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Day 14: Trat to Bangkok, and a new suit

Day 14: Trat to Bangkok, and a new suit

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We got up late this morning and departed the sleepy town of Trat at 10:30 for the bustling metropolis of Bangkok. The bus ride was uneventful and took about 5-6 hours. I spent the time reading Mateo's book on the history of Cambodia. I am up to the Angkorian era (from 802 CE to the 12th C.).

When we got to Bangkok it really felt like we were coming home. We only spent three days here before, but it is all so familiar here. We know the streets, our guesthouse, the transit system, etc. We don't feel too out of place here, despite it being noisy on the street. :)

Our plans have changed since yesterday as well. We still plan on going to Chiang Mai, but we are going to save it for near the end of the trip. After a nonstop week in Cambodia we both really need a vacation from vacationing before we go off on another wild trek, like Chiang Mai. Therefore, we are taking a bus to southern Thailand tomorrow and the next day will take a boat (goodness help us) to the island of Ko Tao for about a week or so. We might do the weekend in Ko Samui, which is close to Ko Tao, but that is still up in the air. Ko Tao is a popular island, but not as much as Ko Samui, which is the island that MTV does its Thailand stuff on. Mateo really wants to see what a "party island" is like, so we are going to check that out for at least a day.

It should be a good break from the running around we have been doing. We will head back to Bangkok in a little over a week and from there visit Chiang Mai for a trekking tour. Honestly, it is all revolving around some important paperwork I need to get a work visa for my new job in Japan. The company I will be working for, ALTIA Central, is applying for some paperwork that will allow me to receive a Japanese work visa in Thailand in three days, but the paperwork might not be ready by the time I leave. If it isn't then I won't be able to work when I return to Japan. What can you do? It is all out of my hands right now.

In other news, I am having a suit tailored for me here. I went down to the garment district (Sukhumvit Soi 3) in Thailand and shopped around for a suit. I finally settled on a shop run by a couple Thailand-born Indian brothers. Most of the tailors in the district are Indian, actually, which was surprising for me. I am getting a three-piece suit (grey stripped) with two shirts (one white stripped and one blue) and a tie for cheaper than I bought a suit in the US at Men's Wherehouse, and about 1/3 the price I would expect to pay in Japan. This is the first suit I will own that is being made by hand just to fit me. I am pretty excited with that idea of getting a hand-tailored suit instead of something just off the shelf. I had the first fitting today, and when I am back in a week and a half, I'll do the second fitting, and right before I leave, I'll have the final fitting done. If I get a real Japanese desk job (which might actually happen for me within six months if I play my cards right), I will be wearing suits much more often then I do now. Honestly, I only have occasion to wear a suit three of four times a year these days, but I still like doing it.

OK, that is it for today. I will leave you all with a question: In Thailand and Cambodia Sex Tourism is a large and unregulated industry. Most of us agree that there is something ethically wrong about sex tourism (that is selling sex as a service to tourists), but what things in particular do you find disagreeable with it? And how could the trade be improved to make it more ethically responsible? Let me know what you think.

Until next time, take care.

Yours,
trv
  • I don't think there's anything ethically wrong with sex tourism in and of itself, but I do think there's something wrong with third world sex tourism. For example, people going to Amsterdam or Las Vegas for kicks doesn't reek of the exploitation that going to South East Asia does.

    Disagreeable: Children and women being used as sex playthings against their will, or if not against their will, because they don't have any actual choice not to.

    I think the industry needs to be acknowledged, and it needs to be regulated. With regulation they could mandate health check ups, tax brothels, etc. I also think it wouldn't hurt to have a sex workers union, I know they have those in Australia and New Zealand (if memory serves me correctly)

    Anyways, grats on the suit =D
    • I tend to agree. A regulated sex tourism industry sounds acceptable. But people that do it here are just going around the rules to get their kicks, and harming poorer people in the process.
  • Freddy vs Jason Fetters

    (Anonymous)
    Hello me again. Back in the day, right after high school, I had a roommate from Thailand. His parents owned a resturaunt near the Thai, Cambodia, Vietnam border. He told me about this river that goes through both countries. Since no one country can claim that river, all the illegal drug activities occur there. Vietnamese soliders used to raid his parents' resturaunt, forcing them to sell it off and move to the U.S. Anyway, we got talking about ghosts and I told him I don't believe in ghosts. He told me that if you go to Thailand you will see real ghosts. This is just an idea, but I would seek out ghosts in Thailand. There are a few places that are believed to be haunted. Also, I heard that after the major tsunami, none of the clean up crew wanted to clean the beaches because ghosts were since walking around. Sorry, I realize that this has nothing to do with the sex industry. I just thought it was interesting. Also, my thai room mate would never sleep with his bed facing a certain direction. He also had charms in his car to avoid getting into wrecks. I don't know if any of it is true but the Thais that I know have a strong belief in the supernatural. My other thai interest would be to see at least one Muay Thai Kickboxing match. I've talked to many martial artists and most people have told me that Thai boxing is one of the strongest in the world. If you like intense action movies, I recommend seeing Tony Jaa in Ong Bak The Thai Warroir. Best martial arts movie I've seen since those 70's Bruce Lee movies. Its available in Japan. Tony Jaa's latest movie "Tom Yum Goong" is playing in Bangkok right now.
    Have a good summer!!
    • Re: Freddy vs Jason Fetters

      I don't know if this will be a Muy Thai ghost-hunting trip for me, but I will keep it in mind. :)
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