So, I’m doing 2.5 weeks of travel by myself across Asia before heading back to the States. Already hit up Korea (South and technically North), in Thailand right now, and going to Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos before it’s all said and done with. How’s it been? Let me tell you!
South Korea is a lot like Japan, except few of the signs are in English and I couldn’t talk to anyone. The culture is pretty neat, and I definitely wouldn’t mind getting used to it and coming back at some point, but I didn’t find a lot of the must-see spots that interesting. I mostly hung out with other foreigners and some Korean folk and went out at nights. It was a lot of fun, actually, and I feel like I learned a lot.
Thailand has not been as much fun, sad to say. It’s astounding, really — everyone here is trying to sell me something. Example: I was standing near the Grand Palace, trying to get my bearings, looking at a map. This guy, dressed normally, comes up to me and starts helping me out with where I’m going, which is Khao San Road, the backpackers district. Now, he shows me where it is and how to get there, but then starts circling this random buddha statueÂ in the other direction, and telling me when it’s open. I’m like, okay, I’ll go there if I’m in the area, and he tells me, I should go there ASAP, because after 3 pm, they start charging more. I’m like, after Khao San, maybe. At which point he proceeds to tell me Khao San Road is entirely closed, and that I’ve come at the wrong time. Unsure of this, I sort of smile and tell him that I’ll look around anyways.
The dude then tells me that Khao San Road is closed because there was a car bomb, and that he is part of the police, so I should believe him.
It’s at that point that I crossed the road (no small feat in Bangkok) and went the other way.
Most of the time, it’s a fine little country, with its fair share of quirks. Most outstanding to me is their veneration ofÂ the Thai king. His picture is EVERYWHERE. Before movies, they show a short reel honoring him, and everyone has to stand. When he dies (assuming that he ever will; I’m unsure at this point), it’ll take weeks to take down all the portraits, if they even do.
So far, I haven’t found much anyone to hang out with here, and so I’ve been doing the tourist thing. Yesterday I hit up the main landmarks, and today I tried getting away from some of that and going to one of the famous Thai beaches. It took forever, although it was quite a nice beach, in the end. Getting back was a pretty crazy experience involving a 3-hour taxi ride, 1 hour of which the taxi guy was belching nonstop (seriously, 20 seconds would not go by without a burp). That taxi ride set me back more than the entire rest of the trip put together… which, including the money I’ve spent in Korea,Â still is less than what I’d make in one day doing VFX work in LA.
Pictures when I’m able.