Saturday, 27 December 2014

Five Disadvantages of Spending Christmas in Thailand

In my previous post I wrote my top five advantages of spending christmas in Thailand. The idea of spending the christmas period in a tropical country can certainly sound idilic. Whilst there are many benefits to being in Thailand over the holiday period there are also many disadvantages. These are my top five disadvantages of spending christmas time in Thailand.

1. Family
The chances are that if you are spending the christmas period in Thailand you are probably away from most of your family who are spending christmas time together in your home country. Christmas is traditionally the one time of the year that all family members come together at the same place at the same time. If you are away in Thailand it can leave you feeling slightly out in the cold and as good as friends are they can never really compare to spending the holidays with your family. 

2. Food
A huge downside to spending christmas in Thailand is missing out on all that yummy home cooked christmas food. Roast turkey, potatoes, stuffing all those traditional christmas comforts and traditions - forget about it!. The best you can hope for is to try and make your own christmas dinner using extremely overpriced import food from luxury retailers such as tops. In the provinces you can forget about getting anything even resembling a christmas dinner at a restaurant but if you head up to Bangkok i'm sure you could find a restaurant doing christmas roasts aimed at the tourist market. Hardly the same though is it? 

3. Work
If you are like me and you work in Thailand then the chances are that you will have to go to work on christmas day. Thailand isn't a christian country and you'll find that most Thais will be completely oblivious to the fact that it's christmas or maybe not even know what christmas is!. You should be able to wangle a day off of work providing your boss isn't too mean or you can just pretend that you're a diehard christian and you need to go to church on christmas day (that always works!!!)

4. General Sense of Missing Out
If you use social media you will find that most of your friends back home are posting about how they are preparing for christmas and how exciting everything is. At the same time you look around and everything is normal, no references to christmas and life going on as normal. This can easily make you loose your christmas spirit and be tempted to simply 'not bother with it this year'

5. Homesickness 
I'd imagine that christmas is the number one time that expats feel homesick which is the reason that so many of them decide to go home over the holiday period, even though practically it's probably the worst time of the year to do so. I think the reason that we feel particularly vulnerable to homesickness at this time of year is that all of our memories, traditions and cultures are bought to the forefront of our minds. This can lead us to look around at our current alien surroundings and think 'why the hell am I here?'. If you are particularly prone to homesickness I would suggest that you stay away from trying to recreate a traditional western christmas and embrace the change. I'd say head to the beach, eat exotic food and create unique christmas memories - everyone at home will be well jealous! 

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