My stay in Thailand is over, another “reflections” post is in order. I had an amazing time in both Krabi and Tonsai, the last three weeks were over before I realized.
The majority of the time, the Thai really go out of their way to help you, almost everyone is super friendly and smiling all the time when you ask them something. Of course there’s the odd exception, such as the boat men who really don’t give a crap and just exploit their monopoly.
When in any kind of shop, the major difference with India is the total lack of pushiness, you can browse for as long as you want in a little shop, the owner won’t bother you unless you ask him something. The other difference is the fact that in Thailand, it’s smiles all around. Not that shop owners (or anyone else for that matter) aren’t friendly in India, but the Thai way of doing everything with a smile does make quite a difference in how I perceived their overall willingness to help out.
The nature that I’ve seen is gorgeous, but that’s to be expected when visiting an area that is known to have the most beautiful beaches in the world. The abundance of animals was also something I really liked, especially the geckos, lizards and monkeys.
Money-wise I have the feeling that Thailand costs about twice as much as India, but I didn’t accurately keep track of my spending while in India, so I might be off. The cheapest basic, filling (but still absolutely delicious) meal on Tonsai was probably a 2€ pad thai, whereas in India it was a 1€ tali. So even though India is cheaper still, Thailand is very far from expensive. Even if you go crazy each meal, you’ll be hard pressed to exceed the amount of money you spend on food in Belgium.
Overal, I liked the food in India better, but for most other things, I prefer Thailand, e.g. friendliness, cleanliness (!), atmosphere, … Of course, I did spend the majority of my time in Thailand climbing while surrounded by other climbing enthusiasts, so that might have something to do with it :).
That’ll have to do for now. I’m sure I forgot about or skipped over a great many things, but Australia calls! Oh, and in case it wasn’t obvious: go to Tonsai and climb, now ;)!