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Thread: Why does Thailand make us “happy”?

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    Foundation Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Minder's Avatar
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    Why does Thailand make us “happy”?

    Nearly everyone says that they are much happier since they discovered Thailand.

    Many of us countdown the days to our next trip – our life seems to revolve around “when” that freedom bird can next take flight.

    What is it though about the place?

    (Sure you can say it is where you met your TG but would you have the same feelings for say, Singapore, had you met her there?)

    I came back from my first trip trying to summarise what is was about the place that had such an impact on me – I remember saying half-jokingly that maybe it was because I felt rich and tall when I was there.

    I suppose in truth I do enjoy the benefits that my relative wealth gives me, but it’s more, I like how easy it is to get a taxi, to get good food, I love the way good service exists in almost every area as the rule not the exception …

    Sure, their maintenance, food storage and general safety standards could use some work but…

    What about you?

    Enjoy.
    Life is the unexpected ...

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Spot's Avatar
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    Makes me fell wealthy too, minder and I like the people and thier respect culture. It has been mentioned eslewhere about horror traffic and taking your life in your hands on the roads. Yes Prior warning is needed here.

    But get out away from the tourists spots and enjoy calamity but no road rage.

    I am a country boy and i love the life in an Isaan Rice village. The way the people truly care especially as demonstrated to me when the floods were on last year, and the sense of fun, that they bring to everything they do. The famous smile you get from the poorest of the poor.

    The landscapes are a photographers playground. Food would be to obvious a like

    Ohhhh, Pigsy! You call yourself a demon? จูบก้นของฉัน Everything I post here is IMHO and IME... I am no expert....

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    The artist formally known as Wabbits Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน wabbits's Avatar
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    It is nice to know you can go out at night and know you will not need to take out a second mortgage but there are many places like that.
    For me up country staying somewhere quiet eating in a road side hut riding motor bikes at a slow pace watching the slower life slide by.
    The sense of community when in the bahn and the deep sense of family which i am made to feel very much a part of.
    Maybe it is the inclusiveness rather than the exclusiveness of the place.....Its the vibe.5555555
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    Uber Star Foundation member Uber Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน vanguy77's Avatar
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    Minder, I've been trying to answer this question for the past year and a bit. I made it 56 years without ever setting foot in Thailand, and yet in five weeks will be embarking on my 3rd trip in 1 year and 3 months. So many co-workers, friends and family members have asked me this same question, "Why Thailand?"

    I've really struggled to answer them, as how do you explain a feeling? I got a vibe the moment I stepped out of my taxi on that first trip to Bangkok, that was different from any place I'd ever been before. It is very difficult to explain a "vibe" however.

    My Canadian dollar does stretch a long way when I'm there, but then it costs me $1,200+ just to get there, so it would actually be much cheaper for me to go to Mexico, where in certain areas the cost of living is close to being on par with Thailand.

    Maybe it is the things my dollar will buy me while I'm in Thailand. Good food, endless massages, great entertainment, relatively cheap travel and tours. All things things I've found highly enjoyable and appealing.

    I can't talk about Thailand without talking about Nui, as she has been with me every single day I have been there. She has been a joy to be with and has made the whole experience very special. What will Thailand be like without her? I'll find out in just a few weeks.

    I have also told people that no country I have ever been to transforms itself so much at night. I know this does not apply across the board in Thailand, but I love the way areas like Sukhumvit in Bangkok, Bangla Road in Patong, Loi Kroh and the Night Market area in Chiang Mai, all go from typical urban business areas during the day, to Party Central at night.

    I have also found the Thai people remarkable. I have not yet had an experience with a rude hotel employee or a grumpy waitress. Not everyone is perfect, of course. There were the bored stewards on both the bus and the train, but the overwhelming percentage of Thai people I have encountered have been charming and helpful.

