This week is a dose of keeping it real: What are some common beliefs about Thailand that Greg and Ed just don’t buy? Ed starts off with a fairly nuanced point: many people think of Thailand as a very religious country because of so many outward signs of Buddhist culture, whether it’s temples, monks, or statues that Thais are very respectful of. However, Ed argues that in general Thais are not very pious: alcohol consumption, gambling, and infidelity are quite common throughout Thailand.

Greg walks equally risky territory by claiming that although Thais definitely smile a lot, the moniker ‘Land of Smiles’ has succeeded too much in that it has convinced many foreigners that all Thai people have nothing but hearts of gold. Unfortunately, scammers, as well as straight-up thieves, regularly target foreigners, and it is best to be as wary in Thailand as you would be in any country around the world.

Ed next contends that those who view Thailand (and more specifically the city of Pattaya) as sleazy places in general are very mistaken. Although prostitution does exist throughout Thailand, most of it is in isolated areas and not apparent in day to day life. Although Ed and Greg don’t see eye to eye on Pattaya, Greg concurs that most of Bangkok and Thailand are very family-friendly.

Last, Greg refutes those who think of Bangkok as a dirty, third-world city. Considering the unorganized, chaotic mess that Bangkok is, it’s surprisingly clean, with garbage showing up only temporarily before being swept away by the city’s ubiquitous street cleaners.

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