Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Thailand summary

Water: Bottled drinking water is readily available.
Drinks: Wine - local rice wine or Mekong is a cheap, if oily, substitute for white rum but is okay with Pepsi and ice. Beer - Chang (6.4%) or Singha (5%) pilsner style lagers taste the same but Chang is a little cheaper, take your pick. There is also a light Chang. Tea - Black Lipton Yellow Label and 'English' brand teas in tourist areas. Coffee - Strong and black but Nescafe with milk is also served in tourist areas.
Toilets: Mostly upright in hotels, guesthouses, cafes, restaurants with both styles in trains. All mostly with a Thai style 'flush' - a bucket of water and a plastic scoop and maybe a douche.
Thai Baht (currently £1 = 48 bhat, say 50 for ease of mental arithmetic).
Language: Just about everyone in popular areas speak a little English.
TICs: Friendly and keen,
Variable can be B&B, en-suite, simple room with shared facilities. All normally adequate - you get what you pay for.
Delightful lightly spiced flavourful dishes think lemongrass and coconut, plus a lot more.
Seven-elevens are ubiquitous, on every street corner with cold beer and most everything else you might like. Tesco Lotus, a great marketing name as the lotus flower is seen as pure white beauty growing out of grime (and has strong associations with Buddha), are fewer but are larger and have a wider range.
All are cheap but trains and boats are an interesting experience whereas air and land buses are just a boring, environmentally unfriendly, if quick way, to get from terminal to terminal.
Medical: No problems if insured - Thailand has a wealth of medical, dental and cosmetic tourists.

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