12 Crazy Things I Can't Believe I Did in Thailand

12 Crazy Things I Can’t Believe I Did in Thailand

I ate a fried rat in Thailand. And it doesn't stop there...

We all learn from our experiences, whether they’re good or bad. Chances are, every traveller you meet throughout your journey will have an array of crazy stories to share, and listening to these stories is one of the best aspects of travelling!

For some reason, Southeast Asia is a magnet for wacky adventures, and I’d like to share some of my own, collected during my time in Thailand.

1. I lived on 100 baht a day

Image credit: Sven & Fida

It was a combination of curiosity and running low on cash that made me want to find out if it was possible to live on THB 100 (SGD 4) a day. My little experiment lasted for about a month and I spent just under or exactly THB 100 a day, excluding rent and utilities. I proved that yes, it is possible!

Also read: Thailand Fast Facts: Where to go and Handy Travel Information

2. Drank home-brewed alcohol

Image credit: bertrudestein

One of the many times my curiosity got the better of me. I watched a group of men drinking a clear liquid out of used plastic bottles and curiously, I asked what it was. They simply smiled, handed me a glass and patiently waited. Not sure what to do, I instinctively necked it.

It didn’t taste like anything I was used to, and it burned hot all down to my stomach. Oh, the look that must have been on my face! In between fits of laughter, someone explained to me that I just drank rice whiskey he made himself. He handed me another glass. The rest of the night is a blur but it must have been good (I think).

3. I lived in a bar

Image credit: Pictoluck

Long story short, I was prematurely evicted from my rented house. With 5 days left on my trip and barely enough money to get by, I set out to the one place I always went for help: the bar.

After explaining my predicament to the bartender, she made a couple of calls and told me to follow her. Turns out, she had arranged with the bar owner for me to live with her and the staff, in exchange for helping out with the chores. I was a bit hesitant at first, but I didn’t really have any choice, did I?

Turns out, the experience was a blast! I learned firsthand how the Thais hand wash clothes – something that I still do till this very day!

4. I ate fried rat

Image credit: Kathy

During my travels to Northern Thailand, I was invited by a friend to the family rice field to celebrate a “special occasion”. As soon as we exchanged greetings and sat down, everybody attacked a certain bowl full of fried meat. I figured it must be good!

I was right. “It was delicious”, I thought… until I asked what I was eating. “Rat”, replied my dear friend, in between shovelling mouthfuls of rice and fried rat. Apparently the “special occasion” was that the entire family had spent the day hunting field rats and had cooked them to celebrate their haul.

I thought about this for about half a second and then carried on eating. It tastes better than you think!

Also read: 13 Bizarre Foods in Thailand to try…if you dare

5. I stroke an elephant’s trunk

Image credit: Evo Flash

As I was riding along Phuket’s North coast one day, I found a stretch of road that obviously hadn’t been used or maintained in a while. After walking about 20 minutes, I heard a loud noise and could see the trees shifting ahead so I stopped.

About 10 metres ahead of me, an elephant came stomping out of the jungle onto the road. We both stared at each other for a while and I slowly approached the massive animal, gently stroking its trunk.

Next thing I remember, a tiny man came stumbling out of the jungle, yelling something in Thai at me whilst swiftly escorting the elephant to the other side of the road and back into the jungle.

6. I went scooter diving

Image credit: Joe Mabel

One of the craziest things I’ve done in Thailand is “scooter diving”. Picture a group of people driving down to the beach on scooters, in full scuba gear.

Both locals and tourists seemed to find this hilarious and we were often stopped for pictures. All of us fell off at least once, and it was hard to stand up with a scuba tank on your back and the weight of a motorbike on top! Luckily we all came out laughing with nothing but a few scratches to show for it.

