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Topic: Thailand< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 09 2011, 2:41 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm considering moving to Thailand, possibly to the island of Koh Samui. Does anyone here have experience backpacking on Thailand? Honestly, I've never hiked/camped in high humidity. Finding information about backpacking on Thailand is pretty difficult, since searching for "backpacking thailand" only returns results for the low budget traveler type of backpacking, not the hiking/camping type of backpacking. Any info or resources would really help me out. Thanks

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"Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe." -Anatole France
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2011, 8:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

August sometime 1988 I found myself on the dusty street of Pai nursing a pint of whiskey after three days in the back of a pickup with 3 crazy Israelis 4 monks and a woman we all figured was CIA. I leaned back against the wall to get out of the sun and made eye contact with a little kid at the corner, pissing. "You want guide?" he asked.
Some time later we were somewhere in the Mae Hong Song district of the province of the same name when he left early one morning saying he had to go home to his village. I broke camp and headed up the path farther into the mountains towards a Lisu village he had said was friendly. Of course the whole village knew I was coming long before I smelled their cooking fires or heard their dogs announcing my arrival. Two days later I took off south, into the Tak Province, hiking and camping mostly. Catching a ride now and then when the path widened enough to allow a motorbike or truck. Staying in villages when I could.
I carried an inexpensive REI tent and sleeping bag (that I mostly used as a quilt) a thermorest, whisperlite international stove (burning mostly kerosene or petrol (sometimes a mixture) an aluminum pot, bag of rice, pile of canned meats. Would restock a bunch of snack treats when I hit a town etc..

"Home" Lisu Village


"Dinner" Karen Village


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"...adventure without regard to prudence, profit, self-improvement,
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 21 2011, 1:54 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If that story is true I definitely have some more questions for you!

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 21 2011, 12:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My story's of traveling through the Tak Provence are even more unbelievable.
Mountains, elephants, rivers, caves, waterfalls and the army. Days of muddy rain, refugee camps, swamps, blackmarkets, mekhong whiskey and marlboro cigarettes.
Whenever I think of returning to Thailand that is where I would go, the town of Mae Sot would be my jumping off place, heading south to Um phang.
I would plan it all in country, day by day.


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"...adventure without regard to prudence, profit, self-improvement,
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 26 2011, 12:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Is it safe to be out there? On every website that talks about camping in Thailand, in the comments people say "you'll probably get robbed".

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 26 2011, 3:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I was never robbed in Thailand, well an army fellow took my swiss army knife, but that is different.
At the next market it was easily replaced with a type local folks carried (also purchased a handful of sunglasses to wear and give away as gifts.)
Anyway, I wore no watch or jewelry. My camera was one of those disposables that were popular in the 80's. The most fascinating item I carried for the local folks was my whisperlite stove. I shared it and my food, candy, cigarettes, whiskey, tent, books, maps, poncho, etc. with everyone.
I carried a traveler’s waist pouch stuffed down the front of my pants where I had my passport and cash
(Traveling these days money is much easier as there are atm’s in the larger towns and cities.)
Hiking and camping in Thailand, outside of a national park (I camped in one, it was a large social scene, I found it kind of lame, great scenery!) is nothing like in the USA. No matter how far out there one gets, there are folks living close by. When I met someone along the way or when somebody would show up, which happened more often than not, I would ask for permission to be there. When I came across a village I would ask for the headman and stay with him or he would find a place, a family for me to stay with. Once in a while there would be a fee to stay. No matter if I paid the headman or not I would always leave a bit of cash with the family I stayed with before I left (sometimes with a little can of meat) discretely putting it in the lady of the house's hand or "hiding" it in the kitchen area when she was looking.
Hey, I was robbed once in Thailand. An old lady, when I showed her a picture of my daughter would not give it back. When I reported it to the headman saying it was the only one I had of her he laughed and said I still carried the best picture of my daughter that nobody could steal. I liked him. We stayed up late into the night smoking cigarettes and talking of the world, women, life, love, etc.
My Thai was never that great so conversations such as these were liberally punctuated with eye contact, smiles, hand motions and laughter.
Once was robbed in a subway of Mexico City and once in Unjung Pandang, Indonesia and a couple of times in cities around the USofA.
Crap happens.


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"...adventure without regard to prudence, profit, self-improvement,
learning or any other serious thing"
                                                           -Aldo Leopold-
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PostIcon Posted on: May 08 2011, 9:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Your travels around Thailand sound awesome. I'm thinking for the first few "outings" I'll hire a guide. I don't trust my ability to talk a headman into letting me stay with a family, or navigate a jungle. I stutter and I'm not sure how Thais will interpret that. Some become leery, but most don't care one way or the other. That's pretty funny about the old lady stealing your photo. Any idea why she wanted it?

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PostIcon Posted on: May 11 2011, 12:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have no idea why she wanted the photo as she would not talk to me after that.
Sounds like a good plan, there were guides everywhere when I would hit a town or city.
I would take some time and get to know the folks leading the adventure.
Sounds like most Thais react to your stutter much the same as folks here, I would imagine.
Once you are off meeting the hill tribe folks, who knows how they will react.
You might be considered touched by a god, a shaman with all Akha tribal leaders doing pilgrimage to your alpine refuge in Mae Salong as you become rich off the opium trade and have many wives.
:-]  ...just sayin'


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"...adventure without regard to prudence, profit, self-improvement,
learning or any other serious thing"
                                                           -Aldo Leopold-
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