Farang for a few weeks.
Sawadee krup; Sawadee ka.
At the risk of using some really old dodge pics; I have gone ahead with this post.
But memories are memories, and scanned low-quality 35mm pics still tell a story.
Let me take you back to March 2002 at the time when I climbed onto an SAA plane from Johannesburg to Bangkok with an odd looking brown army backpack (more like a sack).
I did this trip alone and my best mate, shown below, drove me to the airport playing One Night in Bangkok with a big grin on his face.
Once I landed in Bangkok, I caught a bus to my accommodation in the central CBD.
I managed to snap a pic of the mini-gym below during the ride in.
I quickly dumped my sack in my room and then scooted across the road for a snack.
After sampling the kebabs above, I walked in and around a large market where I discovered an assortment of counterfeit clothes, shoes, watches, jewellery and other property. The “fake” women were discovered that night.
But before I met my first lady boy (Kathoey), I went to watch some Thai kickboxing at Lumphini.
After watching some chaps knock the hell out of each other, I went along to explore the infamous or famous Khao San Road.
The beers slipped down my parched throat with pinpoint speedy accuracy.
The real lady on my right (left) was stalking a German tourist “Mike” who told me that not all the girls were girls.
I found this unbelievable as the ladies in the booze bus / bar behind me looked like real damsels in distress from far.
Mike lured me to the rear of the bus where our alcohol induced bravery saw us evacuate the bus.
It was not long before I posed for this pic and the lady with a deep voice and really strong grip gave me a bear hug. Wow!!
Mike is below on the right. He liked the Thai women for sure but the other chaps in the pic.. well I am not entirely sure which side they batted for.
Mike was clearly a regular visitor to Thailand. He knew all the ladies and made sure that we did not drink alone.
The next day I made my way to Wat Pho temple for a top-class massage.
The night before and activities during the morning that followed were strained across my face.
The chilli based meal in Chinatown really tasted good.
To escape Bangkok, I caught an overnight train down to Surat Thani, a springboard to the islands.
In Phang Na almost everyone meets Mr Kean. He is famous worldwide.
While on tour with Mr Kean, we stayed overnight at Ko Panyi below.
Jeanette, who I met with Frank on the tour, kept the Thai boys at bay.
I also had my hands full. They loved my karaoke skills (I think it was the English not my singing skills).
I also caught the Monks sneaking a Lucky Strike in Phang Na.
After Phang Na I spent a few days on the Phi Phi islands.
I am not sure if the Rasta chap below, who had a bar on the beach, made it out of the tsunami in December 2004.
Next, I headed by ferry to Ko Somui.
My little hut at Lamai Beach.
The lady below (across from the Muay Thai stadium) cooked up a real storm for me – the chilli ginger prawns were mouthwatering.
Northern Koh Somui.
The bar ladies were more interested in selling “massages” instead of alcohol beverages.
Northeast Koh Somui.
On the ferry from Koh Somui to Koh Phangan I met Chai who was selling accommodation at his sister’s resort at Laem Son Beach.
Chai and family.
Their instructions were quite precise “we have everything at your service”.
Lying in the hammock with a coconut whiskey milkshake was heaven on earth.
This was male-bonding at its best – Red Hot Chilli Peppers pumping the tunes off the laptop.
Back in Bangkok. i enjoyed the sign on the rear of the chair.
Last night in Bangkok. A 7 course meal by the looks of things. Traditional Thai dancing at Baan Thai.
Well that was a decade back in time.
I ate so much green chicken curry on that trip! Oh, and so much Singha beer…
I said I would return to Thailand; yes, maybe, one day soon.
Kob khun krup, Kob khun ka!