Fat, Tall, Tanned and…Beautiful? My Surprising Experience as a Curvy Girl in Thailand

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Curvy Girl in Thailand

I was afraid to go to Thailand.

Maybe afraid isn’t the right word, more like intimidated.

When I think ‘Thailand’ I think beaches, snorkelling, and scuba diving. Which, let’s be honest, basically equates to boys with toned abs in board shorts and girls in teeny string bikinis.

In case you haven’t guessed yet, I have never, and probably never will, wear a string bikini. I may love being in and by the water, but there’s nothing I hate more than wearing a swim suit. And don’t even get me started about shopping for one. It’s my literal hell.

Picture of me in a bathing suit? This is as good as it gets.

Picture of me in a bathing suit? This is (usually) as good as it gets.

So when I finally decided to go to SE Asia I came to terms with the fact that I would be the fat girl and, after reading some curvy-sized girl’s posts about their experiences, I knew I would probably hear about it too.

Of course I took this into consideration as I packed for my four months abroad. My mom questioned why I needed so many tops, telling me to ‘just buy some when you are there, it will be nice to shop and get some new things by then.’ I looked at her and rolled my eyes, asking how she thought clothing made in Thailand would ever fit over my boobs.

Her response? “oh”.

Yeah, oh.

So I packed my extra shirts and mentally prepared myself for an onslaught of negative comments. I got one my very first day in Bangkok.

“Noooooo! You too big for those!” the Thai man at one of the stalls in Bangkok’s Chattachuck market said to me as I held up a pair of elephant pants. “You need these- much bigger.” he waved me over to a separate section full of elephant pants that, indeed, were much bigger. Except I wasn’t looking for me. I was looking for my best friend who is 6 feet tall and rail thin and definitely would fit in the pants I was holding up. I tried to explain but he just shook his head and eyed me warily. I sighed, frustrated, and put the pants back then thanked him (seriously? Did I actually thank him for offending me?!) and left. How deluded did he think I was? I dressed myself every day didn’t I? I’m pretty sure I have a fairly good idea of what I do and don’t fit into. I tried to shove my embarrassment aside, telling myself to get over it because although it was the first, it wasn’t going to be the last comment of this sort.

Chattachuk market...the skinny shopaholics dream. The curvy girl's nightmare.

Chattachuk market…the skinny shopaholic’s dream. The curvy girl’s nightmare.

Back at my hostel I met my new dorm mate; a tiny, wisp of a girl from South Korea. We got talking as we got ready for bed. Being just girls in the room, I peeled my shirt off in front of her to change into my pjs.

“WOWWWWW! Your skin! It’s so WHITE!” I looked down at myself and my ridiculous tan lines. After summer in Canada, and a couple months in the Balkans I had a pretty good tan going on, but since I don’t wear bikinis my torso was it’s normal, super-white-Canadian-girl tone.
“Why do you let it get so dark?” she questioned. I tried to explain to her that I felt prettier and healthier with a tan. During the winter, when my tan faded, I always felt I looked too pale and sickly. She listened to me but it didn’t click. She clearly though I was crazy and ended the conversation asking if she could have my white skin if I didn’t want it. Awkward.

And so I ended my first day in Thailand as the fat girl with ugly skin.

The next few days I avoided malls, stalls, and anything to do with clothing. I felt like a giant riding the skytrain or walking the streets, but I could deal with that. But as the start date for the conference I was in Bangkok for came closer, I realized that my clothes didn’t quite cut it. Reluctantly I went to the mall in an attempt for find something pretty that fit.

I went to Terminal 21 since it was closest, and when I walked through the main doors I discovered that the entire mall was having a massive shoe blow-out. From flip-flops to stilettos, there were shoes everywhere. I brightened up a bit since a few weeks ago I had destroyed my one pair of pretty sandals. Shoes were shoes, right?

Wrong. I asked to try three separate pairs and when I told them I was a size 9 they all shook their head, answering they had nothing that big. Great, now I could add bigfoot to the list.

C'mon, they aren't THAT big!

C’mon, they aren’t THAT big!

I wandered the mall aimlessly, window shopping more than anything else when I saw an average sized looking mannequin in the window. Figuring I had nothing to lose I went inside and started browsing the racks until I came to a shirt I liked that looked like it might fit.

