I first met you in Bangkok, and damn was that a mistake! I ended up on Khao San road and I immediately found out how tourists are treated. I figured out your tricks to suck my money and shorten my trip, and I learned to have tough skin.
I traveled south from Bangkok, saw more hoaxes buried in sand and sun, then went north to discover them in the mountains. They were everywhere. Hustlers were ubiquitous, and even when I thought I was safe, they would sneak up and try to pray on my confusion.
The thing about Thailand is that the tourism industry is ugly. I feel like it’s a chicken and the egg type idea teetering between shitty tourists making mean industry workers, or vice versa. Regardless, people still keep coming. I’ve spent nearly two full months here and I’ve never really found myself saying I loved it.
The sneaky trick about Thailand is that, along with its natural beauty, as soon as you are on your last nerve, some wonderful Thai person does something great. They make you think they are all bad, then out of nowhere, bam! Someone will pick you up when hitchhiking and offer you water instead of reaching in your pockets for Baht. The Thai people keep you on your toes.
I can’t say that I love Thailand. Though I’ve had some good times here, and met some great people, I’ve never felt great here. I know when I chat with other travelers I find myself speaking the praises of other countries, but there is something about Thailand that through all the shit, you still want to keep coming back. I just keep telling myself one day it will all make sense.