Tourists leave for Thailand assuming it to be a sexy, cheap and exotic travel experience, but there is more to Thailand than meets the eye. To dispel common myths about Thailand, Booked.net lists the top five misconceptions.
1. Contaminated ice
Many tourists to Thailand live in fear of contaminated ice. While many locals refuse to drink tapped water, but then freeze it into ice for cocktails. Worried travelers are forced to enjoy ice-free drinks on the sun-baked beaches, but think again if your cocktail is served with circular ice cubes with a hole through the middle. This ice was produced from filtered water in a factory and is completely safe.
2. Thailand is risky for solo male travelers
The only danger solo travelers may face is women’s attention in the red light district. But a trip to Thailand can be done without visiting red light districts and their associated scams. However, the sandy beaches of Thailand are also a powerful attractant for sin seekers. Hence, lone male tourists are often confused with sex tourists even outside red light districts. It’s a sad reality in Thailand that all lone male travelers are regarded as sex tourists.
3. Thailand is unfriendly to kids
Thailand’s notorious reputation prevents it from being known as a family-friendly destination. The country is commonly perceived as a haunt for sin seekers, but it has much more to offer, including sandy beaches and water parks as well as a well-developed hotel infrastructure for family rest.
4. Tourists supporting street beggars with voluntary contributions are on the right track
As the saying has it, a road to hell is paved with good intentions and it becomes true when it comes to tourists contributing money to kids selling flowers or candy on the streets or just begging some cash. Street beggars in Thailand are affiliated with gangs – earning money from trusting tourists, meaning that the children don’t make any profit from these contributions.
5. Thailand is a cheap destination
Thailand seems to be cheaper than it really is. The times when you could stay there for the equivalent of a few dollars are long gone, but prices on accommodation there are still reasonable. It will cost you far less than an alternative stay in Tokyo or Hong Kong. But shopping in Thailand may disappoint you as the country supports high import taxes that make bargains there pricey.
By Olga Leleka a writer at hotel reservation website www.booked.net. The website includes listings of hotels in Bangkok.