India v. Thailand
My first impression of Thailand after arriving here from India was… Wow, this place is TAME! And a bit boring! It’s also cleaner and more expensive.
I missed India a lot! I thought India was colorful, chaotic, and exciting. Thailand seemed so… vanilla, in comparison.
Now that I’ve been here for two weeks, I’ve realized that the two countries cannot really be compared because NOTHING compares to India. It is just too unique. But Thailand is definitely good. And while it’s no India, it’s definitely not boring.
There are, however, many distinct differences…
Thailand is much more western, modern, and touristy. Shorts and tank tops are perfectly acceptable. As mentioned before, it’s cleaner and more expensive. Thai people are exceptionally polite (they’re actually known for their politeness), they know how to form a solid queue, and they don’t honk their horns. Toilet paper and soap exists here. Thai streets are in good shape and people generally drive in the appropriate lane. The trains are 1,000 times better in Thailand. There are no street cows. Nobody stares at me or takes my picture. But I also haven’t had any awesome conversations with random locals who just want to chat with me. While I never felt unsafe in India, I feel a need to admit that I somehow feel safer in Thailand (maybe because no one ever looks at me or talks to me, or maybe because there are always dozens of other tourists around). The street food is safe to eat here (although after my bout with Delhi Belly, I found that I could eat whatever I wanted in India as well). However, the language barrier is much more prevalent in Thailand; nearly everything is written only in Thai and many people don’t speak English. Thai food is extremely meat-heavy and it’s shockingly difficult to find vegetarian food here, unlike India where 50% of the restaurants are “pure veg” and EVERY restaurant menu has a large vegetarian section. It’s hotter and more humid in Thailand, but that can probably be attributed to the time of year.
Despite all these facts, I found India to be terribly interesting. I wanted to capture every moment there. I was constantly fascinated; discovering, watching, eating, learning. I don’t feel that way in Thailand, but I do feel extremely COMFORTABLE here (except when I’m turning into one giant drop of sweat, then I’m not so comfortable).
I only have three days left in Thailand on this leg of my trip, but I’m definitely looking forward to returning in a few weeks and exploring the south. If I had to choose between India and Thailand right this moment, I’d say: India to travel, Thailand to live.
Thai people actually make single-file lines to board the metro!
Modern dress: Not a sari in sight
Check out these people driving on clean streets and in the proper lane! And no cows!
Train travel: a huge step up from Indian Railways
Thai street food
Thai street food
Thai street food in a bag and me in a tank top… what?! Both things I would never eat/wear in India.
But this is what is most commonly eaten around here… pork balls & other sausage-y stuff
Every one of these dishes has meat! Ugh! I miss Indian food!
See what I mean?