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Heelloo Welcome!!! You will hear this quite often in the kingdom of Thailand, mostly from the lovely Thai ladies who are trying to entice you into entering their store, or shop.

Thailand is known as, “The land of smiles”, and not without reason. Thai people are very friendly, and they are very welcoming hosts to visitors of their country. I have found this to be true from the person stamping my passport at passport control, to the person checking me in at my hotel, and almost everyone I meet. I have spent a long holiday in Thailand every year for the past 6 years, and boy do I have some stories to tell. I will never forget my first trip to Thailand, and neither will you... I guarantee it.

Picture this, it is your first time in Bangkok. Your plane got in late at night, and it is after 10pm when you get checked into your hotel. Are you ready for bed after your long trip? Heck no! You slept on the plane, and you want to see what is going on in the mysterious city of Bangkok right now. You have already seen as you rode in the taxi that brought you to your hotel, that Bangkok is a city that never sleeps. Now you are ready to experience the action, and all that is Bangkok for yourself.

You walk out of the lobby of your hotel, and to the main road. You hang a right down the sidewalk as you enjoy the atmosphere that is all around you. The traffic going down the left hand side of the road, the different sights, and sounds, and even unique smells fill your senses.

Then you hear it, it is the sound of a motorcycle horn. You look back, and see a motorcycle coming up behind you on the sidewalk. This is normal in Bangkok, just smile, and get out of the way. After 10 minutes of walking you hang a right because you see increased activity down that road. Then it hits you, the smell fills your nose, and tantalizes your senses. You see a food cart off in the distance with several people in line next to it, of course curiosity gets the best of you, and you go to investigate.

Walking down the sidewalk as make your way to the food cart, you pass several street vendors selling various items to passersby. The food cart that is drawing you near is becoming clearer as you approach. Strange symbols that make up the Thai language are on a sign followed by numbers, and although you can’t read it you can tell this is a menu.

Watching in awe you see a simple Thai person working the food cart, preparing Pad-Thai with the culinary skills of a sous-chef. First he adds a splash of oil to his wok followed by an egg that he just cracked, and a handful of noodles. He has several bowls next to him filled with spices that you don’t even recognize, a pinch of this, and a dash of that are added to the mix, as he prepares the aromatic dish just as the customer ordered.

Mesmerized you look up at the line of customers, and realize that they are all watching the same thing as you are from their own angle, and point of view. The hungry customers are all watching with their eyes large, and you just know that their mouths are watering just the same as yours.

There is only one thing left for you to do. Get in line, and wait for your turn to savor this culinary delight, and one of the most popular Thai dishes for yourself. This will cost you from just less then one American dollar for a simple order, to under two dollars with extras such as shrimp. There are usually tables nearby to sit down and enjoy your meal as you take in the new atmosphere that surrounds you. The sights, the sounds, the smells... Welcome to Bangkok. Your new adventure has just begun!