7. I did a snorkel test

Image credit: Ryan Whitney

This is a tradition amongst dive-master trainees completing their course. I was lucky enough to have done mine in Thailand with my roommate and good friend, and surrounded by some amazing people. I donned my mask and snorkel and prepared myself for the impending mixture of Sangsom, beer and coke. I’m proud enough to say I finished it all within the 10 second time limit!

Not so proud the morning after though.

8. I ate every type of insect in the market

Image credit: exilism

I lost a bet one day and the challenge was to eat every type of insect that could be found at the local market. I was presented with a rather large dish consisting of grubs, crickets, grasshoppers, a couple types of beetles and cockroaches.

Both the grubs and beetles were crunchy then mushy and texture was pretty disturbing after a while. Just the memory of eating cockroaches sends shivers down my spine, and the grasshopper wings kept getting stuck in my teeth.

I have to say that my favourite were the crickets, which taste a lot like fried chicken skins. Still, I’d think twice about ordering them as a snack!

9. I almost flipped a long-tail boat

Image credit: Shadow-or-Light

After a lot of nagging and persuasion, I finally convinced a Thai boat captain to let me drive his long-tail boat. All was well for about 5 minutes, and I felt great revving the converted pickup truck engine and cruising along at full speed until I turned ever so slightly (or so I thought), causing the boat to list violently on its left side.

At this point the captain and crew freaked out and leapt to the other side. After which, they quickly snatched back the controls and mumbled something about foreigners being no good at driving Thai boats.

10. I worked in a rice field

Image credit: Enea Pestelacci

I was visiting my girlfriend’s family up North and desperately trying to make a good impression on her family. I had no clue what anyone was saying to me, so I just kept nodding my head, smiling and laughing to whatever they said, thinking I had done a pretty good job.

The next day, I was told that her uncle wanted to see me and I was taken to the middle of a field where her smiling uncle tossed me a pair of gloves and instructed me to get to work. Turned out, I had agreed to this the previous night. It was one of the hardest jobs I’d ever done and I promised myself that I would never be tricked like that again.

Her uncle said he’ll call me again next harvest.

11. I lost a motorbike

Image credit: LostInIN

Excited to get stuck into the madness that is Patong on Songkran, I parked my bike in first spot I found and ran off into the crowd. After about six hours partying and being soaking wet, I figured it was time to go home.

At that point, it occurred to me I had no clue where I was and no idea where my bike was parked! I ended up spending the next three hours walking around with no luck, so I ended up riding a tuk-tuk back home.

To my relief, Patong was very different the next day, sans the massive crowds throwing water and powder.

I was able to find my bike eventually.

12. I went reverse bungy jumping

Image credit: J. Michel (aka: Mitch) Carriere

The last thing one would think of when visiting the tropical paradise of Koh Samui is bungy jumping… but yes, it’s there available for all!

I have a terrible fear of heights so this was at the bottom on my list of things to do. Somehow, I was talked and pressured into doing the reverse bungy. Rather than having to jump off a 50m high crane I was pulled from the ground and shot into the air. I must admit that the view from 60m in the air is breathtaking (or maybe that was just the panic kicking in).

Fun, but not something I’ll be doing again anytime soon.

Documenting these events brought back tons of memories which are sure to stay with me for a long while. They also reminded me how lucky I was that some situations didn’t turn out badly.I guess that’s all part of the learning experience.

Do you have any crazy stories to share? The only way to create memories like these is to step out of your comfort zone and dive head first into what the world of travel has to offer. Safe travels!

Also read: I Moved to Thailand and Never Looked Back

About Author

Matthew Baldacchino
Matthew Baldacchino

Matthew is a scuba diving instructor living in Koh Samui, Thailand with a passion for writing. Originally from the sunny Mediterranean island of Malta, Matthew fell in love with Thailand in 2013 during an internship and decided that was where he needed to be. He writes mainly about budgeting in Thailand and how to get more value for your money, living like a local. Besides diving and writing, Matthew enjoys learning about and exploring Thailand, its culture and its beautiful people.


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