2013 Thailand & Laos

2013 Thailand & Laos

With the festive season nudging us it’s time to Thai one on, and from Bangkok, we bus 200 km south to the seaside Thai town of Hua Hin; a foodies delight with over-the-water restaurants and fabulous street-eats.

Heading straight for the night market, we devour a fantastic fresh seafood feast to gain sustenance for roaming the rest of the lively market and dickering with the ‘crafty’ locals. A few days slide by and suddenly it’s Christmas. We appreciate being gloriously free of the season’s commercialism back home, much preferring to slather on the lotion, head to the ocean, and avoid all the commotion.

After a lulling week in Hua Hin we return to Bangkok as Christine has an itch for some retail therapy that must be scratched, and I need to have an ear problem checked out. Sitting on the bus waiting to leave, we are ambushed by a horde of pleading sellers approaching the outside of the bus, with one palm hitting the window with a desperate splat and the other holding up little bags of fruits like precious trophies.

Amid the profusion of horns and haze, Bangkok is a dirty, dense, and diverse place; either loved or loathed. For women, a mind-numbing number of malls strangle the streets hoping to separate them from their cash, and for men, there are the red-light bar areas where it’s hard to ignore the genetically-blessed ladies of negotiable virtue, with pert bubbled buttocks looking like a pair of cantaloupes in shrink-wrap, beneath abbreviated skirts about a foot short of decent. Hoping to seduce a pay-mate for the horizontal mambo, the naughty hotties in this morass of more ass all appear to be trying to get a leg up; one way or another!

With Christine gone off to lighten her purse in the malls, I counter by depositing myself at one of the ‘husband day care centers’, to perform my mandatory elbow exercises with repetitive 330 ml curls of Chang, Leo, and Singha beers! Someday I’ll start behaving myself; maybe tomorrow.

As a beer savant I sometimes reflect on all the beer I drink and feel ashamed, but then I peer into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery, and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn’t drink this beer, those folks might be out of work and their fancies shattered. So drink I must, to let their dreams come true, rather than be selfish and worry about my liver. I’m noble like that!

Last time in Bangkok we found folly in ice-skating, and today’s activity is perhaps another questionable choice. Most would agree that cycling in the mayhem of this maniacal megalith is madness; but then again, those who know me would also likely agree that sanity and I have never exactly been besties!

Along with a guide to help us negotiate the pandemonium, we pedal through the traffic’s bumper to bumper buffoonery, incurring several religious moments before veering into a claustrophobic alleyway leading into an inner city slum, where it’s so sad to see so many with so little.

Cycling on to Chao Phyra River, we load the bikes into a boat and cross the river; where far from city’s bustle, we gladly trade skyscrapers for greenery. Pedaling atop an elevated dirt path requires undivided attention so as not to slip over the edge into the foul water-filled ditches below. We brake at a lake to feed a boil of famished carp before feeding ourselves with a bowl of noodles at a gungy looking roadside shack.

About four hours into the trip we arrive back at the pier on the river, where a fisherman has his hands full fighting a large Mekong catfish. I grab his net and help land his prized slippery catch, before boating back across the river for one last stop at a sweaty Muay Thai gym owned by a hard-looking former kick boxing champion. This cycling trip has offered an interesting glimpse into a few of the everyday Thai happenings.

Still bothered by a plugged ear and itchy throat, I drop in to Bangkok’s International Bumrungrad hospital, and find myself sandwiched between a woman clad in a burqa with only an eye-slit visible to the world, and another woman with a frying pan sized metal plate miraculously dangling from between her nostrils.

Soon, I am met by an old white haired Thai doc who looks as if he’s been around since Moby Dick was a minnow. His examination reveals an infection and nerve damage in my left ear, caused by a Q-tip. With a sparkle in his eye the wizened geezer looks at me, and in perfect English, says ‘you only use Q-tip for belly button’! Paying the small 1,531 baht bill, I collect the prescribed drugs on a lower floor and make my exit.

Today is Dec 30th and Christine is headed home to go back to work. Having no such silly issues, I swap my flight date to remain in the heat. My inner travel dictator then leads me to book an adventurous fishing trip outside of Bangkok, but in the meantime I roam the streets with my smeller on constant alert from the oodles of odorous oddities. ‘Eau de Bangkok’ is a pungent and pervasive scent, being a gumbo of jasmine, diesel, urine, incense, and durian; with an underlying stench of sewer. A memorable snootful indeed!

It’s New Year’s Eve, the clock ticks down, and suddenly 2012 is 2013; I’ve made it to another new year! This somehow seems more important now that I find myself with a past longer than future. ‘When I was a teen, the century was in its sixties, and now, it is the other way around; therein lies the difference’. Just another reminder to try and enjoy each day, as yet another year slips away from this expedition called life.

A Bangkok Hooker

Well, most of you, I’m sure, are familiar with the fact that Thailand is a country with a great fondness for the world’s oldest profession. I would like to share with you an experience from my travels in Bangkok; a city with just the right amount of wrong. 

I’ve been told about a particular area famous for its exotic looking Thai beauties, and am most interested in checking it out. Eventually managing to find my way to the area, I begin casting out my most alluring lines, to see if any of these fetching lovelies will take the bait.  

Finally, I get some interest, but just when we seem to be making a connection, she has an abrupt change of heart. She repeatedly resists my advances, and then completely disappearing. I wait, biding my time, hoping another playmate will drop by.

Finally, my patience pays off, and along comes another lovely. After hooking up, she starts energetically getting into the encounter, and being much younger than me, I’m discovering that she can be a handful. During our passionate session together she likes cavorting about, and turns out to be a reel screamer. I must confess, with all this physical action, I can scarcely contain my glee!  

