Doing what we shouldn’t do

101km Praset to Sangkha

Wat Suwanwijitara where we stayed the nightWe woke up with a little less spiritual tranquility than we might have hoped for after a night in a monastery. Novice monks were running in and out of the large hall we were given as a sleeping space until late in the evening, giggling at us and every so often attempting a few questions in broken English. As they came and went, a few mosquitos moved in and with we went to bed tucked well into our cotton sleep sacks despite the heat, trying to hide from the malaria virus.

We decided long before we arrived in southeast Asia that we wouldn’t take any preventative malaria medication. Too many side effects, too many regions where the virus has already become resistant to many of the drugs and anyway, our motto on this trip has always been do as the locals do and they certainly don’t pop pills year round, nor do many of the foreign NGO workers living here long-term. Avoiding bites has been our tactic but that’s a little difficult when someone has let the mosquitos into your room for you. Thankfully the risk in Thailand is very low so we didn’t lose too much sleep over it.

We did spend a bit of time though thinking about the local couple who showed up and started setting up their home for the night near the picnic tables just outside the hall where we were sleeping. We watched this obviously reasonably impoverished man and woman spread out their meager belongings and contemplated how lucky we were to be spending a night in a monastery by our own choice and because we were on a marvellous world tour while some people come to the monastery because they really have no other option.

When we finally got to bed, it was a few short hours before dawn arrived to the tune of a metal grate being rolled up and pots banging around in the adjacent kitchen, where local women were cooking breakfast for the monks. We packed up quickly and then searched for a place to make a donation to the monastery. We didn’t see any donation boxes so we asked in the kitchen by waving our money around. “Tamboon, tamboon,” the women said, looking pleased and rushing off to get one of the young monks-in-training from the night before. He couldn’t have been more than eight years old and was very shy as he sat down, legs tucked behind him, and placed his large silver offering bowl in front of his lap. We dropped in a few bills, attempted a clumsy ‘thank you’ in Thai and ran off to the local market for an iced coffee. By this time it still wasn’t even 6am but there were plenty of people in the market, who all had a good laugh at the crazy foreigners trying to wheel their bicycles between fried rice sellers and people lugging tons of pineapples on little carts.

In front of the treehouse resortAfter a quick shot of caffeine and loaded up on sugary donuts we set out for Surin, amazingly managing to find the back roads instead of the busy main thoroughfare and even more amazingly managing to find toilets at all the right moments. Friedel’s guts were doing topsy turvey things for the first time in ages (we have been very lucky where tummy troubles are concerned) and let’s just say that’s not much fun on a bicycle! Once in Surin, we called up Sarmun, a local man who we met on the Couchsurfing site and who had a ‘treehouse resort’ he’d invited us to stay in.

Soon we were settled into Sarmun’s home in the sky – quite an impressive collection of buildings and rooms built several meters up around a forest. And then Sarmun did something no one has ever done before and welcomed us to his city by taking us to a political demonstration. Now, being sensible travellers we always read the British government’s advice for every country we go to and on the FCO website it clearly points out that there is a risk of a military coup in Thailand at the moment and there are a lot of protesters because they believe the government is corrupt and this little primer ends with the words: “You should exercise caution and avoid any demonstrations.”

Well, yes, that would make sense but good reason got ripped to shreds by that Canadian desire to be polite and not cause any trouble for our host so we didn’t protest when Sarmun said he just had a little party for us to attend and that it would only be a couple hours. He mentioned something about it being political but we thought it was a private event of some sort and then we got there and discovered it was actually a march around the town. The next thing we knew, someone was tying bandanas around our heads with slogans printed on them that we couldn’t even read and another person was handing us two flags saying ‘just hold these’ and before we knew it we were being told to ‘stand here’ and ‘isn’t it great you’ve come’ and then the crowd was moving and then it was really too late to do anything about it.

“Don’t worry. My husband’s a lawyer,” one woman said reassuringly as we set off, although we weren’t really reassured by the fact she felt obliged to tell us that and we wondered if we should just step off to the side then and there but someone else saw our nervous looks and laughed and tried to tell us it was really very safe. Safe or not, we did learn some very helpful Thai words like ‘nay’ and ‘kop’ which, when you put them together, apparently mean ‘to jail’ and if you add the name of the former prime minister in there, well, you get the idea… This language lesson took our minds off the rain, which was pouring down in fine monsoon style and had us all soaked to the bone just five minutes after the hour-long march began.

