One thing that one of our last couchsurfing visitors remarked upon was the fact that the clouds in New Zealand looked different. You know what? It’s true. So far, the skies in Thailand have been a source of fascination for me. The endless hues of blue, the vast blankets of white, and most of all, the long, low, straight lines of cloud that you’d swear spelled out words and sentences if you squint just hard enough. This is especially striking at dusk when they’re a rich, flat navy blue against a rosy sunset.
Even the moon looks entirely different. I’d never before seen it resemble the Cheshire cat’s smile. At home, the crescents are always vertical.
Everybody smokes. I’m not just talking about the locals. I mean the visitors, too. Is this a traveller thing?
Portions here are small. When dining out in NZ, I already find meal sizes there to be tiny, so this is no joke. Fortunately, my appetite seems to have shrunk a lot while on the road. Can’t say the same for T, though.
Travelling here is chaotic and confusing. You might think you’re headed to the bus station, but get dropped off at what seems like a random travel agent, until you realise it bears the same name as that written on your ticket. You might get transferred a couple more times. You might have no idea when to get off. But the drivers are pretty good at getting you where you need to go and making sure you end up in the right place somehow.
Scooters are everywhere. The variation in cars is interesting, too. In Malaysia most of the cars on the roads were really old models. In Thailand, late model sedans and utes dominate.
You really can’t rely on Google Maps in some parts of the world.
Weirdly, we encountered zero mozzies in Malaysia (a family member commented to T that the mosquitoes seem to be disappearing altogether. I remember sleeping in mosquito nets as a kid). There were quite a few bugs in Thailand, though, and I quickly learned not to venture out sans spray. We also saw plenty of dogs, cats, lizards,toads, and more. Our second resort on Koh Lanta was somewhat jungle-y, set among trees and bush, and the squawks of frogs all around after the rain was really quite remarkable.
Metal scanners at the entries to malls (Thailand). That was a new one.
At Customs, my passport always takes longer to process. I can only chalk this down to the fact that I was born in Malaysia, because otherwise T and I are on the exact same kind of passport.
Got any other thoughts to share about travel in Asia?