Kao Sanh Road

Trip Start May 18, 2005
1
7
25
Trip End Jul 10, 2005


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Thursday, May 26, 2005

You encounter all sorts of people traveling:
- Two Israelis - young men from Negev Desert, long hair, "leftists" - had several very enjoyable conversations in Mirador Mansion. Very gentle men. Thanks, ya'll. God bless you, the People Israel, & the Nation Israel.
- 72 year old Indian man, tailor, very fit & just generally happy in Mirador. 40 years in HK.
- Valuables Boy - odd fellow we saw almost everywhere we went in HK. First time we saw him he was trying to leave his "valuables" with woman at desk at Cosmic Guesthouse. She didn't understand & he kept saying the same thing over & over & waving his bag at her: "my valuables, my valuables." Finally she understood & said "You keep."
- Young woman at bus stop to HK airport asked for change for a $100 HK. We had $33 each & said we would give her that & just give the driver a $100. Then she wanted the dollar difference - "You only gave me $99." I gave her another dollar ($.0775 US) which meant we lost the dollar difference. That $.075 cost her any help with her very big bags. Once on the bus, a man helped her when one of her bags fell over & she never thanked him. Difficult life ahead, I think.
- A couple let me up in line at immigration so I could go through with David & Jeff in Bangkok Airport - it's the little things ...

Kao Sanh Road area is different from where Leslie & I have stayed before. There are about as many backpackers here as there are Thais. Many Europeans. We are saying beside a wat on Soi Buttri & our street is much much quieter & actually a little cooler than others I've been on. Probably because the street is narrow, next to an utterly quiet wat, and has a lot of shade from trees on the wat grounds. People have a lot negative to say about KSR, but as far as I'm concerned, it's great. KSR area is "not really Bangkok" - but nevermind that. It really is cooler & quieter. Food in restaurants not great around KSR, but street food @ KSR is very good, like satay for 5 baht (39.8 baht/dollar), pad Thai for 20 baht, or mango smoothie for 20 baht.

I may join the crowd & get some dreadlocks braided into my hair. Ha-Ha Leslie, just kidding. Probably also won't get a tattoo in a van parked on the street, but I could, I guess.

Got out into what I suppose is "the real Bangkok" earlier today, scouting out a place known for students hanging out for David to hang out at - alas, it was closed, but we did find a couple of what looked like good restaurants. Went back this evening & had a Thai feast: papaya salad, chicken curry, pork with garlic & pepper, & grilled beef salad (+ rice, orange juice, tea, & Pepsi) - altogether 400 baht (~$10 US).

The "real Bangkok" has savage traffic & unimaginable pollution. Very unpleasant - at least on the street.

I was thinking yesterday, I am very interested in people's souls - not so much their eternal souls, but whatever that spark is that defines them & gives them joy. I love to see people sparkling & am saddened to see a dim or even no light. I'm looking all the time. Sitting in a bus in deadlocked traffic & looking into the next bus & seeing people engaged with one another, laughing, connected, & I'm happy. Really, it doesn't get too much better than that.

Tomorrow planning to make it to Wat Po & maybe to a department store.

One or two days after that, we're off to Cambodia. We had originally planned to go to Vietnam first, but David wants to get to Cambodia. This may mean we'll be in monsoon in VN, but I've been through two monsoons before, so no big deal - actually, I like monsoon. It's a little uncomfortable because you're always wet & we'll get some fungus action going, but nevermind, I have plenty of clotrimazole.
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