We thought that was the end of it but Sarmun had another rally to go to again that evening and before we knew it we were once again at the scene, although this time it was more of a relaxed affair with people serving food and speeches and concerts but we understood little and with a line of police in riot gear separating us from some opposing protesters we decided to make an early exit. Unlike the afternoon, this time we had our bikes with us so off we pedalled back to the treehouse in the darkness, happy to have survived our baptism into Thai politics unscathed.

After a day of relaxation, we set off from Surin quite early but we didn’t get too far before we came across a string of box stores and ran in to stock up on things before we go to Cambodia. We piled the panniers full of Snickers bars and other snacks in anticipation of a potentially difficult journey to Siem Reap. Midday was already approaching by the time we cleared the city limits and we soon took shelter in a bus stop for the shade. They are everywhere here, always clean and big enough that we can roll our bikes in, lay down on the benches and still have plenty of room left over for actual passengers but there are so many bus stops we rarely have to share.

The rest of the afternoon was spent rolling over flat roads with rice fields on all sides. Finally we arrived in a bustling little town and we set about asking if there was a hotel nearby. “Just 500 meters down that road,” said one man with quite good English. We think he meant 5km and it took us ages to find because no one could give us good directions but eventually we arrived in our $10 U.S. a night suite complete with a huge double bed, a large fridge and a shower big enough for six people, not that we tried it. When we remember what we endured in France for five times the price it’s hard to believe such good accomodation can be so cheap.

Comments

  1. superslot ทางเข้า
    13th March 2022 at 12:22 pm #

    I value the blog. Keep writing.

  2. bad mouse infestation
    17th March 2022 at 4:56 pm #

    I appreciate you sharing this article. Really Great.

  3. butt plug starter kit
    2nd April 2022 at 10:29 am #

    Thanks so much for the post. Awesome.

  4. Major thankies for the post. Great.

  5. silicone rabbit thrusting vibrator
    7th May 2022 at 9:25 am #

    Great blog. Cool.

  6. use this link
    8th May 2022 at 12:57 pm #

    I loved your article. Thanks Again. Much obliged.

  7. mp3 juice
    15th May 2022 at 7:26 am #

    I like reading through an article that will make men and women think. Also, many thanks for permitting me to comment.

  8. pussy
    29th May 2022 at 6:30 am #

    I enjoy looking through an article that will make men and women think. Also, many thanks for allowing for me to comment.

  9. mp3juice
    21st June 2022 at 1:16 am #

    This is a topic that’s close to my heart… Thank you! Exactly where can I find the contact details for questions?

  10. This is a topic that’s close to my heart… Cheers! Exactly where can I find the contact details for questions?

  11. download lagu ojo di bandingke denny caknan
    14th August 2022 at 1:39 am #

    It’s nearly impossible to find educated people in this particular topic, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  12. graliontorile
    21st September 2022 at 12:47 pm #

    Just about all of whatever you assert is astonishingly appropriate and that makes me ponder why I hadn’t looked at this with this light previously. Your article truly did switch the light on for me personally as far as this subject goes. Nevertheless at this time there is 1 point I am not really too comfortable with so whilst I attempt to reconcile that with the core theme of your position, allow me observe what the rest of the visitors have to say.Well done.

  13. https://www.lotteryluckydraw.com/
    26th September 2022 at 9:25 pm #

    Would you be occupied with exchanging hyperlinks?

  14. fagbearing.co
    27th September 2022 at 8:33 am #

    Way cool, some valid points! I appreciate you making this article available, the rest of the site is also high quality. Have a fun.

  15. gatsby indonesia
    27th September 2022 at 6:24 pm #

    You are a very capable individual!

  16. Kampus Islam Terbaik 2022
    27th September 2022 at 8:38 pm #

    You are a very capable person!

  17. kbc lucky draw 2023
    3rd October 2022 at 1:01 am #

    You are a very clever person!

  18. learn this here now
    14th October 2022 at 12:42 am #

    Thank you ever so for you post. Really Great.

  19. North American Bancard ISO Program
    23rd October 2022 at 9:11 pm #

    I value the article. Want more.

  20. soc 2 stands for
    1st November 2022 at 10:04 am #

    I really liked your post. Really Cool.

  21. fotpleie filing
    2nd November 2022 at 3:04 pm #

    Im obliged for the blog. Great.

  22. blogspot.com
    9th November 2022 at 12:37 am #

    Im obliged for the post.

