Thailand, the country of the smile, lots of first times in Thailand and different feelings. It was our first time in Asia, so we had quite a shock in different areas, I am going to share with you the first things we thought when arriving.
Hot, hot and hot
OMG, I remember getting out of the airport and my glasses were steamed up due to the contrast of temperatures. The heat was amazing, it is a different kind of heat than in Bcn. It is very dry, and in sunny days you need to wear a hat and protect yourself with sun cream.
Bangkok: the city of contrasts
I was amazed on how different it was the city in different parts or even in the same street, they call Bangkok the city of contrasts and it is true. The skyline, sky scrapers, posh shopping centers and expensive clothes but also food on the street, poor people, outdoor markets that sell pets, food, clothes... You can find anything, it is like a theme park with a Western city and also Asian city.
Food: spicy, not spicy means spicy
Forget about the mild thai food you are used to in your country, don't expect this as spicy means spicy and not spicy is also spicy, so the first days take it easy as you need some time to get used to it.
Bear in mind that they do not take out the chilis from curries or other dishes so watch out not to chew them as you will have a hard time - I did-. If you happen to eat or chew by accident a chili, the best thing to do is eat salt or lime juice and it will calm it down.
Spicy papaya salad and vermicelli spicy salad were the two dishes that I could not eat at first so start with fried rice and noodles and pad thai and then start exploring the rest.
Thais love spicy food, and they look weird at you if you say please not spicy, some of them even told us laughing that we were eating baby food.
Pollution and leaking buildings
First time in Asia, Bangkok is incredible, my first day I felt I couldn't breath, it was a strange feeling, there is pollution and cars everywhere. Such a shock even if you come from a big city, the traffic an amount of cars is 10 times or more than any european city.
Building leak, I don't want to know what is it but there some kind of water leaking so when you are walking by you might get some of that.
Language and communication
People do not speak a lot of English but they try their best to understand the tourist. I even bought a little dictionary thai/english but I never take it out from my bag pack so don't worry about language barriers.
Posh or dead cheap
As we have been saying, Thailand is a country of contrasts. You can be in the coolest shopping center ever, where everyone is wearing Calvin Klein jeans and Chanel hand bags or you can be sitting down eating on the street having an amazing pad thai for 40 bath (1 euro).
It depends on you what kind of travel do you want and you feel comfortable or you can afford. It is worth it to experience both ends to understand this contrast everyone talks about.
Firs impressions are always interesting, what were yours when visiting Thailand?