Tag Archives: Thailand

Strange Tourism / ,

Whoring in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai's an interesting town: a lot like Bangkok, but on a much smaller scale.  Hundreds of coffee shops.  Great boutiques.  And old white men with young Thai girls.  Absolutely everywhere.  Old hippies with Thai women in their 40s, and adorable little hapa kids.  Bald and bearded bikers with chubby teenagers.  Backpackers with stunning beauties.  It's not as offensive as it was in Hua Hin, but it's twice as pervasive.

At the UN Irish pub, I joined a group of four older farang, each of whom turned out to have come to Chiang Mai for the women. 

Derek, a 76-year-old cockney, works as a tree surgeon's assistant back home.  He's been in Chiang Mai on and off for forty years, but for three years he's lived here more than not.  "I went into a bar," he says, "And this bird sits down next to me and asks me to buy her a drink.  Now she wasn't what's normally my type.  I like 'em small, you see, and this one's big.  She's got some weight on her.  But I said, why not — thinking to myself it's just one night.  And we had some fun.  Well, that was three years ago, and we're still together.  Thirty six years old, she is."  She's less than half his age.

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/ by Dean Pickles / 1 Comment
Offbeat Museums / ,

Chiang Mai Insect Museum

The owner/founder/curator/resident artist calls it the quirkiest museum in all of Chiang Mai, and admission is twice the cost of my hotel room. 

And it's terrible.

A billion mosquitoes stuck on boards, some mounted spectacles (to represent our inability to see), and some Santa Fe-style paintings.  I know my quirk.  And I know my bad.  And this was somewhere on the lousy side of both.

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/ by Dean Pickles / 1 Comment
Other Obscura, Uncategorized /

Fighting Cocks

I found this sign on a roadside outside Old Sukhothai, the ancient former capital of Thailand. But I never found the venue. I gave up after half an hour of cycling the same stretch, over and over and over again.

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Extraordinary Eats /

Frogs for dinner

Found in a market in Mae Sot, Thailand:

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Offbeat Museums / ,

Forensic Science Museum, Bangkok

Deep in the bowels of the King’s Hospital, if you look hard enough, you’ll eventually find the stomach-churning absolutely wonderful Forensic Science Museum. I’ve a weak stomach, but the permanent exhibit here is unmissable. (Photos aren’t allowed, so I apologize for this scarce and clumsy record. You’ll clearly have to go, yourself.) It’s a cluttered mix of photos, bones, corpses, bits of corpses, larger bits of corpses, implements of murder, victim clothing, and a really horrifying stretch of “pickled punks.” Little is labeled, less is explained.

This arm, for example, is simply labeled “tattoo.”

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Cute & Kawaii / ,

Bangkok Loves Blythe

Siam Paragon Shopping Mall’s elaborate (and incredible) Blythe exhibit offered up some leading costume designs for the creepy oh-so-slightly-pedophilic 1972 Kenner doll, which has captured the hearts and sewing skills of, well, at least a few dozen fans. From Wikipedia, “There is a network of hobbyists who customize the doll for resale and create clothing and shoes for Blythe. Enthusiasts share photographs of their work and their dolls on the Internet.” Well, this was the Epcot Center of it all.

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/ by Dean Pickles / 2 Comments