I read a lot of travel blogs. Many of the bloggers I follow love Thailand. I didn’t. Apart from one memorable meal (Basil chicken) at a small roadside establishment that our wonderful guide, Pong, took us to on the way to Krabi I can’t say that much of the food excited me in quite the way I had expected.
The boat trip we took around the islands was touristy and crowded. It was too dangerous to swim, there were so many boats. It was relief when we were stranded in the bay of a small island for an hour when the boat ran out of fuel. There was just our boat and we were delighted to get away from the crowds.
I hated Bangkok and KL. There I have said it. Thailand left me cold. Malaysia too. Exit some followers of this blog.
And it seems that the thing to do in Thailand is to release a floating lantern. En mass at festivals such as YI Peng in Chang Mai, and just about every night on a beach in Thailand.
On the beach in Krabi, Pong invited us to light one. I was uncomfortable with it then, but, I was part of a group and didn’t want to be a kill joy. I had had a scary experience with one back in the UK when driving late at night when a lantern floated right in front to the car and I nearly crashed. On another occasion a friend released one on New Years Eve and it got caught in the telephone wires attached to her house and set the wires alight. I thought they were dangerous then. I also knew that they caused litter and endangered wild life. But on this occasion, on the beach at Krabi in February 2012, I said nothing.
Now I would speak up and walk away. And this is why.
This fire, in Smethwick in the West Midlands was started by one lantern.
And if this is not enough of a reason to make you think twice about releasing lanterns, consider the environmental damage.
Thailand was not for me. That said, I do have one particularly happy memory of Krabi. Vodka buckets and karaoke.
There are no photos of me, to my knowledge. I did find one of my husband though! And Sean, if you are ever up for singing with me again, it will be Hollywood Musicals in New York next time. How do you solve a problem like Maria? Sing of course!