I came to Thailand because my Chinese tourist visa only allows me to stay for 30 days each trip. Thankfully, Thailand offers visa-free entry to Americans. I hadn’t really ever had much interest in visiting Thailand, so this is the first time I’ve come here. I came as late as possible so as to maximize the amount of time I get in China before making another visa run, and I didn’t really plan the particular day I’d be here at all.

It turns out I was incredibly lucky. The one full day of my trip in Thailand happens to be the one day of the entire year that the lucky Buddha statue is open to the public. It’s also the one day that the big Buddha is free to visit. Ditto for half a dozen other places. I woke up with the sole goal of finding a place to buy size 12 running shoes, but after learning about my good fortune, I turned this into a tourist trip after all, visiting half a dozen temples.

I didn’t really have any idea what to expect before coming to Thailand, but all in all it was pretty nice (aside from the tuktuk drivers). I even found the shoes I was looking for! I hear that the internet is censored here, but unlike China, it didn’t have any effect on me. It may have bothered me if I were really interested in reading about controversial religious topics or things related to the Thai monarchy, but I didn’t even notice it. Youtube was accessible. So were Facebook, dropbox, blogspot and all the other sites I can’t get at in China. I might come back someday to visit again.