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My first impression of Thailand

Everybody’s first impression of any country they visit for the first time is always a bit different. It depends on where you come from, where you’ve been, what you’re used to, and what your interests are. 

So based on the fact that I was born and raised in Puerto Rico until I was 22 years old, lived in Los Angeles, California for 7 years, and have traveled mostly within the US and a few European countries, my first impression of Thailand might be different from that of many other people. 

So, without further ado, here are my first impressions of Thailand…

My first impression on the weather: ☀️⛅️😎🥵

It is HOT! Like really really hot. And humid. Not that I wasn’t expecting it to be hot, but f***ck it can get hot. Like being outside will make you sweat through every pore of your body! Personally, I don’t mind the heat that much since I’m kinda used to it. The temperature is kinda similar to Puerto Rico, with its hot humidity and the tropical weather. But being on the other side of the world (and not on a little island) it somehow feels hotter over here.

Temperatures can go up to 100º F during the day, and as low as 74º F at night (at least during April – June). You can also expect rain here and there. Sometimes it rains for hours, sometimes it rains for 5 – 10 minutes. At least it cools down a bit when it rains. 

And because of the constant heat, there are a lot of places you can cool down too. Usually, hotels and Airbnbs will offer AC in your room, and some restaurants also have AC inside to freshen up. Or if you’re staying near the beach, a quick swim to cool down would be the perfect recipe to combat the heat.

My first impression on Thai food: 🤤🍚🍤🦑🦀🍻🤑

Thai food

Thai food is delicious! Not that I was surprised. It was one of the main reasons I wanted to live in Thailand for a while. My favorite dishes so far are fried rice (they have seafood fried rice, chicken fried rice, pineapple fried rice, egg fried rice, and so many more options), pad thai of course, tom yum spaghetti (which is made with chili paste and seafood), and khao soi (which is a northern Thailand soup made with crispy noodles and yellow curry). There are a lot more dishes that I haven’t tried yet, and honestly many I probably won’t try (like the crickets and scorpion skewers on the street markets 🤭).

There are also a lot of other options to eat in Thailand, like Japanese and Vietnamese dishes amongst other Asian cuisines, and even American dishes and brands like McDonald’s and KFC if you’re feeling a little homesick or not as adventurous. 

Mangoes are also very popular in Thailand. From dessert dishes like mango sticky rice to mango smoothies, be sure to try Thai mangoes while visiting. You will not regret it! 

Another awesome factor of Thai food is the price. Plates can go for as low as 40 THB [$1.20 USD] to more than 300 THB [$9 USD] depending on where you go and how much you eat. But the average plate price would be around 100 – 200 THB [$3 – 6 USD]. 

My first impression on Thai people: 🤝🥰🙏🏽

Thai people

Locals in Thailand are suuuuper nice and friendly! From pointing you in the right direction on the streets to helping you understand the laundromat system, Thai people are happy to help foreigners at any given moment (especially if they see you struggling). They always have a smile on their face and laugh at any situation. They are also very hardworking and show deep respect for their religion.

But there are some not-so-honest locals (like tuk-tuk drivers) that will try to overcharge you for rides or lie about the temple’s open hours to get you to ride with them to other areas. Also, taxi drivers like to ask way too many questions about where you’re from, where you’re staying, where you’re going next and stuff like that so be mindful to not give out too much info (for your safety). 

My first impression on the transportation: 🚕🚇🛶🛺🛵


Speaking of tuk-tuks and taxis, there are so many ways to move around Thailand. And they vary depending on which area you’re on. In Bangkok, taxis and tuk-tuks are the most common form of transportation. There’s also a great (and clean!!) subway system, public buses, boats to move across the rivers, and if you’re feeling daring, you can rent a motorbike. Although be careful with motorbikes, there’s a high number of tourists getting into accidents riding motorbikes in Bangkok. Probably due to how crazy they drive over there. 

In other parts of Thailand, like in Chiang Mai and Phuket, you won’t see taxis as much or at all. You’ll find plenty of tuk-tuks and songthaew (which are red pickup trucks that work like buses/shared taxis, and they charge 30 THB per person).

Another way to move around Thailand is through the app Grab (and other similar apps). It’s basically like Uber or Lyft. They’re also great for ordering food when you wanna stay in!

My first impression on things to do: 😮😍🤩🌄🌆🏖🐘

Things to do

There is sooooo much to see in Thailand. From modern architecture and ancient temples to beautiful beaches and luscious mountains. There’s definitely a vibe for everyone to enjoy. Of course, I highly recommend checking out as many Buddhist temples and statues as you can. They really are something to behold. Especially the giant Buddha statues in different parts of Thailand.

And as a beach lover, I also recommend checking out Phuket and the small islands around the Gulf of Thailand (like Koh Phangan where the famous full moon party takes place). And if you love elephants, I highly recommend visiting an elephant sanctuary. There are quite a few around the country but Chiang Mai is pretty popular for these kinds of activities.

Are you dreaming of coming to Thailand after reading my first impressions? 

I offer custom travel itineraries and travel planning for budget travelers so you don’t have to worry about the stress of planning an international trip. I can take care of planning your dream Thai vacation, on your ideal budget, and all you have to do is get on the airplane and enjoy it! Learn more about my services HERE.

Heads up: As a way to earn passive income, this post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you buy something through one of those links, I might get a commission at NO extra cost to you. I appreciate your support! 💕

Bangkok landscape

May 12, 2022

  1. Davey says:

    The food sounds amazing. I hope that the vegan food options there are just as extensive and delicious as they are here in the USA. It seems like it’s a good price, too!!! Can’t wait to visit some day. 🙂

    • Laurie Salmeron says:

      The food IS amazing! And there are definitely a lot of vegan options. I think you would love it. 👍🏽
      Also, thank you so much for commenting on my post! It means so much to me Davey ❤️

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