as well.
But does Thailand attract a certain type of traveler that other countries don’t? Or is it simply from the mass amount of tourists that go there that we hear so many stories? I like to think it’s little of both, but Thailand really does have an appeal that a lot of countries don’t.
Western cultures are flocking to Thailand, first being drawn in by its stunning nature, cheap prices, and then staying because of these reasons as well. But I think another major reason why so many people stay and continuously come back is because Thailand feels like a free country.
I don’t mean a free country like we have in the western world, it’s a different kind of free. Sure we have luxuries and are able to make many decisions that people in other countries can’t, but Thailand is free in the way of rules.
When I think about living in Canada I think about how when I drive and speed (we all do it) I automatically think about the consequences. I come to a spot where I know cops like to hide and I slow down to avoid getting a ticket. I go to a store and I file into a line automatically waiting for it to be my turn. I pass people on the left hand side, use my signal light, and so many other things that just seem normal in daily life. When I think about it, they’re all rules, and we obey them all.
In Thailand there are rules. But no one really follows them. Until something bad happens, then all of a sudden these rules are enforced.
This is not to say that the country is super slack and you can get away with anything, but it’s certainly a lot less observing than what people from western cultures are used to.
I believe it’s for this reason that so many people fall in love in Thailand. Their daily life seems less controlled, they feel more free, and they live more in the moment.
Living in the moment is also very much a part of Thai culture. It’s just ingrained in the way they think, something totally different for western cultures. We plan ahead, we think about consequences (usually), and we very often fail to live in the moment.
There isn’t even a word in the Thai language for “planning ahead.”
Though this would probably cause complete chaos in western cultures, most certainly make things disorganized, and would fail to help us solve problems that may occur in the future, it’s totally okay in Thailand.
Being in Thailand gives people a sense of freedom that they’ve never felt before. So then people tend to let their guards down. They feel relaxed, they feel comfortable, they feel safe.
People forget that there are serious consequences for saying the wrong thing about the King (so many don’t even know that Thailand has a King), that the police can be corrupt, and that just because they’re on vacation or living somewhere exotic doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences, sometimes very serious.
People avoid wearing helmets (I don’t even know if there is a law saying you have to wear one) and then they get into accidents (sorry, but no surprise there) as Thailand has the second most deadly roads in the world. Not because they’re bad, this is just based on the amount of deaths in driving accidents. Then we hear stories of people injured in hospitals needing blood, or trying to raise money to get family there. The worst is when you hear of the people that don’t have travel insurance (like come on, who travels without it anymore?!). Note that the famous buckets in Thailand will get you wasted way faster than drinks back home.
We hear countless stories about people who go missing. One of the last ones I read was questioning whether or not a girl was on drugs when she went missing, and if it was just her that caused the whole mess.
I think Thailand attracts so many tourists that just leave their common sense behind, people who act stupid because of the destination they’re in, and they feel safe because it’s a popular destination. They think it’s fine to do drugs because so many other people do, drink just as much as they do at home because stumbling home drunk is just the same (it’s not always), and that doing dangerous activities is suddenly okay.
This is not to encourage you to think bad of Thailand, it’s obviously popular for a reason. But when I hear about the amount of stories of injuries, people missing, and farangs (aka foreigners) getting themselves into messes with the cops at bars so often I begin to question is it the country or the people that are traveling to it?
Maybe there’s just more attention on Thailand because it’s so popular. No one really knows for sure.
I also think it’s the attitude that a lot of traveler’s go into not just Thailand, but SE Asia in general with. That they’re superior and that they can get away with more. They lose respect for the culture (like wearing shorts and low cut shirts to temples), for the people, and for its beauty (have you seen how littered the beaches are?).
I realize that I am very much so generalizing about tourists, but it seems to be that there is a decent amount of people being ridiculous and doing just plain stupid things in Thailand that an article like this needs to be written.
So people, travelers and tourists, do try to remember your common sense, be respectful, and take care of yourself, no matter where you’re traveling. Let’s stop reading stories about so many young people being involved in accidents or disappearing. Let’s keep things clean so that future generations can visit too, and let’s think of each other all equally.
Am I the only one who thinks this? Share your thoughts below!
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