Stickman Readers' Submissions February 10th, 2006

My First Trip To Thailand 2004

The trigger to make the journey was an article I have read about healing massage in a health-magazine.

On the web I have found a lot of info about it, but for myself the Traditional Thai massage looked the best for me.

He Clinic Bangkok

O.K. let’s go.

So I used the web for info on transportation, road maps, rooms, language, and money and special for “The Wat Pho Massage School” but unfortunately not “Stickman”. It would have saved me a lot of misunderstandings.

A pleasant flight from Frankfurt Germany to BKK with one stop in Bahrain for about 5 hours but not boring, many interesting people and easy to find everything. During the flight I had my, with phrases Thai-German-Thai full loaded, MP3 player
in my ears repeating for hours.

CBD bangkok

Before noon we arrived in BKK. I like hot temperatures, but after immigration and customs I had to remove my necktie. I grabbed my suitcase, shoulder bag and went in to the hall to change some money.

I had booked a room in a guesthouse walking distance to Wat Pho but the first few days I planned to stay close to HuaLamPong (Subway station) for my first incursions.

Still in the arrivals hall many pushy people offered me all kind of transportation, rooms, tours and help but all I wanted to know was to find the way to the Don Muang railroad station. They asked me, with these clothes and the entire luggage
do you want to go by train. So I walked on to the station. Bangkok is south of Don Muang so I faced the sun and went to the tracks on the right side, but I was wrong because traffic in Thailand is on the ”wrong side” I had to cross
the tracks again and bought a ticket for 8 baht. Some women with lots of big bundles and boxes in the train, but not too crowded. One of the ladies took a new straw and offered me a drink of water from her bottle. I will not forget this first
experience with the Thai poeple.

The train stopped many times. I had a close look at the backyards of the houses near the tracks and one hour later we finally arrived at Hua Lam Pong. I was surprised; the building looked like a smaller version of Victoria Station in London.

wonderland clinic

On my left side I saw on the roof of a house a big sign “STATION HOTEL”. I crossed the street, no hotel entrance but a lot of food vendors so I went to the rear side of the block but no entrance neither. Someone asked me what
I am looking for after I told her, she pointed to a narrow alley.

I went in, one more turn and there it was. The room had no windows, 2 beds, shower, toilet, AC and TV for 400 baht.

After refreshing I went to Chinatown, strolling around for about 3 hours, bought some drinks, a phone card and went back to the hotel. I hit the sack and slept till early the next morning. I had breakfast from my emergency rations. Whilst
travelling I always have a small portion of dried food with me. It is an old habit of mine,because I used to be a soldier in World War II and “iron rations” were a must.

By subway I went to Sukhumvit, to find a pedicure shop in soi 24. I had a website PC print-out with me. I went in the next soi after 22, but it was still the same soi. So I stood there with my paper in the hand and looked around, till I caught
the attention of some ladies sitting in front of a beauty salon who were pretty busy with eating. One of them asks me what I was looking for, so I showed my picture and they answered that they don’t know. So I said I will go to a massage
course at Wat Pho and my toe nails have to be trimmed. No problem we will take care for you, so one of the staff trimming my nails and massaging my feet for more then one hour. They also invited me to sit down and have a beer. Several times lady
customers came in and received hair treatment.

Later, one of the girls went with me to a food vendor and bought some Thai food; back in the salon we had a really good time eating drinking and chatting.

Early in the evening I got up to go to my place and one girl asked to come along with me (I got her absolutely wrong). I refused thankfully, I don’t want to bother you to show me the way, don’t worry I won’t get lost.
I promised to come back the next day.

After some beer outside, back in the hotel the clerk asked me about a massage in my room, I agreed and went upstairs.

After a short time a girl came to my room and I was surprised, who is given the massage, me or her because I was fully dressed and she was stark naked in no time.

Well I survived.

The next morning I went by bus #25 (6 baht) to soi 3 and strolled all the way down to soi 22. It took me several hours because I took a closer look in almost any soi to find out who or what is where.

In the afternoon I came to the salon, some beer was cooled and I invited the whole staff (3 girls!) to some pizza orgies. We had lots of fun in the salon (karaoke).

Early in the evening I had to go and I told them I will not come the next weeks because of my course at Wat Pho.

Again I took #25 heading for Old Siam in Chinatown, but the bus terminated somewhere near the beginning of Yaworat, so as I had to walk back to the hotel. On my way I passed by a place named “Harlem” Full of Curiosity I went
inside, I had a beer with a nice view to a kind of an aquarium full of young ladies.

One of them came out took me by the hand and led me upstairs, there for two hours I was in heaven (800).

The next day before noon I went to a taxi, showed my Thai printed map, the driver said “neung roy”. O.K. after 15 minutes we arrived at the guesthouse. A nice room but no warm water, no AC, no TV but big windows and very noisy,
but at my age I can sleep beside a steam hammer.

Sunday afternoon I walked down to the river boarding to Taksin and with the skytrain to Nana station to soi 7 “Biergarten” I had just finished my first swallow of beer as a lady came on my side and started chatting with me.
We shake hands and I felt a raw, hard skin on her palms, so I was sure she was earning money by hard handwork but my guess was wrong, this word should be replaced by hand job. But anyway, she introduced me to her friend, we had a lot of beers
and her friend did some examination on me, she also encouraged the “raw skin girl” to assist her. I was ready to go to catch the last train but they insist to go with them for further examination. Tomorrow at 08:00 I have to be clean
and sober at Wat Pho, said so and left.

Massage school at Wat Pho

At the office we newbies (about 25 persons) had to fill out some forms, showed passport, paid the fee (7000 baht) and received our books. Then we were guided by our teachers to the classrooms. We were distributed to two smaller and one bigger
room. All together about 50 persons, 25% Farangs, mostly men and the rest from Thailand or other nearby countries but women only. The average age was about 30 years. I am not in this calculation, I am going on 79.

For 6 days I had a very good practical exercise with / in different partners / rooms at least 3 to 6 times give and take massages per day under the supervision of the sometimes very strict teachers. I had to undergo a test and received my

During lunch or even after closing time we stayed together in couples or groups for eating or entertainment.

One morning I came one hour too soon, the same as two Japanese ladies from Osaka. “Ohayo gozaimasu”. Since once I had a Japanese girlfriend I had been to this city several times so we chatted for one hour. I was sorry they had to leave the next day.

Finished the course and it was no use to stay in Chinatown any longer, with the help of the salon girls I moved to a room in one of the dead end alleys off soi 22.

A very interesting place, met many peoples, chatting eating and drinking in the alley sometimes till late in the night, going out for dancing to many places, (short intervals of energetic dancing is the only exercise what keeps me in shape). Once the salon staff and me we went to Buriram (on shared expenses) and we visiting several temples and attended service for hours. I was once in Pattaya for 3 days with a lady from the course at Wat Pho. The only two times I have been out of Bangkok on a four week vacation in 2004. My room was used for sleeping only, during daytime I used all kind of transportation even canal boats (no taxi or tuktuk) to excurse the city.

Last year I was in the Kingdom 3 times

Please tolerate my English; I did the best I could.


Yep, Thailand is addictive.

nana plaza