Welcome to Thailand
Trip Start Oct 13, 2005
22Trip End Dec 19, 2006
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what Ive been looking for and hoping for. Asia. For me this is an
On touchdown as soon as I leave the arrival gate I am
greeted by touts. I was expecting this, but as a pale lone traveler I
must look like fresh meat. I cannot make it past a single tout without
some attempt to give me their valuable service.
Excuse me sir.
You need taxi.
No thanks Im fine.
Where you from.
I get you there very quick.
How much to KaoSan.
Eight hundred and sixty.
Ive already been offered less than this.
They not included freeway toll.
I will try the bus.
There is no bus. You go by taxi.
The bus pulls up in front of me.
I thought that I would hate this, but I dont. Usually I dont like large
crowds, or people getting in my face, or tourists. But here I actively
seek out the crazy, noisy, crowded, smelly bazaars and relish them.
Traveling alone can also mean that a lot of normal Thais try and talk to
me. At first I am always trying to work out what their angle is, what
they are trying to sell me. But after a bit I usually go with it seeing
as I never have much money on me so can never be ripped off too badly.
The Thai people are extremely helpful and friendly, especially when they
see that I am a lone traveler. I think that this weekend is special as
everybody has their yellow support the King tshirts on and are feeling
A young school teacher in town for the kings Bday
took me across town to show me where he used to drink as a student.
While much more expensive than I was expecting a Thai bar to be (it
seems they are not ripping us tourists of as badly as I had thought) it
was a really cool place. Even the Thai music far exceeded expectation.
I still remember the tapes that Pang left us with a shudder.
Sweat pours down my face as I make my way through crowded markets. I wait for
a gap in the traffic. A steady flow speeds past me with barley a meter
between changes of direction. I wait. Finally a Thai women comes
up to the intersection. I follow her, weaving through the melee of cars
"'You know, Richard, one of these days Im going to find one of those Lonely-Planet writers and ask him, whats so fucking lonely about Kao San Road?'
I smiled. 'Just before you punch his lights out, right.'"
Here Lonely planet is god and it drives the travelers in great herds to the places it directs. But when first landing in Bangkok it gives some feeling of comfort when you know that you can find your way to the nearest hostel bed.
Huw arrived finally, with perfect timing. The day of the Kings birthday celebrations had started. This is a major event for the Thai people and the whole city turned into a massive party. In the park in front of the Kings palace they had Thai Kick-Boxing matches, fireworks, concerts(to the terror of our ears), and lots of other strange things including snake handling. So this was a great chance to see Thai culture in a non tourist fashion. They also had fried bugs which Huw refused to try, chicken.
From Bangkok we sped South towards the beaches and islands of Southern Thailand. Ill tell you about this in my next post.
Hope your all well.