Sixteen million tourists come to Bangkok every year from all over the world. From there they scatter around the country to the major attractions. We were fortunate to see a good cross section, although it was difficult to photograph them. So you will have to visualize my descriptions.
One of the most interesting visitor stories we heard was from the owner of an Italian Trattoria. In addition to the restaurant, he owns a farm that supplies meat and produce for the eatery. All year long he stocks his freezers with brains and testicles. And every November hordes of Siberian men vacation in Thailand and clean out his entire stock of these two delicacies. Makes you wonder what deficiency is causing this? Or maybe they are just trying to reinforce what they think they really have.
Every city we visited had its share of middle aged men with a beautiful, young Thai woman as their companion. The incongruity was so obvious that you wonder why they are not embarrassed walking around. At our last stop in Patong, there was a group of Pakistani men, all with their attractive playthings. They drank and frolicked from 10 in the morning til late at night and then they went to bed (I guess).
The hotel lobbies and airports had the usual mix of very wealthy travelers, impeccably dressed, alongside grubby, grungy backpackers that smelled like gym socks gone bad. Some of them were so offensive that you couldn’t be within ten feet of them. We were fortunate that we didn’t have to sit next to any of them on the cramped local flights.
An unusually high percentage of men (and women) visitors have tattoos in Thailand, and there’s a ink shop on every street and alley. The men have most of their bodies covered, and for the most part they look grotesque, but that’s my undefiled body’s opinion.
The Women of Southeast Asia
We found the young Thai women to be beautiful with light skin and slender bodies. When they speak it is soft and melodic. Saying hello (Sawasdee Ka) comes out more like a sigh than a word. They are also obsessed with their skin color, keeping themselves covered in the sun. Many of them use whitening cream to make their pigment even lighter. By contrast, all the Caucasians are lying in the sun reinforcing their dark tans in an attempt to achieve the American Indian look. It is obvious that the older Thai women are not focused on looks or weight, and they develop loud, screechy voices that assault your hearing. They make great street vendors, which many of them are.
Throughout these posts, I’ve shared photos of the crumbling buildings and shabby, corrugated sheet metal housing. But by contrast, Thailand has some of the most modern office buildings, and temples and sculptures of sheer beauty. The immaculate temple complexes are everywhere, like churches in the USA, and the Buddhist-inspired art can be found in the most unusual locations. The stature below was in one of the smaller terminals of Don Mueang Airport, the older of the two Bangkok airports.