    I'd be amiss if I left out saying how much I love the nightlife, and in particular the bars and go-go's. There is just something so alive and vibrant about it. Nightlife in many countries is dank, dark and sleezy. Thai's know how to party, and have true fun doing it.

    Finally, and this is a real intangible I do not even try to explain to someone who has never been there, but I have never in my life felt so welcomed to a country as I do in Thailand. Perhaps that comes back to the Thai people again just being naturally warm and welcoming. For two days, while driving Nui around Phitsanulok province, I did not see another farang. Yet everywhere I went, people were friendly and helpful, and always treated me openly and with respect. Whereever I went, whether it was to the hairdresser's to get my beard dyed green, or to a jewelery store to buy the watches for Nui's parents, we were soon joking, laughing and just having a great time, often with people who only had a smattering of English and me with almost no Thai.

    To use Mexico as an example again, during my experiences there, I have found that when I've travelled off the beaten tourist track, that I've often encountered suspicion and hostility, and the feeling that I was not really welcome at all. I never got that vibe in LOS.

    Add to that Thailand being just an astonishingly beautiful country, with generally great weather, lovely beaches, rich history and culture ... and it really is a place like no other.
    Last edited by vanguy77; 4th January 2012 at 13:46.
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    Organic AI Quarky's Avatar
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    I'll have to be honest and say LOS has not changed my "happiness quotient" one iota. I was happy before I went to Thailand... and happy I discovered it.... But like they say... people who win the lottery are only "happier" for a short period of time before returning to their "base" happiness.

    I still love my trips to other countries just as much. NZ is still for me the most welcoming country in the world... and not just because I grew up there... I am amazed every time I return just how naturally friendly and helpful people are. Plus the climate is great. Not too hot and not too cold. And the beaches in NZ leave Thailand beaches for dead in my opinion. Plus NZ is clean! Is there anywhere cleaner?

    I do like Thailand though because it adds variety to my life... and I hope to go back... but does my happiness depend on it? Not at all...

    I also wonder... if any of you had never met a girl you liked in Thailand... would you still feel the same?
    Last edited by Quarky; 4th January 2012 at 19:13.
    My only experience was in a pie making factory managing the gravy team


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    The artist formally known as Wabbits Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน wabbits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Distantpeak View Post
    I'll have to be honest and say LOS has not changed my "happiness quotient" one iota. I was happy before I went to Thailand... and happy I discovered it.... But like they say... people who win the lottery are only "happier" for a short period of time before returning to their "base" happiness.

    I still love my trips to other countries just as much. NZ is still for me the most welcoming country in the world... and not just because I grew up there... I am amazed every time I return just how naturally friendly and helpful people are. Plus the climate is great. Not too hot and not too cold. And the beaches in NZ leave Thailand beaches for dead in my opinion. Plus NZ is clean! Is there anywhere cleaner?

    I do like Thailand though because it adds variety to my life... and I hope to go back... but does my happiness depend on it? Not at all...

    I also wonder... if any of you had never met a girl you liked in Thailand... would you still feel the same?
    I dont think my happyness depends on LOS but i feel more at home there..................More a preference as this is one of the places in the world i would rather be.
    I can go anywhere i desire but i choose to go to LOS but if you were specific i like Lao just as much
    .

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    Lamai Beach Bum Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน bacwaan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Distantpeak View Post
    And the beaches in NZ leave Thailand beaches for dead in my opinion.
    Ahem.....clazeeee talk...try swimming in one in winter

    weather and the ability to swim in crystal clear warm waters all year round is the main reason I live here....the "mai bpen rai' attitude may be frustrating at times but it allows a lot of forgivensss...i love it and embrace it

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    Organic AI Quarky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bacwaan View Post
    Ahem.....clazeeee talk...try swimming in one in winter
    I wouldn't... 555

    I also think Thai friendliness is not all it seems... and the longer I was in Thailand the more I saw through it... I think there are many countries just as friendly if not more so than Thailand. LOS is one of the most racist countries I have ever been to. But we tend to ignore it because we like so much of the rest of it...
    My only experience was in a pie making factory managing the gravy team


