I have a bitter taste in my mouth (not that I hadn't before...) about my last post as a friend told me he has written off Thailand as a potential destination after my post.

I would like to add something to this. Thailand is not quite the hellhole I described it as. If I was planning my first trip to the far east and wanted to go somewhere where I could just relax and have a good time for 2 weeks, while also experiencing a very different culture that seems daunting to me, Thailand would be a great choice.

You can get by in English in virtually any place where tourists go, it's cheap, the weather is great, the food is delicious. It has an unique culture and many beautiful sights. And yes, the people are probably much nicer than in your hometown (because you bring money).

I can recommend Thailand to anybody who wants to dabble in Asian culture and doesn't want to go through the trouble of learning any of the languages. The best thing is, if you don't like it, you can always quickly and cheaply get to one of the neighbouring countries.

Personally, I tried very hard to meet 'the right kind of people' and 'hang out on the right side of town' (i.e. the non-touristy one) the last days. And for me, hard as I try, it doesn't work. If I meet interesting people (as in smart people are open-minded, but also critical about their surroundings), they usually travel as a couple and are not interested in hanging out with a third person for longer than 15 minutes.

If they are single, they are either a) male and try to get in my pants (still, better than the daft ones who try to get in my pants) b) female and just as freaked out and jaded as me, and plan to leave the country within the next 24 hrs.

With this, I declare Thailand the hardest country for solo female travel - South Korea, who previously held this position in my book, I like you more every day! At least while locals were a bit weird and it wasn't as squeaky clean as I expected (Japan, you ruin everything with your clean efficiency and politeness!), it felt safe and I met awesome people with a genuine interest in the country every day.

I look forward to returning to Bangkok on Friday and meeting some people who are actually INTERESTED in something in their life (other than beer, sex and riding elephants). Then, on to Vietnam. If this is only half as touristy as Thailand, I seriously need to reconsider my plan for this trip (China is starting to look like a REAL option).

At the moment, the Philippines sound awesome - I have only met one person who's been there; heaven!





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