Similarities and differences between Mexico and Thailand
After reading the name of the post you could think there are no similarities between these two countries, as one is in North America and the other in Asia. Completely different cultures, right? In many things that is true. But I found a lot of similarities between my favorite country Mexico and Thailand (still in my top 10 countries).
Similarities between Mexico and Thailand
Small grocery street stalls – some streets are full of them. But all you can get usually there is something to drink and pretty much junk food, such as french fries and cookies; no fruit or vegetable unfortunately.
Smell on the streets – For Europeans, streets of both Mexico and Thailand are a bit smelly. But the smell is a mixture of two – kind of dirt in both cases and then in Mexico it is more of a meat smell as they are selling meat everywhere at the streets. While the smell in Thailand is more of the fried oil.
Beaches – those of the Caribbean side of Mexico (beaches of the state Quintana Roo, such as Tulum or Playa del Carmen) are very cool and lovely, clean, with white sand and turquoise water. Those of islands of Thailand (e.g. Koh Lanta, Koh Phangan) are similar, absolutely awesome.
Prices – for the Western world, both Mexico and Thailand are cheap for the tourists. The food is cheaper in Thailand, while the transport is a bit more expensive in Thailand.
Vegetables – both Mexican and Thai cuisine are not very open to vegetables (but I really hope it’s going to change soon). A bit is always there but you cannot actually order a vegetable salad at many places. Are you a vegetarian? Bad luck then! Meat and seafood form the main part of almost all the dishes.
Fruit – it is quite easy to get some fruit at the streets, supermarkets and outside tourist attractions in both Mexico and Thailand. Whole fruit or cut ones for you to pick.
English – speaking English is not very common in Mexico, but even less common in Thailand. At least in Mexico in the tourist places where the Americans go, English is often used, such as in Cancun.
Weather – there are rainy and dry hot seasons in both Thailand and Mexico.
Spicy food – spicy hot sauces and chilli are the main ingredient of many Mexican meals and Thai food as well. Then rice, chicken and pork are traditional for both cuisines, too.
Homeless people – unfortunately, there are a lot of poor and homeless people (as well drunk in Mexico City) living at the streets.
Traffic – they just drive like crazy in Thailand and Mexico. Seatbelt is not often worn, not even the helmets on the motorbikes. Transport in Mexico is similar to the Thai one.
Dogs – there are these homeless dogs without hair everywhere but they do not do anything to passers-by.
Lime – they do not have yellow big lemon in both Mexico nor Thailand (the one we are used to in most European countries), just the green lime is found everywhere. Most of the time, they call it lemon, not lime, anyway.
Toilets – most of the time it is prohibited to flush the paper down the toilet in Mexico the same as in Thailand. But there are many so called Turkish toilets all over Thailand which are not very famous in Mexico. And in Thailand you have a small bucket or something similar to poor the water in and flush the toilet with it, while in Mexico most toilets do have the flush.
Smoking – in comparison with for example Europe, you will not really see many Mexicans nor Thai people at the streets having a cigarette, which I really liked.
Children – children of Mexican and Thai people are just playing all aroiund the places, in clothes or without them, with parents not really checking them out. They have this kind of freedom European children do not have.
Religion – Catholicism and rituals of native inhabitants of Mexico, the same as Buddhism and Muslim religion of Thailand are very important part of life of people.
Differences between Mexico and Thailand
Trains – There are no passenger trains in Mexico but there are trains of 3 different classes in Thailand which are cheaper than buses.
People – the Mexicans smile at you all the time, they talk to you even if you do not ask them anything, they are just interested in you and they want to know where you are from, what are you doing there etc. The Thais look a bit more arrogant, you don’t really get a smile that often and no one really cares about the tourists, at least in Bangkok. Thai people living on the islands are nicer and smile more so I guess it is because of them why Thailand is called the land of smiles 🙂
Alcohol – tequila, mezcal and pulque are widely drank in Mexico. However, it seems less alcohol is used all over Thailand.
Gentlemen – there are no gentlemen in Thailand, but on the contrary, Mexico is just the country of gentlemen. The Mexicans will open the door for a girl and even close it after you, move out of your way, help you … but the Thais just not. It is much easier to get used to the Mexican mentality, especially if you are a woman 🙂
Looks – the Thai people are very skinny and small but many Mexicans are a bit obese and small so choose what you like.
Restaurants – it is easier to find different kind of food (not only the traditional one) in Mexico, there are Japanese, Italian, French, Argentinian restaurants everywhere etc. But in Thailand, usually only in the huge shopping malls you can find some foreign food, but nothing really like for example pizza. There are few places with Western food, and if there are, they mostly offer just french fries and omelette.
Danger – Mexico is said to be one of the most dangerous countries in the world and generally speaking it is more dangerous than Thailand, indeed. I feel pretty safe when walking anywhere in Thailand. However, in Mexico you have to know where not to go and use your common sense to know where it is kind of safe for you.
Tips – there is this kind of unwritten rule in Mexico that you just have to leave tips of at least 10% of the price, e.g. in restaurants. But in Thailand if you leave a tip, they will look at you without really knowing what to do. It is not common here at all.
Bus trips – if you arrange a bus trip in Mexico, it will always leave exactly on time and come to your final destination on time, too. But in Thailand, the buses/minivans I took were all late at least 2 hours, after so many stops at restaurants and changing the vans/buses.
Drive – in Mexico you drive on the right, on the left in Thailand though.
Massages – Thai massage is well-known around the world, but in Mexico do not expect to find many places where you can get a massage. Unfortunately! Nothing like the magic fingers orgasm on Koh Chang 🙂