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Sun 30 Apr 2017
Interview with Two Backpackers
Written by Panrit "Gor" Daoruang   
Monday, 26 February 2007 19:19

Claire (pictured left) and Anna (pictured right) are both from England. They stayed ten weeks backpacking around Thailand. Claire and Anna visited Sriwittayapaknam School in Samut Prakan for one week, where they helped the students with their English and learnt about life in a Thai school. I met them there and did an interview about their time in Thailand.

PANRIT: What did you think about Thailand before you came here?

ANNA: I thought Thailand was a very beautiful place. I had seen the Lonely Planet Guide and I had watched "The Beach".

CLAIRE: I had seen "The Beach" also. I thought Thailand looked like a beautiful country and somewhere I would like to visit.

PANRIT: So you both came here just because of "The Beach", right?

ANNA: No, not just because of "The Beach", I came because I also wanted to see sights in Thailand such as the Grand Palace and Ayutthaya.

CLAIRE: One of our friends visited Thailand two years ago and she visited Bangkok, Chiang Mai and some of the islands in the south. She told us about her travels which inspired us to visit Thailand.

PANRIT: Which place did you want to visit most?

ANNA: I wanted to visit the islands the most because I had never been to a small island. I have visited Koh Tao and now I would like to visit Ayutthaya or Sukhothai.

CLAIRE: I look forward to visiting Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand. I would like to go on a trek, ride on an elephant and maybe even go river rafting.

PANRIT: Have you eaten Thai food before?

ANNA: Thai food is very expensive where I live. It costs about 1000 baht for one average Thai meal so I don't eat Thai food that often. But I really enjoy it when I eat it here.

CLAIRE: I had never eaten Thai food before coming to Thailand. I now enjoy eating Thai food especially seafood dishes. I cannot eat anything too spicy though!

PANRIT: What do you like about Thailand?

ANNA: I like Thai people. I think they are very friendly. I like Thai food. I think it is very nice. Before I came to Thailand I did not eat much seafood but now I really enjoy seafood. I like different parts of Thailand for different reasons. I like Bangkok because there are good shops, nice restaurants and nice sights to see but if I wanted to relax I would go to the islands.

PANRIT: Do you want to say anything to people who will come to Thailand for the first time? Any advice?

ANNA: I would say don't just go to the tourist places. If possible visit a school or a similar place so that you can see what a Thai family is like and also meet some young people to see the difference between maybe how our schools are like and teenagers and schools in Thailand.

CLAIRE: If you are backpacking I would recommend that you do not put too much in your backpack as it can be hard work carrying a heavy backpack. I know! You can buy most things out here that you can buy in England.

PANRIT: Do you want to come back again?

ANNA: Yes I do.

CLAIRE: Yes I have enjoyed my stay in Thailand so far and I would definitely like to come back. I would recommend visiting Thailand to all my friends and family.

PANRIT: Do you think it's cheap to travel in Thailand? Is it cheaper to live here than your country?

ANNA: It is much cheaper to live here than it is to live in England. Travelling is cheap in Thailand. Some things are much much cheaper. For example, if you want someone to do something for you like a haircut or a Thai massage it is much much much cheaper than in England. But with things like alcohol there is not such a big difference.

CLAIRE: Yes, I agree with Anna.

NATTAWUD: Can you speak Thai?

CLAIRE: I know very little Thai. I can say "Sawatdee kha". I am keen to learn more Thai.

ANNA: I can say "Kharb khun kha" and I can also say "Im" if I am full up.

PANRIT: Do you think it's useful to learn Thai first?

CLAIRE: A lot of Thai people do speak good English but I think it is important to learn Thai out of respect to Thai people.

ANNA: I agree, I think it is useful to learn Thai so that people can see that you are trying to understand their culture.

PANRIT: I can see both of you can speak Thai a little. Did you find it difficult to learn Thai?

ANNA: I don't know. I haven't found it too hard to learn the little bit of Thai that I know. Thai is a tonal language. English is not a tonal language. Also I would not find it easy to read Thai as the alphabet is completely different.

CLAIRE: I find it difficult to learn Thai.

PANRIT: What do you think about Thai people?

CLAIRE: I think Thai people are very friendly.

ANNA: I think Thai people are friendly. The students dress smartly, more so than in England. I think that Thai people are very similar to English people. For example, the sense of humour is often the same and we like similar music.

PANRIT: If you had to choose between wearing school uniform and your normal clothes what would you do?

ANNA: I think it is good to wear school uniform. In Thailand the school uniform is always the same. Every child looks the same. I think it is good that children wear the same uniform.

CLAIRE: At schools in England where school uniform is not worn, it can be hard for those children who cannot afford expensive fashionable clothes.

PANRIT: What do you think about the hair cut in Thai schools. There is a rule that every student has to have the same short haircut.

ANNA: I don't understand why girls have to have short hair at school. I think that it is okay to have long hair if you are a girl.

PANRIT: Thanks a lot. I hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday in Thailand.