Left Thailand for Hanoi, Vietnam but some bits and pieces from last few days….
No 1 SPICY…… have eaten only local food, mainly street food in Bangkok and in Kanchanaburi. Different kinds of noodles – rice, vermicelli, egg, thick and very thin. Usual meats, fish, shellfish and veg but lots of different ones as well…river snails, frog, snake, every bit of a chicken / pork / beef imaginable…nothing wasted. All of course with a variety of spicy sauces from the tongue tickling to the ‘blow your bloody head off’ variety. No potatoes no bread! Love the food but must admit some nice bread would be good… if only to dip in the excellent stocks. Forget western fast food as a freshly cooked red Penang curry with seafood and chicken takes about 3 minutes at a street food ‘barrow’! Zero issues either apart from getting fatter…
Mostly shanks’s pony but so far taken planes, trains, taxis, buses, boats, kayaks’s Tuk tuk’s, bicycle and scooter taxi’s (basically scooter with sidecar platform-could seat about 5!). Few opportunities for gym so far but must have walked over 50km already.
Electrics…. erm…different, plugs/adapters never seem to sit home properly and frequently fall out of the sockets but they do work… outside cabling all seems to run just above head height and has similarities with Indian sub continent in the sheer mass of cabling involved; difference is that there seems to be a large degree of organisation involved with a significantly neater arrangement and with frequent loops of extra should it be required but still looks like an oversized spaghetti portion… Water – all good so far, hot cold although always seems to be opposite of the way the taps would have you believe. Security etc – always felt very safe apart from one excursion walking around some Bangkok areas where there were many worse for wear ‘westerners’ enjoying the local scene…
Thai people are amazing, extremely friendly, very polite, very keen to practice any English. Hard working for sure, often with very little – could be just some fruit trying to sell on the street or a simple barbecue and some beef/chicken satay, but always smiling. Reminiscent of Sri Lanka who for sure are the World’s most smiling people.
For sure the virus is having an effect on tourism with very few Chinese visitors around and they would normally make up a large percentage in South East Asia as a whole, especially Vietnam (60%). Many wear masks but very few cases apparent locally. In Bangkok the airport has scanners everywhere and medical staff looking for signs of fevers etc; even in the entrances / exits to large venues like shopping malls they have the same facilities. They seem better prepared than most western places.