Headed to Thailand, mates? Going to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Krabi, Koh Phangan,
Koh Samui, Phuket, or Isaan? Find the best hotels and prices on a rental car.
Doug Knell of Doug's Republic goes over it all. Let Douglas Knell guides you
through flights. See the Similan Islands and Khao Lak. Learn what it's like
to be living in Thailand and the techniques of picking up a Thai.
Kingdom Of Thailand King of Travel Destinations
"If you want to wipe the smile off someone's face,
don't send him to Thailand. It's called the Land of Smiles."
Doug Knell, Doug's Republic
This site has a wealth of
information about Doug's experiences in Thailand.
Just make a selection on any of the items on the left side of
this page and you'll see so much of Thailand, you may decide to not
even go or, on the other hand, cash it all in and emigrate here. Doug
talks more about his own impressions and attitudes. Hard-fact
travel info can be found on a myriad of conventional travel sites.
should you come to Thailand?
Here are a few reasons:
1. The grass is always greener where you're not. Where do you live
most of the year? The UK? The United States? Australia? Sterile Scandinavia? Sorry to inform
you that the grass really is greener over in Thailand compared to home. If it weren't, why does the country
get 14m annual tourist visits per year?
2. Thailand is a hub for Southeast Asia. Southeast
Asia could well be the most diverse travel destination in the world, and Thailand is
in the heart of it. From Bangkok, you are just a short flight away from Malaysia,
Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Hong Kong. There are cheap flights to
places further afield, like China and India, too. Good luck flying abroad roundtrip
to diverse cultural destinations for USD 200 if you live in Melbourne, Australia or Cleveland, Ohio. If you
want to remain an uncultured hick, stay at home, okay?
Thailand offers more than reasonable prices, by First World country
standards, for food and drink.. Do you think you're too thin
and want to build up a paunch quickly? Eager to hasten cirrhosis of the liver? Thailand is your place.
I had a friend come
over and visit for a month. He couldn't believe how
inexpensive the spicy Thai cuisne was and ate three main
dishes per meal, three meals per day. When he got back to
New Zealand, a friend asked him if he were pregnant. This
friend wound up becoming an alcoholic due to the cheap booze
he was able to obtain in Thailand. Look on the bright side:
he couldn't have accomplished this feat as cheaply and as efficiently back home in Kiwi Land.
4. Thailand insures you won't starve. Yeah, we've already been
over the point how cheap the food is, but we haven't discussed how delicious it can be.
Visit Latin America's beautiful vistas and you'll be eating beans and rice and chicken till
the still-living chickens come home to roost. In Thailand, you'll be eating red, green, yellow, Massaman, and Penang
curries; stir fried dishes with basil leaves and kaffir lime leaves; salads made with lime juice, peanuts,
and shredded fruits; supping iced coffees made from grounds grown in the fields of Northern Thailand.
Get with the program, junior! If Chilean and Ecuadorean and Peruvian food is so world class, where are
all the international Chilean, Ecuadorean, and Peruvian restaurants. Wake up and smell the (delicious)
coffee over here.
5. Thailand has superb and affordable accommodation options. In the European
Union, you could pay €50 to camp out in a leaky shed. The Europeans believe it is
your inalienable right to pay through the nose just to sniff their Old World sewage. Thailand won't
charge you to sniff or bathe in their sewers. Here, you can pay USD
5 and stay in a closet, USD 10 for a large
walk-in closet, or USD 200 to schmooze with elites. Would your home nation give you the same variety and affordable
options? Nope. They're too busy taxing everyone to death.
6. Thailand has a language that's nearly
impossible to learn. Can your
I highly doubt it. The Thai language sure looks
imposing. In turn, you wont bother learning much, if any,
Thai. That's a lot of time you'll be saving.
If you were traveling to Spain, France, Germany, Argentina,
Italy, you'd delude yourself that could actually learn a bit
of the local lingo, waste time and money on language
courses, still be terrible, and arrive in your destination
no more fluent. When you come to Thailand as a casual
observer, you won't even bother trying.
