So I landed here in Phuket safe and sound. But I had a few things I wanted to blog about in no particular order. First, I wanted to talk about Thai traffic laws or lack thereof. Honestly I have seen drivers driving into oncoming traffic, seen people cut each other off, seen near crashes, I think I have seen it all. I can count on 2 hands the amount of actual proper traffic lights that I have seen. So, if you want to cross the street you just flat out go. Just cross no stopping at all. Don't do it slowly! If you just find a space big enough for you to run across the road the Thai people are really good at swerving to miss you with their buses,motorbikes,trucks,vans,tuk tuks,bikes,cars or whatever else they can drive haha. It was really unnerving at first but now I have the hang of it. I haven't been hit yet :)
I also wanted to blog about a few places we have eaten. In Chang Mai we found a "Chang Mai Saloon" and the owner was from Commerce Texas! I had a wonderful Chicken Fried Steak for dinner right in Thailand. He was super nice and it was great to taste a bit of home. My meal all up cost me 300 baht which might sound like a lot but in reality it is about 9 dollars. I also ate at a Dairy Queen in the airport that was great to find too.
Next I wanted to talk about haggling. Most Thai's dont speak great English but do speak some and I have managed to learn the basic basic Thai to get me by so that is what I use to haggle. If you dont haggle you are totally getting ripped off. I actually really enjoy it a lot though. I was new to it but I caught on quickly. Basically whatever price they quote you, you half it straight away. Now they know this and you should too. They are ripping you off but they are willing to be flexible. The good thing is that all the cards are in your hands. Your next biggest asset is just to walk away. Pretend you dont want it and they will chase after you and lower the price again. Sometimes I find myself haggling over like 50 baht which sounds like a lot but it is actually just over 1 dollar haha. The best part is here in Thailand you can haggle over almost every single thing and it is expected. Food, drinks,hostels,tuk tuks (taxis) clothes,shoes,whatever! I do love it. I have got some pretty good stuff for some cheap prices.
Today we went to Freedom Beach here in Phuket. We paid 300 baht a piece to get there. that is roughly 8 dollars. 4 dollars there and 4 dollars back. The beach was white and perfect and crystal clear. I saw a lot of great fish and I borrowed a pair of goggles and accidentally spooked a sea snake! It was huge and I think I was more scared than it was. They are actually really docile but they are very poisonous so I just left it alone and all was well. I had a great time at the beach with my friends.
Lastly I wanted to talk about Thailand itself. The Thai people for the most part are totally friendly and awesome people and this really is a beautiful country or it can be. In the city parts of it are really really trashy. There is no rubbish/trash bins to speak of so people tourists and locals alike just throw their trash in the street so most of the streets are totally littered with trash. Also their sewer system is terrible. You just randomly smell raw sewage in different parts of wherever you are and it is really gross. At first that smell really bothered me and hit me hard but now I am just used to it. Honestly I think its a 50/50 thing. The tourists for the most part just dont give a flip about where they throw trash etc and neither do the locals. Its really sad because if both parties took more pride in this country it could be totally great and totally beautiful and get alot more money into the local economy.
But dont get me wrong I love Thailand so far and I love hanging out with my friends and so far (knock on wood) I haven't got any food poisoning or any stomach issues at all. I have had some great local food,some odd food, some food I dont even wanna know about haha and some good western food too. So all in all so far a great time!
This is the link to my personal facebook pictures of Thailand so far but, I have been with friends who have taken photos as well so just have a gander at my facebook pictures if you want too. -Tyler
Just copy and paste the link above in your address bar if clicking doesnt work for you.