  23. click to read more
    17th November 2022 at 10:29 am #

    Hey, thanks for the blog. Will read on…

  24. indices trading
    1st December 2022 at 6:10 am #

    Very efficiently written information. It will be valuable to everyone who employess it, including myself. Keep doing what you are doing – i will definitely read more posts.

  25. indices investment
    1st December 2022 at 9:43 pm #

    ivermectin for maggots in dogs ivermectin and dexamethasone

  26. Letsmix.com
    5th December 2022 at 3:14 pm #

    This is a topic which is close to my heart… Best wishes! Exactly where can I find the contact details for questions?

  27. turi po Rossii
    5th December 2022 at 7:11 pm #

    BEO285 เบททุนน้อยแตกหนัก เล่นก่อน รวยก่อนนาทีนี้ นาทีทอง รับโบนัส กระจาย!!! 💥ฝากครั้งแรก 300 รับฟรี 100 ทันที📲ฝาก-ถอน ไม่มีขั้นต่ำ 😘แอดมินน่ารักบริการดี 24 ชม. 💕”สมัครฟรี คลิ๊ก”

  28. household supplies distributors
    14th December 2022 at 8:15 pm #

    Hey, thanks for the blog.Much thanks again.

  29. see here
    17th December 2022 at 12:24 pm #

    This is a topic that’s close to my heart… Best wishes! Where can I find the contact details for questions?

  30. san bay cam ranh di ninh thuan
    28th December 2022 at 7:31 pm #

    how to write a 5 paragraph essaywriting essays for college applicationsmla essay title format

  31. Antionette Benusa
    4th January 2023 at 6:05 pm #

    Phenomenal can function marvels to your life everywhere due to its fantastic capacity to change.

  32. jessesingh.org/matt-leitz/
    5th January 2023 at 11:56 pm #

    [email protected]

  33. 에볼루션사이트
    6th January 2023 at 1:17 am #

    A round of applause for your post. Really Cool.

  34. Melinda Brennan
    10th January 2023 at 9:52 pm #

    heights apartments rentberry scam ico 30m$ raised i fall apart lyrics

  35. Barnes Daniels
    12th January 2023 at 7:26 pm #

    azithromycin dosage sinusitis augmentin generic bactrim

  36. mobile small engine repair
    29th March 2023 at 2:36 am #

    Thanks a lot for the blog. Really Cool.

  37. treecarehq roanoke
    29th March 2023 at 5:18 pm #

    Im obliged for the article. Really Cool.

  38. movies
    3rd April 2023 at 5:18 pm #

    Dutasteride Overseas Free Shipping Santa Ana

  39. poker secret game
    4th April 2023 at 11:16 am #

    Regards. Ample knowledge!writing a scholarship essay designer writing paper write my assignment ireland

  40. iGaming
    7th April 2023 at 3:35 pm #

    ivermectin over the counter canada ivermectin 5 – ivermectin topical

  41. vsol onu
    8th April 2023 at 11:35 am #

    I appreciate you sharing this blog.Much thanks again. Want more.

  42. Darby Bartlett
    10th April 2023 at 10:51 pm #

    Ya sea joven o sabia, rubia o pelirroja, encargada del hogar o mujer de negocios, puede conocer a la chica de sus suenos en Internet.{citas con mujeres

  43. Michael Foster
    12th April 2023 at 2:48 pm #

    to click. You might add a video or a pic or two to get

  44. kind of gaming
    14th April 2023 at 1:50 am #

    il modo piu semplice per guadagnare bitcoin

  45. gambling houses
    15th April 2023 at 12:09 am #

    generic of bactrim – bactrim over the counter bactrim tablet

  46. Names For Your Baby
    15th April 2023 at 4:43 pm #

    Genshin Influence Barbara skin. Barbara’s outfit is called Summertime Glimmer, as well as has her using a white-and-blue sailor-style bikini

  47. movers bronx
    27th April 2023 at 11:31 pm #

    Really appreciate you sharing this post. Great.

