Here’s how it is – every travel destination has its own strange and funny quirks and idiosyncrasies. What’s normal for the local guys will be totally unusual and at times totally crazy to you. Phuket, Thailand, has its strange side too – things that will make you gasp, or giggle, or stare in awe. The best part is, these are strange and crazy things that you can do as well!
Try Warm Beer on the Rocks!
Really? Yes. In Phuket, you’ll have to constantly add ice to your beer or it’ll go warm in just a few minutes. So you cannot nurse a beer for long thinking of saving money. You got to gobble it up real fast lest it becomes warm, and warm beer on the rocks doesn’t taste good. Take it from us!
Soak A Cop On Songkran Day
Here’s your chance to take revenge on every cop that’s ever stopped you on the highway. On Songkran Day in April, the entire country becomes a huge water battleground. People are allowed to toss ice-cold water at each other. Cops cannot manage the crowds and it’s somehow ok to soak them ice-cold when they get in your way. Could you even imagine doing something like this back home?
Wipe Your Mouth With Toilet Paper At Restaurants
It’s sort of gross, but local Thailand restaurants don’t much care for table napkins. What you’ll find is a roll of toilet paper stuck in a container and placed on the table. So when you need to wipe your lips, curb your blushes, pull a strip off and delicately dab your lips, trying to keep your mind off of where you’re actually supposed to use the thing.
Driving A Bike Holding An Umbrella
Have you ever seen people driving bikes on busy roads while holding an umbrella up over their heads when it rains? Yup, this happens in Thailand. Anyone can obtain a license, and pretty much do anything on the streets. So it turns out that when it rains, a bike rider will protect his or her head by holding up an umbrella in one hand, steering and braking with the other, while keeping their eyes closed against the rain. Do you wonder now why Thailand figures among the top three countries with maximum road accidents per year?
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Selling Gasoline In Whisky Bottles
Gas stations are few and far between, even in fairly developed cities like Phuket. So people usually fill up their tanks before heading out. Still, not everyone is going to be savvy in advance, and therefore it is a common to see bikes and cars stranded for lack of fuel. This allows for a unique business opportunity; people carry whiskey bottles loaded with gasoline, and sell them at prime prices to stranded drivers. In fact, some houses even have pictures of whiskey bottles on the walls to advertise whiskey-gas availability inside.
Parasailing With An Unattached Instructor
Parasailing is a popular activity on Phuket’s beaches; you can see a good distance when you’re up there. Tourists who sign up for parasailing tours aren’t exactly experts, so an ‘instructor’ usually accompanies them. The problem is, this instructor is not attached to any line. So if he falls into the water, and you don’t know how to land, you’re left high and dry. This happens only in Thailand.
Lift Cement Blocks For Weight Lifting Workout
Missing working those biceps? If you’re far from fitness clubs and gyms that are usually available in city centers, what do you do? This is what they do at Phuket, and this is what you’ll need to do. Just build your own weights with cement! Make cement blocks and attach them to the ends of a metal bar and hey presto, you’ve got a great set of dumbbells!
Watch those shoes!
In Thailand, shoes are usually kept outside the house – and people’s shoes get stolen pretty often. So if you happen to miss your sturdy oxfords, just head over to the Hand Shoe Shop at the Phuket Weekend Market. It’s a weird place, and smells very odd, but more than likely, you’ll find your used shoes over there. Trouble is, you’ll have to buy them back if you really want them.
Drinking Retailed Soda From Vinyl Bags
Local Thai shops purchase big bottles of soda, and then retail them in small plastic bags, with the addition of ice and a straw. These plastic bags are closed shut using rubber bands, so you can walk around sipping your ‘soda’. Don’t ask if anything else has been added to your plastic bag – this works purely on faith.
Ride Four on a Bike
Ever ridden four on a regular bike? Not allowed in your country, right? Well, in Phuket, you can join 3 others and ride on a bike on the main roads – even on highways! Of course it’s not legal, and yes, the cops can catch you and they will, but so many people are doing it out there that there’s a good chance you could get away with it. What’s more, even with four riders to a bike, not a single one of them will protect their head with a helmet. Go figure!
Warning Branch On The Road
If you were to notice a large log or branch in the middle of a road, what would you think? You’d think it had fallen over, and you’d call for help to shift it. Not so in Thailand. Here, people lay logs or leafy branches across roads to warn others not to drive on treacherous and steep hills. In any other country, you’d see a neon triangle serving the same purpose. Maybe here, a neon triangle is unnecessary expense, or tough to collect once the car has moved on. So any leafy branch or log does the business just fine. Now, if only the branch would talk!
There is a great deal of strange goings on in Phuket; at times they are funny and at times they cause worry. Just take it all with a pinch of salt. When you’re in Phuket, you do as Phuket residents do. Take a chill pill, throw your helmet away, and ride 4 to a bike.