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One thing In Thailand I wish I could Change

1993 was my first trip to Thailand and at the young age of 13 I thought it was amazing but I also thought it was very dirty. I'll never forget my first time at Jatujak market sitting down with my father and sister to eat lunch and it was stifling. I felt like I was permanently in a Sauna and needed a drink asap! The girl came around with the ice in the glass and I filled it with code. At the same time I look over and see where they keep the ice, one of those big blue ice boxes, there was a young girl maybe 5 in rags looked like she's been walking around barefoot since birth. Her hand reached lovingly into the icebox twirling the ice around pulling out big chucks of ice sucking on it for a bit before returning it to the icebox and finding another piece. Suddenly I didn't feel so thirsty.

That was over 20 years ago and absolutely nothing has changed. If you suffer from Mysophobia "fear of germs" then the last place in the world you want to move to is Thailand. A young girl playing with your ice is probably the least of your worries there's so many germs in Thailand and a huge lack of hygiene if it wasn't for 1st world medicine the plague would have wiped this place out years ago.

If there was one thing I could change in Thailand that is of personal hygiene and cleanliness. From kids playing in your ice to old meat being sold to save a buck and the complete filth that most public restrooms are in.

*Note if you have to pay to go to the bathroom you know it's going to stink!

What's just as amazing to me is the number of foreigners who are super dirty as well. I've more than enough times from Thai girls that Farang stink. I think a lot of that is people walking around in the heat all day doesn't make them smell fresh at all but it's more than that. There's too many of these hippy types coming to Thailand walking barefoot around the city and shower only once a day that are making Thai people think all of us are dirty.=

germs on hands in thailand

One of the most recognized greetings in Thailand is the Wai. You put two hands together like your going to pray as this is a sign of respect to those older than you. So glad they have this too because if I had to go around shaking people's hands in Thailand I'm sure I'd picked up something nasty, in fact maybe this is why Thai people decided not to adopt the shaking hands thing in the first place, as there are few Thai men that actually wash their hands after using the bathroom.

If there's one thing in Thailand I could change and that would be for everyone to wash their hands after using the bathroom, what would you change?

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About Chris

Chris founded LivingThai.org in 2011 and has received over 3 million visitors. He has lived here for over 10 years and speaks reads and writes very good Thai.

12 Responses to One thing In Thailand I wish I could Change

  1. kaboom August 22, 2014 at 8:54 am #

    absolutely spot on.

    from my experience, thai people have different “standard” on cleanliness and hand washing is somehow low on priority. I had seen people spent a full minute setting their hair, tucking their shirts, adjusting the pants etc in front of mirror, and just walk away from gents’ room without washing hand after “their business”.
    besides that, there are a combo of things they can do with the hands. Reading papers + counting cash notes + picking their nose + eating with barehand. absolutely disgusting. the worst part is, something they offer food (picking up piece of fried chicken) and put on your plate. If any foreigner rejects the offered food and its supposed to be “Rude”….

  2. Emma August 26, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

    So i cant believe all that i have just read. I’m not sure if your meaning to be funny, but your negativity in general is totally hilarious! (This is not meant to be sarcastic, i genuinely find you really funny haha)
    I’m pretty aware that you didn’t ask for advice, but i’m going to give you some anyway. What you have experienced, what you have been through and what you have taken away from those experiences are not fact, they are your opinions. The way you are writing the majority of these entries is as if everything you say is the absolute truth, it sort of pisses me off when i see people doing this because its completely unnecessary. People might come across this site while planning their trip and your opinions (underlined) have the potential to plant negativity into peoples hearts and minds. Granted some of what you are posting is useful, and i haven’t read every post, but generally man, wheres the love? My advice is to take a look a the stuff your writing and think, do i want to have that effect on people?
    I see you think of yourself as straight to the point and not one to wear rose tinted glasses. But from what i can see you are wearing glasses, just not the rose tinted kind, the kind that some people wear that allow them to see the world from the most negative angle. The thing about these glasses is you don’t know that you have them on and therefore you think that there is something wrong with the rest of the world for not seeing things as you do. You get me?

    So yeah have you been anywhere besides the main cities/tourist places i.e. besides bangkok changmai samui pipi etc? It seems like you most definitely haven’t considering your perception of Thai people but hey ho you got your glasses on don’t ya so you never know hahah.

    • Chris August 30, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

      Not sure how positive I could be about something that genuinely pisses me off and genuinely most entries written here are about odd things and things Thai’s and foreigner’s do to piss me off. Yeah I’ve been all over the place here, even went to a public high school here. I hope that people will come to the site and be prepared for what can happen here. Most people aren’t but thanks for your comment.