“Would you like to try that on?” The Thai sales girl asked me. I nodded, relaxing when she smiled and took me to the fitting room rather than telling me I was ‘too big’. Amazingly the top fit, but there was no mirror in the change room so I wasn’t sure it looked good. So, moment of truth, I left my cubicle to find the mirror.

“That’s beautiful on you. The colour looks great with your skin tone” the sales girl told me as I stood in front of the mirror. And she was right- the pink and gold top did look good with my tan. But as surprised as I was that I actually found a shirt in Thailand that fit, I was more shocked with the compliment. I had been so set on constantly feeling like a big, fat, giant that I never for a minute thought someone would tell me I looked pretty.

From that moment on I relaxed. Yes, I was bigger than Thai people, no most of the clothing in the market stalls would never cover my boobs or ass, but that was ok. I loosened up and put a smile on my face as I explored. Maybe it was the smile, maybe it was just pure luck, but after my first couple days in Bangkok I never heard anything more about my size. Instead, I recieved a whole lot of compliments.

From Bangkok to beaches I seemed to attract some sort of attention nearly everywhere I went. At first it was my hair; sun streaked from so much time outside. Then my skin; not the colour of it but how clear it was, and my blue eyes. I received the most compliments for my smile; I actually got a little embarrassed on a day trip in Krabi when one of the guides told everyone I had the prettiest smile she had ever seen. Sure, they were just little things, but they were still compliments. Something I never expected to hear on this side of the world.

yeah, I smile a lot

yeah, I smile a lot

Things got even stranger when I went to Koh Tao and, after a few days of diving in Chalok Bay, I headed to Sairee Beach to meet with some friends. One of them gushed to me that she had a crush on one of the fire dancers at the beach bar, but she couldn’t get him to talk to her at all. Imagine my surprise when Mr. Six-Pack himself struck up a conversation with me as I passed by that night; ignoring my skinny, bikini-wearing friends. For the rest of the night he only paid attention to me, calling me his ‘hunny’ and bringing me up front to take part in the show. I don’t know how it happened, but somehow on a beach full of girls in tiny short-shorts and bikini tops, the curvy girl was the one that got the attention.

And then it hit me. Why did I find it strange that I was getting attention? Sure I don’t have a “bikini body” but that doesn’t mean that I’m a troll either. Like some locals had said, I have pretty coloured hair, nice blue eyes, and clear skin (how that happened when I sweat so much I will never know). And yes, I have a great smile. I was never this self-conscious at home, or in Europe. I look how I look and I do my best to rock it. So why the hell did I let Thailand get under my skin and let it make me feel so self-conscious?

It was a bit of a defining moment, and brought me back to, well, me. From then on I walked around with my head held high and a smile on my face. I danced under the stars at night, and lounged on the beach with all my string bikini-wearing friends during the day. Guys flirted with me, I still received some compliments, and I even managed to find a couple more tops that fit over my boobs. Was I Thai sized? No. Was my ass ever going to fit into the majority of elephant pants sold at the market stalls? Definitely not. But it didn’t matter because size doesn’t determine beauty. Who would have thought that Thailand would be the place to remind me of that?

Pin me for later!

Pin me for later!


  1. Nikita Raikwar on January 19, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    This post was beautiful.
    I know the struggle being a curvy girl too !!

    But loved to read it until the end 🙂

    Thanks for this post.

    A member from GLT 😉

    • Hannah Logan on January 19, 2016 at 1:07 pm

      Thanks girl <3

      • Amanda W. on June 8, 2020 at 2:51 am

        Thanks for posting this! I have been wanting to visit Thailand and possibly even more there; however, I’ve been reluctant because I am a bigger woman. Im from the US so it’s more common for women to be bigger; however, I know in a lot of other countries it isn’t. After reading this it did make me feel a lot better knowing someone understands and not only that but overcame that mindset. So again thank you for posting this!!

        • Amanda W. on June 8, 2020 at 2:53 am

          Oops I did mean move in that last comment but my phone autocorrected😳😳😂.

        • Hannah Logan on June 8, 2020 at 6:32 am

          You are welcome! I hope you do go, Thailand is beautiful!

  2. Jenny on January 19, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Hi, good on you! I actually found that the tailors in Bangkok were great. As a curvy girl I got some dresses made for a snip that fit me like a glove, better than things in the UK!

    • Hannah Logan on January 19, 2016 at 1:36 pm

      Ohhh good to know when I go back to BKK!