  48. Israel Granes
    6th May 2023 at 7:21 pm #

    Singapore is genuinely exciting for its multilayered cultural tapestry! From Chinatown to Little India as well as whatever in between, there’s so much to experience as well as find right here – its lively shades and also abundant history makes every corner an amazing experience – foodies must most definitely see! If that is something that speaks with you too after that Singapore need to not be missed as your following traveling destination! Hawker Centres in Singapore offer an remarkable selection of local dishes. Don’t miss out on trying Hainanese Hen Rice or Chili Crab! Gardens by the Bay were impressive – I especially appreciated Supertree Grove and Cloud Woodland – they truly took my breath away! The light show during the night was absolutely enchanting and an absolute must-see! Singapore used such an extraordinary mix of advanced architecture as well as lavish greenery – from Marina Bay Sands to Henderson Waves this city is absolutely amazing to uncover! Singapore’s mass transit is superior! From its effective city train system as well as easy traveling with an EZ-Link card to Sentosa Island for leisure – which flaunts Universal Studios, S.E.A Aquariums, and a lot more destinations! – their public transport has established brand-new requirements. Fish tank, stunning beaches, as well as various other entertainment for the whole family members make Singapore an excellent method to invest a day. Do not miss out on Singapore’s ArtScience Gallery which combines art, scientific research, as well as technology in an outstanding mix! Experiences at The Gardens By the Bay were really enchanting; with interactive exhibitions and also captivating displays making for an memorable journey – most definitely worth a see! I was genuinely startled at Singapore’s incredible purchasing scene! From deluxe shopping malls such as ION Orchard to Bugis Road’s vibrant markets there really is something here for any shopaholic to experience! See to it to leave some area in your bag! I located Singapore Zoo among the finest zoos I have actually visited; it’s open-concept units and also immersive environments produced a true wild animals experience, not forgetting Evening Safari for included exhilaration! Singapore’s multiculturalism is one more drawcard; Chinese, Malay, Indian, and also Western influences can be seen everywhere from style to cuisine; making for a remarkable fusion!

  49. Wabash Trailer Parts Near Me
    29th May 2023 at 2:01 am #

    This overview will certainly assist you to take your service and personal abilities to the next degree!

  50. Solar Duct Cleaning Near Me
    17th June 2023 at 7:25 pm #

    The most amazing option for obtaining points ended up. This is exactly what your life requires.

  51. Local Marketing Experts Nearby
    12th July 2023 at 10:28 pm #

    The special attributes of this item makes it easy to use, much faster, and a lot more efficient.

  52. Grease Trap Cleaning Cost
    15th July 2023 at 8:35 pm #

    This will change the means you do points from now on.

  53. 英国代写
    17th July 2023 at 1:54 am #

    Really enjoyed this blog. Want more.

  54. porn
    30th July 2023 at 11:54 am #

    I love reading an article that can make people think. Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment.

  55. Shaquana Townsley
    18th August 2023 at 4:25 am #

    It will certainly help you get everything carried out in a portion of the time.

  56. Gabriel Leyson
    21st August 2023 at 1:37 am #

    From having extra energy to being more efficient, this supplement has it all!

  57. washing machine service centre mysore
    25th November 2023 at 10:03 pm #

    Im obliged for the post. Really Great.

  58. Cordell Pali
    7th December 2023 at 1:32 am #

    Großartig Blog! Haben Sie irgendwelche Hinweise für aufstrebende Autoren? Ich planne, bald meine eigene Blog zu starten, aber ich bin bei allem ein wenig verloren. Würden Sie vorschlagen, mit einer kostenlosen Plattform wie WordPress zu beginnen oder sich für eine kostenpflichtige Option zu entscheiden? Es gibt so viele Optionen da draußen, dass ich völlig überwältigt bin. Irgendwelche Empfehlungen? Vielen Dank!

  59. ku
    9th December 2023 at 3:37 pm #

    Major thankies for the blog.

  60. Skilled PR VISA of Europe
    31st December 2023 at 5:25 am #

    Enjoyed every bit of your article. Really Great.

  61. nsfw ai
    8th February 2024 at 2:54 pm #

    Thank you ever so for you blog post.

  62. temporary fencing
    18th March 2024 at 3:38 am #

    I really liked your article.

  63. 优美之家
    17th April 2024 at 10:24 pm #

    Im obliged for the article. Fantastic.

  64. Honista
    18th April 2024 at 8:21 pm #

    Enjoyed every bit of your article.

  65. rockwool cubes
    24th April 2024 at 11:29 am #

    I really enjoy the blog.Much thanks again. Want more.

  66. anime ai chat
    24th April 2024 at 9:49 pm #

    Hey, thanks for the article. Much obliged.

  67. indovip gacor
    6th May 2024 at 3:32 pm #

    686573 965402Woh I like your posts , saved to fav! . 83451

  68. ai character chat
    18th May 2024 at 10:06 am #

    Im thankful for the article.

  69. Honista
    27th May 2024 at 11:32 am #

    Thanks again for the post. Much obliged.

Leave a comment