Marokko Dodra

What we miss from Thailand

Thailand

What we miss from Thailand

When you hear the name Thailand, you quickly think of sex tourism and good food. Blatant categories as an introduction. We have also experienced a stark contrast. We take off from Houston, Texas in icy temperatures and land 32 hours later in Bangkok in high humidity and tropical temperatures. So what do we miss from Thailand?

Thailand – the land of smiles

Thailand is known as the land of smiles. In fact, the Thais smile when they are spoken to. But that’s a fake smile. And the Thais have mastered this perfectly. But not every laugh is fake. Contrary to the cliché, a natural smile is shown when you try to use the local language as a tourist. And even if it’s just to articulate a hello or a thank you. The Thais are happy about it and then conjure up the honest smile automatically. So a request to the package tourists – and there are plenty of them in Thailand – learns the simple words of greeting and saying thank you. If the Thai counterpart is female, hello is “S̄wạs̄dī ka” (pronounced Sauati kaa). If the counterpart is male, it is called S̄wạs̄dī kap (pronounced Sauati kap). Easy.

Bangkok is alive

So we arrive in Bangkok at the airport. From Houston, Texas with a change in Dubai, finally, after a long 32 hours of total travel time, in Thailand. We take a taxi to the hotel, where our funny, like-minded friends from Mexico are already waiting for us. By the pool, of course. We met Gabi and Roland by chance via Facebook – although getting to know each other via Facebook doesn’t really fit. And then, by real chance, we saw a camper with German license plates driving in front of us on the road in Oaxaca City, Oaxaca. I said to Claudia, they must be Gabi and Roland. We sat down cheekily next to them on the double-lane road and in the day – they were. This has developed into a beautiful and fun friendship. So we meet the two here in Bangkok and will spend a few days together. What we didn’t know until then was that days turn into weeks. But it was funny. Together we explore Bangkok for the first few days. Eating out delicious Thai cuisine, let ourselves be pampered by a Thai massage on the street. Wonderful.

Krabi here we come

From Bangkok we fly down to Krabi. Here we also want to explore the area a little. In Krabi we rent two scooters and make the area unsafe. Unsafe also because many package tourists are also on the road with rented scooters and these sometimes drive murderously. From Krabi, the four of us then take a shared taxi to the island of Koh Lanta. Here we have booked two hotels that are a little further apart. It doesn’t matter, we rent scooters here again. And the culinary journey on Koh Lanta is enormous. Khao Soi, Panang, Masaman Curry, Chicken with Spicy Basil, Chicken Black Pepper and Garlic, Mango Sticky Rice, Yellow Curry, Green Curry, Butterfly Pea Tea (incredibly delicious and blue in color due to a blue flower), Khao Yum, fish, prawns… and and and… Thai cuisine is considered one of the best in the world. We can only confirm that. We love curry.

Here we get to know Gabi and Roland’s daughter and her boyfriend. Both are great young people with a good healthy attitude to life. Just like Gabi and Roland. Yes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. This also applies to the casual sayings and the hearty laughter. We laughed.

Krabi and Koh Samui

After about 9 days together on Koh Lanta and Krabi, we will part ways with Gabi and Roland here – for a short time. Until we meet the two again on Koh Pangan. We still have a few things to do here in Krabi. On the one hand, we have to go to immigration and extend the visa for another 30 days. It’s pretty snappy. After two hours, mainly waiting, we have an extended visa in our pockets and enjoy the city of Krabi a little longer. Claudia will make a few more appointments with the Chinese physiotherapist here, as she did before leaving for Koh Lanta. Claudia has frozen shoulder again, now on the right. A few years ago, it was the left shoulder. That’s not funny when you have 24 hours of constant pain, total loss of rotation of the shoulder joint and not even strong painkillers help. Since we don’t think much of chemical-pharmaceutical agents, as the side effects are usually quite severe, we try high-dose CBD. CBD is of plant origin and is extracted from the marijuana plant. The benefits of cannabidiol, or CBD for short, outweigh any chemical-pharmaceutical agent. Which, of course, the pharmaceutical industry does not like.

Koh Samui and a first meeting in years

After a few days of Krabi and physio for Claudia, we take the shared taxi to the ferry that takes us over to Koh Samui. Arriving at the hotel on Koh Samui, we also rent a scooter and explore the island. Here, in the south of the island, we also meet a Facebook friend, the Austrian Rainer. We are excited to finally get to know him in person and spend a wonderful day with him and two of his friends from Austria on Pig Island and as a conclusion in his little house. It’s wonderful when we meet great people. We explore the island intensively by scooter. Drive into the mountains where we of course get completely lost. We already know the topic of taking shortcuts from Canada. According to the navigation system at the time, it was a 9-minute detour – it turned into a 45-minute forest tour. We have also achieved this in Mexico. And now also in Thailand.

