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Oh, Thailand!

Street food, yes! Thai Noodles and vegetables at Bht60 (Approx. Php100.00)

Among the many countries that I have dreamed of travelling to, Thailand is not at the top of my list. I used to feel that I have little to see there since a lot of my friends say that the country has a lot of Philippine feels -but life always has a way of telling you that things are not what it seems.

This story appeared on Page 13 of the March 01, 2020 issue of Mindanao Times. Click on the photo to download a copy.

I was so hesitant to travel to Thailand when an invitation to attend the Waldorf 100 Conference came. I didn’t have much to spend for it aside from the preconceived notion that I had held about the country. But Paulo Coelho kept popping on my Facebook timeline and one of his quote said, “Travel is never about money but of courage.” So with my friends and a sponsored flight ticket, I flew to Thailand. And I am not ashamed to say that I am so wrong about my assumptions regarding this country.

Students in Panyothai Waldorf School in Thailand showcased Thai traditional dance

To me, the most fascinating thing about this country is their food culture. I had thought that food will take up a bulk of my budget but their wet market hosted a variety of Asian at a very low cost. I would only spend Bht60 (or PhP100.00) for a hefty meal and many times, we share our meal which means lesser spending. While there are posh places to go to, the streets do not disappoint. I was floored when I saw how desserts are sold in the wet market and without the challenge of flies and dirt. I couldn’t help but wonder why can’t we do it? I’m pretty sure though that we can but that we need more will as a country to achieve such feat.

Students of Panyothai Waldorf School in Thailand showcased their traditional songs

Aside from food, sightseeing for us who were there on a limited budget was fair and generous. Many of their ancient temples can be visited for free. But most importantly, the Thai people are also amazing and generous. This is the part of the travel when I know that I am not in my country but still feel like I’m home.

Posing at the Chatuchak Market in Bangkok (L-R: Angelica Tongco, Jeda Agustin, and writer Joan Mae Soco-Bantayan)

That trip to Thailand was so unexpected and I was all the more surprised that I only spent Php5,000.00 for my whole stay!

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