!!> PDF / Epub ☆ Thailand Handbook ✪ Author Joshua Eliot – Centrumpowypadkowe.co.uk

Thailand Handbook After Three Weeks In Nepal I Was On My Way To Thailand, Which Was Going To Have A Tough Act To Follow My Two And A Half Weeks In Thailand Consisted Of Three Parts A Few Days In Bangkok A Week Up North In And Around Chiang Mai, Where I Took A Four Day Trek Among The Hill Tribes And Then A Week Down In The Southern Islands To Relax And Take In Some Sun I Ve Always Had A Fascination With The Idea Of Bangkok As A Kid I Remember Skimming The Exotic City Names In The International Weather Section Of The Newspaper And Imagining That Bangkok, With Its Consistently Humid 95 Degree Climate, Must Be A Magical, Wondrous World Filled With Ancient Mystery So You Can Imagine My Disappointment When The Cab Ride From The Airport Took Me Past Sprawling Blocks Of Apartment Complexes, Miles Of Factories, Warehouses, And Industrial Compounds Belching Thick Gray Smoke, And Huge Billboards Plastered With Just As Many American Brands As I D Seen In Singapore From The Start, The People I Met Were Noticeably Brash And Jaded Than The Slower Paced Nepalis I D Become Accustomed To, And I Realized That Bangkok Was Going To Be Like A Temporary Pit Stop Back In The Western World Before Getting On With The Rest Of The Trip I Stayed In The Famous Travelers Area Called Khao San Road, A Strip Packed With Loud Bars, Mediocre Restaurants, Tacky Souvenir Shops, And Endless Streams Of Rowdy, Hard Partying Westerners Drinking And Drugging 24 Hours A Day I Probably Could Have Used A Few Extra Days In One Place, But The Oppressive Noise, Pollution, And Obnoxious Travelers I Encountered Made Me Want To Leave Bangkok As Quickly As Possible I Wish The Guidebooks Were Explicit And Direct About How Off Putting Bangkok Can Seem Upon First Arrival, Especially Since I Later Met Many Other Travelers Who Felt The Same Way I Did About The Place They Couldn T Wait To Leave There Are Ways Of Enjoying The City And Making The Most Out Of Your Time There, Which It Would Have Been Helpful To Read About Beforehand Granted, The Rough Guide Does Break Out Of Its Awed By Everything Tone To Begin Its Bangkok Chapter With The Headlong Pace And Flawed Modernity Of Bangkok Match Few People S Visions Of The Capital Of Exotic Siamit S A Vast Flatness Which Holds A Population Of At Least Nine Million, And Feels Even Bigger And The Footprint Guide Mentions That The City Boasts A Level Of Pollution Which Causes Some Children, So It Is Said, To Lose Four Intelligence Points By The Time They Are Seven So None Of The Guidebooks Are Blind To The Fact That Bangkok May End Up Disappointing Dreamy Eyed Visitors, But It Would Have Been Helpful To Have A Sort Of Ten Things To Do In Bangkok List, To Make The Most Of The Sprawling Confusion Of The City In Fact, I Planned My Three Days There Around A Short Piece I D Read In The Book Traveler S Tales Thailand Called Lure Of The Chao Phraya By Thurston Clarke In It, The Author Recommends Spending As Much Time As Possible On Or Near The Chao Phraya River, Which Runs Through The Heart Of Bangkok Using The Rough Guide S Detailed Ferry Schedule And The Footprint Guide S Excellent River Map Which Was The Most Detailed And Useful Map I Found Of The River , I Spent Almost A Full Day Hopping On And Off The Chao Phraya Express This Ferry Is A Commuter Boat That Runs A Few Miles Both North And South Of The City Through Small Suburbs And Fishing Communities, Which Feel Worlds Away From The Urban Chaos Of Bangkok It Was Probably The Cheapest And Best Way To Experience The City And Its Surroundings, As An Entire Day Of Sightseeing Cost Me Six Thai Baht, Or About 15 Cents U.S I Spent The Rest Of My Time Wandering Through Some Of The Temple Complexes In Bangkok, Which Contain Unbelievable Treasures In The Form Of Giant Golden And Emerald Buddhas, Glittering Tiled Mosaics Towering Against The Blue Sky, Great Doors Gleaming With Inlaid Mother Of Pearl, Bronze Lions, Giant