Thailand is one of the most amazing places you can go. From the mountains in the north to the beaches in the south, you can easily spend a month here. It’s full of culture, beauty, islands and …some pretty weird things you might not find anywhere else. Here are 8 crazy things to do (or not) in Thailand:
1. Get a fish massage
Though this type of foot ‘massage’ is found elsewhere in the world, Thailand seems to have them everywhere and for just a few baht. If I remember correctly, I think I had a 20-minute massage for about $2.50. And trust me, 20 minutes was more than enough. There were So. Many. Fish. Biting and nibbling away at any free spot on my feet/legs. It took all the will power in my veins to keep my feet in that tank. But if you can tough it out, your feet do feel oddly massaged afterwards!
2. Fight your friends in a Muay Thai match
We all know watching a Muay Thai match would make for an interesting evening, but what if you could participate? Well you can. And after a rum bucket (see below), it can start to sound like a pretty good idea. If you’re brave enough, you can sign up with a friend to fight each other and they will outfit you before letting you lose in the ring. Even if you don’t want to participate, grab a rum bucket anyway, make bets on your friends and watch the novices attempt to emulate any Muay Thai moves they’ve seen on TV.
3. Drink from a bucket in Thailand
While there are other places as well that will serve alcohol out of a bucket, it has become a pretty big staple in the backpacker way of drinking—especially in the Thai islands. To get more bang for your buck, order any kind of drink…in a bucket. Rum & coke, pina coladas…they can all be served in a bucket and are great for sharing. Plus, buckets mean less time standing in line at the bar. Win-win here.
4. Go to a Ladyboy show
Thailand is known for having a rather large population of ladyboys or transgender women. The Thai culture is extremely accepting of transgender people and ladyboys are not uncommon to encounter on your trip. Head to a Ladyboy Caberet Show for great costumes, entertaining songs and dance. (And if you want to avoid any unwanted lip lock situations, maybe don’t sit in the front row).
5. Do a muscle challenge for a free bottle of Jack
Along some of the beach streets in the Thai islands, you will occasionally come across someone offering you a free bottle of whiskey if you can only complete their fitness challenge. While it seems easy at first, many a man has fallen victim to this challenge. For a few dollars, all you have to do is keep your chin above a pull-up bar for a certain amount of time. For a free bottle of whiskey, it seems worth the couple dollars, but it’s not as easy as it looks!
6. Get a massage from an ex-prisoner
I know how this sounds—get a massage from an ex-prisoner?? But that’s exactly what you can do in Chiang Mai. There is a massage parlor that employs ONLY women who are ex-prisoners to give them a chance to step back into society with employment and responsibility. The massages here are slightly cheaper and I have to say that my experience was…one that I did not forget any time soon. Let me elaborate: The ex-prisoner who was now my masseuse was much larger and stronger than I was. This wouldn’t have been a problem had this not been a traditional Thai massage. Even after telling her to adjust the intensity, my body was sat on, pulled, crunched and bent in positions that no body should ever be positioned in with a women whose weight and strength significantly trumped mine. Though I left feeling shattered, I’m quite certain that others had a more enjoyable experience than I had.
7. Go to a ping pong show (or not…)
If you don’t already know what a ping pong show is, I’m not sure I want to be the one to tell you. First off, we are not referring to ping pong as you know it. And if you happen to go to a ping pong show, I’m sure you will never be able to think of ping pong the same again. To put briefly, ping pong balls are shot in a very unconventional way with a very unconventional body part. Yes, this is actually a thing. So in case you can’t find enough strange things to do in Bangkok…there’s this.
8. Eat a scorpion, tarantula or other creature that probably shouldn’t be eaten
Take a walk down Khao San Road and you will find every critter and creature—that no one should ever eat—being offered for you to…eat. I’m pretty sure that the locals wouldn’t dare eat any of this stuff but for tourists, it’s crazy and gross and sometimes happens to be the result of one too many rum buckets. Yes…I’m guilty. But let me just say that Khao San Road is sensory overload to the max and when you’re sitting there in the middle of it all and a woman comes up behind you with scorpions on a stick, you think, ‘…when in Bangkok’ and crunch into one. (PS. I’m writing this, so I didn’t die.)
And there you have it: 8 crazy things to do in Thailand, if you dare.