kingdom of thailand (part 1)

Outside a car repair shop in Kanchanaburi, Thailand.

So I just got in from ten days over in Thailand.  Jenn and I decided to visit my sister who’s been over there since March, and my parents also decided to schedule a trip and have it partially overlap.  Here are some initial general thoughts:

1. Contrary to my previous opinion, just because food is served on an airplane, it’s not automatically “magical.”  Something about being served three different meals while crammed into the same seat starts to lose its charm fast.  I took a picture of nearly every meal I ate during the 10 days, but at the moment it sorta sickens me to look at them, haha.

2. A taxi travelling about 84 miles per hour through dense Bangkok traffic creating it’s own lanes when neccesary is even scarier than it sounds.

3. 7/11s (the convenience store) and motor scooters rule Thailand.  I challenge you to travel anywhere and not see either one every five minutes.  At stoplights in the cities, a large mob of bikes always forms in front of all lanes.

4. Having to negotiate prices with absolutely everything is cute the first twenty times.  Bargaining is exhausting.

5. Spending a year in Thailand is definitely causing my sister to mature fast, she keeps getting smarter and more professional.  Thanks to her for orchestrating everything, and the negotiations for things in Thai, I could barely learn a handful of words.

6. Reconsider street meat.  Back home in NYC, I tend to only trust a handful of Salvadorian and Mexican trucks, but street side food in Thailand is making me reconsider some of my local options.

7. While not Thai, the Mandarin word for “I don’t want any” is incredibly fun to say, especially with the suggested intonation.

8. The woman Dustin Hoffman hooks up with in The Graduate (1967) is super attractive.

9. Hat’s warnings turned out to be very true: far too many middle-aged white guys with hired, super young Thai girls.  Creepy.

10. Don’t use your two year old children to beg naked out on the sidewalk.  It’s 93 degrees in October, and that’s not cool.

Now, let me add though that it’s an amazing place, and is a lot of fun.  I’m not sure why those initial thoughts sound more negative than positive: it was a blast.  Tropical flora and fauna is underrated.

• I’ll upload some more shots soon, a few more from Bangkok, and some from Chiang Mai.  In the meantime, these are from the first few days of the trip: Bangkok and Kanchanaburi.

Bangkok, with two tuk-tuks on the street.


This kid at a roadside restaurant in the middle of nowhere kept wanting to play with my camera.

Kanchanaburi has some hot springs, with a cold river (in the foreground) to cool off.

Walking some tracks near the River Kwai.

My sister lives in fairly modest quarters: she shares an apartment with 5 other people without air conditioning, hot water, phone, internet, or beds.

Ants make quick order of things.  I had never seen ants move as fast as they did.

En route to Bangkok.

4 thoughts on “kingdom of thailand (part 1)”

  1. From what I’ve heard and experienced, some common themes run throughout all of southeast Asia. Your comments on street traffic / driving in general and the constant bargaining definitely apply to India and the Philippines. And the old-guy-young-girl pairings are also a big issue in the Philippines (one of my friends called them “HOGOGs” for HOt Girl Old Guy… but it’s not really something to be joking about).

    Anyway glad you had a great time. I’ll get back to you about the tat designs.

    And finally I’m lllllllllllovin’ that last shot. Awesome.

  2. Thanks guys!

    Paul: I’d say that more often than not, the young girls weren’t even that cute, which possibly made the situations even more strange. I couldn’t help but think it seemed like human trafficking or something, but I know that’s maybe not entirely the case. But a little disturbing.

    I am guessing that India was 10x worse for people begging and others trying to rip off tourists. Luckily Thailand seems to be a bit more kind, with regard to that stuff.

    Thanks (about the last shot). I have a few other similar ones too, I was inspired by this photo by someone for the Associated Press or something in Vietnam maybe a few years ago.

    Brad: Thanks man. It’ll be cool to hang out with you again in a few weeks when you’re back in the Brooklyn area. I’ll try to get a lot more shots up later this evening.

  3. that photo where you are walking the tracks looks a heck of a lot like the scene in platoon when the dude orders charlie sheene to stab the girl

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