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Thailand!!!!!!!! !

Finally!  I’m in THAILAND!!  I so happy in Thailand be in South East Asia.  This is the first time I’ve ever been to anywhere in Asia and let me tell you, things were clear immediately that I wasn’t in the USA anymore.

Welcome to Asia. Where even going to the bathroom is more complicated

Here’s the cliche Japanese Toilet Photo.  It was one of the most luxurious poops I’ve ever had.  Well deserved after 15 hours of flying from the Chicago -> Minneapolis -> Seattle -> Tokyo.  I then had a 4 hour layover in Tokyo for my final 6 hour leg to Thailand.  The flight was quite nice as my dad hooked up me with 1st class ticket he bought with his mileage from his years of traveling around the world.

Upon stepping off the jetway into the bus things were quite different.  Usually an airport is an airport, but it was clear I was in Asia.  Most of the signs were in Engrish (mostly correct english) and Thai.  Unfortunately I started off the trip with none of my ATM cards working.  This was the result of poor planning.  I had called one bank and told them that I was going to be traveling, however that card didn’t physically work because the magnetic strip was broken.  I then tried my backup ATM card and it didn’t work because I didn’t notify the bank to tell them that I am traveling.  As any prepared traveler, I have a small stash of US dollars that I exchanged at a currency converting window.

I took a taxi from the airport to my prearranged hostel that was only about 10 minutes away.  Me being completely green was then ripped off by the taxi by him first trying to charge me 300 Baht ($10) then I negotiated him down to 200 Baht ($7).  It should have cost me about half of that.  Oh well.  Lesson learned.  Always make sure that the taxi driver turns on the meter.

After leaving the airport everything ceases to be in english and is fully in Thai.  I can’t read or speak a single word of Thai, so I’m mastering hand gestures and relying on the little english that most people who deal with tourists know.  It isn’t too difficult, but it is very disconnecting and isolating.

On to Bangkok!

Older building in Bangkok

Taxis, tuk tuks, and scooters are everywhere.  Bangkok is a hectic megacity full of traffic and people with tiny sidewalks crowded with vendors.

Modern street in Bangkok

My traditional first shave of the trip

Whenever I start a big trip, the first thing I like to do is start the transformation into traveling mode by getting a professional shave.  My friend DaveJ told me of the great shaves in Bangkok and I wasn’t disappointed.

It has been a while, so it was pretty bloody

I stayed in the city for a day and then headed off to meet with one of my dad’s professional acquaintances who graciously offered to show me around and act as a base camp for my trip.  More on that in a later post though….

Buddhist temple

Outside of Bangkok, I visited the Buddhist temple Wat Pho.  I think that is like calling chai “chai tea”.  Wat means temple in Thai, so I visited the Buddhist Wat Pho.

Buddhist temple

Painted Statue

Shoes off everywhere

Across the way a bit was another temple.  One of the most interesting things about Thai culture is that everyone takes off their shoes all the time.  Not just in the houses but also when entering temples, stores, raised decks, and restaurants.  I’m not too comfortable taking my shoes off all the time but the Thai people seem to live by some of the highest standards of hygiene so I’m hoping for no foot fungus.

Rice Market

No first impressions of a developing country are without visiting a market.  I was fortunate enough to join Dale on one of his colossal shopping expeditions in Bangkok’s largest market.  The market sells mostly in wholesale quantities, but so does Costco and Sam’s, so why can’t an individual shop there?

I love rice and this is the most rice I've ever seen or imagined

People ride their scooters through the market because it is so big.

The chile section of the market was amazing as a chile lover. Or maybe I mean chili. The hot peppers were amazing. It was difficult to walk through parts of it because the capsaicin oder was so strong that my body started to react without eating or getting close to anything. My eyes started to burn and I started to have a bit of a diffcult breathing. It was amazing. I love Thailand!

Thai shimp. Local to Thailand. There was no aroma so they must have been fresh.


No need to describe.

Buchering is done onsite

Beautiful displays


Bike Update:

Yeah, this is supposed to be a motorcycle blog.  The problem is that my motorcycle is still in transit.  It was delayed a couple of months so I spent much of the time visiting friends and family for more time than planned and the balance I’m spending here.  I had problems with the bike clearing customs (twice!) in the USA.  The estimated arrival date is December 3rd.  The plan from now until then is to take it easy and study at a Thai language school.

There are many places in the world worse to bum around in.

Thailand is amazing!


  1. Ben says:

    THAILAND!!!! Great photos, Dave. Keep it up!

  2. Ken Herdrick says:

    Congratulations! This is the part of the trip I’ve been waiting for.

  3. Vanessa says:

    Hooray! Looks like Thailand is awesome. Keep the posts and pics coming! :)

  4. Michelle says:

    I’m so excited for you! I absolutely love Thailand — everything was so FOREIGN to me (I was there in ’05). What an adventure! Especially when you get your bike and can start riding around the countryside. They have farms there like the US, but instead of cows, there are herds of small elephants grazing. The smell of the air is different, the color of the sky… And the food! So fabulous and inexpensive.

    I assume the market you went to is Chatachuk? 70 acres big.

    Your “Butchering is done onsite” photo finally answered a question I’ve had since I was there. I took a photo of a guy with a wheelbarrow full of circles he was selling. I could not for the life of me figure out what the market was for those. Now I see they’re used as cutting boards :)

  5. Tony says:

    Photos are great and remind me much of home in the Philippines. Watch those foods: Travel diarrhea alert.

  6. Erdem says:

    On the contrary, get the TD as soon as you can while waiting for the bike. :) It’ll be one less thing to worry about once you’re done…

  7. daveg says:

    Thanks Michelle! I was trying to figure out the name of the market but couldn’t remember. It was a madhouse. Everything is still foreign and I’ve been here for a couple of weeks now.

    Comment readers: Check out Erdem’s blog: http://blog.erdemyucel.com/ he’s already completed such a trip like mine.

    Thanks for the well-wishings! I really appreciate hearing from ya’ll

  8. John G says:

    Awesome pics, Dave! Keep them coming and stay safe over there. I’m jealous of the market and the description of the pepper area made me hungry. Please don’t skimp on the food pics/details.


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