Thailand has been on the global traveler’s map for the last 30 years. Even though, the world has changed in this time, Thailand has often been labelled as the haven for tourists who are looking for a taste of the tropical Sun and pristine beaches. Although Thailand is a country with some amazing sights and sounds, there are a few misconceptions that have done the rounds of the tourist circles across countries.
Here is a list of 5 misconceptions that can befuddle and perplex you when you visit Thailand:
#1. Thailand is safe and it loves its tourists: As an individual who has approached a law firm in Thailand to know about the pros and cons of doing business and visiting this ancient land, there is no denying the fact that the country has now become a little more commercial than the good old days. It is true that tourism is a big business here and the people are very hospitable, but common scams involving travelers and taxi fares, and companies offering bogus discounts on entering temples is all too common here. There are a lot of people who are trying con unsuspecting foreigners of that extra dollar. It is a good idea to skip the tourist trail if you are visiting Thailand and experience it through individual experiences.
#2 Thai monks are hermits not interested in gadgets: It is common to find people outside the country who believe that the monks are steeped in strict Buddhist life and do not dabble in worldly pleasures. The fact remains; Thailand is a modern country with a foot firmly planted in the ancient traditions. Monks live in ascetic conditions but many of them are Internet savvy and also carry gadgets such as MP3 players and cell phones.
#3. You can speak your mind and it’s a free country: Thailand is a democracy and has the oldest monarchy in the world apart from Japan. However, the citizens do not consider speaking their mind as second nature. In fact, as a foreigner, you should refrain against speaking anything about the King.
#4. No guns are carried in Thailand: This is the other misconception that has been doing the rounds of tourist circles. Carrying firearms is a common practice and many men do carry weapons when alone. A lot of tourists have got into altercations with locals and may have faced the illegal gun! It takes a lot of safety to not get into fights with local touts and brokers. The government though is cracking down of illegal firearms, but it makes sense to beware.
#5. Thai alcohol laws are pretty relaxed: This is a misconception that will cost you dearly if you are seen flouting the rules. In Thailand, drinking is allowed but most Thais prefer it during certain occasions only. You cannot buy or sell alcohol all the time at any circumstance. Thais are devout Buddhist and you may see the government agents and police snooping down on illegal liquor even in touristy areas such Phuket and Pattaya when there is an election!