Dancing about like a pro, she is superb at what she does, and to no surprise, is causing me some serious rod action. She teases; she pleases. She’s up and down, in and out, shimmering and shaking, and turning her movement into magic. Now we’re talking; this is my kind of ‘pole dancing’! 

Her lean muscular body is hard from years of exercise, and she is blessed with incredible stamina. This sustained power workout and adrenaline rush is starting to tire me out. Finally, after her gold medal performance, this sassy stunner has exhausted herself, and rolls over on her side, totally spent. She’s now looking up at me with her large dark eyes, and those big pouty Angelina Jolie lips. She is absolutely gorgeous! 

She is still breathing hard from our session together, but as I gently stroke her sleek moist body, she leans over and gives me a playful slap. I take her up in my arms, and we pose together for a sexy picture to celebrate our wild encounter. Then, we bid each other a fond farewell, as she slips back into her environment, and I to mine.   

Well my friends, that about fin-ishes my tail, and I do hope you enjoyed the ‘angle’ of my story.  Below is a photo of my exotic Thai beauty, looking reel sexy in her little red miniskirt. 


BURMA (205)

Isn’t she just sexier than socks on a rooster?

And that folks, is the tale of how I became a Bangkok hooker!

Well, what exactly DID you expect?  Sometimes I worry about you!

Here are a couple more of her gal pals, who also were keen to hook up!


Copy of BURMA-y5

A Totally Jawsome Experience! 

Oops, I’m getting ahead of myself; let me back up a little. Along with a hired guide, I depart Bangkok in a taxi driven by a psychotic madman, driving like he needs to get there yesterday! Thailand’s machismo crazed drivers have all watched ‘The Fast and Furious’ one too many times and trying to get them to slow down is like trying to baptize a bloody cat!

As for sharing the road, the only part the daft driver seems willing to share is the part already behind us. Surviving two near highway crashes, we thankfully arrive in one piece some 120 km west of Bangkok in the Ratchaburi Province, where I step out of the car at my suitably named destination of  ‘IT Lake Monster’!

Fishing rod in hand, I calmly stand on the bank looking for a likely spot to cast my line. I’m trying to be a professional on this fishin’ mission, as there’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot. Lurking in the murky depths here are some of the world’s largest freshwater species, and almost immediately I have a hard strike, but it’s gone in a matter of seconds. It felt like a huge fish, but then again, I suppose that’s probably because the one that got away is always bigger than the one that you gotta weigh!

Suddenly, like a triggered landmine, the water erupts anew with another powerful monster thrashing about. Line screams off my reel causing elbow-aching action, which is somewhat surprising given my extensive workouts doing bicep curls in the bars! Finally, I am triumphant in landing a spectacular red-tailed catfish.

At the end of the day, I’m most pleased with my e-fish-ency in catching almost a dozen huge predator fish. These include red-tailed catfish, tiger shovelnose, and the toothy alligator gar; all of which are released to fight again another day. Today’s trophy is merely a few photos of the fierce finsters; although trying to hold onto them is a colossal task, as they’re slipperier than a freshly peeled mango. Regrettably, several end up briefly brake-dancing across the ground before I can manage to lug them back into the water!

With daylight bleeding from the sky, it signals the dinner bell has been rung for the mosquitos needling into my flesh. I’m now focused on one goal; kill the enemy! I slap my hands together, and upon examining the murder weapons find them stained with fresh blood from my slain adversary’s last meal; yours truly.

With the incessant irritating insects buzzing in my wake, I ankle it back to the car for the dreaded night drive back to Bangkok with a driver who seems to have the attention span of a ferret on crystal meth. Clearly napping is not going to be an option with my buttocks clenched tight enough to crack walnuts!

Back in town unharmed, and my piscatorial pursuit now appeased, I board an overnight train to the capital city of Vientiane, in Laos. Believe me, thirteen hours on a bug infested night train with all the speed of a three-legged elephant is definitely a night of ugly! Case in point: I believe there is a need for a guy to write a ‘hands on’ manual, on how to take a piss on a Thai train.

Standing upright in a tiny urine-stinking latrine; the knees, elbows, and head all get into the act while trying to maintain balance, as the train chatters along the tracks lurching to and fro amidst the tortured shrieks of steel on steel emanating from the cars couplings. This alone makes for a difficult task, now try holding your fly open with one hand, and pointing Percy at the porcelain with the other while fending off the proboscis penetration of molesting mosquitoes; using head-shakes and shoulder-shrugs as if in an epileptic seizure.

To avoid being bitten you slap at yourself with alarming force, except of course, when a mosquito lands on your testicles; which I suppose teaches you there’s always a way to solve problems without using violence! Oh yes, and it’s best you don’t drop your wallet, as the target toilet for this piss-purge is a vile smelling hole in the floor with railway ties blurring past beneath.

I’m telling you, one needs the dexterity and balance of an Olympic gymnast to accomplish this daunting task; and frankly, I think one would be better served by recruiting a dozen different muscles in a team effort to barricade the bladder until the journey’s end!

Trying to get some rest, I lock up my backpack, hooking the straps over my leg, so it can’t go sleepwalking in the middle of the night; as believe me, there is quite the colorful collection of quirky chromosomes on a second class Thai train! Oh, and by the way, if you ever find yourself needing transport in Thailand and wondering if you should save a few bucks by taking a 13 hour night train; take my advice, and fucking fly!

Mark Colegrave   January 2013