Hmmm I wonder has anybody been to Thailand only once? Just a question because I was recently in Thailand (BKK and Pattaya) for 3 weeks during Songkran in April, and everyone one I met there or with whom I have spoken since (office colleagues included) have all been there between 5 and 10 times, and some way in excess of this. I wonder is it because of the climate, the stunning scenery, or the contrast it offers from the west? I would like to think it is all of the above, and of course there is that little other factor called crazy wild fun, and go go bar action….
I am a newbie, and like so many other farangs on their first visit was absolutely bowled over by everything. In fact after my 3 weeks there and on my return I immediately made plans to start learning Thai, looking for property to purchase, and for a TG with which to communicate. The months since my return I have at the very least irritated everyone with my stories and unequalled passion to return as soon as possible (December 19th) to be precise, for another 3 weeks. I have also had to explain to all the ladies that I work with why I am so enthralled with the place. My answer is the stock standard climate, culture, people, scenery, and shopping. Of course there is always that little matter of wild crazy fun, and gogo bar action.
I guess like most I have just been a little disillusioned with the girls from the west in general and this was such a culture shock for me as opposed to all my other travels to most of Europe, North and South America, and even to Vietnam, and Singapore that I was smitten immediately.
My visit goes something like this:
A colleague and myself decided to take a trip to Thailand and see what all the fuss was about and it took about 6 months to finalize everything. In the meantime we started visiting sites and forums trying to gauge what to expect. Needless to say that all that this achieved was to motivate us even more to get there as quick as possible, after all we were not intending to go there to actually relax on the beach…
We flew from the southern most tip of Africa (Cape Town) via Dubai and straight into BKK airport. On arrival the first thing is that we were ushered off with someone to assist us in finding accommodation (In short my mate said let’s not book a hotel but rather go with a sense of adventure, to which I initially resisted as I am his senior both at the office and in years, and I was not the backpacking type. I eventually gave in and let go of trying to control my trip. Note to self: stupid move, you should have stood your ground) even before we had retrieved our luggage. The prices within the airport were not reasonable at all, so we took our sense of adventure one step further, exited the airport with a small brown bottle of red bull (cough medicine) and hailed a taxi.
It seems that it is fruitless to plan in any event because your plans never seem to be the same as either the taxi driver or whoever else is helping you form some reason. Everyone listens to your plans and then promptly changes in line with what is perhaps more beneficial to them. “Please take us into BKK to the Amari Watergate or the Baiyoke Skye hotel”
“No, no not good hotel, I show you” First time newbies looking for reasonable rates and oh so trusting “okay, is this close to the action and shopping”
“Yes, yes same, same” comes the response. Off we go bright eyed and bushy tailed heading to Bangkok.
The hotel name was right next to Patpong Road, which from our point of view sounded ideal. So we turn into this one street headed for the hotel and lo and behold there was wall-to-wall bars with the most beautiful girls outside, dressed in all sorts of uniforms from which protruded the best legs ever. My mate and myself just stared him to the left and me to the right, gob smacked and speechless. To our immense gratitude the driver went past the side street to the hotel and had to circle around the block again. We went straight into action this time trading places so we could get to see the other side of the street when we passed by again. This time he made the turn into the tiny side street and had to maneuver his way passed (What I now know were ladyboys) and another right into a dead end street, and there in the corner was the very non-majestic…
By this time we were so tired, yet also rearing to go so we decided to just book in, shower and head out into the night. Wow and what a night it was. Amidst Jack Daniels and Red Bull (Which I am still convinced should not be legal), all the shows, and go go bars of Patpong road, and of course the odd elephant crossing our paths which I am still not sure was the real deal or Red Bull hallucinations.
Day 2 I woke up with a stunning girl I like to call braces, partly because she had braces and partly because so many Thai ladies have them. This in fact became a standing joke between my mate and I as he was convinced that there was a conspiracy of all Thai ladies with braces targeting me, go figure.
During the course of writing this article a colleague who had previously been engaged to a Thai lady (not bar lady) recommend I read a book called “Private Dancer”, I guess because he could see that I was so taken with the place. Needless to say once I started reading the book I could not put it down and finished it in two days. Once I finished it I literally could not write any more on this article. To those who have not read it, I highly suggest it; it could change your life, and opinion.
Having said all of this I will be back in December, and April next year, and I will retire there one day, and I will marry a Thai lady…for better or for worse.
Another addict is born.