While I have become used to motorcyclists using the sidewalks in Korea as an extra lane, nothing could have prepared me for what I witnessed in Thailand. There are motorcycles EVERYWHERE and are undeniably the main mode of transportation. But that's not all. Families of four squeeze together on a single motorbike. It is rare that anyone wears a helmet on motorbikes (I later learned that there are helmet laws but they are rarely enforced by the Thai police). Some children begin driving motorbikes at the age of 8, though that's illegal, too. I even saw a man holding an infant in one arm and the handlebars in the other. I am not even making this stuff up. Motorbikes are a way of life in Thailand and I regret not capturing this phenomenon in pictures, but I found that I would nervously look away when I saw such sights.
A real bed!!
Boutique hotels, the latest trend in tourist accomidations, features nice rooms and a variety of ammenities, like this great pool and included breakfast for a whopping $25/night.
I arrived at my boutique hotel to be welcomed by the extremely hospitable owner, Pearl. I walked past the pool and patio area up to my room where I was overwhelmed with joy upon seeing my queen-sized bed, down comforter, and fluffy pillows, a luxury in itself. My room had a private bath with a hot shower and also had a nice private balcony. The TV also had a number of English channels, including MTV. It was definitely worth paying the midrange $25/night rather than going budget at a hostel. My friend Rachel who I met in Korea was also traveling in Thailand and stopped by my hotel so we could catch up. After she left, I immediately passed out and enjoyed one of the best night's sleep I'd had in a long time, despite the gnawing anticipation for the next day... and the caged barking dogs just outside my window.