5 weeks in Thailand

Thailand-Travelogue  |  Travel time: February / March 2002  |  by Martin O.

Winter 2002 - we didn't have a good start:
after a little accident with a drunken dancer one day before our departure my finger has to get sewed with five stitches. The stitches I gonna have to take out by myself.
And although it is clear to us that the risk of malaria is existent in Thailand, ...
... it wasn't maybe clear enough.

Bangkok

[ Eddie: ] Just having arrived in Bangkok, we find ourselves in dense traffic.

Martin's comment: "Liar, the streets are deserted, at times tumbleweed crosses our way."

Martin's comment: "Liar, the streets are deserted, at times tumbleweed crosses our way."

[ Eddie: ] The smog is at first a shock for the lungs, but you get used to it after a while. What takes getting used to is the lack of long sight, caused by the exhaust gases.
After a few hours of well-deserved coma (caused by the jet lag and a lack of Bavarian wheat beer) we're on our way into the jungle of the big city. Bangkok is a paradise for any adventure-eater: never known, exotic flavors surround the traveller. But for the beginning we will stay with the meals looking like having been animals that we at least have seen before, even if it was on Discovery Channel.
As expected, people here are unbelievably friendly - everybody smiles at any time, it's hard to catch up with smiling. Well, the Germans: tomorrow my face muscles will be sour.

Every morning we awake in the Khao San Road, the road where most of the travellers stay. Here you can buy ANYTHING:

  • any object of utility for the traveller

  • fake IDs for any purpose

  • alcohol and probably (?) any kind of known drugs

  • original brands from Rolex watches to CK-shirts

  • CDs and DVDs

  • ANYTHING.


Quite soon we make the first funny experiences with the drivers of the so-called Tuk-Tuks (3-wheeled vehicles named after their sound) who will get you nowhere for little money but will try to persuade you to buy "bargains" by placing subtle information at the right moment. Not even a "NO STOPPING, NO SHOPPING!!!" will help you out of this situation. Read more about it in the chapter "scams".

Here we're still laughing, 'cause we know: in a few minutes we're gonna make the sapphire deal of our lives.

Here we're still laughing, 'cause we know: in a few minutes we're gonna make the sapphire deal of our lives.

[ Eddie: ] Despite all tuk-tuk hassles we make it somehow to several buddhist temples which outweigh all the problems we had to get there. It's impressing which moods and impressions the several religions try to impart. The Thai buddhism seems to have produced a very color- and playful style, compared to our cathedrals and churches virtually, eehm, well, jolly.

[ Martin: ] Our sight seeing tour we start with the visitation of theWat Pho ("Wat" is the name for the Thai temples and monasteries). Being the second-largest and oldest temple of Bangkok, this accumulation of great buildings is absolutely breathtaking. The main attraction of the Wat Pho is, of course, the Reclining Buddha, the world's largest statue of a lying buddha. 46 meters long and 15 meters high, completely coated with gold leaf, it's just a pity that his whole magnitude isn't viewable these days because of scaffolds surrounding him.

In Wat Pho, one of the most important temples of Thailand.
The little pagodas serve as sepulchres.

In Wat Pho, one of the most important temples of Thailand.
The little pagodas serve as sepulchres.

Wat Arun, a pagoda-like temple, more than 80 meters heigh, built immediatly at the Chao Phraya River.

Wat Arun, a pagoda-like temple, more than 80 meters heigh, built immediatly at the Chao Phraya River.

[ Eddie: ] Bangkok is by all means a conglomerate of the most different religions and ways of life. That's why, besides buddhism, any other world religion can be found here. And like the buddhists, also the Sikh who have a temple in China Town seem to prefer the bright side of faith: in fact one can use the elevator to reach the very colorful sanctuary, where one can nibble peanuts.
And if you're still not helpless enough, a visit in a cookshop in China Town can do. Here really nobody speaks English. The attempt to eat something in this restaurant ends with us pointing on the menu, hoping and trembling. Our first dish of glass noodles with sugared pork. Not bad. Since we're still a little bit sceptic (as Germans always are) we think that we could avoid evil, aggressive worms in the food by gurgling whiskey. At least we get coma-like sleep out of these procedure.

To experience a little more of the authentic Thailand, our tourist program includes some national sports. Muay Thai, Thai-Boxing. It's like boxing, but with fists, elbows, feet, knees, legs and any other available part of the body. And, most of all, it's not done as "sissy-ish" (I know, I'm the right person to complain) as in western countries. Fighters get beaten up like hell. And if the nose is broken once, then let's break it a second time. Gross.

Two things are left on our to-do list:

  • the definite eating experience

  • Patpong, destination of all sex tourists.


Since virtually all tourists (even normal backpackers) visit Patpong, mostly without absorbing the exotic services, we have no qualms to take a taxi to one of the shows. Getting a taxi isn't that easy, though, since the lethargic taxi driver sends us to the next tuk-tuk driver. The tuk-tuk driver tries to bring us to the nearest brothel in one of the darkest quarters in town. Fortunately I've been checking the map while we were driving so we can rap him on the knuckles. Finally having arrived in Patpong by taxi, we loose no time getting into a show, after all we wanna get over with it!!! The beer is very fine, especially since there are a few extras included, meaning the five half-naked girls, being very anxious to get invited or to receive a Big Tip. At the moment that our beers are empty and we're obviously not willing to order another one, the girls have to leave and Big Momma comes to keep us company. That's the moment when we wanna leave... By the way, the show was well worth seeing, all in all quite absurd.
Oh, and maybe it wasn't ideal that I told the girls that we just had arrived and would need any cent while Martin told them that we were about to leave the country and had only money for our taxi to the airport...

In Thailand you can find the most delightful types of international and, most of all, asian cooking, for example huge cockroaches, bugs or six to seven centimeter long grasshoppers. When the little critters get out of the deep fryer, they are hollow, quite dry and taste like ....TATAAA: like a mixture of potatoe chips and burned pizza edge. You have to try it, but I guess, dog will taste better.

And never forget to rip out the legs first!

And never forget to rip out the legs first!

© Martin O., 2002
You are here : Overview Asia Thailand Thailand-Travelogue
The trip
 
Details:
Start of journey: Feb 17, 2002
Duration: 5 weeks
End of journey: Mar 25, 2002
Travelled countries: Thailand
The Author
 
Martin O. is an active author on break-fresh-ground. since 16 years.
Picture of author