7. Thailand offers it all in one vacation
Are you a 65-year old male sex tourist, a "sex pat"?
There're plenty more like you over here. A gay or
bi-sexual lager lout and drunk? There're even
more like you! A family man bringing the wife and
kids? There's plenty like you, too. If you want
to mix it all up, you
can date a woman a third your age and bring along the kids.
No one cares. Thailand offers a holiday to
cater to all tastes, appetites, and morals.
8. Thailand still has somewhat friendly
people. Yeah, it's called the Land of Smiles, but
that's just a tourist gimmick. Plenty of the people
aren't smiling, and if they are, it's because they just
overcharged you 300% on that rental car, condo, or
"authentic" Rolex. But we both know you'd get
ripped off worse in India. And when you go to a
European country for a vacation, the people sure aren't
smiling as the entire system legally rips you off.
Tourism has definitely jaded many Thais, but they're still
more welcoming at their most jaded than anyone you'll ever
meet in Sweden or Germany.
Thailand has both beaten track and off-the-beaten track treats.
You want to do the trip everyone and his cousin has
done (i.e. Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan, Khao San Road in
Bangkok), no one is going to punish you for being a
follower. At the same time, you can get way off the
beaten track in Isaan where you won't meet another tourist.
It's all up to you. In Australia, by contrast, you'd
have to steer a 4-wheel drive into the deep Outback to avoid
the tourist hordes.
For those in need, Thailand provides "Asia Lite."
Asia can seem intimidating to the
uninitiated. The Orient, the Far East, bowing, saving
face. It can be so foreign, so odd, so
different that you'll shy away from going. Not
Thailand, folks. It can be very different if that's
what you want to see or it can just be Asian backdrops while
you do facetime with people from your own culture. In
South Korea, you can spend an entire day in Seoul and not
see another foreigner. In Thailand, if you spit, the
spit's likely to land on a foreigner's shoes. The
"Asia Lite" angle can be viewed with derision or
whichever way you choose to see it, but considering that
most tourists don't really see or understand the countries
they visit anyway, Thailand lets you come and make no
pretenses about really traveling.
These are just a few:
1. Grand Palace of Bangkok. If
you've traveled a lot, you'll probably have seen better and
better-maintained palaces, but its setting and what it represents seem
to show off Thailand's mix of modern and ancient in one snapshot.
2. Karst formation scenery near Krabi. Very
unique, beautiful, and Thai.
3. Spending a time in a basic bungalow appreciating what
counts on Koh Phangan.
4. Ordering a delicious three-course Thai meal superior to
anything you'd get at home and receiving the very reasonable check.
5. If male, picking up a Thai girl a half to one-third your
age and letting yourself believe she finds you divine. If female,
watching these males pick up girls a half to one-third their ages and
believe the nonsense spouting out of the local girls' mouths.
6. Superficially meeting hill tribe villagers in Thailand's
north and then making hackneyed remarks that "Something should be done
about these poor people," without yourself intending to lift a finger.
7. Bucolic Thai villages along the Mekong.
8. Sukhothai, the former capital of the Thai Empire.
9. Indulging in a little opium (. . . or not!!) near the Golden Triangle,
where it's grown, the point Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos meet in
triumvirate harmony. Warning: opium is illegal, but so are a lot
of things, and we're sure you wouldn't listen to us on most things, so
why advise you to go legal now?
Thailand is a fascinating place to visit. We're sure you'll be checking out
Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Krabi, Koh Phangan, Koh Samui, Phuket, and Isaan.
Doug Knell of Doug's Republic breaks it all down for you. He shows you
hotels, rental car, and motorbike rental procedures. Douglas Knell guides
you through flights. You'll gaze with beauty at the Similan Islands and Khao Lak.
Living in Thailand and picking up a Thai are also discussed.