Gay Thailand

A philosophy for The Land of Smiles.

Mai Pen Rai

Life on a raft, in Khao Sok National Park

The mai pen rai philosophy comes naturally on the raft houses of Khao Sok park.

Thai customs

Thai Time reflects the mai pen rai philosophy

Complete site index 

If bamboo could talk, it would say mai pen rai.

Or maybe not. Maybe it would say, "Mom, I just outgrew those jeans you bought me yesterday." Regardless, if you want to understand Thailand, learn mai pen rai.

Technically, mai pen rai translates as It's nothing. Informally, we've seen quite a few loose translations:

Never mind.
It's cool.
Don't get mad, get glad.
Take it easy.
No worries.
Oh well, I can't do anything about it.

In short, mai pen rai is ultimately a philosophy of life: Bend with the wind, like a bamboo tree. And above all, keep smiling.

The ubiquitous Thai smile can seem artificial to visitors. Yet it serves a useful purpose. If it were possible to measure such things, quite possibly the people of Thailand would be found to be happier with their lives, and more free of stress, than their counterparts in wealthier nations. 


This site is provided by Alyson Adventures, a gay tour operator, as a service for individuals traveling with us. We hope it will also be useful to others planning a tour or researching Thailand. We offer active vacations around the world, including scuba diving, hiking, and biking.

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