The beauty of an open itinerary
Trip Start Jan 09, 2013
75Trip End Ongoing
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So I spontaneously decided to head further north to Sangkhla Buri, which is a town close to the border of Burma. The town is known to be occupied by refugees from Myanmar and has a community of different ethnic groups.
Great. Sounds like a town worth exploring!
I really didn't know what I would do there or how long I'd stay, but hey, my schedule is wide open so who cares
I arrived at a hostel last night, and booked a dorm with 4 beds. I was hopeful about meeting other travelers. But when I arrived, I was shocked and disappointed to see a man, his wife, their 2 small kids, and their grandma sleeping in 2 of the beds!! They were very polite and nice, but I was just not expecting to share a dorm with a family of 5.
But once I shed my disappointment and decided to make the most of the situation, I actually had very interesting discussions with the man who turned out to be half Thai/Japanese and was fluent in English and Japanese. We spoke in length about Thai/Japanese relationship, the history of Thailand, Thai royalty, travels around Thailand and shared pictures from our trips.
Lesson of the day - do not judge a book by its cover. Special moments and interactions can be had with anyone at any time.
Not only did I enjoy my interaction with the dad, but the kids were so well behaved, they were better company than some of the adults I shared a dorm with!
Today I walked around Sangkhla Buri and its surroundings
It was hard for me to distinguish them from Thai based strictly on looks. But I noticed a lot of women put some ivoryish paste on their face - some smeared it all over their face, some put if just on their cheeks. Some men/boys were wearing a sarong-looking skirt.
I really wanted to take pictures of the Mon people - but it seemed very awkward pointing a camera at them like some objects. So I refrained.
Even though tourists are few and far between, I never caught anyone here staring at me. It was almost weird, having gotten used to being stared at. When I did catch someone in an eye contact, they smile and shyly look away. Very sweet people.
Tomorrow I have a very long travel heading up north to Chiang Mai.