What Thailand Doesn’t Have, That I Wish For…

This is what Thailand doesn't have - waves.Over nearly 8 years I’ve had a helluva time in The Land of Smiles. Great, amazing times… The contrast with living life in the USA is remarkable, and favorable in most ways. Though Thailand has a LOT – there are still some things I wish we had here…

1. Waves. I haven’t gone this long without riding big waves – or any waves – ever.

2. Good Pizza. Though there are numerous Italian-owned pizza places in big cities across Thailand, they seem to all be working with Thai cheese, or maybe cheese from Belgium or somewhere. It doesn’t taste like New York Pizza made by Italians… New Yorkians like to say it’s the water – who knows? I just know that I haven’t had an amazing pizza for a very long time.

3. Shore Fishing. Redfish, trout, flounder, snook, cobia, jack crevalle, ulua, sheepshead… there isn’t anything like this in Thailand’s shallow water. I’ve replaced fishing with snake hunting, but it isn’t quite the same.

4. Live Music. Whether jazz in the park in St. Petersburg, a good Irish Band in Ybor City, Tampa, or Hawaiian music at a Waikiki beach bar – I miss it. I haven’t even heard anything marginally acceptable in Thailand. Have you?

5. Decent Healthcare Nationwide. If you need emergency services and you are in a place like Sisaket, Thailand – good luck to you. You have to go with what is there. There is a city hospital and a private hospital – a lot of private clinics. Guess what? You’re probably not going to be satisfied with them. It would be great to have a decent hospital within 100km of wherever we are.

6. 3G Mobile Internet. Come on now… Laos is going to get 3G and 4G before Thailand. It’s to the point of being scandalous.

7. Size 11+ Shoes. It is always difficult to find shoes that fit in this country outside of Bangkok or Pattaya.

8. A Better Justice System. When our home was broken into and things stolen there were fingerprints all over the house – there were prints all over the glass slats on the outside of our window he broke through. There must have been prints everywhere… in the USA someone would process the crime scene… here? You might as well just “mai pen rai” it, and get on with your life. We had to insist they pull fingerprints off the windows. We had to insist the police talk to neighbors that might have seen something. It’s like Laurel and Hardy over here. No wait, I’d prefer them to what we have in Thailand.

9. Jobs. Though I wouldn’t get one, it would be great for expats that are having trouble surviving on a teacher’s salary – to be able to easily work and stay in the country. There are so few jobs open to foreigners.

10. Shopping Variety. If you don’t live in Pattaya, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, or on Phuket,  – your shopping experience is limited to: Big C, Tesco, Makro, Robinson, and Carre 4. Besides that, everyone carries the same stuff. There is a real lack of variety in most areas of Thailand. The mail system is so expensive to have items sent internationally – and with things like electronics there is a huge tax – it just doesn’t make sense to use mail-order as a substitute.

11. Better Post Service. Family has sent me some packages from the USA – some get here, some don’t. I’ve sent packages from Thailand… some arrive, some don’t. If you are sending within Thailand – send EMS or you have a chance of losing whatever it is. I can’t remember EVER losing a package sent through the mail in America – no matter how it was sent. It just doesn’t happen.

That’s what I came up with in a few minutes – anybody else have something to add?

Author: Vern

I'm an American expat living in Thailand. I like to write informative pieces about life in, living in Thailand, including topics like: Thai People, Thai Culture, Nightlife, Technology, and I have published a lot of photographs, videos, and even books on Thailand that you can find at ThailandeBooks.com. There are many photographs of Thailand here - feel free to share with attribution (a link back to the home page). All written content on this site by Vern Lovic. Contact me at Google+.