  3. ChiangMaiGuy September 3, 2014 at 6:40 am #

    All about education man… Thais, in general, are an irresponsible lot. They don’t take responsibility for kids, animals or their lives and that includes ‘thinking’ about ‘others’ and washing their hands, parking considerately and keeping their noise and music low.

    I have been here for years and find Thais, generally, the most selfish people I have come across in the sense of considering others. Thais do what they want, when they want and fuck everyone else. Occasionally they may consider their family, their husband, boyfriend, mia noi, gik and sleeping partner but you, Dear Farang, are last on the list behind the pet dog.

    Hand washing? why bother? we all know Thais think they are the very cream of humanity and their piss is just Gold Nectar from Heaven – so why wash?

  4. FarangWest September 13, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    There is one thing that I wish I could change. Get rid of the open sewer smell on the streets!

    • Chris September 18, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

      Lol, well not all of Thailand is like that but I get your point espically in BKK where many people walk around with sniffers up their nose so they can’t smell it.

  5. Brian September 17, 2014 at 5:05 am #

    If there was one thing I could change, its the $%^&* visa runs. The 2nd time I went, I got a one year marriage visa. I went to get re-stamped at 90 days, and was told I needed to present all the documents I supplied to get the visa. (I was waiting for my wife to get her US visa, takes about 10 months) I didn’t know I would need them and some were still in California. So they said I could do visa runs from Pattaya. What a dangerous pain in a**! I thought I would enjoy a car more than a bus, but no! The driving was maniacal! You don’t have to watch traffic from a bus, and its safer, I think. I wish they would have told me to bring all the documents to Thailand when they issued my marriage visa. I am done with Visa runs like that.

  6. Brian Kettlebell September 27, 2014 at 5:12 pm #

    I haven’t been to Thailand yet, but had a live-in-student from Thailand for about 9 month now.
    She’s leaving soon.
    I can only talk out of the experince I got by meeting Thai people here.
    One thing for sure I would like to change.
    They gambling habit.
    My girl did not go into this (lack of money), but surely, as soon as she some spare coins, lottery and numbers was the way to go.
    Do Thai people really gamble that much…?
    As said, I know a few here, they’re all crazy about this.
    Please tell.

    • Chris September 29, 2014 at 8:52 am #

      Thai’s love a good card game and some people gamble more than others. But do Thai’s gamble more than other countries? I don’t think so. Growing up for me at least most people I know loved to sit around playing card games for money, the horses, sports you name it we’d bet on it. Actually i’d argue that Australians are more prone to gambling than Thai’s.

      • thailand people... April 1, 2015 at 12:05 am #

        no thai gamble much more destructivly.. yes maybe australian spend more time to do it.. its totally legal in their country but asia. we have a different feel about gambling.. there is a concept in lich and also in manipulatable luck in our societies that you european dont have atall.
        so we gamble obcessivly and feel through “mumbo jumbo” we can change the outcome of the gambling…this can lead person to lose EVERYTHING so easy becaus ethey have amulet or some bullshit.. or have seen soemthing lucky..

        it something crazy in asian countries only i think from china influence.. othr country near asian like nepal indian or mongolia they dont care about gambling and see like ts foolish game. but we all have strong strong gambling culture.. 1000snds years…. ts almost like a religion.. i think its soething from chinese culture influence maybe and we all have big chiense population and country who dont dont love to gamble..

  7. Dannyboy6 November 2, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

    Mandatory of things to bring to Thailand is Disinfectant Wipes, they also have Mossie wipes too with Deet

  8. thailand people... March 31, 2015 at 11:59 pm #

    hey if you think thai people have so bad hygine . you have not traveled the rest of asia!!!
    or africa or south america or the middle east……….

    everybody take showr normally 2 -3 time per day i never se epoeple whodont maybe crazy or homeless..
    yes something that many thai dont use toilet paper.. and just use hands.. fuck not me…
    and yes then this shit is aso on soap.
    in my home have “shit soap” for guests and toilet paper shower and normal soap for me..
    also many thai have long nails.. i think this can collect shit too!!! because even as a child these lookd gay for me. i never see john wayne or charles bronson having this long nails like that. and i always though maybe this collect many shit in wiping the ass

    of a consequence i do not posess this nails…

    the reason i dout about the long nail is this in my travel i saw british peple washed their hands before dinner and had a small brush to scrub always their nails clean..
    this we dont use and dont was hand before meal.. i do wash hands and crockery if i can..

    anyway this brush is missing but also i though maybe this brush can be contaminated with shit for long shit nails and then breed shit germs 😀 so maybe beeter we dont have it 😛

    yes the wai is much better than handsake.. more sneeky. (you can do it to people youdont like without… them feeling your hate.. hand shake its hard to hide). and quicker too 😛

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