Derk Spent His Thailand Adventure Living With Locals, Eating Very Traditional Food, And Getting A Tattoo From A Monk
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13th Jun | 5 min read

Derk is someone who always needs to see, hear, and experience things for himself! Especially if you’re talking about different cultures, countries, or traditions. He always wants to experience the world, no matter how far, strange, or gross it might seem. For more of Derk's adventures, be sure to follow him on Instagram @derknederhand

The Inspiration For My Trip To Thailand

I heard about the traditional form of Buddhist monk tattoos, and wanted to get one myself in a Buddhist temple made by a monk! So I planned my trip, and landed in Lampang, a small town just below Chang-Mai, to further invest in these traditional tattoos. 

How I Planned For My Trip 

Two years before my second trip to Thailand, I met a Thai guy working as my tour guide at the time of my first trip to Thailand. We stayed in contact and he, later on, invited me to visit him over there. So I slept in his bed, with his family, in his traditional Thai bamboo house on poles. 

At the time it was very important to write everything down I learned in my travel journey, to never forget my new learned knowledge. Thereby my camera, to film my journey was essential packing for my trip!

Itinerary In Thailand

I started my trip in Chiang-Mai, followed by Lampang. There I investigated, and studied the Thai tattoo, and celebrated Christmas and New Year. From Lampang, we managed our way to Phrae, Nan, Doi Phu nang national park, Phayao, Doi Luang national park, Chiang Rai, and back to Chiang Mai.

Unfortunately, I was still studying at the time, so I could only visit Thailand for two weeks. Eventually, I stayed almost three, but it felt like 5 minutes. You never want to count the days of traveling, otherwise, you are only busy with time, and not with enjoying. So every time I travel it feels like just a dream when I am back at the airport!

Read more: Here's A Breakdown Of @_Robibr's Perfect 14 Day Thailand Itinerary

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I Met Many Travelers And Locals In Thailand 

Sleeping at my Thai friend’s house let me experience the true Thai way of living!. Eating with his family, following the normal Thai rules, and habits. It is very weird to wake up to a whole Thai family showering together, without any shame for their bodies with me there also fully naked washing ourselves.

Lampang isn't a very touristy town, better to say, not touristy at all. So everything there was authentic, like the clubs, the bars, and the normal life. When we wanted to go and dance, we went to Thai clubs, where I was the only white person. A club of almost 200 people looked at me while being there! Very nice but weird experience!

Read more: 14 Days Of Island Hopping In Thailand Is Exactly What Jennifer Needed To Be Inspired

Food That You Can’t Miss Out On In Thailand

So my own tradition is to try to eat everything different from my own country. Scorpions and tarantulas can be purchased in markets at big touristy places, but are not really traditional Thai food.

There is a dish I absolutely love, I can't remember the name but it included raw and cooked pig intestine. It was delicious with all the chili sauce. As well as fried water insects, and a 1000 day egg. That is an egg fully fermented until it gets a dark black color, but tastes delicious!

Favorite Memory From The Trip

Getting my traditional Tattoo made by Song-Pi (Thai monk name) and experiencing the whole ceremony, of course! But besides that, the best experience was to be able to truly enjoy the Thai way of living!

Approximate Daily Budget

Daily I spent around 15 to 20 euros on food, gasoline, and presents for the family I stayed with.  I usually did small road trips to beautiful waterfalls, caves, and temples.  Later on, I discovered another way of cheap travel, It is called WorkAway.  This way you can work in exchange for food and accommodation. So on other trips, I spent way less money than normal.

Recommendations For Must-Do Activities In Thailand

Around Chiang-Mai there are some 'Elephant conservation parks' that are very nice.  PLEASE be sure which one you go to as there are many parks, which call themselves 'conservation parks, which use a method called 'Phajaan' to tame and torture the animals for tourists to ride on. I think there are only 5 or 8 official Elephant parks that truly dedicate themselves to save the elephants from the tourist industry.  All the other ones share the same misleading name, but they aren't and exploit the animals badly in reality. 

My Advice To Anyone Traveling To Thailand

Every time you travel for a short time, plan! Plan everything, do research, make contact with the local people. Make online friendships, and ask them if there is anything the tourist books and web pages don't show.  

I, myself, now live in Spain and work as a tourist guide. I KNOW there are 100 places way more beautiful hidden in small less touristy places.  Although I show a beautiful image of my city, it will always be a generalized image of the things everybody wants to see. But there are some hidden treasures!

So please, now more than ever it is so easy to contact people on social media, and connect!

New to our blog? Here are some of our popular Thailand travel guides worth checking out. 

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