Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Goin' Down South

Even though I'd been to Thailand numerous times and spent several months roaming around the winding sois of Bangkok and Chiang Mai, I had never made it to the much-famed South. So, this trip, I decided to right this wrong, and headed to Ranong to meet my friend Top (see previous blog).

Pictured above, ever beautiful ZamZam on the long bus journey, which we both found surprisingly enjoyable. We are both quite lazy, so sitting still and looking out the window for nine hours is quite appealing.

Ranong finds itself on the border with totalitarian maniac state Myanmar/ Burma and is therefore a reluctant haven to roughly 100,000 refugees. This number is a very sketchy estimate. Here was a conversation with a Thai girl:

ZamZam: What's the population of Ranong?
Girl: Oh, about 100,000.
Me: Oh, I thought it was much more.
Girl: Oh, there are the Burmese, and there's probably another 100,000 of them.

ZamZam pointed out how this off-hand statement showed the general distaste for and disinterest in the refugees living in their city. We spent some time searching for the Burmese market, as most Thai people either didn't know or care to tell us where it was. But we found it, covered by a massive corrugated shed, full of flowers, batik material and military clothing.

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