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Thailand.

 
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woof woof
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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 1:14 pm    Post subject: Thailand.  Reply with quote

I'd never been before but I loved it and I'd go again :D

I had no intention of going to tourist bars or full moon parties and deffo no intention of seeking out Thai prostitutes.... even though I'm told their worth seeking out. No. I went to Chonburi and stayed with my hosts (Thai working for a Japanese company) in what looked to be a nice new and posh estate. They seem to be building everywhere and seem to be targeting foreigners as there are adds in English for furnished and ready to move in apartments all over. As with Kazakhstan one thing that I found rather shocking was the extremes of wealth and poverty existing side by side. I suppose this is par for the course away from cosy Europe,

Wires everywhere and stalls selling everything everywhere.





Whatever you want he's got one, somewhere.



I think that the strangest things I saw on sale were the stalls with thousands of these for sale...



and a bloke with a mobile stall selling cooked chicken and women's shoes. I expect he knows his market.

Temples are everywhere and I saw loads some of which were simply fantastic.





This Chinese set up was amazing.





Oooo, look...















and yet more...









One the roads I didn't see much of any interest. There were a few Mini's and Sunderland Nissan's about and I saw one Lotus Elan SE. The usual stuff seems to be a non descript Japanese and often Toyota saloon or a pick up, possibly a dual cab thing and of course there are scooters everywhere, the max number of people I saw on one was 4 and I saw that a few times.

I was surprised at the roads and the traffic. The roads seemed to be in good nick and wide and the traffic was everywhere and the rule both on the road and off seems to be that in Thailand if you can do it you can do it. Saying that seemed to tickle my hosts and they took it up. How they drove was a little strange to me. They seemed to never give way and instead just edged their way out sloooowly and drove around people doing the same. Road markings seemed to be for decoration only but road rage seemed thankfully absent. Oh, and they love their U turns. The cops seemed to be mostly disinterested in anything on the road other than corralling scooter drivers to extort money, that's what I was told was going on anyway.

Other than all that the food was great, the women stunning (and even the ladyboys were stunning too) and the weather hot and humid and hit me in the face everytime I got out the the air conditioned Toyota.

Strangely my cooking went down a storm and my hosts ate and loved everything I made  


Last edited by woof woof on Fri May 23, 2014 10:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Chris M Wanted a V-10
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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great photos, great scenery but I don't think I'll go there until the political situation has sorted itself out
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woof woof
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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who knows what will happen?

They're had political drama for years and we can only hope that it can be resolved peacefully.

Anyway, just got an email and the message is that they're all very happy that the army has stepped in.

From what I'm told the army (in civilian clothes) has been protecting the yellow shirts at the standing demo in Bangkok from both the police and the red shirts many of which are not Thai at all but bought in foreign thugs (so I'm told.) At least now the army are out in the open keeping the peace with soldiers in uniform.

Fingers crossed that they can sort it all out peacefully but as the corrupt government would very probably win any election in the near future I don't know what the way forward is.
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PG
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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As with Kazakhstan one thing that I found rather shocking was the extremes of wealth and poverty existing side by side. I suppose this is par for the course away from cosy Europe,

When we went to Phuket several years ago (a work "conference"...), it was not only the rich - poor divide that shocked, but we also had the feeling that not a lot of the money from tourism actually ends up with local working people.

An example was given by our English speaking tour guide one day. Although wages were higher, now that tourists wanted apartments as well as locals, his costs to rent a flat had gone up way faster then his wages. Too many people seemed to have just swapped working in agriculture for poor wages and long hours, to working in hotels for poor wages and long hours. I guess if we went back to the industrial revolution, that is what we had in Europe - people moving from agriculture to industry for more money but higher living costs. So although we look at them as "developing", in social terms they are still having the unrest that took us from autocracy to democracy.
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woof woof
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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thought about development crossed my mind.

The poverty was everywhere and it was rather shocking to see corrugated iron and wooden shacks which would disgrace an allotment with signs of habitation such as washing hanging outside.

Another thing which brought a lump to my throat was the huge number of stray dogs.

While I was there we went out every day and gave fruit to the manual workers and food to the dogs.
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PG
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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woof woof wrote:
The thought about development crossed my mind.


Plus I meant to add that most of the hotels seemed to be owned by multi-national hotel chains. Even the apartment developments had that look of international ownership.

Whereas when we first started going to Spain in the 1960's, just about everything was owned and operated by locals. Who did very well out of it and kept the cash in the local economy.

It was interesting that all the Americans in our party seemed totally untroubled by all this. Whereas us Brits and other Europeans were the ones that felt uncomfortable.
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woof woof
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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that just about everything seemed to be foreign owned and the Thai's I was with did express concern but not about the ownership as such but more that one day the foreigners might just pull out and leave them all unemployed. The thought crossed my mind that this is maybe just how the world is there days, there are after all lots of foreign owned companies here and the general consensus seems to be that who owns what doesn't matter but that's not how I see it.
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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thailand are actually one of the better countries in the region (relatively). If you've been to Indonesia or The Philippines they're real shitholes by comparison.

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