As the sugar plum fairies dance on the streets of Bangkok the city is lit up with pseudo celebratory Christmas cheer. Thailand is a Buddhist country therefore the holiday’s scoot by as just another day. The tourist section of Bangkok is known as Koa San Road, which directly translates as party 24/7/365. Sure there is a rich history of Buddhist temples and 1600 century kings palaces right next door but I don’t think that most people notice. As I stroll down the street at 3am there are midgets holding signs selling $0.80 beer, a man on a unicycle pulling his luggage, teenagers break dancing, children selling flowers who should be sleeping, drunk tourist dancing in the streets to memories of Christmas’ past and people touting customers for something called a Thai ping pong show. The pornographic nature of the ping pong show will not be described here.
The street and businesses technically close at midnight but this is just the hour in which the police go home. It takes a concentrated effort to remain sober in the intoxicating tropical atmosphere of Asian Christmas chaos personified. Alley ways spread out and encircle the area with hundreds of guest houses. Pet animals for reasons I still can’t sort out wear clothing in the evening. The big white cat next door wears a pink lace dress and the bull dog wears a Lakers basketball jersey, the terrier wears a child’s t-shirt and the list goes on and on. There is something seriously wrong with the air here. Almost everyone I meet is questioning what they are doing here. Why am I here?, has become a daily meditation and conversation that lasts until I start to giggle about the daily fashion show of latest pet attire.
So why am I here? I have come full circled, I have pedaled a line that stretches from NZ north to Mongolia about 20,000km, however that just a guess because I have lost track of my distance. A year and a half ago I wasn’t a cyclist but rather a avid reader of bicycle touring. My perfectly good reading neck and shoulders have now been transformed into a more cycling friendly structure. Until last week that is, when a massage went wrong and a Ozzie masseuse want to be decided to pull my neck in directions only suitable for a contortionist of acrobatic standards. My neck , back and left arm have revolted in protest. The good news here is that I am smack dab in the heart, soul and birth place of Thai Massage. Therefore, for the next few days I will be doing yoga stretches and visiting the wise old professional Thai massage practitioners so they can snap, crackle, pull and pop me into shape so I can hit the road pedaling before the New Year.
In Summary Top 3 Things To Not Do While In Bangkok
Get a massage by someone who doesn’t know what they are doing
Attend a Ping Pong Show
Question why all the pets are wearing clothing
Avoid these three things and Bangkok isn’t all that bad for the holidays.