Beautiful and, as all the eastern countries, mystic and fascinating, Thailand is always be seen to western people’s eyes as a place for freedom, relax even if this concept of freedom often is distorted and exasperated, bringing not only to “simple” prostitution but, very serious thing, to pedophilia; it is known infact that old men go to Thailand looking for girls (even minor). Prostitution is so widespread , that if you do not beware, even a simple massage can be misunderstood. The capitol, Bangkok, is alive, full of hotels and restaurants also high levels, but doesn’t deserve more than 2-3 days; for the islands is different, really beautiful, from the famous Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Tao, Koh Phangan, Phi Phi island and the almost unknown Koh-Lipe.
Thailand has an excellent airline company connecting Rome and Milan to Bangkok in 12 hours at a normal price for a national company, often is made in advance and far from the busy dates (for example leaving on December 18th instead of 25th can bring a 400-500 euro saving, and it is in the middle of south east, so it’s very easy to go to the neighbor nations (Birmania, Malesia, Laos, Cambogia or even Singapore.
Bangkok is the usual eastern crowded metropolis, with extra luxury hotels – alternate to shantytown, dirty and chaotic, very dangerous in the streets, the cars run, is famous for its sexual attractions (both brothels, often disguised as massage centers and strip tease bars), to the point that there is a whole district (Patpong) for this kind of things.
But obviously it is not only this; there are beautiful temples, a beautiful royal palace, and the city is crossed by Chao Phraya river (beautiful the boat crossing), there are many high level hotels where, besides sleeping, you can have also have a brunch on the terrace and enjoy a beautiful view (Mandarin Orientala above all). The climate is terrible, very humid especially during the summer. A gem: there are very good tailors (very good Raiawonase) at lower prices than ours. It can be an experience to go there and have a suit made or just some shirts.
- Hotel: Grand Sukhumvit Hotel
- Restaurant: Le Normandie
- To read: “Un indovino mi disse” di Tiziano Terzani
- Movie: The Beach di Danny Boyle
Phuket is a very big Island connected to mainland by a bridge; maybe it doesn’t deserves its fame; since the mass tourism has made it almost unlivable both for the big amount of tourists – beaches are almost all very crowded so you have to search the most deserted ones- and for the prostitutes; going out in the night for a men means being molested by every kind prostitutes. The food is typical eastern, that is fish (very good the lobsters but all fish obviously), the rice, very good noodles and many spices. Very good also the fruit. Beware the sun since is very strong, and sunbathing at 1 pm-3pm can bring to bad surprises ( erythema, sunstroke, etc).
Beautiful and uncontamined island offshore Malesia (in fact it is easier to get there through Malesia- boat from Langkawio- then from Bangkok), koh-Lipe is so small to be crossed walking in 20-30 minutes; it is made of two big beaches- soft white sand- one in the south(Pattaya beach where there are different resorts as the cheap Varin) and the other-the most beautiful- extended in the north and divided In Sunset Beach (very beautiful the Mountain Resort from where you can enjoy a beautiful view on the underlying bay) and Sunrise beach where there are the most beautiful resorts (Idyllic above all but very beautiful also the Serendipity and Castaway). The incredible thing is that north and south are connected from a beautiful path where there are the shops, bars and massage centers. The sea is very beautiful and both diving and snorkeling are not to be missed (but beware to low tide arriving suddenly that can cause problems such as being swept away from the waves). On the main street there are some very nice bars for breakfast (very good the fruit and muesli yogurt). Amazing is to spend new year’s eve in koh-Lipe both for being barefoot on a beautiful beach eating very tasty fish and for the thai habit to throw in the sky very big lanterns; at midnight the sky is full of thousands lanterns that become small light up to disappear. Really suggestive. In the end a gem: cars does not exist.