Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Deleted scenes: Thailand

I resisted Thailand's obvious lure when starting my East Asia travels in more conventionally unconventional Taiwan, the sort of place people normally go last when they've exhausted all the interesting countries in the region and can't be bothered to arrange the visa for real China.

As soon as I arrived in Thailand though, I realised why it's so big with the tourists. Actually, it took about a week until I'd sufficiently adapted to the heat and stopped trying to go so stubbornly against the crowd. The tourist trail in Thailand is rightly criticised for being unadventurous, full of scammers and destructive to native habitats, but it's a lot of fun too, and this is the only country I've returned to every year for more. Unless you count all those Malaysia passport stamps I got from transferring at Kuala Lumpur LCC terminal every two months, which you really shouldn't. Malaysia's up next.

Unseen Thailand

This dress code is the reason I don't have any photos inside Bangkok's Grand Palace.
I'm dressed for sweaty sightseeing, not a job interview

To make the photos of my second childish day out more manageable, I focused on curious species pairings and displays of animal cruelty. How this one didn't make it I have no idea, it excels in both categories

There's the regular-sized photo of me being a curmudgeon at Dream World.
I remember Lynsey appreciating it

Ogling another long-necked Karen kid.
If she's trying to reach those leaves, she's got a few more rings to go yet

Unused Krabi photo for the internet to steal, feat. a vigilant monkey

Documenting the tranquillity of Koh Chang at the end of 2011, I didn't think I'd be back in Thailand for some time. I certainly didn't expect to spend about a third of the next year there

There are many extraneous photos of me and the tigers.
You don't economise when it comes to those

More passionately sadistic paintings to scare children into behaving

There didn't seem to be much free love going on at this run-down resort on Koh Phayam in the rainy season. Those dogs looked pretty hungry too. Bring all the family!

Someone made this cat wear a bow tie, like he's the Doctor or something.
It was worth preserving

More animal cruelty at Sriracha

The Erawan Museum is mostly pointless, the main attraction being the massive elephant statue you can see from the road anyway. But go inside and you can enjoy the spectacle of a slightly inaccurate world map overhead

Inspires with confidence

During my latest trip to Krabi in April my finger got infected and I half-heartedly tracked its progress until it just became too repulsive and entered the green spectrum. I think we had to amputate in the end? No, wait, I just checked and I used it to type this, I guess it got better

This would have been a usable photo of Phi Phi if my camera's permanent water damage didn't show up so clearly. Look out for those unfortunate splots elsewhere in the second half of 2013

Turns out they do have whatever you'd call nuns in Thai Buddhism after all

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