Sunday, May 20, 2007


Photo 1: That's the less than orientating sign I saw when I first stepped into Thailand. I didn't have a mpa and only knew I wanted to go to Chiang Mai. Photo 2: camping in my driver's house.

Thailand must be one fo the easiest places in the world for hitch-hiking. I was delayed for a while in the Laos side of the border. Although I initially thought there was something wrong, it followed that the officer on duty simply didn’t know how to proceed with a foreign passport. After a few phone calls an officer of higher rank showed up, and I got my exit stamp.

On the Thai side, the road improved to Western standards. A narrowed but paved road, with a central yellow line was ahead of me. As usual, or worse than usual, I didn’t have a clue of where I was, or where Chiang Mai was. When I asked the first driver I see for directions for Chiang Mai he nodded in sorprise. “That’s more than 500 km away”. But what why??? He simply insisted that I had to go there by bus. It was just out of his frame of mind that I wanted to hitch-hike there. When I got to the first fork on the road, I chose the one that seemed to go in direction north. All I knew was that Chiang Mai was in that direction. As Gaboto, I was navigating by the sun…

Things became clearer when the woman who worked in the petrol station of the first town I reached happened to speak English. She showed a road map of Thailand and even teached me how to ask for a ride in Thai! Now I knew where I was going. Also, I started to notice that Thailand wasby far the most developed country I had been to since I left Europe. Seven-elevens’s in every corner, Tesco supermarket bags blowing with the wind, pavement almost everywhere, people speaking English…

I started to get very smooth rides in the back of pick ups. A Toyota Pick Up is the average car in this country, by the way. The last driver of the day was a tourist policeman from Bangkok. He allowed me to camp in his garden, and we spent the whole night drinking whiskey wih him and his family!!!

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