  3. Annika on January 19, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    From one curvy girl to another – I absolutely loved this post! And you are a lot braver than me because I actually never attempted to try to buy any clothes in Thailand. Thanks so much sharing this 🙂

    • Hannah Logan on January 19, 2016 at 1:37 pm

      Thanks girl- and next time give it a shot. I managed to find a couple things 😉

  4. Alice Teacake on January 19, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Loving this post! Ties in perfectly with a message I was trying to send out today on my Facebook to all the girls out there who are ‘dieting’, because it’s January and they want to be something else. Show the world what you got and screw those stringy bikinis!

  5. Anekha on January 19, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Love this post! And you are beautiful 🙂

  6. Jessica Elliott on January 19, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    I met a new friend in Laos when I was walking around in shorts and she blurted out, “your skin’s SOOooooOOOo white!” then started laughing. And then we had a kebab. SE Asia 🙂

  7. Japnit on January 19, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Loved ur post girl. Just dropped by after seeing it on girls who travel. And this is such an honest post. This was how i felt when i first when to Bangkok back in 2008 and all the sellers on the streets would keep saying “no have no have” but then you get past that and have a great time. And personally i shopped crazy accessories and what not. Cause i realised the clothes they sell are shit quality. I rather not feel bad about not getting my size cause I would wanna throw those clothes once I’m home. But I genuinely love thailand. Like obviously not Bangkok but the beachy places like krabi, samui and phangan.
    Cheers to being girls with curves. We know we make them look good 🙂

    • Hannah Logan on January 19, 2016 at 11:28 pm

      Thailand is still amazing for sure. And you are right- lots of good accessories! Can never go wrong with those 🙂

  8. Jessica on January 19, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Nice post. It reminded me of my trip to Thailand when my Mom and I went into a shoe store and the sales people wouldn’t even look in our direction because they were horrified by our giant feet haha! I’m not curvy, but I had a very similar experience in the stores because I am tall and Asian. People kept coming up to me asking me how an Asian person could be so large…It’s important to have a sense of humour when travelling.

    • Hannah Logan on January 19, 2016 at 11:27 pm

      Yes, thank god we can laugh at the end!

  9. Gloria Atanmo on January 19, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    Oh Hannah, leave it to you to turn this into such a beautiful piece. My head boils thinking of how [inadvertently] rude people can be. You’re a gem and your beauty transcends both inwardly and out XOXO

  10. Amelia Easten on January 19, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Asia always seems to be a challenge, they just don’t have a filter! I was on birth control when I lived in Taiwan and it gave me awful acne. It was commented on CONSTANTLY in ways that I found rude and hurtful, but which I realised later were actually from a place of caring. “Your face is covered in pimples, are you on your period or just tired?” And a sales girl’s selling point to me on a playsuit in Vietnam was “you’re not fat, so it fits and you should but it” errrr, great!

    So wonderful your experience in Thailand turned out to be a positive one! They were right, you do have the prettiest smile 🙂 beautiful spirits always shine through.

    • Hannah Logan on January 19, 2016 at 11:26 pm

      haha if that was me and I was on my period I would probably snap 😉 thanks for the kind words Amelia <3

    • James on January 16, 2017 at 6:23 pm

      Thai people (and in a more general sense Asian people) certainly have a filter, it’s just tuned very differently than we are used to in western countries.

      You really have to pack your cultural baggage away and just roll with it. I’m a bloke and I’m not small, I can also speak Thai. I’ll often hear Thai people say something like “Oh he’s a big one” and you might feel insulted but you can hear them carry on “what beautiful hair and so white”. I often reply with a thank you, the responses can be funny as they don’t expect you to know the language.

      They don’t see it as an insult, it’s simply a talking point, like who you are, where you’re from, how much do you earn, where did you come from, where are you going, and wow you’re big.

      If they don’t see it as an insult I choose not to take it as one, as these people are otherwise super friendly, it’s just a bit of a culture clash.

      • Hannah Logan on January 17, 2017 at 12:38 pm

        True- definitely takes some getting used to though, but the people are generally very kind.

