Guide into two beautiful countries: Differences between Thailand and Philippines.
Now granted, I’ve only been in the Philippines for three weeks, after spending 15 years in Thailand, so my sampling here is severely limited.
Also, even though I travelled all around Thailand, my residence was in Bangkok for all of those 15 years. Here in the Philippines, I’ve only been to a few places on the southern island of Mindanao, mostly Valencia City.
But considering these limitations, I’ve already observed some obvious differences between the two countries. And although I knew about these differences before I ever set foot in the Philippines, it’s still interesting to see it for yourself.
Thailand and Philippines similarities between -One of the first things you notice is that the Buddhist temples of Thailand are replaced by Catholic churches here in the Philippines. This is to be expected, considering that some 93 percent of Thais are Buddhists, and about 86 percent of Filipinos are Roman Catholic, with another 8 percent belonging to other branches of Christianity. For the Western visitor, the Thai Buddhist temples are certainly more exotic, though at least for non-Catholic Westerners, the church of Rome’s cathedrals are the most interesting and aesthetically-pleasing edifices in all of Christianity.
Secondly, the Filipinos’ English is generally much better than the Thais. I was already well aware of this from working with many Filipinos in Thailand. Over 300 years of Spanish rule, and then another 50 years of Americans, has definitely left its mark on the Philippines. Thailand was never colonized by a Western country, with the result being a less Westernized nation – and that translates into a lower level of English-speaking ability.
Thirdly, the food in the Philippines is not spicy. Thank god! Sorry, Thailand, but I have stomach issues and simply cannot eat your spicy food – which is some of the spiciest cuisine in the world. Thankfully, not all the food in Thailand is spicy. But here in the Philippines, this isn’t even an issue.
Though Valencia City is a radically different world from modernized Bangkok, it actually feels quite similar to small towns in upcountry Thailand, as well as neighboring nations like Cambodia and Vietnam.
Some of the obvious similarities between Thailand and Philippines include the friendliness of the locals, the laid-back culture, and the exotic, good-looking people. Photo: Taken, Valencia City BUKIDNON, Northern Part of Mindanao. (Upcoming part TWO: Thailand and Philippines)