Our first night in Thailand was spent without any Baht, the Thai currency. Crossing from Cambodia, we breezed through so easily that we bypassed one ATM, then found another, but it was out of order. We weren’t worried, because most places in Cambodia took U.S. dollars anyway. Not here. After having a drink vendor every five kilometers in Cambodia, Thailand seemed almost vacant. When we finally found a place to stay, it was a peculiar resort/bottled water producer/truck stop all in one. After several phone calls, the motel agreed to take our dollars (at an advantageous rate). We also ate dinner and breakfast there. The food was great and we were just glad to have a place to stay and food to eat.
This tour bus/truck accident had to be fatal. The truck was
destroyed, and from the looks of this bus, the driver and tour leader were killed, and no doubt some passengers.
The wreck was probably less than an hour old, and I almost felt like I knew someone on the bus. We had dinner with a Dutch tour guide, Fritz, who was cycling through Cambodia on holiday, but he wasn’t to be back to work yet.I think the feeling came from the way the Thai busses have such spectacular and individual paint designs. It makes them feel almost personal to me.
We have seen the immediate aftermath of many, I repeat many, accidents on this 2854 mile tour. We saw an accident the first day out of Chengdu, China, and it didn’t let up.
In SE Asia they mark the pavement with white paint, showing the outlines of where the victims, and their vehicles came to rest. The first few of these fairly fresh markings were a bit shocking, but we became accustomed to them. The bent bicycle, with a person lying motionless in a rice paddy of Yunnan Provence, China, was more personal.
The majority of the accidents were motorbikes, with bicycles coming in a close second. In most of SE Asia, motorbikes outnumber autos and trucks 50 to 1, but bicycles are just on the bottom of the food chain.
Zippy is now safely in Left Luggage at the airport. He is a bit the worse for wear, but the great Thai food to be had in Bangkok will, over the next several days, repair us sufficiently for the flight home.
This is our second extended visit to Bangkok, the first being after our year cycling around Australia. It’s a facinating city, and we will be sharing pictures and hopefully some videos.
We fly home Christmas Day. After the New Year we will take time to reflect on the journey in search of Shangri-la, what we found, what we learned, and what it has meant to us.