  11. Sammi on January 19, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    Love you!

    Great post. You hit the nail on the head, I think beauty mostly comes from confidence. Plus, you look amazing anyway. 🙂

  12. Sarah on January 19, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    Great post, hun!
    I had the “we have bigger elephant-pants over there” conversation a couple of times too and always spent the rest of the day being annoyed of the salesperson / myself, so frustrating! I should really try to be as brave as you 🙂

    • Hannah Logan on January 19, 2016 at 11:24 pm

      Damn elephant pants. The problem always starts there doesn’t it?!

  13. Tara- Hippie Hits The Road on January 19, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    Hannah, this was a really lovely post!! Thanks for being brave enough to share your experiences. It’s amazing how the positivity of a random stranger can change the whole course of your trip. Putting that smile back on your face changes your energy and people feel it. You go girl!!!! Keep on rockin!

  14. Katherine Belarmino | Travel the World on January 19, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    In a country like Thailand, you are exotic. Nine times out of ten exotic means beautiful, and a beautiful smile and a cheery disposition are the most attractive qualities anywhere in the world. I am so glad you found this surge of confidence to realize you are beautiful and positive attention-worthy! 🙂 I also try to remember that when someone comes off as rude to me in another country, they don’t necessarily mean it that way and it is many times caused by cultural differences and a language barrier. Love your attitude!

  15. Katie on January 20, 2016 at 2:52 am

    Love, love, love this! I have a post sitting in my drafts about being ‘the fat girl in t I haven’t had the courage to post it yet. I love your honesty and how a situation that you were worried about turned out to be a positive one. I,too, feel insecure on the beach and have found SEAsia to be quite welcoming of my body and looks. Korea, on the other hand, not so much!

    • Hannah Logan on January 20, 2016 at 10:20 am

      Thanks Katie 🙂 and good to know about Korea its somewhere I’m eyeing for later this year. Should be interesting.

  16. Celia on January 20, 2016 at 3:22 am

    Love it! It’s honest with great humor!

  17. Lena on January 20, 2016 at 7:13 am

    Beautiful post. This made me think about my own experience in China as well. They’re just too honest in Asia and it’s not easy then but so happy the story ended in a good way. The blue eyes and white skin are goals in Asia and we got it without even having to try. Let’s love the small compliments and ourselves more 🙂

  18. Alyssa on January 20, 2016 at 7:29 am

    I am in Thailand right now and feeling the same way! I wasn’t planning on spending anytime on the beach because of it….but you may have given me the courage I needed! 🙂

    • Hannah Logan on January 20, 2016 at 10:18 am

      Hit that beach girl and rock those curves 😉

  19. Lisa on January 20, 2016 at 7:47 am

    Good for you. I too, am a curvy girl and I live here in Thailand. After 6 months my underwear have begun to wear out. Try finding THOSE here. NOPE. So I’ve resorted to making my own (I’m crafty). I’ve now been inspired to try and start a business making adventure underwear for the curvy girl set 🙂 Sometimes a struggle can become a win!

    • Hannah Logan on January 20, 2016 at 10:17 am

      Oh god I can’t imagine. I think finding a bra might be the only thing worse! Good on you for getting creative!

  20. LisaLDN on January 20, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Ah, I know the struggle! Great post! 🙂

    I was just in the Philippines, and definitely stood out at 5’11” 😛

    • Hannah Logan on January 20, 2016 at 10:16 am

      Hahah I bet you did! At least being tall we always get a good view 😉

  21. Roxanne Bamboat on January 20, 2016 at 11:58 am

    That was a really good post. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one that feels intimidated shopping for clothes in Thailand. I guess you ( and by that I mostly mean ME ) just have to accept that some and most people don’t know any better and don’t realise they can be offensive when they talk about your body type. Also after a point I just don’t give a S*&t 😀

    • Hannah Logan on January 20, 2016 at 11:20 pm

      haha yes at some point you just need to stop caring what others think!

  22. Taylor on January 20, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Love this! I’m living in Thailand right now and I wrote a similar post too! I love how Thailand has made me feel, way less self conscious, I’m not afraid to stand out (not like I have a choice here!), and I too know I’m bigger than all the Thai girls, but for some reason it bothers me way less here than if I were at home.

    • Hannah Logan on January 20, 2016 at 11:19 pm

      Took a bit of getting used to but not so bad at all 🙂

  23. amanda on January 20, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    Great story! This will inspire so many women who avoid travel due to lack of body image. Thanks for sharing! Beauty is not one type!

