For some reason we all like a list, a top 5 or 10 of this and that, I guess it is the curiosity of discovering what made the list getting the better of you – you have no choice but to take a peek. In my case curiosity got the better of me to see if I could put a list together. My challenge therefore to could come up with a top 5 list of reasons for why you won’t like Thailand.
Now I like Thailand, of course I do I have lived here over a decade now, but I would be lying if I said things didn’t annoy me about living here. Importantly, none are enough to make me up sticks and leave, but I have certainly thought about bailing out many times now.
However, I don’t want to list why you won’t like living in Thailand; I want to list the reasons you won’t like Thailand. It is slightly different. It was an interesting task as I have become far more tolerant and accepting of what goes on here, casing point was when I started to write something down I would instantly have an excuse or defense as to why that particular thing happened . This blog was going to be more challenging than I thought.
This was not going to be a quick 30 minute blog, I needed to ask others what they didn’t like about Thailand.
So when I popped back home from my office for lunch, the first person I asked was my wife (she is Russian by the way). She had just come home from an International School with our two kids and I could not have teed the question up any better for she was a little aggrieved, to say the least, from what she saw at the school. “You know just about every teacher there was male and looked like they were half cut from the night before. You could clearly see they had all been drinking the night before” she explained.
We all hear about many teachers that come to teach in Thailand who have not grown tired of the neon lights of the beer bars – it is the case of lifestyle first and job a very supporting second. For a parent these kind of stories quite frankly make me very angry, especially with the high fees that come from International Schools.
Now I am not suggesting every school or indeed teacher is the same, but it still a very real problem. I used to do some consultancy for a large International School and the principle always moaned about the drinking epidemic among his teachers.
Now, I need to get this list started so the Drinking Problem from Some International Teachers is my number five. I am bending my earlier conditions outlined that the top five reasons cannot come from living here, this one makes the list!
My number four, and by the way the reasons are in no particular order, is the inconsistency and corruption from some of the police. On all the main tourist Sois in Pattaya you will more often or not see a couple of police officers looking to pull people on motorbikes over. Checking if they have valid driving licences, for not wearing helmets and alcohol breathalyzer checks. All excellent things for ensuring the safety of the roads, but that is only half the story. You can still pay many of these officers off directly on the scene – even if you are intoxicated.
The officers differ by regions. I find the police in Hua Hin very fair and nice, in fact you could even say helpful, for instance. The subject of the police in Thailand is easier to just park for now, it is what it is.
Right, three more to go. It looks like I might just complete this article.
Two tier pricing. I change my mind with this one all the time, as it depends on how you position it.
When you turn up at a National park, zoo or what have you and see the two different prices up on a board it makes you a little angry, previously if you worked here you would be able to show your work permit or Thai driving licence and you would also get the the Thai price. Note, I said previously. This little perk is being phased out and so even if you work and contribute tax to the country, you still have to pay foreign rates. This does make me angry, especially as I no doubt pay more tax than the average Thai person. Now the two pricing policies is not right or fair.
The second view to take is the fact that don’t other countries also have two tier pricing, but less in your face? If you live near an attraction more often or not you can use a promotion code that tourists would not know about. Think about diners that offer Expat card discounts in Thailand, now you could argue that is not fair on the tourist. It is a very similar debate to the blatant two tier pricing seen in this country Thai versus foreigner.
Number Two, now this very much depends on where you live. Chinese tourists, they are everywhere and there are thousands of them in Pattaya. I have nothing against the Chinese, it is just the mass tourism that comes with it. The coaches fill the streets in their hundreds. Just go down to Bali Hai pier and watch the conveyor belt of coaches coming in and out of this location, it is crazy.
The Soi Dogs can make up my list. Most are harmless and in many cases in a very bad state, it is quite sad to see. I am forever stepping over one when walking into 7-11 (they like the aircon). But with young kids it means I am always on the look out for the dogs coming to close. There are Soi Dogs on every Soi in Thailand, it is too much and the situation is not controlled.
And Voila, my top 5 reasons you won’t like Thailand is complete. It was a hard challenge as there are far, far more pros to being in Thailand than the negatives. It is on the whole a wonderful country and the reason I have now lived here for over ten years.