We all have been warned for scams and dangers before or during our stay in Thailand, but usually these warnings involve getting ripped off by bar girls, the occasional mistake with girls that aren’t really girls, overpaying for fake DVD’s at the Night bazaar or just to be careful crossing a street to avoid getting smashed by some ignorant Chinese tourist driving on the wrong side of the road.
What most people fail to mention however are the dangers and annoyances that are threatening our lives on a daily basis…
One of those dangers in most of the hotels or rooms are showers that are so slippery that they can make you skid back in to the other room from a different angle than you normally are used to, whilst sliding protecting your head from bumping in to some nice teak wood furniture or you might stand the chance to hit your head on an extremely low midget door post that can lead to an unwanted different style of haircut or worst a visit to a hospital.
Not to mention the dodgy electric water heaters with copper wiring sticking out of them, so you must be careful whilst showering not to get electrocuted.
Chiang Mai’s steep sidewalks that are littered with electricity boxes, lantern posts, parked motorbikes and anything you can think of that are forcing pedestrians to walk on the street are particularly for the elderly let alone for people with a handicap not the safest around and you will constantly have to watch where you’re going.
Little buggers like those annoying almost invisible mosquito’s are surely not on the bottom of the list of dangers, at the time malaria doesn’t seem to be around, but dengue is and this disease is not to be underestimated, so protect yourself by the use of mosquito spray, although this smell will completely overpower your tax free airport bought Issey Miyake.
One time a funny doctor told me that you can recognize the “tiger mosquito” which is a carrier for dengue by the little white stripes on their paws, that is if you can see the little air born buggers.
Certain Thai food, especially from Isaan, might attack your over sensitive stomach in a way that you almost wish to die, many dishes are eaten raw or ingredients are not completely cooked and make for a lovely playground for bacteria, sausages on markets can fall in to this category, glass noodle salads or a spicy salad like “Som tam,” otherwise known as papaya salad can make you run to the nearest toilet like some kind of a constipated superhero meanwhile avoiding the above mentioned hazards. Even fruit can be dangerous, a very big fruit like “Durian” can be deadly combined with alcohol and is due to it’s very powerful smell forbidden to take with you on public transport and when consumed in your hotel room can be the reason for a complete evacuation of the building.
Many deep fried food like banana’s and spring rolls prepared in overused oil can be the cause of food poisoning and here comes the slide to the nearest toilet again.
Ice creams, although looking very tempting are in many cases not cooled or kept to the international laws of for example Europe or the United States and yes the by now familiar visit to the toilet will make it’s appearance again.
Another danger, one of the things that makes us leave our cold winter country’s behind us, is the sun, indeed it’s not always the case that when you are seeing red faced farangs walking around town and you immediately assume that this is caused by overdoses of Viagra pills that you are right, the scoring heat and thinner atmosphere can cause severe sun burn and again you must protect yourself by the use of factor 70 sun creams.
Some people that are in the middle of some kind of a midlife crisis are taking up jogging or bicycling and these activities combined with the scoring heat will make your body dehydrate and can be the cause of heart failure, so try not to overdo it.
The consumption of alcohol also can lead to dehydration and when combined with drunk driving can be deadly for you and others and is number one on the list of fatalities in Thailand.
Of course when you think that you drank a bit to much you can always opt to leave your vehicle behind and take a “Tuk-tuk”, but don’t forget to check that the driver is at least a little bit more sober than yourself.
Follow all these tips and you return to your home country looking like you just got back from Antarctica (factor 70) smelling like no insect can ever bite you again, wrapped up like an Egyptian mummy and with a stomach that can never digest even a proper pepper steak, but you still had the holiday of a lifetime!
We all of course wish you a very pleasant stay in the land of smiles and dangers.