  24. Elena on January 21, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    I’m glad that it worked out for you in the end! I suspect that not worrying about it so much helped a lot.. 😀
    I’ve been to many of the places you mentioned in this article and I had sort of a similar problem – many of the Thais thought I was a boy because I have short hair and wore a hat all the time. I had many people ask me which one I was. That was certainly…interesting to deal with, but sometimes it worked to my advantage. You learn a lot of strange things when traveling!
    Great post!

    • Hannah Logan on January 21, 2016 at 10:32 pm

      Yes, I can see how that could be ‘interesting;. I was travelling with a guy from Korea in Myanmar and someone asked if he was a ladyboy- personally I have NO idea how they ever thought that but I guess you never know!

      • Elena on February 24, 2016 at 1:28 pm

        Lol, indeed. Hey, I wanted to add that I linked to this post in my own post about Thailand! I thought you did a great job covering the subject. Hope you like it!

  25. Terra on January 23, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Great story of finding yourself again. Also an encouraging story for so many other wonen and girls out there having those same fears. Thanks so much for sharing, and keep on smiling!

  26. Zenobia on January 23, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    I thought it said ‘Curry Girl’ and instantly went ‘Yes, that is my kind of girl!’. Nevermind the one letter difference. Great post : D

    • Hannah Logan on January 23, 2016 at 7:50 pm

      hahahaha you are the second person who thought that! too funny

  27. Violeta on January 24, 2016 at 6:53 am

    I love your sense of humour! Your article made me smile. That black dress looks great and it suits you very well 🙂

  28. Suwicha on January 25, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Hi, I am a plus size Thai girl in Thailand. I am happy to show u guys where to shop for plus size. I am size 20.

    • Suwicha on January 25, 2016 at 12:20 pm

      my line ID is nuk7070

    • Hannah Logan on January 25, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      Might have to take you up on your offer next time I’m in Thailand! 🙂

  29. Hannah on January 30, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    hurray! I loved this post! good for you, love yourself and don´t let stupid comments upset you! xxx

  30. Anna on February 1, 2016 at 7:13 am

    I love this post Hannah! I’m so glad that once you stopped feeling so self conscious, you had fun and got a lot of compliments and flirtations. This just shows that confidence and a smile is all we need to be pretty :).

  31. Erin Klema | The Epicurean Traveler on February 7, 2016 at 12:46 am

    When you posted in the Part-Time Traveler Talk Facebook group that we should read whichever post caught our eye, I wasn’t expecting to read a post that would resonate so profoundly with me.

    Just last night, I was eating Thai food with the guy I’m dating, and I asked him, “Would you want to travel to Thailand?” He answered, “Yeah, of course.” Then he gave me this look like, “Don’t you, world-traveling foodie blogger, want to go to Thailand?”

    Of course, I said, “I’d love to go there someday.” The world traveler me, she wants to see Thailand. The foodie me, she want to eat her way through Thailand. But the curvy, fat girl me? She’s hesitant to go to Thailand.

    Every time I read a Thailand or SE Asia packing list post from a thin to even average-sized female blogger who recommends packing just a backpack with “the essentials” — three bikinis, a pair of shorts, flip flops and a tank top — and you can buy the rest when you arrive, I roll my eyes. Three swimsuits of mine are going to take up much more room in my backpack than three of their teeny tiny bikinis, and where will I find clothes made primarily for Thai people to fit me? Those were my thoughts. Always.

    So, thank you for setting me straight and reminding me this is never a reason to hold myself back from traveling. In the words of my globetrotting friend Jenn, this post was “so much yes.”

    • Hannah Logan on February 7, 2016 at 1:02 am

      I think it’s a worry all of us non-toothpick girls have. There will be crap moments (I’m looking at YOU Mr. Elephant pants man!) but the good ones will outnumber them 100x. Do it, rock it, and you will love it! xo

  32. Martha on February 13, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Well the post title certainly caught my attention! It’s funny how human nature seems to mean that we always want to be what we aren’t. I loved your story about the Korean girl. How come we want to be dark while dark girls want to be white? Is all of this some kind of marketing ploy? I loved your article and the older I get to more I think I learn to let go and just enjoy life instead of just allowing myself to feel dissatisfied at my own body (which is also someone everybody does, no matter what size they are).

