Thailand

Spicey food and Hill Tribes
We fly from Kathmandu to Bangkok (Thailand) and the motorbikes come with the same plane. The next morning we go to the cargo department. Some smart guys
in front of the customs come to us and want for handling and 3 day storage a fee of US$ 140! No way dudes. We ignore these guys and go to the custom information
office and they help us to find the right offices. After 6 hours, 7 different offices, 20 stamps and much more signatures our bikes are released. We only paid 1000 Baht
(22 US$) for 2 bikes for customs clearing.
Compared to the previous countries the traffic in Bangkok is organized. Everybody follow the normal traffic rules and nobody is horning. There are riding a lot of 125
cc motorbikes. Brightly colored, big disc brakes and high exhaust pipes, they look like Grand Prix racers. The Thai look at our big DR's when we stop aside them at
the traffic light and play with their throttle. When the light jumps to green everybody sprints away. We too. Harald is gaining and passes a few "racers". He arrives at third at the next traffic lights. Not bad for his first race...
A lot of motorbikes are parked near the sidewalk and guys with orange or red jackets are waiting here. These are motorbike taxi's and is the fastest way to move around in Bangkok. Udo is thinking of a new job...

Racing in Bangkok; motorbike taxi's

We apply for visas for Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, with takes 8 working days. In the meantime we do some sightseeing in Bangkok and surroundings.
Khao Sar area, where our guesthouse is located, is lively and touristic. There is a continuous street bazaar going on where real fake Nike, Oakley, Rolex, Cartier and many more brands are sold for a cheap price. But also second hand dentures. At one of the food stalls we buy Phat Thai. This are spicey fried noodles with
vegetables. Delicious!
On a rainey sunday morming we take a bus to Dammoen Saduak. This is a floating market where women with funny straw hats sell their groceries. One boat is a floating kitchen and we watch how the woman is preparing the food in a big wok. She puts it on a plastic plate and a customer takes it. A floating take away...

In Bangkok are more than 300 Wats. These are Buddhist temples, some are small and others a big complexes. But all are decorated with mosaic mirrors and gold and dozens of Buddha's where the Thai offer money, food, flowers and incense.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Floating market; temple in Bangkok

On empty highways we ride up to the north. In the hilly north at the border with Myanmar (Burma) live a dozen hill tribes. These ethnic minorities have all their own 
languages, customs, clothes and spiritual believes. They live in huts made of bamboo and leaves. The women of the Akha tribe wear hats with embroidaries and silver ornaments and they smoke pipe. The most interesting hill tribe we visit are the Padong. They are better known as "Long Necks". The women wear white shirts with blue decorations and have brass rings around their neck. These massive rings push their shoulders down, so it looks that they have a long neck. It was used to protect the women against tiger attacks, as tigers attacks usually at your neck. This tradition is nowadays kept, despite the women are obstructed in their movements and sometimes they have problems with breathing. It start at teenager and every year a new ring is added. The more rings, the more prestige the woman have.

Padon hill tribe women (Long Necks)

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