Thailand travel info
26 days summer 03
alone in a wholly independent travel
heart of the wet season (2003 summer)
by minibus, by tuk tuk and by train
in very cheap hotels (hotel...uhm.. it's a big word)
"not pushy at all" attitude of the people and all the
faces of Bangkok
the f...ing superhumidity and hotness, that made my brain melted,
the fat whites fingering the local lolitas and the crowd of tourists
coming from the beaches of the south
few countries in the world are as cheap as South Asia. If you
come from the western world everything'll be just peanuts. 13$
each day can be enough for a low budget travel (in the north).
and sweating, this'll be the worst.
to me the country seemed very safe; even walking through Bangkok
in the night I didn't felt in danger. Maybe just in Poipet you
should pay particularly attention
you do need:
nothing more than few T-shirts, some pants. Travel in Thailand
is so easy that you don't need anything more!
Thailand, Thailand. the country where the exotic south Asian tastes,
smells and colours are well mingled with a development that sounds
west. Bangkok represent the top of such contrast: where hundreds
of smoky stalls selling every kind of fried animal and vegetables
are settled below the structure of the high tech "sky train"
just outside a super air conditioned 7eleven. In Bangkok there's
everything you need; nothing to envy to any European capital.
It's a kind of challenge in being inventive without rules. What
is important is to sell something or to make a deal with somebody;
it means you can find everything for nothing: documents, certificates,
driving licences, student cards, CDs, Rolex watches, etc etc..
all faked, of course. But when the night comes the sex becomes
the real business and then no morality is allowed in Bangkok,
or anyway in a part of it.
The sex definitely is something that impressed me travelling in
Thailand, but in general in the whole Indochina. Not only the
fatty western whites fingering the Thai lolitas or the sexy shows
promotions are fixed in my memories, but mainly the paying sex
culturally well accepted. Happy married (with aware wives) Thai
husbands usually meet prostitutes and the western lolitas exploitation
doesn't seem to bother them that much.
Outside Bangkok it not just rice fields and mountains. What about
the developed (and nice) Chiang Rai settled in the far north nearby
the Lao border?
Hence for a traveller Thailand means efficient means of transport,
extremely cheap accomadations, safety as nowhere and I couldn't
end without telling about the nice attitude of the Thai people.
They don't miss a chance for a smile and I never got bothered
by anybody. Travelling you really feel their capability of living
with calm and relative relax even in poor situations, in which
anybody else (for instance an european or a south american) would
get angry and aggressive. This is an attitude westerns should
learn in order to better our life mood.
the end I came back home carrying positive memories of such country,
but (there's always a "but") not the deepest of my travel
in Indochina. Maybe because of the amount of tourists in summer,
maybe because it's so easy to move through the country, maybe
because it was just a transit country since I was heading to Laos
and Cambodia or maybe because I didn't explore that much, but
to me it seemed things were already prepared, in short I felt
more a tourist than a traveller there.
don't really know why it's years that the idea of hanging out
in Indochina buzzes in my mind; attracted by this cluster of nations
so known as stages of some past human madness (from the '65-'73
war to Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge), on the opposite so few mentioned
in their actual situation.
At the beginning I was mainly focused on Vietnam and Cambodia,
but then, for several reasons, despite already handing an expensive
Vietnamese visa, I swapped the Hochi Min country with the earth
of the elephant: Laos.
To fly to Bangkok rather than directly to my goals was the only
way to save bunches of euros and if you add I had to wait the
Laotian visa for 5 days in the north of Thailand you figure out
why part of my travel passed through the former country.
prepared this trip for months before leaving: first
of all reading pages and pages of funny reports to
plan my itinerary and at the end I completely changed
my way following my instinct and some funny fellows
known on the road (thanks Leigh, thanks Enn). But
this is the fun of travelling. "Travellers don't
know where they are going, while tourist don't know
where they have been"
Moreover I strained to carry just the indispensable
stuff on my shoulders encompassing gears for my daily
fight against supposed mosquito swarms. However vevidently
they were on holiday somewhere else and, as every
travel (maybe even more than others), I utilised just
a part of my 19 Kg bag... this freaks my out every
time I come back!!!!! (equipment
I've promised myself next travel just two pairs of
slip and a toothbrush (I'll borrow the paste) in a
plastic bag ;-))
OF THE WHOLE TRAVEL
in Bangkok, still
jetlagged and already sweat soaked, I jumped on a unexpected deluxe
train heading to the north. The next morning I was in the exotic
and touristy Chiang Mai where I spent some relaxant days waiting
for my Lao visa and getting my feet massaged (read
the funny story). My passport wandered through Thailand for
four days before coming back to his worried daddy in Huay
(the Lao border) at 7 am brought by a moped-boy coming from "whoknowswhere".
Right here I crossed the Mekong river getting in Laos and experiencing
a 30 years gap of development in 500 meters of water. ettled down
on an island for a bunch of days.
From Siem Reap I travelled on the road for the last bumpy hours
before reaching the Thai border, namely Poipet, where a four lane
highway takes you to the crazy Bangkok. Here I spent three days
sweating and sorting out images, thoughts and memories crowding
If you've planned to go to Bangkok or to the North in July or
August I hope you like sweating as hell. I mean that kind of humid
hot that doesn't let you to sleep unless a fan blows on your body
the all night. Good luck!
the paragraphs INTRO, PREPARATION and ITINERARY are equal
to those in the Loas and Cambodia chapters since the travel was
the same, while the last one about the IMPRESSION differs for
the three countries