    • Hannah Logan on February 13, 2016 at 2:55 pm

      Exactly 🙂 I have to say though, now that I’m back in Canada Korean girl would approve of my skin. haha

  33. […] are very direct and won’t shy away from things like this. Or shy away from asking you why you are fat (if you are […]

  34. Naomi on March 3, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    thank you for your honesty and lovely insight. That helps a lot.You sure rock it. Well done.

  35. Kandace Saunders on March 24, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    Thank you. I am coming to Thailand next month and I have a size 10 or 12 in Canada and I know I’m not fat but I’m definitely not skinny or athletic built like everybody that I seem to see in Thailand pictures. It’s made me so self-conscious seeing travel photos and only seeing skinny girls I don’t even want to think about how I will look compared to the others

    • Hannah Logan on March 24, 2016 at 7:56 pm

      I know exactly how you feel but I promos you won’t be the only non-toothpick sized girl. Don’t worry- and have a blast <3

  36. LAURA LAWSON on March 28, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    great post, the older I get the less I seem to care, but looking back on my trip to Mexico I do hate seeing photos of me in swim wear

  37. […] little over a month ago I wrote about my travels in Thailand. Not what I did or saw but how I felt. Because the truth is, as a curvy girl, I was scared to visit […]

  38. Karla on December 14, 2016 at 2:42 am

    That is just amazing how some street vendors in SE Asia really have no shame in calling you names and Elephant pants?

    Who thought of that horrible name?

    I’m really happy and proud that you are very confident and don’t let it stop you from seeing the world and the world seeing your inner beauty not outside appearance.

    That dude, Mr Six pack realized that you’ve more substance, brains and essence than the skinny or pack of bones that parade in their string bikinis. I guess a good, honest conversation with them is like a minute long!

    You go girl, take the bull by the horn and don’t let anyone intimidate or make you feel like an outcast.

    BTW, I learned something from my curvy American colleague who worked with me in Seoul, be like a duck and let water slide off your back! Don’t let anything affect you and if people think you shine, well tell them to put on sunglasses lol!

    All the best and happy travels 🙂

    • Hannah Logan on December 14, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      Thanks Karla 🙂 , I like the duck analogy!

  39. Abi on February 17, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Thank you so much for this!! I wish I had read it before I went to Thailand – as a curvy girl who’s a bit bigger than most of the Thailand/South-East Asia travellers, i was very anxious about going and this anxiety didn’t end when I was there – I deffo didn’t do and experience everything I wanted to because I felt like I didn’t fit into the stereotypical image of the ‘solo female traveller’ and actually ended up coming home early 🙁

    I hope to go again travelling solo and do it right this time and people like you really inspire me that I can do everything skinny girls can do!!

    Please don’t stop writing articles like this because it is inspiring me and probably so many other curvy girls around the world too!

    Thank you so much again!


    • Hannah Logan on February 17, 2017 at 6:23 pm

      Aw Abi that breaks my heart that you didn’t get to do what you wanted and had to leave early 🙁 please don’t give up on solo travel! One of the places I felt most comfortable as a curvy girl was in Croatia- even on the beaches. Even the chubby grandmothers wore bikinis and no one gave a second thought. Maybe consider a destination like that for a little boost of self confidence! xo

  40. Don Juan on February 21, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    You received compliments because you ARE beautiful! Man I love curvy girls and so do a LOT of men. Not that you need me to tell you that.

  41. Sabrina Kelly on June 7, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    A good read, especially as a plus size (size 18) girl, who is off to Thailand in September and desperately trying to eat healthier and up the exercise so as not to feel like the fatty on the beach! Thanks for the confidence boost – everyone who has commented is right, embrace what you’ve got and take comments with a pinch of salt.

    Do you have any blog posts on what you packed for SE Asia (or any similar trips) as unsure what to wear?? 🙂

    • Hannah Logan on June 7, 2017 at 10:06 pm

      Glad to help Sabrina 😉 don’t stress about it- you will be fine and have an amazing time. I don;t have any packing/clothing blog posts (yet- something I’m working on) but feel free to email me, I’m happy to send you some ideas! hannah@eatsleepbreathetravel.com

  42. […] Special thanks to the amazing travel divas who contributed to this post: Karen from WanderlustingK, Danila from TravellingDany, and Hannah from Eat Sleep Breathe Travel, who has a fantastic post about travelling as a curvy girl in Thailand called “fat, tall, tanned, and …beautiful?” […]

  43. Maya on October 19, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    Loved, loved, loooveeed this post!!! Makes me feel better about my trip to Thailand in December, but being a size 24 I’m still kind of dreading it… You are defo smaller than me but maybe you could still answer – if you flew with local airlines in Thailand – did you have any problems with the seats? What about riding in tuk tuks?

