What Makes Thailand So Unique

After only a week here, I have absorbed a few things about this country that I feel make it unique to anywhere else in the world. You can see it walking through the streets of both big cities and small towns, see it in the way the locals speak to one another, in the hospitality they show us, and even in the traffic.

The Thai people are kind and calm, in both mind and body. There is no annoyance, no sarcasm, no anger. They see anger as unnecessary and poisonous. We’ve been shown so much kindness in the past few days; I feel calm here even in the busiest parts of town. It’s even evident in the traffic – although the roads are kind of crazy and lawless, they remain calm all the time and have safety in mind.

Secondly, it’s a matriarchal society. Traditionally, the oldest woman in the family is the head, and all the property goes to her. The women here carry themselves so confidently, but humbly. Watching them do their thing from day to day is really inspiring.

The other day, we stayed in Chiang Dao where we met an older man from Wales, who had been living in Chiang Mai for twenty years. After speaking for a while about these points, he said to us ‘I believe they’re the most civilized people in the world’.

I think I’m starting to agree. šŸŒæ

Southeast Asia Packing List

Hey everyone! If you’re reading this when it’s first publicized, you’re seeing it while Ian and I are on our flight to Bangkok – woohoo!

We decided to go with backpacks instead of checked luggage this time, after AirCanada lost our luggage on our last trip to Portugal. However, seeing as we’ll be away for over a month this time around, packing everything I needed into a 40L travel bag was quite a challenge. Let me tell you what I brought, to ease your time should it come around.

Southeast Asia – One Month Packing List


You can’t bring your whole wardrobe in a backpack; but worry not! With a few compromises, your bag will have just the right amount of room for you. Assuming that you can do some laundry by hand in hostel rooms every once in a while, here’s what you should bring:

2 T-Shirts (shirts with sleeves are especially important if you’re visiting temples!)

4 Tank tops

2 Dresses

1 Skirt

2 pairs of shorts

1 pair of comfy shorts (for hiking, sleeping, etc)

1 rain jacket

7 pairs of socks and underwear (expect to wash these about once a week)

1 ball cap

2-3 bathing suits

2 light sweaters

1 pair of jeans

1 pair of comfy pants (yoga pants in my case)

A few headbands for when you’re feeling lazy with your hair

Health and Beauty

1 Lush Shampoo bar (these are said to last about 80 washes)

1 solid Lush face wash

1/2 naked Lush body gel

Your absolutely necessary makeup (remember that you’ll likely be sweating it off if you do bring it!)

1 30 SPF lip balm

1 60 SPF 100ml sun screen


1 compact travel clothes line (we have one that takes up about 1square inch of space)

1 waterproof phone sack

1 collapsable water bottle (a lot of the water here is not drinkable, and you’ll likely have to buy a lot of bottled water – I’m sorry, environment )’:

1 mini flashlight

1 travel towel (about 2×4 inches pouch)

1 money belt


1 DSLR camera, if applicable

1 phone + charger

1 tablet, to upload photos from micro SD’s (I don’t think you can do this with IPads – I have an Android tablet)

Leaves room for your daily vitamins and medications, if necessary

Other tips

In terms of reading entertainment, I download a lot of books to read on my tablet to save space. Also, I found rolling up my clothes to pack them to be the most economical in terms of space.

And that’s it folks – these are my worldly possessions for the next month! What do you make of it?