I’m going to share with you a lesson I learned the hard way, and an important tip… always pay the toilet fee in Thailand!
On the way to England in November 2014 we had a 10 day stopover in Phuket, Thailand. We were very much looking forward to it as neither of us had ever been to Thailand before. As you would know by now, we are budget travellers and that trip was no different…other than we were on a super-tight budget that time!
To save money we were enjoying ourselves ‘alcohol-free’ so instead we just soaked up the sun on Patong Beach every day and treated ourselves to one attraction, The Tiger Kingdom (which we definitely advise you not to do after reading this recently).
It came to the first friday of our holiday and we convinced ourselves that it would be a good idea to go on a night out in Phuket. “We’ll take it steady,” which are everyones famous last words right? We got ourselves ready, had a few pre-drinks from the mini bar and headed out into the wild streets of Phuket.
After a few solid hours drinking funky named cocktails, shots, beers, joking around, dancing, the drinks had really caught up on us. It was well into the night so we thought it would be best for us to head back to our hotel.
As we walked back down the strip, Sandy all of a sudden needed the toilet again (the seal had broke long before), however we didn’t want to have to go into another bar and buy a drink just to use a toilet. Instead we came across a public toilet guarded buy a short Thai bouncer that we had to pay to use. We hadn’t ever experienced having to pay toilet fees before and Sandy was so desperate by this point that she just ran straight in. Big mistake.
It was then that we found out the hard way why you should always pay toilet fee in Thailand.
I was getting very frustrated looks from the bouncer as I searched my pockets for any lose change but I had none whatsoever. Sandy came out, walked straight passed and when I went to follow the bouncer grabbed my shirt and pinned me against the wall demanding I paid the toilet fee. When I tried to explain that neither of us had any change at all, things got a lot uglier.
I’ll spare all the details of the brawl, but I ended up with a couple of black eyes and a broken hand, hence why I always wore sunglasses for the rest of our time Thailand.
We never shared this story publicly before because we felt a bit embarrassed. However since then I’ve pondered over what happened that night and questioned; what could I have done differently, maybe I should have been more apologetic? I know now that I could have handled that situation much better. The reason I’m sharing this story is because this experience taught me two valuable lessons that I want to pass on to you…
1. Always carry some loose change in Thailand and…
2. Always pay the toilet fee in Thailand!
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