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  1. #1
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    withnallstoke's Avatar
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    Southern hospitallity.

    Some time in late December, we (the missus and I) had an unexpected visitor, a Thai mate who was on his way home for the new year.
    He was travelling from Tak in the north, to his home village near Yala, and called in for a beer. We live in Chumphon.
    After a couple of ales, I found myself agreeing to go down to his village to meet his family and see in the new year, and loose arrangements were made that we would meet up on new years eve down at his place.

    Sounded good at the time, but in the cold light of day the next morning I got to thinking.Yala. The bastards are killing each other down there, I've no idea where his place is, I'm a whitey, what if i get killed, or worse?
    How do you plead to be sparred your life in Thai whilst your knees are knocking and your feet are covered in the contents of your bladder?

    So, with a few T-shirts, a toothbrush and the geezers phone number, the missus and I boarded the train for the trip south to Hat Yai.

    I've been to Hat Yai a few times, but had forgotten how cosmopolitan the city is.

    We spent a few hours wandering around before we got on a songthaew and headed in the direction the missus thought our mate lived, and a few changes of transport later, we arrived at the last stop on the route.

    A sala. In the middle of nowhere. As I said, I have been to Hat Yai a few times as a stoppover place on visa runs, and i reckoned on about an hour to the border from Hat Yai.

    We had travelled for more than 2 hours from Hat Yai, in a roughly eastern direction, all civilisation had been left behind, and I was waiting for the muzzers to cap my ass.

    It was from this point onwards though, that I started to get bloated on the truly great feeling that you get when people go out of their way to help others. The beginning of "southern hospitality".

    We couldn't get hold of the geezer, he wasn't answering his phone, but the songthaew driver took us a few kilometers to the nearest village and we stopped and asked a few folk if they new where Daeng lived.

    We didn't have his surname, and we were 15-20km away.

    Imagine pulling up at a village in England and asking where John lives.
    Not a chance in hell.
    But this, thank fook, is Thailand.

    The village folk gathered round, all sorts of drink and food appeared, and the immediate task was forgotten about.
    Some time later, my phone rang. It was our mate. Everyone had a chat with him, the driver got directions to his place, the departing songthaew filled up with people and booze, and we all headed off into the sticks for a very impromptu party, none of the guests ever having previously met.
    (To be continued. Hopefully)

  2. #2
    Gohills flip-flops wearer
    withnallstoke's Avatar
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    When we got to the village, everyone was outside. The contents of the songthaew piled out and it was as though they had all known each other for ever. I was introduced to the elders, the elders being 3 ladies. The youngest of them was 93, and she couldn't stop laughing as she openly flirted with the strange white boy.


  3. #3
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    withnallstoke's Avatar
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    My Thai is virtually nill, and this guys English is less, but a few ales soon had us chatting away. The bloke in the photo is the old womans son. A mere babe at 70 something.


  4. #4
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    Anyway, we ended up staying a lot longer than the 2 days planned, but it was difficult to say goodbye.

    It never stopped slashing it down, so i have no photos of the area, but i have a load of happy memories.

    New years day itself was an excuse for the locals to gather and play silly games all day, and as the foriegner i took part in most of them.

    For the week i spent down there, i didnt pay for anything.

    We had a room in a strangers home and wanted for nothing.

    I left a few gifts on departure, and made promise to return for Thai new year. I will try to make it.

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat
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    Bloody awesome thread. This is what I hang around on Teak Door for little gems like this. Well done.

  6. #6
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    Land of Smiles. Don't ya just love this place?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rural Surin
    Land of Smiles. Don't ya just love this place?
    I do. Thats why I stay here.

    This occasion is the latest of about half a dozen times i've found myself in Thailand literally at the end of the road, as in, the road out is the same one you came in on.

    The other occasions were in the northeast and northwest of Thailand, very humbling experiences.

    This time I felt greatly uplifted, because in truth I was a bit apprehensive of going. Bloody glad I did.

  8. #8
    splendid and tremendous
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    Quote Originally Posted by withnallstoke
    My Thai is virtually nill, and this guys English is less, but a few ales soon had us chatting away.
    You look deeply immersed in the international language of booze. Ya Dong, per chance?

  9. #9
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    Southern Thailand has a great vibe. I've been there a number of times and find Southerners to be the friendliest, most honest and most outgoing of the Thais. Also, the women can be stunning. However, you might want to consider visiting provinces that don't contain large numbers of people who want to kill you or your Buddhist hosts. The violence there is very, very real. I know a woman whose young nephew died in Yala when his car was riddled with bullets by a motorcycle assassin. Songkhla, Trang, Patthalung and Nakhon Si Thammarat are very nice and much safer altenatives.

  10. #10
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    When you get away from shit-holes like Pattaya, et al, you realise what it's all about. I've not been down south very often, but the North & North-East are home to some lovely folks.

    Can't say the same for Ayutthaya though. Thickest people I've ever come across.

  11. #11
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    ^

    This comes from the bloke who only a year or so ago didn't realise there was anything other then Sukumvit road. Good to see you have changed.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeMock
    This comes from the bloke who only a year or so ago didn't realise there was anything other then Sukumvit road.
    Arse!

  13. #13
    Gohills flip-flops wearer
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    Quote Originally Posted by somtamslap
    You look deeply immersed in the international language of booze. Ya Dong, per chance?
    A few were consumed. Their favorite tipple came in plastic bags at 20 baht a bagfull. Not certain what it was, but it tasted like a ya dong and sato mixture. I had a few to be hospitable.

  14. #14
    I am in Jail

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    Quote Originally Posted by withnallstoke
    Yala. The bastards are killing each other down there, I've no idea where his place is, I'm a whitey, what if i get killed, or worse?
    Ever heard of a 'Whitey' being targeted down there? - I haven't.

    Good report, thanks.

  15. #15
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    Yup, nice story.

  16. #16
    splendid and tremendous
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    Quote Originally Posted by withnallstoke
    Their favorite tipple came in plastic bags at 20 baht a bagfull
    Just nipping up shop, get me sen bag a booze. Quality!


    Quote Originally Posted by withnallstoke
    tasted like a ya dong and sato mixture
    Rice whiskey and rice wine, sounds about right. Living off the land stylee. Sounds fickin horrible though.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by somtamslap
    Sounds fickin horrible though.
    Terrible hangover stuff if you mix the two.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by spiff View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by somtamslap
    Sounds fickin horrible though.
    Terrible hangover stuff if you mix the two.
    I was sick for 3 days after local moonshine partys!!!

  19. #19
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    ^
    4 day old palm toddy in East Malaysia / Borneo has the same effect !

  20. #20
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    Great thread! I've always been curious about that region. I've met people from "the big three" who work i Phuket or BKK and they are super.

  21. #21
    Gohills flip-flops wearer
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    Quote Originally Posted by natalie8
    I've always been curious about that region
    Try to go and have a look around.
    Found a few more people photos.

    This is the ladies tent (the blokes only went in for food, provided they could actually make the 10 foot walk).




    Like most places, the livestock was brought home in the evening. The young bloke in an earlier photo took care of them. He lit coconut husks to smoke away the mozzies from the cows. Us humans got bitten.

  22. #22
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    Love it!

  23. #23
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    sunsetter's Avatar
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    great thread withnall, some great pics,love seeing all the women sat round chopsing like that , hope theres more to come

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