Woman paddles towards the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market for work - our ride costs just a few dollars

Bangkok, Thailand

It’s already been a couple weeks since we pulled into the marina on the north side of Phuket island, where we intend to leave Tamarisk until we depart Asia in a couple months. We’re accustomed to seasonal weather delays like this one by now, and although they can be frustrating on the one hand, they give us necessary time to do repair work and make plans and arrangements for our final (and most logistically complicated) passages back to the Mediterranean Sea. More importantly, they give us time to explore inland in a way we probably otherwise wouldn’t if we were free to keep sailing uninhibited by mother nature.

So we’ve buttoned up the boat and embarked on a new land-based voyage that will take us through Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. As we’ve done a couple times already on our voyage, the next few weeks will be dedicated partially to our usual sight-seeing and routine, and partially to researching charity related causes in this poverty stricken part of the world. We’re joined again by Elliott from Focusing Philanthropy (“FP”) and will be visiting some NGOs already supported by FP, some which are candidates for future support, and generally trying to form a better understanding for what needs exist in this part of the world and how they can most effectively be tackled with donations from FP’s supporters. All this gives us a rather unique opportunity to see the world from a distinctly non-touristic perspective, and we often discover things suddenly become much more interesting once we get off the usual tourist track.

For the time being though, we’re sitting here on Khao San Road, arguably the most absurdly touristic street in the most absurdly touristic city in the entire world. And we’re reminded of this each time we step outside the hotel door when the ridiculous offers begin flying at us from every direction: sight seeing tours, taxi rides, cheap suits, rubber band helicopters, balloons filled with laughing gas, grilled scorpions, things that make frog croaking noises, knockoff Viagra, and of course prostitutes…. all of it at bargain basement prices we’re crazy to pass up. And as interesting as that probably sounds, we suggest tempering your enthusiasm because the novelty wears off rather quickly. Unless there’s a reason we need to return to Bangkok in the future, this might be our last experience on its shady streets.

So we’ve now lined up our Vietnam and Myanmar visas and are ready to head to Hanoi, Vietnam tomorrow morning. We have a string of charity meetings lined up for the next few weeks, so we’ll be moving quickly and trying to squeak in some sightseeing whenever we can. Off we go!

2 Comments

  1. Chris taylor

    As usual , not a lot! I think I might be able to stand Bangkok for a day. I,m past most of the desirables that have been offered you. A good massage I could handle but age does things to you. That’s a pretty limp excuse but its all I’ve got!,!
    We had our firs day of winter today just as I had all the fibre glass ready
    To apply to all the holes on Pugwash
    We have had a fabulous summer here, just the best and perfect for the wedding.
    Ian really excited as my nephew James Nieldand family are coming to live on the island. He is a professional boat builder on Windermere, but also a very gifted helmsman. The idea is he will work for another boatbuilder to begin with, then start his own company. At the same time I have no doubt he we be in much demand as a helms man.
    I really envy you Vietnam Cambodia etc it must be tough!!

    Amazing that you are virtually on the last leg back to the med. I am determined to see you before you sell the boat.
    I have loved your blogs and I hope you turn them into a journal or book whatever. You both write very well. I didn’t,t,t know you did joined up words peps!

  2. Mom

    Looks like you painted Bangkok red! – and your deft mood-capturing photos really enhanced your numerous exploits. Did you actually take a nibble of the scorpions?
    And now it’s backpacks, sea legs flipped to road legs, and inspiration from Focusing Philanthropy to make the world a better place…. as you continue to be our heroes… and Eli too of course.
    xxoo

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