CHICA Travel: Menzi Takes On Thailand

Menzi Thailand
Article by Menzi Ngcobo. Posted on June 21 2016 at 7:00 am

Thailand while South African

You are South African, most probably daydreaming about your next holiday, but a tad bit worried where to go with your *cough* weak Randelas? You deserve nice things too and Thailand is the answer! Well, if you haven’t been there already.

Menzi Thailand

Let me tell you something, it’s not every day you come across a person who is really interested in knowing more about the destination they are visiting, besides the best restaurants, bars, beaches and shopping spots. Like most travelers, I found myself jetting off to Thailand excited to do and see all these awesome things people rave about. Boy! Did I see and do the most? The place totally lived up to its hype, however, more than just that there were a couple of things that stood out for me and thought I should share.

Respect and Culture

Thailand

South Africans are generally respectful, bless African moms! As we embody respect we typically expect to receive the same respect we give right? Right! I was taken aback in Thailand simply because everyone is so friendly, what’s the catch? I kept asking myself this question. Uhm, well yeah I guess they don’t call this place ‘The Land of Smiles’ for no reason. I was at a clothing shopping and couldn’t help, but wish I could call the shop assistant aside on some ‘is your manager always this friendly or just happy to see my cash?’ The manager went an extra mile to find me the perfect souvenirs; it was genuinely a beautiful sight. Thai people really do make you feel welcome and overall make your visit worthwhile.

You can feel the spirit of togetherness; everyone is made to feel important regardless of their gender. In Thailand you don’t give anyone a pat on the head nor touch their hair, it’s considered disrespectful. You know in South Africa you can touch someone’s hair to see if it’s real or store bought? Don’t do it in Thailand, it is invasive!

Food and Drinks

Menzi Thailand trip

Thailand is one place where you can never go hungry, there’s literally a street vendor in every corner and the food is dirty cheap. You know when you take a stroll in downtown Jozi and there’s a mama selling magwinya, a brother selling gizzards and a baba selling tripe? Bangkok is totally like that! The whole of Bangkok smells like Thai food, here I’m talking about aroma overload. Lemon grass, garlic, coriander, fish sauce? You’ll smell it everywhere; hopefully it doesn’t stick to your clothes (if you are lucky).

If you love spicy food you’ll definitely fall in love with Thai food, beer drinkers are also in for a treat because local beers like Chang and Singha are sold everywhere at a reasonable price. You know South Africans go to McDonalds after a hectic night out partying? In Thailand you make your way to 7-Eleven which is literally situated in every corner, all over Thailand – with their mouthwatering toasted sandwiches. I know right, a toasted sandwich at a convenience store? I was perplexed, but stuffed my face anyway after a hectic night at Full Moon Party!

Hidden Treasures

South Africans generally want to relax in Phuket and shop in Bangkok; you know the famous spots in Thailand! They have over 1400 islands, yes you read right! Wait until you see Samui, Kanchanaburi, Krabi and more. Although Samui is fast becoming the go-to island in Thailand it’s still not as popular as Phuket. The airport on its own gives you assurance that you are in for an amazing time the minute you land in Samui, it’s really amazing! You can literally find your way around Thailand with a scooter, 250 Baht to hire for a full day. You can’t leave Samui without visiting the famous Ark Bar beach club, European style with great music, loads of party people and it’s right on the beach! South Africans have Shimmy in Cape Town, Samui has Ark Bar!

Menzi in Thailand

I also spent one night in Kanchanaburi and the place stole my heart. A lot of people never visit Kanchanaburi, just a 2 hour drive from Bangkok, you then hop on a long-tail boat which throws you right at those jungle rafts. You can sense the change in the air the minute you arrive, the place is very laid back and you get to connect with nature.

Menzi in thailand

Very rich in history, with a village that will make you change your mind about your problems, they aren’t that big. People are living the simplest life, with less means out there, but they are very happy.

Weather

IMG_1287

Always pack light when visiting Thailand – March through to June are the hottest months, the humid heat is on fleek! I had applied almost the entire bottle of sunscreen, but still got burnt, that’s how hot it is. Water bottles are readily available on the streets because they know you’ll need it.

Quick info:

  • Currency – Baht
  • Exchange rate – 1 Thai Baht equals 0.43 Rand
  • Flights – Return flights from R7000
  • Language – Thai

By @MrMenziN

14 Comments

  1. I like this article however I think it is a little inaccurate. The exchange rate from the rand to the baht is much stronger than 1 is to 0.43. I also find that most people fail to truly represent the “aroma” that is referred to in this article – Its not a particularly pleasant smell as its painted out to be. Regarding the street vendor on every corner – although cheaper than the restaurants, they don’t care much about hygiene. This destination is culturally amazing indeed but definitely oversold by articles like these.

    • Hey Travel Buddy, thanks for the comment. What is your source for the Baht/Rand exchange because as of a few seconds ago it was 0.42 for 1 Baht?

      I haven’t been to Thailand yet and so can’t comment on the rest, would love to hear what others think.

      Did you enjoy your time in Thailand though?

  2. Thailand is definitely on my “to visit” list. I actually can’t wait!!! Thanks Menzi 😉

  3. Everything is spot on, except the food, It was definitely not my thing, unless boiled vienas, boiled meat, boiled cabbage, boiled everything else in between, lol, fried rice etc is your thing. When I came back, after just 7 days of being there I had lost a lot of weight so I might just go back for the weight loss, lol. Thailand was the cheapest holiday I have ever been to, worth every cent too, just wish the food was better as our rand goes a looong way there. I felt like the queen of Zamunda, lol.The massage is very cheap and one of the best I have ever had. I got a tattoo of my kid’s names for about R300. The islands are beautiful, went to about 5 of them including Phi phi Island. Top tip is to pack light as the clothes are very cheap there, even if you only wear them that side only, never pack anyting heavy like jeans and jackets, you wont need them, shots and flipflops yes.

