The detour into Thailand served one major purpose, cheap flights outta there. See, Thailand is not really my cup of tea. Having only visited a handful of places in Thailand I haven’t ruled it out as being potentially cool, but the impression I got was one of Aussies shopping and getting drunk. Cheap beer see, and clothes and knickknacks.
Due to my already dismal view of the country we intended to spend as little time there as possible, really just jump in and fly straight outta there. But this proved difficult, especially because we are so in the holiday spirit we both spaced on the actual date of our flights to Macau. We had both been telling people and each other for days that we flew out on the 8th, which meant leaving Pakse in Southern Laos on the 6th and spending one night in Bangkok. On the 5th we were fed up with Pakse, we wanted to go trekking but nothing was available, the town was dead but for foreigners and we had already visited the main tourist attractions and been dissapointed.
Around 10am on the 5th we were settling in for a relaxing day of food, internet and staying out of the sun when I decided to check our itinerary. The crowded internet cafe seemed to hush with my nervous laughter “um, Felix, our flights are on the 7th”. We look at each other giggling stupidly. We had to leave today or else it would be a mad dash from Pakse to Bangkok fingers crossed we would make our flight. “I guess we better go and check out of our hotel then” was his response.
This is one thing that travelling is great for, being quick on your feet and flexible. A few hours later we were crossing the border to Thailand, our bags were in the dirt and being sniffer dogged. A few hours later we were in Ubon Ratchatahni buying overnight tickets to Bangkok.
Despite being expensive and having hugely reclining seats and heaps of leg room the bus wasn’t restful. We stopped for dinner at 1am and arrived at 3:30am. Instantly I knew we were in Thailand. Surrounded by taxi drivers trying to make a buck. We ended up in the rank and with no guidebook the only place to go was the backpacker ghetto, Khoa San Road. The rank attendant asked us where we were going, nodded in agreement and didn’t bother telling the driver. I mean, it was obvious where we were going, we were backpackers, right?
Just our luck we got the only taxi driver in Bangkok who can’t read or speak english and doesn’t know where Khoa San Road is.
Lucky for us we ended up where we wanted to be, 20 minutes away from KSR in a quiet local market street.
We walked around the market at dawn, exhausted but relieved to be on the road again.
Unfortunately for us Thailand lived up to my expectations of it, which were obviously low. We did, however, stock up on fishermans pants and cheap t-shirts and for a few days at least, became the Aussies who come to Thailand for shopping and massages.