    I’m so glad to hear you had a nice time and felt comfortable in my home country Croatia. Are you planning a new visit some time in the future?

    • Hannah Logan on October 19, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed! The airline seats were fine…limited leg room was my biggest issue with air asia and tiger air etc. Tuktuks fine as well though I didn’t take them much because they rip you off 🙁 I used metro/walked or grab car/uber (so cheap).
      Croatia was AMAZING I would love to come back one day though nothing planned yet!

  44. Clara on December 10, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Thank you so much for this article. I am right now preparing to leave for Thailand tomorrow and really anxious because of how I might feel there, being bigger than all the women around, not being able to shop for nice clothes or just clothes that I might need, being in a Bikini. I really really want to enjoy this trip, but don’t know how to get rid of the anxiety. Also I don’t want to be stressed all the time and be a burden to my travel partner. I’m going to bookmark this and come back to it, at least I won’t feel alone with those thoughts 🙂

    • Hannah Logan on December 11, 2017 at 5:00 pm

      You aren’t alone at all! But stick them away because its not that bad- enjoy that trip girl, you deserve it!

      • Clara on December 11, 2017 at 5:09 pm

        Thank you, Hannah!

  45. Ann on January 2, 2018 at 1:10 am

    Thank you for writing this article 😀 ! Im going to Thailand in a couple of months. I’ve been there a couple years back and cant really remember any bad remarks regarding my weight, even if I was big compared to every thai person I saw. Any ways, I weigh a bit more now than before. maybe 30 pounds more or something. But it has really got me thinking about weird stuff now.
    One thing I’ve been thinking a lot about is the longtail boats. Is it difficult to get on them ? I’ve been thinking about that my weight probably will make it lean a lot to the side and that it will be super embarassing. I cant even think about sitting on one of those swings you are on in one of the pictures, because I’ll probably break it. I’m smart enough to know that these things are just in my head, but they are really making me anxious.

    • Hannah Logan on January 2, 2018 at 1:54 pm

      I didn’t have any awkward problems in the long tail boats- they usually pile them with other travellers too so it’s not like you will be alone and obvious.

  46. Clara on April 21, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    Loved your post! I’m now feeling so much better about traveling to the Philippines and Bali with my family in a few months. I’m latin american, brown skin tone, and of course a size 18-20. Five years ago, my family and I traveled to the Philippines, and I felt so out of place, disgusted with myself because everyone just stared, snickered and whispered to each other in front of me. My husband is bi-racial, so he looks very foreign. Most locals thought I was Filipino married to a foreigner which added to the pot, and spoke to me in their language. When I said I don’t speak the language, I got more dirty looks. Sometimes I had to explain I was from a spanish country and spoke spanish…then they smiled and were a bit nicer.

    My children were 6, 5 and 3 yrs old at the time so they weren’t so in tune with people’s stares etc… I don’t think my husband noticed, and if he did, he ignored it. I didn’t tell him how uncomfortable I was feeling. I remember emailing my sister and telling her how I wished to be back home, where I felt “good” about myself. I never had felt that way before until that trip.

    I haven’t told my husband that I’m feeling anxious about our upcoming trip. I don’t want him or my kids to feel embarrased when people stare and make rude comments. My husband and I had an argument a few weeks ago because he thinks I’m not excited about our trip. He’s super excited and talks about it everyday, whereas I’m excited too, but don’t really talk about it because of my fears and insecurities.

    Your post has given me a new light, inner strength to not let my body size get in the way of doing what I love, travel!

    Thank you!

    • Hannah Logan on April 22, 2018 at 8:40 pm

      Aw I’m glad you found some comfort and inspiration in my post. I hope you have the best time!

  47. Chantelle on September 7, 2018 at 10:45 am

    Great post! I’m so glad to hear you still enjoyed Thailand! This is definitely something that plays on my mind when planning to visit. Any tips for packing? Were there elephants pants to fit larger sizes? I see so many pictures of them and want a pair when I visit. I’m a size 16-18.