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    Lamai Beach Bum Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน bacwaan's Avatar
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    at its best the lack of political correctness here is sometimes like a breath of fresh air...at its worst it can lead to slavery and persecution

    as for the friendliness of Thais...their willingness to share with a stranger is overwhelming....their willingness to rob a stranger blind in a business deal is also overwhelming..however it is very rare to have a negative experience straight off the bat with a Thai unless you provoke it
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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PatongBeachBoy's Avatar
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    When global warming really kicks in and I can ski the slopes in Chiang Mai.... thats when I'll be really happy!
    Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

  11. #11
    Organic AI Quarky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatongBeachBoy View Post
    When global warming really kicks in and I can ski the slopes in Chiang Mai.... thats when I'll be really happy!
    If I was to live in LOS... CM would be my favoured location... both for big city, but laid back attitude and the climate... and possibility of skiing for my great grandchildren...
    My only experience was in a pie making factory managing the gravy team


  12. #12
    Organic AI Quarky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bacwaan View Post
    at its best the lack of political correctness here is sometimes like a breath of fresh air...at its worst it can lead to slavery and persecution

    as for the friendliness of Thais...their willingness to share with a stranger is overwhelming....their willingness to rob a stranger blind in a business deal is also overwhelming..however it is very rare to have a negative experience straight off the bat with a Thai unless you provoke it
    Very true. But I never get the feeling of a Thai stranger bending over backwards or going out of their way to help you like I do with strangers in other countries... it does happen, but I have found it quite rare... though superficial smile and helpfulness is right up there...
    My only experience was in a pie making factory managing the gravy team


  13. #13
    Foundation Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Minder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Distantpeak View Post
    ..... NZ is still for me the most welcoming country in the world... and not just because I grew up there... I am amazed every time I return just how naturally friendly and helpful people are. Plus the climate is great. Not too hot and not too cold. And the beaches in NZ leave Thailand beaches for dead in my opinion. Plus NZ is clean! Is there anywhere cleaner?
    Wow.... it comes on so quickly

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    The first beaches I saw were around Wellington ... stones not sand .... then the sand beaches I saw were on the South Island .... around Kaikoura ... black sand .... water that should have been ice it was sooooo cold.

    Climate was nice in certain months of the year - Christchurch in the summer, standing around a BBQ in 30 degree celsius sunshine with not a blowfly to be seen. The other 11 months not so great - but some beautiful days when you least expected it. I want to cry for what has happened there in the last couple of years with the ongoing earthquakes.

    Although Windy Wellington has to be endured to be believed (no rubbish on the street, no nothing that is not nailed down) and you do not want to be outside when a "southerly" blows in from the Pole in the winter months - I did like the place.

    Friendly - yes. Reminded me of Oz in the 1970's - but even then things were changing. Serious assaults on Police, gang related violence, Pedophilia and quite frankly I found the south islanders to be nothing short of rascists regarding their own maoris. Sure, I'll bad mouth bad abos to another Aussie - but am mute around others - not their business.

    I was there in the late 90's as a contractor for the NZ Police - so I got to hear and see some things that were not in the tourist brochures.

    Perhaps your comfort level there is raised by good communication - it probably helps that un Nuu Zuulund they almost speak englush.

    Quote Originally Posted by Distantpeak View Post
    .........
    I also wonder... if any of you had never met a girl you liked in Thailand... would you still feel the same?
    Hey, that was my question !
    (Sure you can say it is where you met your TG but would you have the same feelings for say, Singapore, had you met her there?)

    For me I still feel the same way about going to Thailand as I did in the years and frequent trips there before I met Mrs M.

    Enjoy.
    Life is the unexpected ...