Porcelain Urns, And Of Course, The Powerful Scent Of Burning Incense At Every Turn All The Guidebooks I Used Described These Places Beautifully, And None Was Informative Or Useful Than The Next My Trip To The North, Starting In Chiang Mai And Including A Four Day Hill Tribe Trek, Was A Highlight Of The Time I Spent In Thailand Unfortunately, I Found The Same To Be True Of Chiang Mai As Of Bangkok Its Image In My Mind Didn T Match The Reality Of What I Found The Rough Guide Says That Chiang Mai Manages To Preserve Some Of The Atmosphere Of An Overgrown Village Alongside Urban Sophistication As Hard As I Tried, I Couldn T Find Anything In Chiang Mai That Had An Overgrown Village Feeling The Footprint And Lonely Planet Guides Aren T As Forgiving, Describing Chiang Mai As Less Frenetic Than Bangkok, But Still A Real City Fraught With Pollution, Noise, Overcrowding, And Other Typical Problems Of Rapid Modernization On The Trek Outside Chiang Mai I Left My Guidebooks Behind And Followed Only The Lead Of My Hilarious Guide And My Own Eyes, Ears, And Instincts I Remembered That Even In The Most Foreign Of Places, It S Important To Put Down Your Guidebooks, Which Of Course Can Only Give You Someone Else S Perspective On What To Do And See, And Follow Your Own Senses, Make Your Own Mistakes, And Draw Your Own Conclusions The Best Experiences I Had On The Northern Thailand Trek Would Never Be Found In Any Guidebook They Included Being Stopped In My Tracks By A Hand Sized Hairy Tarantula Which Our Guide Picked Up With His Bare Hands And Actually Kissed Gently, Just To Watch Us Recoil And Scream In Horror Sitting Around A Campfire Drinking Thai Whiskey With A Group Of Villagers And Singing Beatles Songs And Local Tunes Late Into The Night And Floating Down A Calm, Twisting River On A Flimsy Bamboo Raft, Passing Elephants And Fishermen And Barefoot Kids Playing Soccer With A Coconut Husk, Their Eyes Wide As Saucers As We Drifted By I Flew The Few Hundred Miles From Chiang Mai Down To Koh Samui, One Of The Touristy Islands In The South Of Thailand, And The Setting Of Part Of Alex Garland S Popular Book The Beach I Left The Island Right Away In Search Of Remote Pastures, Heading To Koh Pha Ngan, Another Island An Hour S Ferry Ride Away All My Guidebooks Recommended Koh Pha Ngan As A Quiet, Off The Beaten Track Alternative To The Crowded Other Islands, And The Rough Guide Spoke Highly Of A Particular Beach Called Thong Nai Pan A Beautiful, Semicircular Bay Backed By Steep Green Hillsas If It S Been Bitten Out Of The Island S Northeast Corner The Lonely Planet Was A Bit Up Front About How Incredibly Secluded This Beach Is, However, And Mentioned That It Might Not Be Ideal For Those Seeking A Social Component To Their Travels Being A Lone Traveler, I Found That The Desolate Beaches, Quiet Restaurants, And Mostly Empty Bungalow Resorts, While Extremely Peaceful, Were Also Conducive To Waaay Too Much Time Alone Too Much Time Alone Leads To Too Many Thoughts, Dangerous Thoughts Like Where Is My Life Going , What Am I All About , And What Am I Doing Here, Anyway , So After Two Days I Knew It Was Time To Seek Out New Ground Although All My Books Warned That Hat Rin Beach In The South Of Koh Pha Ngan Was A Crazy, Noisy, Drug Filled Destination Best Known For Its Monthly Full Moon Beach Raves, I Took My Chances And Headed South, Where I Found Hat Rin To Be Just Perfect Beautiful Beaches And Fantastic Food Just Like The Northern Spot I D Left, But This Time With Lots Of Other Travelers To Chat With, Shopping, Videos To Watch In The Local Pubs, And Even A Small Book Exchange On The Beach And Of Course, The Ever Important Email Access As Much Of An Independent Soul As I Like To Believe Myself, I Caved In And Admitted That I Needed My Email, My Books, And Someone To Chat With In Order To Keep My Sanity I M Glad That, On This Occasion, I Ignored The Well Meaning But Exaggerated Warnings Of The GuidebooksFreelancer Jen Gold Is Based In New York.