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    Why Now Is The Ideal Time Go go To Thailand

    Update July 2020: We no longer recommend Thailand as a long-stay destination. See our July 5, 2020 post about changing conditions in this country.

    Thailand: The Best Time to Go is Now!

    Thailand.  The mere utterance of the name ushers in images of an exotic faraway tropical land in SE Asia where basking in magical mountainous mists or bathing in soothing hot springs rejuvenates the body and soul. After all, it seems one need only look at the slender, good-looking, happy Thai’s as suggestive proof for these notions.

    Yet, when we told friends earlier this year we were going to live there for six months, most of them were aghast.  “Isn’t it dangerous there?  Didn’t they just have a coup?”  Or, “The airlines aren’t safe.  That MH 370 airliner just disappeared.”  The answer to these emotional outbursts is a resounding “no”.

    The Coup?  What Coup?

    Fifteen days after the coup, we landed in Chiang Mai international airport and waited in line to clear immigration. Karla steps up to the kiosk. The officer examines her passport and tries to pronounce her name. “Car-r-r-r”.  “R’s” are tough for Thai’s. She smiled and said “Karla”.  He tried again. Gracious as ever, Karla smiled and told him he was correct. A broad smile came over his face. “Your first time in Thailand” he asked.  “Yes” she said.  “Welcome to Thailand.  I hope you enjoy our beautiful country”.  

    That was our initial greeting. And it’s been like that every day for six months. Everywhere we go people are happy, smiling, and helpful. And every day we say to each other, “what’s there not to like about this place?”

    Three days later we’re walking around downtown Chiang Mai. Around the 700-year old, brownish-red partly crumbling moat in the old town, you could see legions of foreigners taste, smell, feel and look their way around the shops, restaurants, businesses, and parks without a care in the world. But every once in a while you’d see some stop and walk around in circles as if they are looking for something they lost.

    They were looking for the signs of the coup. They’re waiting for a soldier to come up to them and demand to see their papers. They’re looking for trouble and conflict. It’s hard to find here.

    In fact, we’ve seen little evidence of a coup in the six months we’ve been here.  There are roadblocks here and there throughout the country. But this is an ordinary traffic enforcement function the Thai’s perform anyway. Typically, officials wave foreigners on through with a smile, unless of course, they are criminals or terrorists on a watch list.

    Tourists Get First Class Treatment in Thailand

    Happiness and kindness abound in Thailand. Everywhere you go you’ll find Thai’s smiling and welcoming you to their country.

    Oops, did you overpay a seller with the wrong bill in Thai currency? No problem, they’ll return your money with a smile. They’ll write down and show you the correct amount.  They’ll even point to the correct colored bill in your hand to help you.

    Visit the malls, restaurants, or any number of Thai businesses and you’ll always get a smile. Thai’s will find a way to help even if they don’t speak your language. You won’t find this level of help in many other countries.

    This great “customer service” in Thailand is not a put on. The people “really are” caring and interested in you.

    Returning from a month-long trip throughout SE Asia, I passed a Starbucks concession at the Chiang Mai airport. A man behind the counter called at me “Hey sir, how are you?”.  I thought this was his way of getting me to buy coffee. But when I walked by again, he repeated his call with “good to see you again sir”. When I stopped to talk with him, I realized he remembered me buying coffee there two months earlier!

    Rent a Car and Have Fun!

    Want to rent a car and drive here?  No problem.  All you need is your international driver's license and a credit card.

    There’s no road rage here. No horn beeping. And little weaving in and out of traffic.  Motorbikes and slower vehicles move on the left-hand side of the road. Cars and faster moving vehicles move on the right (driving is on the left-hand side of the road here). If you overtake another car, the driver ahead of you will slow down, pull over to the left, turn on flashers, and let you drive by.

    It’s all so civilized.

    These are our first impressions Thailand in June 2014.  If anything, Thailand seems to be among the most welcoming and safe environments either of us have encountered in our 40+ years of traveling.

    If it keeps going like this, we just might fall in love with this place.

    See our related stories about Thailand

    Diverse peoples, harmony, are bound to the spirit of Buddha in clouds at the Thai-Myanmar border town of Nor Lae Thailand

    Go to Thailand, smoke an E-cigarette, go to jail

    The Pura Vida Resort, Pai, Thailand

    Driving In Thailand – Part I: Motorbikers + No “Head Checks” = Disaster

    Review: The Smith Residence, Chiang Mai, Thailand

    The Iconic Sky Lantern Festivals In Chiang Mai, Thailand

    Thailand: Long term visas, retirement and you

    Top Reasons To Visit Chiang Mai, Thailand

    Review: The Baan Thai Cookery School, Chiang Mai, Thailand

    Review: The Chiang Mai Night Safari, Chiang Mai, Thailand

    Thailand — a place where little steps matter a lot

    Shopping In Thailand:  Malls as modern as you'll find anywhere!

    Get lots of smiles and new friends on a motorbike in Thailan

    We’re Karla & Tom, travel content creators and founders of RoverTreks.com. When we are not international travel, we explore North America in our Leisure Travel Van (LTV) Unity to discover new stories for our readers. Our stories connect the past, present and future to inspire audiences and span an array of topics to include culture, history, law, public policy, space, technology security, travel, and the future. You'll find some of our stories about RV Life here and on the blogs of Leisure Travel Vans and the Family Motor Coach Association.

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