Bangkok, Phuket, Phi Phi Island, and Krabi: September 28–October 10, 2003
What to say about a low-key vacation in a tropical paradise?
I went to Thailand this past Dashain, which was good. I’d spent three nights in Bangkok before this trip and yet hadn’t been there during daylight hours.
I remember when I was flying back from the States this past summer and I shared a taxi, quite accidentally, with three Nepalis on their own exodus from Nepal to the United States. That was about the most interesting thing that had happened to me in Thailand thus far.
Actually, on my way south to the beaches I manage to find a Nepali, in Phuket, running a restaraunt called Khanasutra, a play on Kamasutra and khaana.
While I didn’t experience any culture shock when I returned to the States, I had no idea what to expect in Thailand and was again and again shocked by what I saw.
Many parts of Bangkok, especially the Silom Square area (like the MBK building) has a very suburby feel. Lots of McDonalds, KFCs, Dunkin’ Donuts, et cetera.
So I sat in the kitchen with my new Nepali pal chatting about all sorts of things, like Thai women, why Nepali men like fat women, why American men like Thai women so much, the Thai girl also working in the kitchen (unable to speak and/or understand Nepali), et cetera, et cetera.
It seems that Thailand is best known for one thing: Thai women.
Frankly, I was shocked in Bangkok for find hordes of overweight, old, bearded men being escorted by, oh, a sixteen Thai girls—everywhere: at breakfast, on the street, in the buses, at the Royal Palace, and on and on.
Even when we made our way down to the beaches, I found more of these men (nicknamed ‘Melvins’), except they were not as old and working in packs.
Most of the beach time was spent at Ao Nang in the south near Krabi. I had thought that I’d fare well in Thailand, i.e., no vomiting, but the first leg of the boat trip from Phuket to Phi Phi Island (then on to Ao Nang) saw me in bad shape.
The worst thing about throwing up on the boat was the toilet. Not that it wasn’t clean, but perhaps because of the odd plumbing that goes into boats, the standing water in the toilet tended to splash a little bit, making keeping my vomit in the toilet and not on my face a bit difficult.
I encountered no other misfortunes except the following: near death by fireworks in the streets of Phuket during a street festival; almost crashing my motorcycle on the way over some unpleasantly steep hills between Phuket and nearby Patang beach—and almost dying a sailors death near Rai Lei beach while snorkeling around some coral when a 9 foot jellyfish trying to devour me.
Nothing really worth mentioning.