5 thoughts on “What Thailand Doesn’t Have, That I Wish For…”

  1. Tipical american post What a norrow minded, guy you are.
    Point 2:good pizza in new york? You mean fastfood pizza where fat drips out of it with american cheese and 2 frozen vegetables. Real italian pizza has frech vegetables. Also a small country as belgium has 100th of quality cheese. Get real americans lhave quantity europeansvand asians quality.
    Point 3: enough mangroves in Los where you can fish. Just the fish are different.
    Point 4:enough good rock blues jazz bandz in thai. But you wontbhere them in gogo bars
    Point 5: i rather be poor annd sick in thai than in usa.
    Point 6: com on who uses 3g. Blackberry with gprs is enough or else you go wifi
    Point 7: if they cant sell them why should they have them? Why no size 5 mens shoes in usa
    Point 8: 15years in jail in thai is 15 years…good no? Fingerprints for a House burglery? Your not the king of thailand.
    Point 9: if you want to work for 200 baht a day like the normal thai… Enough jobs.
    Point 10: thats why its called thailand. They have thai stuff. If you want american stuff. Go to America

    1. If I started to respond to this, it would take an hour at least – between fits of laughter. I’ll just let it stand on its own. I didn’t find anything in your comment that was explained to a degree that I knew what you were talking about.

      Ahh, fuck it – I gotta respond. The more I read these points, the more they are irking me inside.

      2 – Pizza in NYC. I’ve eaten at dozens of great pizza places in NYC. Never once did I put vegetables on my pizza. If Belgium has 1/100th the quality of cheese, then it sucks beyond measure.

      3 – Nobody from any other country on the planet would enjoy catching 6 inch fish. That isn’t a fish, that’s bait.

      4 – I’ve never heard a “good” rock blues jazz band in Thailand. They don’t exist in or outside the gogo bar areas.

      5 – I’d rather not be poor or sick anywhere. I couldn’t choose a place.

      6 – Ha! Who uses 3G? Only the top 10% of business people in the world. Thailand is dreadfully behind in this area – and looks like that will continue for another decade, or so.

      7 – re: size 11-12 shoes in Thailand. They COULD sell them – there are parts of Thailand where it would make sense – Bangkok would be one such place, as would Pattaya and Chiang Mai. In the USA we have “Big and Tall” or something like that. They focus on selling size 13-20 shoes and giant clothes for big people. Everyone laughed at first… then they KILLED IT with sales. Thailand is in its infancy regarding meeting needs of their own population and the 14+ million tourists that visit each year.

      8 – I can’t even respond to this, ridiculous…

      9 – who in the fuck wants to work for 200 THB per day? Not the normal Thai, that’s for sure… not anybody!

      10 – Brilliant…

      1. Haha you probably such a guy who goes to thailand and stick together with the farangs. Why do you need to come to thai for that? Learn to apreciate thai culture
        2.because of the so called good food, america has the most fat people in the world. Thai food is healthier and more tastfull then this junk ny pizza
        3.thai only got the biggest fish in the world in the mekhong.
        4.because you never heard them they dont excist? Try ask thai people. 1 example, our thai king made verybgood jazz cd s.. He played with the greatest.
        5.30 baht to go to doctor for the poor. I m happy it excists…thats human. Obamas healthcare is a good start. But americans are to sellfish tonaccept it
        6i am bussiness men and i can read my mails on my blackberry in all major cities in thai. Gprs is enough. If you want to check dirty movies go to your hotel and use wifi
        7like you said in your first post..they have them in pattaya and bangkok. The only reason why big clothes shops are selling in us, is because of the so calles good food like your nyc pizza. I hope you understand sarcasm
        8 thailand is one of the safest country in the world because of the seffere laws. Its not perfect but at least better than most european countrys and usa
        9most of thai people work for 200bht minimum wage. Why would they pay farangs 3000 baht a day if they can find illegal birma imigrants who do it for 100 baht a day?

    2. I nearly…NEARLY let this one go…but after the laughing fit stopped, I feel I should toss my hat in too.

      1.) Big waves is your #1? For certain people, I can see that…but considering how close Thailand is to many major ‘big wave’ areas, and after the recent tsunami scares, I’m rather glad to have it a bit calmer.

