In 2012, I met my wife Wanna who is from Thai origin.
However I had never went on vacation with an airplane before, that year I visited for the first time my Thai family.
Beneath the Thai flag, the Thai anthem is called "pleng chat thai"
The distance between Belgium and Thailand is approximately 10.000 km and the flight takes about 10,5 hours (due to the jet stream the flight time is reduced by about half an hour when flying towards Thailand and is increased by about half an hour when flying towards Belgium). After touch down at Suvarnabuhmi airport-Bangkok a culture shock was waiting for me.
In Thailand people speak mainly Thai, only the few speak English clearly and understandable. The most important words a tourist should master are "sawasdee khrap" (preferably in combination with the "wai" movement = palms of the hands against each other before the torso and take a bow with the head) and "khop koen khrap" which are respectively a general greeting and saying "thank you". A Thai person appreciate it utmost when you master the "wai" and these Thai expressions.
A Thai thinks 24/7 about food and eats during the entire day. Food can be bought everywhere, at the road side there are food stalls at regular distance. The food is very tasty!
Just as in the UK traffic drives at the left hand side. If you have an international driving permit you can drive a car in Thailand but the steering on the right side and the driving at the left side takes some time to get used to. At the beginning I operated regularly the windscreen wipers in stead of the indicator.
way of living
Thai people have a totally different view at life as us westerners. It seems that Thai have no stress however also punctuality does not seem to exist.
The Theravada Buddhism is the main belief. Thailand has an uncountable number of temples. If a tourist wants to visit a temple he must show respect an follow the rules otherwise it is possible that he is removed from the temple (with help of the police if necessary).
Thailand has a beautiful nature: forests, mountains, waterfalls, rivers, caves. Nevertheless I do not want to conceal that there is little respect for nature: garbage is dumped everywhere, sugar cane farmers burn their fields after harvest because the ashes are a fertilizer but the ash particles can drift many miles away and pollute the property of the residents. Recycling is in its infancy (only the poor recycle to earn money for necessities), ...
I made an overview of the places I visited with my family the last years and to end I have collected some Tourist hints.
Wishing you lots of reading pleasure!