Stickman Readers' Submissions August 18th, 2011

Travel Report 2007 – 2011

Last January fortunate circumstances allowed me to return to Thailand for a little bit more than three weeks. Here is a brief report of my experiences in Thailand since 2007. I include some photos which I made during the most recent trip with my Canon Ixus 75 camera. As you may know, it is difficult to make nice colourful photos with this sort of simple camera. Still, some have worked out fairly well.


First an introduction. I am a single guy in my late thirties, living in a Western European country, working a full time job, nine to five so to speak. I make a good enough living to be able to travel, but my contract only allows for twenty or so days off per year. So when I was able to return to Thailand after just a few months back at home, I felt blessed.


It was only at age 34 when I even first considered travelling 10
,000 kilometres all the way to Asia. By chance, I had become friends with an experienced traveller, almost ten years my senior, who influenced me to go and do some travelling of my own. So I read some brochures, found Asia to be most appealing, and booked a ticket for a 23 days organised group tour through Southern Thailand. My friend had told me that Thailand was very easy to travel alone, but I didn’t feel comfortable with that idea at the time. Of course, nowadays I wouldn’t even consider booking a group tour, as I much prefer to have complete freedom to enjoy Thailand, and everything it has to offer, my way.

The group tour did turn out to be a good experience, though. The age differences weren’t too large and the group was reasonably active. We toured through Phang Nga, Krabi and Koh Phangan and saw many white beaches and drank many cocktails. It was nice.

Also, I did manage to slip in encounters with two Thai girls in Bangkok. The first was a dancer in one of the Patpong gogos, who I barfined on the second night of the tour, after I had spent some hours watching the fights in Lumphini boxing stadium, the second a girl working in a bar on Sukhumvit on the last night of the tour. But it is not so easy to go out and meet up with girls in an organised tour environment. One is just not very free and there is a code of conduct working that one more or less has to abide by.

Since that first trip, I have been in Thailand three more times, travelling alone, and have seen Kanchanaburi, Ayutthaya, Phitsanulok, Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, Korat, Surin and Pattaya. I have also been in Luang Prabang and Vientiane, Laos, and I intend to see a lot more of the region in the near future. Cambodia is next on my list.


So what is it that keeps bringing me to the region? Is it mostly the girls? No. I mix it up with going to a lot of places, getting a feel for the environment and culture and generally just being. It is so completely different from life in the West: the sights, the sounds, the tastes. The bright lights. But I do spend a lot of time with the girls.


Which, in closing, brings me to some observations I have made during these travels.

On places to visit: I like Phitsanulok on the way up north to Chiang Mai. It is less well known to the tourist and you may have some difficulty finding people who speak English well, but the city has something nice about it. It feels a little like Korat, only much more lively. At night time there is a lot going on at the market and there are some nice bars and restaurants with views over the river. From Phitsanulok it is just a 1 hour bus ride to the historical park of Sukhothai.

On girls: I am not such a big fan anymore of taking the girls with me for the whole night. Nowadays I prefer the massage salons, the sort of which can be found in Soi 33, for the experience is more intense. Then after I have finished the massage, I enjoy the beers in the bars a lot better. Also, in the side sois of Soi 33 really good traditional massages can be had for very reasonable prices, think 350 baht for two hours.

When it comes to the best quality girls for the best prices, Pattaya is king. I have found, though, that it is essential to adjust my frame of mind when there, or feelings of emptiness tend to get the better of me. Of course, the same mechanism is at work when in Bangkok – Soi Cowboy is all business – but it is a much more diverse city in which I find it a lot easier to blend in.


Stickman's thoughts:

Sounds like you had a very nice time!

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