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    Foundation Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Minder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Distantpeak View Post
    Very true. But I never get the feeling of a Thai stranger bending over backwards or going out of their way to help you (for free) like I do with strangers in other countries... it does happen, but I have found it quite rare... though superficial smile and helpfulness is right up there...
    On this one I am with you 100% - Help has a price tag in Thailand.

    As a farang I expect to put my hand in my pocket and pay any time a Thai does anything truly extra for me - that is not always the case but it is more often than not. Reality is just being a farang in Thailand we attract those kind of Thais.

    On our honeymoon in Samut Songkhram Mrs M got a real taste of what the future held for her as a mia falang when a friendly Thai man helped us out when we were caught in a rainstorm.

    With no mention of payment, and as an outwardly and open good samaritan he drove us all the way back to our hotel in the pouring rain from the local floating market - and then demanded a 500 baht payment for his services.

    Enjoy
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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PatongBeachBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Distantpeak View Post
    NZ is still for me the most welcoming country in the world...
    Baaaaaaa Baaaaaaaa!!
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    Organic AI Quarky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatongBeachBoy View Post
    Baaaaaaa Baaaaaaaa!!
    And the Baaaa fine has stayed the same since Fred Dagg was bothering the locals... 555
    My only experience was in a pie making factory managing the gravy team


  17. #17
    Organic AI Quarky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minder View Post
    Wow.... it comes on so quickly

    Alzheimer's Society - Leading the fight against dementia

    The first beaches I saw were around Wellington ... stones not sand .... then the sand beaches I saw were on the South Island .... around Kaikoura ... black sand .... water that should have been ice it was sooooo cold.

    Climate was nice in certain months of the year - Christchurch in the summer, standing around a BBQ in 30 degree celsius sunshine with not a blowfly to be seen.
    I must admit I grew up around Auckland... and the Coromandel... and I just love the variety of beaches up there....
    My only experience was in a pie making factory managing the gravy team


  18. #18
    Organic AI Quarky's Avatar
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    I have to say... that the biggest pull for me of Thailand... is the vibrant energy... whether good or bad... the energy brings a vibrancy to everything... more colour, sound, aroma... it's a toxic combination that sucks you in... and maybe why I love Bangkok and Isaan in equal measure... they both have it...
    My only experience was in a pie making factory managing the gravy team


  19. #19
    Organic AI Quarky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vanguy77 View Post

    I got a vibe the moment I stepped out of my taxi on that first trip to Bangkok, that was different from any place I'd ever been before. It is very difficult to explain a "vibe" however.
    I know exactly what you mean...
    My only experience was in a pie making factory managing the gravy team


  20. #20
    Uber Star Foundation member Uber Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน vanguy77's Avatar
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    Speaking of friendliness, when Vancouver hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics, pundits from all over the world were raving about how "friendly and helpful" the people of Vancouver were. I was proud of that, but also attributed a lot of it to the Canadian penchant for being polite and not wanting to give offense. Living in the city as I do, I find Vancouverites overly cold and reserved, very caught up in their own affairs, and striving for political correctness over true compassion. Wanting to not give offense is not the same thing as really caring.

    The Thai people have a penchant for smiling, being tolerant of others, and not giving offense. Even the tuk-tuk driver who helped rip us off in the fish scam, tried laughing and joking with us on the tuk-tuk ride back to our hotel! However, I did find most of the Thai people I got to know very warm and friendly. I shared in my trip report about the warm reception I got every day at the Thailand Hair Restoration Clinic. Compare that to the cold detachment that I get from the office staff at my doctor's office! I have never experienced hotel staff to friendly and eager to please. When I would ask for directions or advice from a staff member at my Bangkok hotel (S Sukhumvit Suites), I would often get a circle of five or six staff all standing around me discussing my best options, or offering their suggestions. I've never experienced anything like that at any hotel anywhere in the world.

    I am not saying that I have not found friendly and helpful people in other parts of the world, I certainly have, but simply that I did find my treatment and particularly my "welcome" in Thailand far exceeded anything I have ever experienced before.
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