If you love pasta, go to Italy. Love cycling - go to France. If you love to party, Thailand is the place to be! But it isn't all fun and games. What should you watch out for while getting loose in Thailand's nightlife?
Lined up in neat rows, filled with shiny bottles of Thai whiskey, vodka, gin and M150 (The Thai equivalent of Red Bull), they sit innocently gleaming at street stalls waiting for you to buy them. Backpackers be warned! The bucket is the deadliest of all concoctions in South East Asia and a drink that is not to be taken lightly - particularly at a full moon party!
After just one, heaven forbid two of these notorious buckets - chances are you won't remember what happened during the course of the evening, never mind your name or where you come from! Get a load of straws and share one between friends if you must. Take it easy that's all we're saying!
Thailand is famous for its red light districts. From Bangkok to Phuket to Pattaya, lots of people come here for the sex and the seediness of these areas. However, it is in these areas that most of the bad things in Thailand happen. From robberies to drugging, and getting ripped off, everything happens here. If you want to avoid these things, avoid these areas - but you‘ll also be avoiding a little bit of Thai adventure.
The best rule to go by is to just have common sense. Dont leave your bag unattended, unzipped or hanging off your back. Put your wallet away after purchases and don‘t flash your money around.
Most people have heard a story about a happy-go-lucky young buck who travelled to Phuket, got friendly with an absolutely stunning Thai lady only to discover, at the most pivotal moment, that he got a little bit more than he bargained for. A chance meeting with a Thai Ladyboy.
Thailand, being a very inclusive and encouraging country, has made exceptional provisions to include Ladyboys into Thai society, including school programs for emerging trans-gender children, exclusive toilet services for ladyboys in some places, and prominent inclusion in popular media. In the big cities you may encounter Ladyboys in every aspect of Thai life – from nightspots and bars right through to normal, every day jobs.
Ladyboys are a staple of Thailand‘s culture and entertainment, and are considered by many travellers to be fun, good humoured, and very open about their life choice. But there are a few ‘bad eggs‘. These Ladyboys are known to travel in packs, and are likely to go up to single or small groups of men, be flirtatious and touchy-feely. It‘s important to be very cautious – big groups of Ladyboys who are ‘all hands‘ are usually after one thing... your wallet.
In bars and nightspots, its always a good idea to pay attention to your drinks – there have been incidents of nasty Ladyboys spiking farang‘s beverages with sedatives to get what they want - the contents of your pockets.
As a visitor to the country, you should respect all walks of life. But be aware, if you verbally disrespect Ladyboys or become intentionally antagonistic towards them, they will turn it back on you with full ferocity. And considering that many of them are highly skilled Muay Thai fighters, you could end up having your butt kicked by high heels halfway up the street.
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Thailand is one of the most tolerant countries in Southeast Asia and has a thriving LGBTQ scene. And yet there are limits. What are they and what's acceptable?