    • LOL I’ll go for the weight loss too…

  4. I know I’ll battle with the food, I have a particular dislike for Thai food but I look forward to the beautiful beaches, good weather and heavenly massages.

  5. Awesome. Very similar to Bali from all the stories I have heard.
    Beautiful pics!!
    A def must-visit for me.

  6. Beautiful beaches. Would live to go to Thailand

  7. Im super excited,will be on holiday in Thailand this year November,and after reading this article….all I can say is IM counting the months!!!! 🙂 🙂

  8. This has been very helpful .

  9. Sounds breathtaking, honestly can’t wait to visit this place.

  10. Which Travel Insurance company did you use? And is it wise to carry cash and exchange that side?

    • Hi Nqweno, I don’t know what travel insurance Menzi used but there are lots of options in the market, I usually use TIC https://www.tic.co.za/
      With regards to cash – you have to change the money here before you go. You can usually do this with your bank or if you do it at the airport at those forex places, they ask for your FICA documents (proof of residence etc). I suggest having some cash and the rest in a card (credit card or pre paid travel card like Cash Passport) It’s not wise to carry all your money in cash, for safety reasons.
      When I travel to Lagos, I can’t get Nairas through my bank so in such cases, I’d buy dollars here and then exchange them to Nairas when I get to Lagos.


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Menzi Thailand

Thailand while South African

You are South African, most probably daydreaming about your next holiday, but a tad bit worried where to go with your *cough* weak Randelas? You deserve nice things too and Thailand is the answer! Well, if you haven’t been there already.

Menzi Thailand

Let me tell you something, it’s not every day you come across a person who is really interested in knowing more about the destination they are visiting, besides the best restaurants, bars, beaches and shopping spots. Like most travelers, I found myself jetting off to Thailand excited to do and see all these awesome things people rave about. Boy! Did I see and do the most? The place totally lived up to its hype, however, more than just that there were a couple of things that stood out for me and thought I should share.

Respect and Culture

Thailand

South Africans are generally respectful, bless African moms! As we embody respect we typically expect to receive the same respect we give right? Right! I was taken aback in Thailand simply because everyone is so friendly, what’s the catch? I kept asking myself this question. Uhm, well yeah I guess they don’t call this place ‘The Land of Smiles’ for no reason. I was at a clothing shopping and couldn’t help, but wish I could call the shop assistant aside on some ‘is your manager always this friendly or just happy to see my cash?’ The manager went an extra mile to find me the perfect souvenirs; it was genuinely a beautiful sight. Thai people really do make you feel welcome and overall make your visit worthwhile.

You can feel the spirit of togetherness; everyone is made to feel important regardless of their gender. In Thailand you don’t give anyone a pat on the head nor touch their hair, it’s considered disrespectful. You know in South Africa you can touch someone’s hair to see if it’s real or store bought? Don’t do it in Thailand, it is invasive!

Food and Drinks

Menzi Thailand trip

Thailand is one place where you can never go hungry, there’s literally a street vendor in every corner and the food is dirty cheap. You know when you take a stroll in downtown Jozi and there’s a mama selling magwinya, a brother selling gizzards and a baba selling tripe? Bangkok is totally like that! The whole of Bangkok smells like Thai food, here I’m talking about aroma overload. Lemon grass, garlic, coriander, fish sauce? You’ll smell it everywhere; hopefully it doesn’t stick to your clothes (if you are lucky).

If you love spicy food you’ll definitely fall in love with Thai food, beer drinkers are also in for a treat because local beers like Chang and Singha are sold everywhere at a reasonable price. You know South Africans go to McDonalds after a hectic night out partying? In Thailand you make your way to 7-Eleven which is literally situated in every corner, all over Thailand – with their mouthwatering toasted sandwiches. I know right, a toasted sandwich at a convenience store? I was perplexed, but stuffed my face anyway after a hectic night at Full Moon Party!

Hidden Treasures

South Africans generally want to relax in Phuket and shop in Bangkok; you know the famous spots in Thailand! They have over 1400 islands, yes you read right! Wait until you see Samui, Kanchanaburi, Krabi and more. Although Samui is fast becoming the go-to island in Thailand it’s still not as popular as Phuket. The airport on its own gives you assurance that you are in for an amazing time the minute you land in Samui, it’s really amazing! You can literally find your way around Thailand with a scooter, 250 Baht to hire for a full day. You can’t leave Samui without visiting the famous Ark Bar beach club, European style with great music, loads of party people and it’s right on the beach! South Africans have Shimmy in Cape Town, Samui has Ark Bar!

Menzi in Thailand

I also spent one night in Kanchanaburi and the place stole my heart. A lot of people never visit Kanchanaburi, just a 2 hour drive from Bangkok, you then hop on a long-tail boat which throws you right at those jungle rafts. You can sense the change in the air the minute you arrive, the place is very laid back and you get to connect with nature.

Menzi in thailand

Very rich in history, with a village that will make you change your mind about your problems, they aren’t that big. People are living the simplest life, with less means out there, but they are very happy.

Weather

IMG_1287

Always pack light when visiting Thailand – March through to June are the hottest months, the humid heat is on fleek! I had applied almost the entire bottle of sunscreen, but still got burnt, that’s how hot it is. Water bottles are readily available on the streets because they know you’ll need it.

Quick info:

  • Currency – Baht
  • Exchange rate – 1 Thai Baht equals 0.43 Rand
  • Flights – Return flights from R7000
  • Language – Thai

By @MrMenziN

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