  48. Hannah Logan on September 8, 2018 at 1:17 am

    There are ‘big size’- you will know who has them because they will yell at you across the street. lol.
    If you aren’t sure and really want some, harem pants sells them online. More expensive but super comfy. I tried a solid navy blue pair last year when I went to Egypt because they are loose and light.

    • Chantelle on September 10, 2018 at 7:05 pm

      Awesome, thank you! I’ll check them out 🙂

  49. Ashleigh Du on October 1, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    I’m sitting in Burma/Myanmar currently with stinging eyes after being called fat one too many times today and your post has given me hope. Thank you!!

    • Hannah Logan on October 1, 2018 at 6:57 pm

      oh noo I’m so sorry! Sending you a big virtual hug and I hope your experience changes from here!

  50. Katie on January 3, 2019 at 11:28 am

    I’ve been to Thailand a bunch of times before (Bangkok has got to be the ultimate hub for figuring out where to go next) but I definitely feel those curvy girl woes. It’s so great to hear how things turned around for you! Here’s hoping I can embody some of your confidence on my upcoming trip! Thanks for this 🙂

    • Hannah Logan on January 3, 2019 at 1:20 pm

      It’s not perfect but was so much better than I expected. I hope your next visit is more positive <3

  51. […] thing to change was my view on my body. That shift happened in 2015, in Thailand of all places (you can read the post here).I’ve also since realized that while my body may not be the ideal in the western world, it’s […]

  52. Kim S on January 20, 2020 at 11:34 am

    This is SO inspiring. I’m plus sized and have always been afraid of venturing off to SE Asia because I don’t want to be stared at for being tall and thick. But it REALLY is about how you feel about yourself, more than anything. Thank you for sharing!

    • Hannah Logan on January 21, 2020 at 1:02 pm

      I was hesitant for awhile too but I’m so glad I went. I LOVED it, so much so that I went back the following year for 4 months.

  53. […] I wrote an entire post about being the ‘fat’ and ‘tall’ girl in Thailand (which you can read here) so I won’t reiterate it all. But, overall, the outcome was good and my confidence continued […]

  54. Anabella on May 8, 2020 at 3:24 am

    Thank you so much for writing this post! I really want to go to Thailand, but was pretty terrified at the thought of being literally three of the women there. You post definitely helped me come terms with the fact that although that may be true, it shouldn’t stop me from enjoying myself! Also, did you ever have an issue with your height? I’m 5’9″ and am slightly concerned. Thanks!

    • Hannah Logan on May 9, 2020 at 9:15 am

      Glad you liked this post! I was definitely taller than many locals but it wasn’t an issue, just funny from my perspective being able to see over everyone’s head. Of all the things that made me stand out as a tourist there, height wasn’t a big deal at all.

  55. […] female travelers’ voices are out there. Some write to inspire curvy girls to take the plunge and travel the world. Others write to inform other curvy girls on […]

  56. […] body-shamed the most. Thankfully, my experience in Thailand was much better than I ever expected (you can read about that here) and I stopped stressing about how I looked in a swimsuit and spent more time actually enjoying […]

  57. The peaceful one on January 17, 2021 at 1:02 am

    Just really sad how they view darker skin why can’t we just love everyone for who they are without casting judgement on those whom we know nothing about but mere appearance love to all and everyone on this rock we live on one love ❤

  58. […] One of my biggest concerns in travelling to Thailand was that I wasn’t ‘skinny’. I identify as plus-size and I had heard several horror stories about how plus size people, especially women, were treated. While there were a couple of comments (mainly when shopping in the markets) I didn’t have an issue. In fact, I would argue that Thailand was where I started to feel more comfortable and accepting of my body. If you want the full story of my plus size travel experience in Thailand, read this post.  […]

  59. Tracy on August 13, 2021 at 9:21 pm

    I have gone to Thailand every year for almost a decade for work and I am a chubby, pale skin redhead gal. I really can’t hide when I am there however the people there are just lovely to me. The same way they complimented you, I got the same. They seem enamored with my paleness, freckles and my light green eyes. I’ve often think of retiring there. Btw the thing to really buy in Thailand isn’t clothing, it’s jewelry, ask me how I know….

  60. Patricia on April 26, 2022 at 9:11 pm

    Thank you so much for this! I’ve become increasingly self-aware of my size, especially after i was fat-called in London on one of my last trips (when i was thinner!!). It’s making me less and less interested in traveling, especially to places like Asia where people are generally tiny. This is exactly what I needed to read!!

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