I almost forgot why I have been bouncing around Thailand for the last week. I am in Bangkok to participate at the Thailand Travel Mart, a tourism convention filled with buyers, sellers, and media from around the world bent on putting together the best tours and travel news for Southeast Asian countries. The Thailand Travel Mart, or TTM, officially began yesterday. I had the opportunity to sit down with 30 tour operators and travel pros from around the world and conducted, ITKT’s famous, on-camera interviews with a number of interesting movers and shakers in the travel industry.

Having said this, I have had some great fun exploring Bangkok and Thailand and learning about this third world country. While deeper insights tend to come with time, here are a few surprises and observations about Thailand:

It’s not a third world country
No chopsticks
Bright pink taxis
An undecipherable alphabet
An undecipherable language
Punitive pollution (Bangkok only)
Super spicy food
Humidity
The sex trade in places like Soi Cowboy is both creepy and fascinating at the same time,
but not sexy

And now on to the Grand Palace and more of the TTM!