Travel Journal: Fear and Loathing in Thailand

JOURNAL ENTRY # 4 – Tuesday, 4th of January, 2011

“It’s about 11:30am, the taxi is waiting outside our resort in Koh Phangan (we stayed an extra night, double the length of time we had originally planned to stay) the taxi is going to drive us all the way to the ferry port (40 min away) and then the ferry will take us to Koh Samui (30 min away) all for only 200BHT each! That is a very good deal and is almost too good to be true. The taxi driver is very patiently waiting for us and the weather is equally still and calm; the sun has yet to bear its fangs. I have not been sunburnt yet, instead I have a healthy brown glow!”

“Turns out it was too good to be true… on the way to the ferry, two random Thais appeared out of nowhere and poked their head through the taxi window asking us for an extra 200BHT each, waving our ferry tickets in the air. I forgot to mention that the taxis aren’t what I’m used to seeing in Melbourne, or even Indonesia. The taxis are sort of like jeeps, they are quite open and the passengers climb in from behind and can feel the breeze blowing inside. I love the taxis here! Once we arrived at the dock I immediately noticed 2 massive boats literally crawling with people, it was as if a giant had spent all day grabbing handfuls of people and dropping them onto the boats. The sun was really hot at this point, I was pouring sweat. The act of hopping all the way across the massive pier and then struggling onto the overcrowded boat with my bags and crutches was way too overwhelming. It was at that point that I was finally struck with the depressing reality of my situation: without my right foot I can’t travel, I need to rest until I get my stitches out, but I can’t stay in one place long enough to fully recover
(I was with a group of 8 friends who I didn’t want to slow down). Once I was on the ferry, all eyes were on me, the crippled one! I was told to sit down by some cute blonde girl with a friendly smile. She had a foreign accent that I couldn’t place, I was too exhausted to find out where she was from, so I didn’t ask. I noticed that by the look of all the people I’ve seen so far, and especially the people crouched on this ferry, that this country is one of the last havens for punk kids and hippie wannabes that want to follow the romantic life of the 60s. The hippie trail runs through Thailand’s arm like a vein that has been stabbed carelessly by opium filled needles, junkies crawl the country looking for the ultimate escape, a fix that will ease their longing for something more to their life. Glazed eyes stared at me as I was thinking this. They call the trek through Northern Thailand towards the Golden Triangle (which is where Thailand, Laos and Burma stare at each other, separated only by the Mekong river) the banana pancake trail. It’s called this, apparently, because hippies that make the trek stop for banana pancakes at each stop on the map”

“I’m currently hanging out in my new temporary home in Koh Samui with D; a small hotel room. He brought me some pizza and a pair of sandals… he really is the maddest dog in the world! Watching TV in bed, some bullshit channel is on, a choir singing something along the lines of “the full moon is driving away the darkness and brightening the world, its feminine power will rebuild Thailand, economy and the mind are one!”

Here’s a little table I drew to help me remember the currency:

Assuming $1 = 30TBH (Thai Baht/BHT)
TBH = $3.32

200 TBH = $6.65
400 TBH = $13.29
500 TBH = $16.62
1000 TBH = #33.23
5000 TBH = $166.16
10,000 TBH = $332.32
Excuse Me = KOR TOHT
Thank You = KORP KHUN
Too Expensive! = PANG MAR!

Having a ciggie out my window, Light My Fire by The Doors is blazing throughout the street and a table with about 10 hookers are staring right at me, blowing kisses and shouting prices. Sucks to be them! (pun)

2 thoughts on “Travel Journal: Fear and Loathing in Thailand

  1. Pingback: The Worst Party in Asia | Roads & Kingdoms

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