July 6, 2009

Welcome to Thailand

We left Kota Bharu yesterday and took a taxi to the border. We filled our papers and crossed the bridge to go thru Thailand customs. Then a nice local muslim gave us a ride to the train station with his three wheels home made motor bike. 
At the entrance of the train station some army guys with guns were filtering the crowd and were patroling in the station... I was wondering why...
We had to wait for the second train trip leaving at 2.30pm so I went for a walk in the not so clean border town, Sungai Kolok. I bought some ramboutan (45 cents USD/kg) and logan (1.5 USD/kg). By buying a plastic bag, I ended up giving a pronunciation-reading lesson to the owner daughters whom are going to participate to a speech contest very soon. I spent an hour with them... I learn a little bit more about the town, that they have terrorism, murder, drug traffic and bomb attack, which got me a little worry for a second but I had a good time and I forgot about it very fast. They offer me thai candies for my help and some water. 
30 minutes before getting in the Express train, we found out that the southern line we were on had been bombed several time and was shoot.... pretty crazy and a bit scary, sometimes it's good to not know too much about were you are going !!! 
Some friendly military with guns boarded with us and I understand why they were all around... to protect us from the terrorists. I heard that the people that are bombing the trains are separatists muslim, they want to have their own country and not belong to Thailand anymore. I saw muslim womans in black with their face covered for the first time in Kota Bharu and Sungai Kolok, it's pretty impressive. 
We were in the 2nd class sleeper cabin and they were very comfortable, with a lot of muslim, ouf !!! We thought they were going to put all the tourist together to make it a better target.... Once we past the south part of Thailand, more and more food seller were boarding and inviting us to buy their product. 

We arrived after all safe and in one piece in Bangkok. We took the cab and had a difficult time with the driver as he wanted to charge us 7USD instead without turning his meter on. He got upset when we told him to turn on the meter but we ended up paying the real price... 2 USD. 

Seems like people working with tourist in Bangkok are not happy with what they are doing and they aren't very pleasant, never smile or say a nice word, they are all about your money and if you don't buy right away or ask too many questions they start to speak in Thai, complain and have their bad face... 

Tonight we have a room in Pahtit, a "safe" area in Bangkok, for 22 USD. Fried rice or noodle cost around 1 USD. It's right by the most touristy part of the town, Kao San Road. It's full of tourist, tailors, silver seller and wedding dress shoppes.

We met some friends from USA, Myrna, and Chile, Ximena in the street and we are going to Cambodia to visit the Angor Wat temple.

A bientot,

Take care


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