Philippines and Thailand: Same same but still different

Philippines and Thailand: Same same but still different

I blogged about this a few months before.

But now that im a Filipino living in Thailand for quite sometime now, all I can say about the difference of Thailand and Philippines are:

1. Thailand is a Buddhist country, thus lots of temples or wats as they call it. In Pinas, since majority are christians, there are lots of churches. So instead of christian statues being sold in stalls here, its buddhist statues of course:



2. Thai people mostly doesn’t communicate in English.. so if you’re not really into sign language, you need to learn how to speak Thai. In Pinas, even though we’re shy and kinda nosebleeding on our Engrish, we still find a way to adjust and speak it.

3. They say Thailand was never colonized… where in Pinas had many invaders, spaniards, japanese, americans, etc… Are we that friendly??


4. Chiang Mai in particular, is like a mini united nations where all foreigners of shapes and sizes flock in. Its like boracay but a bit old fashioned and without the sea.  And take note, its one of lonely planet’s top 10 cities to go in 2011… so talbog ang Boracay or Palawan tsk.. well choosing between polluted manila and chiang mai, i’d be honest, im lucky to be placed in this old city ^_^… but wait till foreigners discover Bohol ^_^

5. Prices here in Thailand are cheaper than in Pinas. Thank you to undocumented workers (ex, refugees from Burma) who work for meager salary just to get by.

6. IRRI (International Rice Reasearch Institue) is located in the Philippines but rice is being imported to Pinas from Thailand and Vietnam because there is not enough rice in the Philippines, is it because Filipinos dont want to farm anymore? Cant blame them. I do find it weird that the ones who produce food are at the bottom of the food chain.

7. And its easy to travel to neighbouring countries. Who would have thought you could travel to another country for 200 dollars? Well, we have cebu pacific naman :D

8. Thais eat bugs and worms, Filipinos eat duck embryos called balut :D YUM!

Thailand bugs are delicious


9. Street dogs are everywhere here! also in pinas :D… pero may breed ang mga asong kalye dito hanep!


10. Most people tend to judge white or light skin as the basis for beauty.. so if brown is your natural color, it means you need to buy whitening creams to be pretty.. fakers (ooops i hear thunders and lightning! xD)

I still have to determine if there exist crab mentality here in Thailand.. will update this post if i snoop something.

Well, Philippines and Thailand cannot be really compared because they have their own unique beauty. Its like same same but still different.

But we need to learn from each other I guess. Take the good stuff, throw the bad. Towards a better society, not just for our countries but for the whole world as well. What about you? What do you think are the difference between both countries?


Want to travel long term in Thailand? Check out the cost of living in that country.

13 thoughts on “Philippines and Thailand: Same same but still different

  1. Hi, I was able to find your excellent blog as I traced the Mary Grace that “Liked” my introduction at Travel Bloggers, the only one who liked me so far. I’ve been in Bangkok last September 2010 and be back by next month. How I wish I can visit Chiang Mai so I can savor how it is the same but different from Manila. Please accept my hands of friendship.

    1. you should travel Thailand longer so you can see the differences in details.. I highly recommend you visit Chiang Mai because even if its far north from Bangkok, foreigners still love to go here. Chiang Mai is cheaper and much more beautiful than Bangkok so they say and I’d have to agree ^_^. cheers – grasya

  2. Hi! Thank you for the easy to read contrast between Thailand and the Philippines. I intend to stay for good in Ayutthaya. Is that a good idea? I am a Catholic and being close to a church makes me feel secure. Do you think I can get a teaching job in Ayutthaya? I am 61 years old and I currently teach in UP.

  3. They say Thailand was never colonized… where in Pinas had many invaders, spaniards, japanese, americans, etc… Are we that friendly?? >>> LOL Don’t take it too seriously. It’s just a way to united the nation that Thai government used in the past- 50-60 years ago. Though we were not western colony, we lost to Burma for 2 times.

    I live in CM for decades. Don’t know if you’re still here or not. if you are, please enjoy your time living here. if you are not, welcome back anytime!