      2.) If you think American pizza is only ‘fast food’ with grease and frozen veggies, you are near-hopelessly ignorant. Asian cheese is rather well know for being rubbery and flavorless, and while I’ll agree that many European cheeses are excellent, so is Wisconsin cheese. Oh and yeah…asian quality? Took me an hour to stop laughing after that.

      3.) True, fishing is different here, as is the fish. Might as well expect Thailand to import snow and mountains for skiers.

      4.) Bands? Yes. Quality? HELL no! The ‘jazz’ barely qualifies as elevator music, blues bands sound barely different from jazz, and rock? There are a (very) few decent rock bands, but the vast majority try to imitate K-Pop or Nickelback…badly.

      5.) Medical care is cheaper here, but transportation is horrible. Quality of care varies wildly, and if something goes wrong doctors cover their rears rather than try to correct the problem. Worse is the entrenched seniority system, that keeps older doctors in position and protected despite any actual quality or skill. Doctors that listen to their patients and try to fit their needs before costs are punished. For example, Bangkok’s highest rated child care at Samitivej Hospital is on probation…simply because he refuses to proscribe medication BEFORE examinations. Nice, eh?

      6.) 3G is pretty much the standard in most modern countries, and has been for at least the last 3 years. Nearly every smartphone and device uses it, and most computer and wifi networks require it. 4G LTS is rapidly becoming nation-wise in the US, some parts of Europe and I hear both Japan and Korea will have their networks ready so…and 5G is in the works. The fact that Thailand can barely maintain 3G coverage in Bangkok is a bit embarrassing.

      7.) The US has Size 5…and Size 4. There is a substantial market for Size 12 and up, as proven by several Indian businesses that make custom/cheap shoes for foreigners. Thais CAN sell them, they just don’t try…which helps keep foreigners out of Thai malls and businesses, and sends their money elsewhere.

      8.) 15 years in jail means nothing if the police don’t catch them, or don’t care. Recently, someone broke into the house I’m staying at here and stole my wife’s laptop…right in front of her and her mother. They could ID him, they had fingerprints, they had a license plate number on the man’s bike. The cops did NOTHING, and refused to take prints or even write up the incident. If only the _____ (word removed) gets police protection, then what is the point of having a police force in the first place?

      9.) I have yet to meet any Thai that makes 200 B/per hour or less. Thailand’s unemployment rate is 27%, compared to the US average of 8.2%. Enough jobs? pfft.

      10.) This point…wow…yeah I agree the variety is lacking, but it lacks in smaller places all over. I can’t tell you how many McDonnell’s or Starbucks there are in the US, often within a few miles of each other. And don’t get me started on Wal-Marts…
      But the malls here are INSANE. You have at least one per BTS and MRT stop, and several more just outside of it. EACH is nearly identical to each of in products and stories. On the streets, you’ll see 5 to 20 of exactly the same type of store lined up next to each other, rather than spacing them out or planning their location. There is a place along the BTS line where you have five 7-11 stores within a 10 second walk of each other.

      11.) In the US, there is automatically an insurance package attached to any parcel that moves within the States, and you can increase it if you wish. Thailand not only doesn’t have that, but they regularly refuse to take credit or blame for damages they cause. I have had to be VERY careful shipping thing in and out, due to the rather ham-fisted and devil-may-care style of the local post…often just resorting to FedEx because at least there I can track things.
      The import costs Thailand levels I will address here, since it makes more sense. I understand the reasons behind the tariffs and taxes (to protect local industry), but all it is doing is making smuggling more profitable, and sometimes it doesn’t make sense. For example, toys and collectable (such as model kits, replicas from movies and even costumes) have a 20% tax plus 7% VAT added to them. WHY? Thailand doesn’t make any of these products, and yet they tax the crap outta them.

  2. Yeah I have one,
    People who drive with common sense and not just drive like their the only ones on the road!!!

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