 

Since our palate always jumps for joy when it comes to Thai cuisine, we decide to attend a cooking class on the island. That turns out to be a gem. At the meeting point we wait for Lat. She is the leader of the cooking course and, as she later recounts, it is her house, her garden, her concept, her field of business. Lat is a true Thai woman, which I refer to the smile. She laughs from the heart. During the stories about the history of this organic farm, her business idea of offering cooking courses with all ingredients from the one hundred percent organic vegetable cultivation of her garden, her happiness radiates out of her throughout the day. She tells how she and her husband bought this piece of land in 2012 and how she made the island sand fertile.

Island Organics Samui – a gem

Lat grew up in the countryside and knew how to cultivate the land, as her parents are farmers. However, what is missing on an island with a lot of sand is soil. The soil is not fertile enough to grow vegetables and fruits. So Lat bought worms over the Internet and scraped together every small amount of soil on the property. Placed the worms in this soil and fed the worms with the food they each had left. The worms did exactly what they are supposed to do through their natural behavior. They compost the food to soil. The foundation for the vegetable garden was laid. But how can irrigation take place with fresh water on an island in the middle of a salty sea? Lat has also acquired knowledge for this and has acquired several large vats, connected them with a pipe system and filled the vats with fresh water. Tilapia fish came into the vats. The droppings of the fish, in turn, are used as manure for the soil in the garden. The pipe system is a filter system and the fresh water is fed by rainwater through another collection system. And so Lat is completely independent of everything that has to be bought to maintain a vegetable garden. That’s what I call simply ingenious. Great respect for Lat. Visit Island Organics Koh Samui. It’s worth it.

Reunion on Koh Pangan

We take the ferry to Koh Pangan. Here we meet our travel friends Gabi and Roland again. They even reserved a scooter for us, as the demand for mobile vehicles on this island is very high. It is hectic at the harbor in Koh Pangan and so is taking over the reserved scooter. Gabi and Roland drive with us to the hotel. We are on the northwest coast and the two on the east coast. No problem – we are mobile. We visit different beaches here and one is more beautiful than the other. Only down in the south of the island are the beaches massively overcrowded. Mass tourism – not our thing at all. What we also see again and again are tourists who, mostly on the right side, are bandaged. These involuntary tattoos are called Koh Pangan tattoos. You get it for free if you want to drive every curve tight and at excessive speed with the scooter like crazy on the island. It’s an island. There is sand on the streets. Sand on the road and scooters in combination with the centrifugal force leads to kissing the asphalt with subsequent abrasions on joints, back, legs, arms – just the Koh Pangan tattoo.

Back to the mainland

After Koh Pangan, Claudia and I take the ferry to Chumphon. This city is nothing special and we only spend one night here. The next day we continue with the local train towards Bo Nok. We booked a hotel here for a few nights to visit the national park with the elephants and a cave that has a temple inside. The train ride is fun and reminds us of the backpack tour through Sri Lanka a few years ago. The windows and doors of the trains are all open – practically non-existent. Inside the wagons, tinny fans make noise to see who is the loudest. Around 10 women walk through the aisles with baskets full of food during the approximately 3.5-hour journey. You don’t have to starve and die of thirst here. Like in Sri Lanka’s trains. Arriving at Bo Nok station, we get off and are amazed to find that the station is brand new. So new that there are no taxis, shared taxis or tuk-tuks here yet. Funny – walking to the hotel would be about a 30-minute walk with two backpacks on her back, as Claudia can’t carry weights because of the frozen shoulder and at around 38 degrees in the blazing sun. Well, those are challenges. But somehow I don’t feel like this challenge. By chance, the retired station master comes driving his car. We ask him if he will drive us to the hotel and promise him 200 Baht. He drives. Private limousine to the hotel. In the hotel we realize that we, along with another couple, are the only guests. The hotel is very secluded, also brand new and the staff is still working their way in. Yes, the hotel is that new. It took over the operation only a month ago. Really cool – the next few days we have a 4-star hotel with swimming pool, cook, maid just for us. That’s how kings must feel. A dull and dreary existence. The staff doesn’t dare to talk to you. So being of blue blood is not a walk in the park – but I have no mercy on these nobles. From here we visit the Kui Buri National Park with the wild elephants (we saw one) and the Phraya Nahkon Cave with the pavilion in the middle of the cave. A MUST for everyone who travels here.

From Bo Nok to Hua Hin

Hua Hin is something like a pensioner city of Europeans. Huge well-kept grounds line the cityscape. It’s bustling here. The prices are also correspondingly higher than on the islands in the south. There is a lot to see in the city and the surrounding area. There are monstrous shopping malls here that offer cheap goods like everywhere else in the world. Fumble shops which have the same assortment as on the streets, only more expensive. We visit another wat, find a beautiful coffee house outside the city, hike in the mangroves, visit a senseless artificial city modeled after Venice and feast on Thai delicacies at the various night markets. From here we take a taxi to Don Mueang Airport, where we meet Claudia’s mother Camilla. From here we fly together near Siam Reap and visit the fascinating Angkor Wat. But that’s another report.