  4. BTW

    Regarding LUIS C. BUENAVENTURA post:

    …I intend to stay for good in Ayutthaya. Is that a good idea? I am a Catholic and being close to a church makes me feel secure….>>> I’m not sure about Ayuthaya. Think it should have church. Anyway most Christian are living in the northern part of Thailand, so you can find a lot of church around here. For “here” I mean Chiang Mai, Chinag Rai, Lampang, etc.

  5. Having spent considerable time in Philippines (mostly Mindanao) and driven 3000km across and around Thailand, I can say I agree with your comments. But my perspective, being a foreigner in Philippines and farang in Thailand, drew me to really appreciate the similarities. Everybody says the Philippines is not Asian. But having been in a relationship with a Thai and a Filipina, and this means knowing their families and participating more deeply in the cultures, not to mention having two half-pinoy kids, I can say for sure the Philippines is deeply Asian, and that Thailand and the Philippines are very similar culturally. People often quote the difference in religion as a clear division between cultures. But having seen the way families interact with their local chapel in the Philippines and temple in Thailand, to me, I see exactly the same, quintessentially Asian culture which places high importance in religion and the family unit and venerates those who uphold it – priests in Philippines, monks in Thailand. In Thailand, I honestly felt safer, probably because you don’t see guns everywhere. In fairness I saw violence and road rage in Pattaya, but have not seen it directly in Davao City (perhaps due to the Duterte factor – although I’m not saying it doesn’t happen). However I have experienced direct racism in Davao, being spat upon by a Muslim while I was flicking through shirt racks in SM. I certainly felt safer in Thailand because kidnapping is not a common occurrence in Thailand.
    Both countries have a very obvious King culture – another Asian trait. In Thailand, Rama 9 reigns and cannot be questioned – and thankfully is a good guy. The head Monk is also venerated in a similar way and can be found placed on an almost equal footing with the King in some shrines. In Philippines, the place of the King in terms of adoration and respect is taken by Pope Francis, who is also thankfully a good guy.
    The food IMHO is much better in Thailand. Thai food is incredibly complex and some dishes contain well over 50 ingredients, with multiple components, all of which are really hard to get right – despite the fact street vendors and eateries seem to nail it consistently. I also love chili so this probably biases me to Thai cuisine. Isaan/Lao style sour sausage is a great example of where Thai food stands out compared to all Asian styles. Complex, complicated, but simply incredible. The style of eating food in Thailand is also completely foreign to a westerner, whereas most cuisines in the Philippines are relatively straight forward, but not necessarily disappointing. I’m still looking for something as complex and delicious as boat noodle soup in the Philippines, but haven’t found it yet.
    Being largely food focussed, I was always looking at what bits of Thailand I would love to see in the Philippines and visa versa. This was my decision- sorry Thais, but you do not know how to make fruit shakes. Fresh Mango shake in the Philippines is something to experience. If I could start a food outlet in Thailand, I would bring Filipino fresh fruit shakes, and rock the Thai beverage world ;-). In the Philippines, I found myself craving for freshly made papaya salad (Bangkok style) and sticky rice, or a nice spicy laab gai. I think there would be a good market for an authentic Thai eatery chain in the Philippines, because when I have cooked real Thai food for Filipinos they have loved it. Thai coffee is also awesome.
    Scenery wise, both countries are beautiful and different, but that’s not really relevant to culture. I like the fact that Thailand has no active volcanoes, but will probably end up retiring and setting up business on the foot of a Filipino volc. So who’s complaining. As long as the sucker keeps its head for another 100 years.
    Anyhow, I thought I would add to your comments from my hotel room here in Davao City. Great blog.

  6. thanks for the detailed contribution Chris ^_^.. i do hope security gets to be improved in the Philippines.. we Filipinos should work on equality first to give the poor people the chance to move up in the circle of life, that way, the poor will not resort to bad ways of getting money.. really sorry about what the muslim person treated you.. never thought they could be that way coz I have muslim friends and they are nice :((

    anyway, i do hope you have fun in PH.. this comment makes me miss Phad Thai and Phad Siu ^_^

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