Thailand Express

We move through Thailand rapidly, on account of the two week entry permit. We briefly ponder getting an extension by crossing to Myanmar at Ranong but decide it’s not worth the hassle we’d get at the border. Furthermore, we’re still not thrilled with Thailand and we’re a bit tired with the journey, something we expected would eventually happen. In either case, we don’t feel like staying here long.

From the Bulon island, we make our way to Trang, lured by descriptions of good food we found in our guide. Excited, we go to the night market in search of local delicacies. Unfortunately, apart from some pretty good skewered pork, the rest of our loot is nothing really special, and I have some problems with finishing the contents of plastic boxes we brought back to our hotel room. Thai curry, as we know it in Poland, though really tasty, is not as popular here as we expected.

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The excellent roasted duck I have in the morning makes up for the mediocrity of the previous night’s food. The duck is served with greens and ginger, and fresh cilantro on top. The dish costs only around $1.50, which is more in line with Asian prices compared to the island, where we had to pay 3 or 4 times that.

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in Trang we board the “rapid train” for a nine hour journey north, to Bang Saphan Yai, a town on the east coast. It’s our second time on the train during this trip and we realize how much we like this means of transportation – the air and space, green landscapes and snacks bought at the station straight through a window. We read books and watch the alternation of rubber and palm oil plantations passing outside the windows.

In the evening Marcin gets pulled into the restaurant car by a group of drinking Thais who offer him beer and snacks. When he decides to go back, he is followed by the party leader, now badly drunk an demanding a large sum of money. The conversation is difficult and strange, since only a drunk Thai would allow such a direct confrontation. Furthermore, it is difficult to understand what he’s saying. I get upset and begin to complain loudly, getting the attention of the whole car. Luckily, this is too much for the Thai and he peacefully makes his exit accepting a much smaller amount of money. Thirty minutes later, they boys make friends again and say goodnight patting their backs.

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Bang Saphan Yai, described by Lonely planet as a paradise near civilization, feels pleasurably lazy but the beach is a bit dirty and the sea brownish. We give up on sunbathing and get blogging. While looking for breakfast, we reach a house where a lady who rents room agrees to cook for us. This is a major success because we’re going to eat excellent home-made food for incredibly cheap. The basic Thai breakfast is rice soup and we’ve been eating it almost everyday since we crossed the border. Dinner consists of curry with pork, pumpkin and shredden banana blossoms.

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Next stop is Bangkok. We’re welcomed by Ania, a friend from high school. Together we spend several, very pleasant days, hanging around her neighborhoods instead of sightseeing and sample Thai and Indian cuisine. The tom yam and various salads we tried were excellent. We can also recommend a stir-fry made with minced pork and Thai basil. My craving for waffles, which has followed my since Indonesia, gets finally satisfied, as Ania makes delicious and healthy rye waffles with fruit.

Although Asian metropolises, with their claustrophobic urban nightmare, smog and unwholesome smells are not exactly our cup of tea, we leave Bangkok still tired but in great moods. Thank you, Ania!

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