Sunday, January 28, 2007

Ko Sahn Road

It is slowly dawning on me how much I actually dislike quite possibly the stangest tourist location that I have ever visited.

Ko Sahn Road is the infamous flea market street in Bangkok where anything goes and everything is sold. Prostitutes, coconuts, milkshakes, papaya salads, ladyboys, airline tickets, massages and even mosquito nets are all engaged in one big and aggressive price war. It all just depends on the apetite or need of the individual.

The truth is that Ko Sahn Road is nothing more than a stop over where everyone is in transit, be it the beginning of their journey or exhausted end. At current prices a room, complete with cardboard walls and solid, piss proof mattress, can cost anything in the region of 150 to 500 baht (100 baht = 2 Euro). Does it possess any charm? No. Can you relax and chill out? No. In other words while it may humour you for a day or two as you sit people watching until your visas are processed, you breath a big sigh of relief when you finally head due north or south and out of the metropolis.

In my case, after intense revelling and outdoor activity in New Zealand, Bangkok and Ko Sahn Road provided me with the perfect opportunity to catch up on badly needed sleep and recharge my batteries. In the mornings I was happy to wander out to the more local areas and get a taste for Urban Asia but after a few hours I was more than ready for some spicy TOM YAM soup followed by an indulgent siesta with of course some badly acted and hysterical Thai sopa opera muffling out the choas bellowing up from the street below.

In my mind Bangkok will most definitely always be associated with a bad smell, annoying omnipresent images of the god-like King, an entire public dressed in yellow as a show of support for monarchy and coup, and last but not least the motor bike taxis(Tuk-Tuks) who forever try to dissuade you from visiting the Emerald Buddha or Grand Palace and instead splash out on a "special massage" with some Thai business ladies.

Bangkok is a city just like any other. It is big, noisy and in Thai terms, expensive. There is much to see but I now realise that it is nothing that cannot be bettered in the villages and countryside.

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