Travels around Thailand: Chapter 4 - Travelling around Thailand

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Nokair plane with bird nose coneDomestic flying is cheap with the average one hour flight costing £30 but can be as little as £15 if pre-booked. I use a company called NokAir, they are very much like EasyJet with roomy comfortable seating . For some reason all aeroplanes have the noses painted to resemble a birds head and beak. Internal flights leave from the old international airport and it’s vast. I had to walk to a departure gate and was sure I could see the curvature of the earth, the next time I asked for a golf buggy and the driver obligingly drove me less than twenty feet as they had moved the gate. Laughter all round.

I now do most of my touring on a motorcycle as it hardly ever rains in the winter months plus you get to appreciate the smells of Thailand, admittedly some are rather unsavoury. I always head out to areas not on any tourist route just to figure out why and realise it’s mainly because they are too far from perceived civilisation and the road conditions certainly support this, I have seen potholes that I could hide the bike in. Sometimes what starts off as a tarmac road becomes a dirt track usually on a bend when you least expect it.

I took a seventy mile detour across some mountains near the Burma border because the terrain looked like it should be stunning scenery  and after twelve miles the road became a track eventually narrowing down to two wheel tracks. I was not unduly worried because the road often becomes tarmac again and pressed on upwards. After thirty miles the front tyre blew out wrecking it so I continued on knowing I could do no further damage to the tyre until I reached a village. I arrived at a remote hilltop tribe village where they grew, of all things, cabbages and seeing my plight we arranged that they would take the wheel down to the nearest town the next day with the pick-up loaded with vegetables.

Remote hilltop tribe villageA hammock made from a single thick bamboo pole that had been split and weaved was set up between two concrete poles outside for me. I sat and had rice with the villagers and showed them pictures and videos of Cornwall until my battery ran down as they had no electricity. Interestingly most of them had never seen the sea or an airplane so my videos of huge stormy waves were met with gasps and wonderment. I wonder what they made of my pictures of NokAir planes with birds heads on them.

The next evening my wheel came back with a new tyre and tube for the princely sum of £12!  I stayed on for another night of sleep under a clear sky with no back light just gazing at the stars and being gently rocked by the warm breeze coming up over the ridge thinking how lucky I was to be in Thailand.

•  Read Chapter 1: The first visit
•  Read Chapter 2: Bangkok and beyond
•  Read Chapter 3: Kanchanaburi and getting around by train
•  Read Chapter 5: The road from Nan to Chiang Rai
•  Read Chapter 6: Mai Hong Son and higher mountains
•  Read Chapter 7: Encounter with a monocled cobra

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Other Members' Thoughts - 2 Comment(s)

  • coolonespa
    about 6 years ago
    An enjoyable series Steve.
    We had a guide in Bagnkok & the surround, although not Steve. You can see so much more with a good guide than you can stumbling around yourself.
  • Gwenny-Strachan
    about 6 years ago
    What a brilliant, interesting and inspiring read of Steve's introduction and experiences travelling throughout Thailand. Steve is a personal friend having met whilst working in the Luxury Yacht Industry. In 2009 I chose to travel to Thailand for a six week period of travelling. Steve very kindly arranged to meet me at the airport, and after a long flight I was quickly reminded of his great sense of humour...as I emerged with the crowds through the arrival gates searching through all the faces in the hope of seeing a familiar one, I suddenly heard from up above me..."Gwen Strachan"...as I looked up to the floor above I could in deed recognize a familiar face but also wearing a Scottish tartan Jimmy hat with red hair. (Myself being from Scotland). It was an appreciated effort to make me smile and feel welcomed in to the country. A very comfortable but inexpensive hotel had been arranged in Bangkok for the following few days. After a good nights rest, the next day was to be full of adventures exploring Bangkok with Steve's direction. It was so wonderful to have his knowledge of what to do and see of interest. Later that day one of my best friend's Larraine flew in from England to join us and we began a very very memorable week with Steve at the helm of our fun packed time. Our experiences included spending a few days staying in beach bungalows right on the beach front on a stunning tropical island, elephant trekking and swimming with elephants in the river, extremely inexpensive thai massage lazing on a stunning beach with palm trees swaying around us, driving to the area of the bridge over the river kwai again staying in a lovely hotel with balcony's overlooking the river, visiting a tiger temple having photos taken draped gently I hasten to add over adult tame tigers. All in all a fabulous time was had. Steve is a very intelligent man with a tremendous sense of humor and is really great company to be with. I know that there are many people world wide that would agree with me, and if you would like to get the best out of your time spent in Thailand, I cannot recommend Steve highly enough as the person to be your personal guide to assist in giving you memory's to last a life time. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Steve for all your hugely appreciated efforts in 2009 giving Larraine and I those special memory's to last.