Well what can I say and where do I begin. I honestly thought that after our first experience of Thailand in 2009 and how much we both absolutely loved it, that second time around would be filled with all the same similar notions of excitement and warming welcomes off everyone everywhere we visited. Somehow cracks have started to appear everywhere we have visited this time around and its made us feel very unwelcome and somehow a little bewildered. Once over I had nothing at all bad to say towards this country but this time its defiantly different.
Bangkok hasn’t really changed much at all, in fact it was very nice to be back in the hustle and bustle of places like Khoa san road, in and around sukhumvit road and the huge shopping metropolis of Siam paragon. A fast paced city for the younger generation of the more affluent Thai’s with plenty of cash and taste for the finer things in life. We really enjoyed the food stalls that litter the streets where you can eat for little more than 80p.
Moving to the south was an experience this time as the last time we flew thanks to a friend. This time we had to book a night bus which from experience of night buses in Vietnam for example was a real good way to travel distance under the cool air of night time temperatures. So we book a TOURIST bus this time and as we board there are three scrotum looking young Thai lads that seem to be the one’s herding the unsuspecting newbie tourists onto the bus. Word of advice stay well clear of falang (European white person) buses which everyone falls into the trap of booking purely because they (we) don’t know any better. Always head to the local bus stations as much as possible. Anyway they hold a sign up in English saying keep your personal belongings on you and not in your luggage. Now I know when ever you come across this behavior it basically means your going to get robbed on this bus! That may sound harsh but Thailand is that well traveled these days that they know all the tricks of the trade and know exactly what needs to be done. So luggage under the bus and personal stuff at my feet, I’m thinking everything will be fine because my clothes are all that in my bag so no need to worry because they’ll be fine. Cut a long story short between getting shunted fast between different buses in the early hours and not really thinking you could of been robbed we got to the hotel the next morning and I opened my bag to find they has taken most of my named clothing, rooted through my whole bag left the crap and left someones else’s Sony camera charger in there too. NOT HAPPY
I feel that this needs its own title as I’ve been so disheartened with Thai people over this. Most of the place’s we have visited this time have felt like a battle between you and the locals. In the south there is a definite feel of aggressiveness or maybe hatred towards you if you refuse or try to knock them down on prices, especially if your on a island or somewhere that’s maybe land locked. They blatantly refuse your business because they know you have no choice and one way or another you will end up buying it anyway. For me this bitterness left an awful taste in my mouth and don’t think it will ever go away. I can’t help but maybe point a finger towards some of the many expats that roam Thailand these days. We had a few days in a place called Pranburi sort of mid Thailand we found a nice clean Thai hotel that was reasonable enough, it had a massage place right next to it and a small quirky bar attached also. Spent roughly 3 days there and we had all smiles and good mornings everyday off the people and made you feel welcome. The last night we had been bouldering on the beach that day so thought we would treat ourselves to a oil massage. So the same massage place that had been really pleasant the whole time to us we thought we would go there so went and had a brilliant massage. Afterward we headed to the quirky bar which we had been in nights previous and one lady which worked at the massage place was doing extra hours at the bar, thus the older lady which worked the bar every evening was there to. She seemed nice the whole time to. We noticed that the massage lady had suddenly become very ignorant towards us since the massage earlier in the evening. She was emitting a bad vibe as if we had done something wrong. Anyway had 3 bottles of beer between us (60Baht each) because being on a budget because where away for 3 months I’am always keeping an eye on what we spend. We were gonna call it a night when a bunch of scots walked in to watch the rugby we got chatting. They was on holiday together, most had retired and we started chatting and was having a good laugh. So I said lets have one more to Jemma, so I ordered it with the lady and one of the guys which was a retired ceo of a large packaging company said to the barmaid put that on my tab,which was very nice of him. As the night progressed one of the guys said to me I cant believe how nice the Thai’s are towards you. Made me chuckle. By the time the bar was closing we had another 2 bottles of beer (6 in total) which the same chap kept putting on his tab. So when presented with the bill at the end she had basically charged us for 6 bottles of beer and put 3 bottles of beer on the chaps tab to so got charged twice. I was a little tipsy but certainly not to drunk to add up and I questioned her, and got the worst reception off her as if I was in the wrong for it. So she starting ranting in Thai telling me we had 7 or 8 bottles when I knew we had 6 bottles because they are large bottles and we cant drink for shit so knew there was no way we had 8. So in the end she charged us 350baht for 7 bottles now if their 60 each and we had 7 then that’s 420baht, but we only had 3 in which we owed for and that nice chap paid for the other 3(6 in total). She reluctantly threw 90 baht at me and told us to leave!!!!
So the next day I woke up and I was so angry about the whole situation. They had been so nice to us before the massage and before they knew we was leaving that it felt like now they’ve had your money and you was going instead of saying good morning as usual they literally turned their heads away from you and blatantly ignored you gave me the worst reception when I went to the bar in the morning to get my bite stick I had left the night before. I was so angry inside because they actually thought that just because we where travelling around and had money to do that its OK to rip you off and that you should take it and be happy about it. What they don’t realize is that we have saved up for two years for this trip and have all the bills at home like our mortgage to still pay while where here. They think that because your young that we’ve had some inheritance or something off our parents and we can afford it, but that isn’t the case, I work 6 days a week at home so there is no way i’am going to let them take advantage because they think ‘oh they are drunk they will never know’ like I said earlier its left a real bitter taste in my mouth. So when the nice people we met in the bar that night said to me I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW NICE THE PEOPLE ARE in some respects the local people are very nice but they were staying at 5* hotel and yes they are nice purely because they are making lots of money off them every time they order a Bacardi and coke or Johnny Walker reserve. Its absolutely fine if your on a 2 week holiday to warrant paying over the odds, because at the end of the day in Europe we are used to paying more anyway and its only few quid here and there so for two weeks who cares. But as a traveller on a shoe string makes it very tricky unless you have and endless bank balance.
The abundance of ex pats or whoever all men mostly walking the streets with Thai women is really starting to disgust me to high heaven. Places in Thailand where consumerism is eating up society is frighting. Patt pong, Koi samui, Hua hin, Pattaya, just to name a few, some of the sites we’ve come across is shocking, I know most Thai’s are buddist but what much they really think of the abundance of young and older women who are literally paid by the day to be a prostitute for them. What must normal Thai people think of this? For me its quite disgusting for over weight chain smoking, alcohol addicted old western men to be hand in hand or not with young skinny Thai girls. Now I maybe a little naive to this but I don’t think so. I’am old enough to know the difference between someone being lonely and looking for a partner to blatant staring at anything with flesh on show and drooling at the same time! You disgust me and make me physically sick!
Rant over hope you have enjoyed my story………