Wednesday, October 14, 2015



Well, it looks like my eyes are pretty close to well enough to travel.

I staggered over to the train station and bought an early morning train ticket to Khon Kaen.  It's closer to the Lao border.  If my research is correct, I'll be able to get a visa for Lao (or Laos if you are a misspelling French person) and travel up there.

Wouldn't have minded staying here where I'm at a bit longer as the town isn't bad but the visa time is getting closer - and I don't know how long it will take me to get a visa for Lao.  According to various people's stories on the internet it is a quick and easy thing - but I plan for the 'oh no' times.

On the downside, I looked at my funds and it looks like some scrimping and saving will be in my future if I want to have any chance of doing a LHI2 in 2016.  When I looked at my total funds, they were less than half of 'ok'.

After a couple days of lying low at the hostel, I went to the train station early in the morning.  Well, before eight is early for me.

They have a volunteer at the train station who helps tourists get on the right train.  He stated emphatically several times that he doesn't want money.  When I said "That works out for both of us because I don't have any.", he looked a bit crestfallen.

Trains in Thailand don't stop for long.  At all.  You've got about twenty or thirty seconds (presumably unless they see you struggling within the doorway) to get on or off.  I imagine there are many slow tourists every year who get taken to a new, exciting destination because of this.

They have a lot of signs stating that alcohol is prohibited on trains.  It seems odd that they've prohibited it for everyone since it was a railway employee who got drunk - and used drugs - before doing some horrible stuff on the train.  Since many people can't handle their alcohol well anyway - and since I think drinking while you're en-route is stupid - great.  Ban it on trains.

So I showed up within Khon Kaen (think 'cocaine').  At first glance, this town appears identical to the one I just left.  Buildings made from the usual corregated steel, rust, snot and the more sturdy pieces of garbage to be found.  This is especially odd because the train stations of many of these towns could be described as 'smart' (ie dapper).  It's rather confusing.

Within my notes I had the name of a hotel which I'd noted was in the center of town.  Since there were no English speaking tuk tuk drivers, I just had them take me there.  Rather than the 400-500 baht listed on wikitravel, their cheapest room was 600 baht.  They told me that all accommodation within this city was at that price or higher.  I smiled, nodded and left.  After securing accommodation for 380 baht per night, I went looking for a place to get my laundry done.

For some reason, the 'charging by the piece' thing has infected this city.  Essentially, it just means people want more to do laundry.  A stupid amount more.  So, I went and negotiated a deal with two old laundry women who didn't speak anything but Thai.  And didn't really seem to get the stuff I'd typed on my phone.  They did force a young girl to come and translate but you could tell that she was having the living nightmare of her teacher screaming that she should pay more attention, that some day this would be useful information and this was that day.  And she didn't pay attention.  But I think we got it hashed out.

Luckily, I found a restaurant with a bunch of Thais standing in line so I immediately got into line.  Didn't wander around to see what the food looked like, just got in line.  If there is a line of locals, you are pretty safe.

Stocked up on water and repaired to my room to see what the dawn brings.

Tomorrow, I'm going to work on getting a Lao visa and seeing more of this town.  Assuming the clock on the Lao visa doesn't start as soon as I get it (it might) I will take some time to look over this town.


"Fantastic blog. You apparently feel that you're presenting the world with the journal of an "everyman" traveler. In fact, you come off as a highly competent, streetwise, fearless traveler. Normal, untraveled people reading your blog must find themselves saying "holy shit" repeatedly." - From David H.  I would like to say that being called 'streetwise' by a member of the Detroit police I consider high praise indeed.


Well, it's gone over 100,000!  Thanks for reading, folks.


Even more loved than the Black Death.


Beer, big (why fuck around with the small ones?) about 80 baht.
Meal, simple, about 30-150 baht.
Place to stay, with AC and some nice stuff, 380-500 baht.

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