We drive to Chaiyaphum in the middle of Thailand

Back from Cambodia and two days in Bangkok we take a taxi to Chaiyaphum to Camilla’s house. Here we will spend a few days together. The drive from Bangkok up to the agricultural country takes about 5 hours. Fortunately, there is a working air conditioning system in the car. Arriving at the house, we move into the guest room, greet Agi, Claudia’s brother, and relax for a while. Cambodia has already demanded a lot from us with the heat of around 38 degrees and the high humidity and climbing around in the ruins. It was exhausting. The first few days it will be an average of 35 degrees during the day, but the coming week will be quite violent with temperatures up to 40 degrees. The swimming pool is the best opportunity to cool off. We leisurely go shopping in the city, water the plants for two hours every day, feed the koi and don’t do much anymore. From here we first take a taxi to Khon Kean to the airport and fly to Phuket.

Phuket and Ships

It is also hot in Phuket, but not quite as hot as in Chaiyaphum. And in the hotel there is a great and large swimming pool. We spend a few quiet days here and have an appointment with Markus. Markus is a Swiss who has been living here in Thailand for 25 years. We want to see his catamaran – a Lagoon 440. Interesting layout. We spend about 4 hours with Markus on his ship. From here we make a tour to the Big Buddha before we go to Bang Tao Beach. On this beach we go splashing around in the sea and enjoy the last days in Thailand.

Return Journey to Houston, Texas

We have to get into the taxi at 7 p.m. that takes us to Phuket airport. So after 3 months and 8 days it’s Bye Bye Thailand. At Phuket Airport we are chauffeured to the terminal for Domestic Flights. We go to one of these self-check-in terminals, enter the booking code and a message appears: “No records found”. Huh??? What? How? Why? Try again, this time with the long booking number. Message reappears. What’s the point of this nonsense? We decide to go to a counter. Claudia first runs to an auxiliary counter, I wait in line. Take a close look at the flight booking in my mobile phone. Oh shit… I see the error… Right day, wrong month. The booking is for May and not April. Shit… I run to Claudia and tell her what I have discovered. Excitement arises. First of all, we have to change the terminal to the international airport. Hectic running, looking for solutions in your thoughts. Kicking my own ass in the head, because we both overlooked the mistake. In the International Terminal, past the large queue to an auxiliary counter, where the employees of the Emirates Airline show a higher rank by changing the colors of their uniforms. We explain the problem. They help us immediately. We can book a new flight from Phuket to Bangkok International Airport with Thai Airways, because our flight we wanted to take is completely equipped. And we have to get on the plane in Bangkok, otherwise we have lost the entire flight to Houston. And this flight was extremely expensive with two rebookings.
The Emirates ground staff helps us with the new booking and we can still start our return journey without further incidents. How lucky we are that we only travel with hand luggage. The backpacks, with one 7 and one 9 kilos, were all our belongings during the three-month journey through Thailand and Cambodia.

CONCLUSION

Thailand is a very beautiful country. If you travel it away from mass tourism, it is still really original. The food tastes good everywhere, although there are big differences in the north or south. A Panäng is prepared slightly differently in the north than in the south. But it is delicious throughout the country. People in the south tend to lean towards the Muslim religion, while in the north Buddhism has the upper hand. As a Farang – as a foreigner – you are accepted in a friendly way if you know two or three words of Thai. This language is not easy to learn, as it can take on completely different meanings due to different emphasises on one and the same word. The Thais forgive the Farang and turn a blind eye to the wrong pronunciation. We will visit this beautiful country again for sure.
PS: What surprised me very much was to see how many people in Thailand are still walking around with face diapers (masks). And by that I don’t just mean locals but also Farangs – foreigners. In the fourth year of madness, it should be clear to everyone by now that the pandemic has been one big lie. Hundreds of scientifically sound reports, statements by politicians, RKI files, dozens of indictments, legal bans in individual US states testify to this. At the hospital in Chaiyaphum, a provincial hospital, the employees were highly horrified to learn that no Covid vaccination had been made. The positive Covid test – which also provides more than false results (there are also dozens of proofs and studies on this) – led to the hospital staff first wanting to vaccinate, then having to wear the monster face diaper and dispensing antivirals. There were a total of three antivirals and I spoke out massively and vehemently against handing them out to the person in question at all. One of them was Remdesivir. This remedy is known to kill people. The other two were a remedy for Ebola and I don’t remember the third. It is therefore imperative to continue to educate. Also – and especially – among hospital staff.

Wir sind Claudia und Thomas und möchten mit unserem Blog und unseren Tipps Anregungen geben und die Fantasie ankurbeln.

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