Things I learned visiting Thailand my second time and Myanmar my first time

This is a common photo from Thailand. Standing in front of elephants in a supposed sanctuary. Here we are (with Toad protected in a plastic bag).

But what did I learn?

  • If Chris is uncomfortable (with the heat), I will naturally be uncomfortable (as a result of the empathetic connection)
  • It’s really okay to depart from the main group if things are not working out (e.g. if people are taking forever to shop and we’re getting patient, it’s okay to say, “Hey we’re going to eat.”)
  • There’s no way to eat enough noodle soup in Thailand
  • Duck noodle soup is the bomb
  • It always pays off to stay somewhere with excellent AC
  • And with a place that has a tasty breakfast buffet—especially if it comes with fresh fruit
  • Follow the footsteps of Anthony Bourdain and like chefs. You will find amazing food.
  • Also always go to a the top restaurant in developing countries. It will be amazing. And it won’t be as expensive as in your home country.
  • Consider the quality of the goods when you buy them in Thailand. Like it would pay off especially when you get home and realize that things are falling apart
  • Buy things from independent fashion designers. Don’t hesitate!
  • Never regret getting a haircut in a foreign country—although I regret getting one from a person who specialized in men’s haircuts
  • Find the therapeutic massages! Chris will laugh during the whole session, but it will be hilarious (and pain-relieving in so many different ways
  • Drink water
  • Use uber. Never use a taxi in Thailand. They rip you off.
  • Same in myanmar.
  • Myanmar may be disappointing unless you’re really looking to seek business and connect with local people there
  • Look up potential tourist scams before going to any country. Information is power
  • Eat in food courts in Thailand!
  • Always eat coconut pancakes / pudding
  • Thailand malls are pretty awesome
  • Negotiate initial prices starting at half. If they quickly agree, then you messed up because it was a good price for them, but not for you!
  • Know things that you want to buy before shopping
  • Buy tea (if you drink it)
  • If you visit the palace and nearby temples, make sure you’re prepared with passport, water, and FOOD. Lunch places are a significant walk away
  • Cars in Thailand don’t honk, because of a nonconfrontational philosophy in Buddhism. Yet they honk in the Buddhist-majority in Myanmar. lies!
  • Myanmar people don’t really understand what’s happening to the Rohingya people and are willing to manipulate the truth to their current beliefs. it’s like the epidemic of fake news in the US
  • On the above, Buddhist groups are not as peaceful as Westerners believe that they are. They can be as racist and nationalist as people in the US
  • Humidity is the worse thing in the world (when traveling)
  • Believe that you won’t get food poisoning and you won’t get food poisoning
  • But that doesn’t prevent you from getting some weird cold / flu when you return from your flight
  • Connection

    In work and personal lives, it’s a rare occurrence to meet someone and instantly connect. For me, at least, it’s quite often when I ask a question and the answer is vividly on point and down to earth. The personality of the person is intimate but respectful, direct yet painless, sharp not pretentious.

    I become very tickled.

    I know though that moments like these are fleeting. Because surely in 30 minutes, we forget each others’ names and intentions. Instead all that’s left is the once former feeling.