The major attraction which the Thai Lifestyle engenders in people is the exotic way of life and the tropical climate. If one wishes to experience the authentic and unadulterated Thai culture, chiang rai and chiang mai, these two northern provinces provide it, as compared to Bangkok or the beaches elsewhere. Inspite of that, irrespective of where one goes in Thailand, a taste of the true Thai culture can be savoured even in Phuket, Khon Kaen or Bangkok.
The ones who trip to Thailand the first time immediately realise the stark difference between the lifestyle and culture here with that of western countries. A very pious nation, in Thailand the primary religion is Buddhism. Thus, each morning, in the early hours, one will find monks walking bare foot, clad in saffron robes, entreating the locals for water and food, so as to offer the same to the Lord Buddha. The prayers and chanting throughout the many temples and worship houses of Thailand provide a serene and soothing experience. Centuries old temples or wat as is their local name, possess stunning ancient relics and many have golden leaf spires.
Another event which is a daily savour of the local lifestyle is the playing of the national anthem in all the towns and cities at 6 o’clock every evening, whereof everyone stands as a mark of their reverence towards the King.
A little three wheeler motor bike with open sides known as the tuk-tuk is a primary mode to move about in the cities and towns alike. It is able to seat two people in the back with driver in front and is a very popular due to its affordability. There are pickup trucks with roofs known as songthaew which are used as there is a lack of bus stops. All one needs to do is wave one down, tell the driver the destination and negotiate a price.
A grand way to get a feel of the indigenous lifestyle is by tasting and savouring the local Thai cuisine. Apart from being lip smacking, the food enables a true feel of the culture. Foreigners often go for the apparently more secure restaurants, eateries and food joints. However, more authentic and tastier versions of Thai cuisine can be had only on the streets. Majority of the street joints specialise in meals of chicken, pork, duck and beef along with noodle or rice based serves. A suggestion for those wary of street food hygiene, follow the crowd and go for a joint with the maximum draw, for the locals know where to go. For even the weakest foreign stomachs, a hot cup of noodle soup is quite safe.
A more interesting method to get a feel of the Thai life is a trip to the local markets. Neighbourhood town markets are the Thai versions of departmental stores in the minor capitals of the provinces. A majority of the Thai do their groceries in the Wet Markets or morning markets which bedazzle and ensnare your senses both visually and with smells, with the versatility of the wares.
The Thai lifestyle can also be sampled and savoured by a visit to the Thai Royal Palace which is a symbol of the resplendence of the Thai Monarchy. Be it the National theatre in Bangkok or a tourist restaurant, one gets to experience classical Thai music. A must see is the Khon classical masked dance at the Chalermkrung Royal Theatre, which was previously performed only in the royal palace. From Muay Thai (Thai martial art form) shows at Lumphini stadium at Bangkok to the popular floating markets at Tha Kha, Amphawa Taling Chan and Damnoen Saduak, Thai lifestyle will never fail to bedazzle you. Finally, a visit to the verdant fruit gardens of Ko Kret Village or a soothing canal ride along Klong Om canal will complete the experience. The table below will give you a better idea of the expenses you can expect in Thailand
Food and Eateries
- Milk 1 litre 35 baht
- Cheese 500 grams 200 baht
- Plain yoghurt 180 grams 15 baht
- Cornflakes 375 grams 100 baht
- Orange juice 1 litre 100 baht
- Biscuits 200 grams 50 baht
- Bread 1 kg 35 baht
- Mineral water 1 litre 15 baht
- Bananas 1 kg 150 baht
- Table wine 0.75 litre 850 baht
- Beer (can) 30 baht
Household Utility Items
- Laundry detergent 2.5 kg 120 baht
- Deodorant 50 ml 45 baht
- Dishwashing liquid 500 ml 100 baht
- Toothpaste 120 grams 40 baht
- Face cream 80 baht
- Razors/blades (5 pack) 200 baht
- Soap bar 150 grams 40 baht
- Shampoo 200 ml 90 baht
- Aspirin (100 tablets) 120 baht
- Men’s shampoo & haircut 100 baht
- Men’s shoes 500 baht
- Men’s suit 2,000 baht
- Pair of jeans 800 baht
- Men’s shirt 400 baht
Transport Costs and Leisure
- Car hire for a day 900 baht
- Taxi, for a 15-minute journey 50 baht
- Fitness club annual fee 7,000 baht
- Round of golf 1,000 baht
- 1-hour Thai massage 250 baht
- Mobile phone 4,000 baht
- Internet per month 800 baht
- Water bill per month 300 baht
- Fast-food meal 150 baht
- Electricity per month 2,000 baht for a 100 sq m apartment
- Cup of coffee in bar 50 baht
- Three-course dinner in restaurant 200 baht
- Beer in bar 100 baht