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I’ve been traveling to Thailand regularly for some years now, and eventually patterns emerge. As I walked down the street in Bangkok this weekend, I was struck by so many little moments that speak volumes about Thai culture. Here’s a little photo essay about those small moments that say so much.

Thailand is not just cities and Wats. The southern half of the country is a tropical paradise, with gorgeous beaches
Long tail speedboats are ubiquitous in all parts of Thailand. They are super noisy and can be rickety, but it makes sense to use them everywhere. The long tail propeller can be raised or lowered to any height, making them usable even in super low tides.
Thai people are pretty much the highlight of the country for me. Their generosity and kindness is in everything they do. Here, my wonderful guide Ant brought her mother to see us off, and she brought us snacks for our flight. This kind of joyful hospitality is so common here, and comes from the heart.
Bangkok is more modern and cleaner than you’d expect, but their wiring standards haven’t caught up with the modern world. This comical tangle of cables strewn across building facades happens everywhere and makes you wonder how anything works. But it does!
We have Starbucks, but Thailand has Amazon. This coffee chain is everywhere, serving up Thai iced coffee in a tropical atmosphere.
If you didn’t ride a tuktuk, did you actually go to Thailand? It’s noisy and not as comfortable as a car, but you’ll get a wild ride that will leave you smiling.
Street food is everywhere, always. A good meal or snack can be had for less than a buck.
Fruit is always in season, but maybe not fruits you know. Here, a vendor prepares jackfruit, which tastes a bit like banana.
Religious devotion is in everything in Thailand, even the grocery store. These shelves are filled with donation kits for the monks. They include toiletries, snacks, and robes for donation.
Thailand is a monarchy and you’ll have no opportunity to forget that. The king is revered like a saint, his portrait is on almost every building.
Visiting temples (Wats) is a part of a Thai visit. To get the most out of the experience, visitors can participate by bringing flowers or gift packs for the monks.
Thai massage is different than western style massages. It is more about pressure and stretching. It’s so affordable, you can get one every day.
7-Eleven may be kind of yucky in the US but in Thailand it is the go-to place for basic supplies. They pack a bit of everything in these tiny spaces.
Fresh, healthy, tasty. Thai food is not just good, but good for you. They don’t eat much wheat, dairy, or gluten, so you’ll feel great after a visit.
Natural wonders may not be on your radar for Thailand, but they should be.
There is a Buddha for everyone and you’ll have many opportunities to find yours.
The best part about Thailand? It’s always summer. Those of us who live in cold, wintry places can escape the winter blues.
Handmade crafts are still big in Thailand. These are handmade mulberry paper parasols, still crafted the way they were a century ago.
If you see me in Thailand, it will likely be with a Thai iced coffee in hand. Thais mix coffee with sweetened condensed milk and ice. I recommend asking for medium sweet, because the locals have a sweeter tooth than you do.
AWS Staff

This post was published by the Adventures with Sarah team. Click here to find out more about the people that make everything at AWS happen.

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