I don’t know why we booked a flight to Bangkok. It was the first flight that we booked for our Big trip, almost a year in advance, to kid ourselves that we were being organised (the rest were booked in a flurry of stress in the days before we left – or are yet to be booked on the road).
It seemed as good a place to start as anywhere.
Little did we know, of course, that we’d open our guidebook after arriving in Bangkok months later to read that it’s where pretty much everyone begins their South-East Asia travels. Oh well.
Over the last week and a half, we’ve been finding our feet, trying to adjust our pace to this travelling malarkey, and generally taking each few days as they come. We haven’t booked any travel in advance apart from big international flights, so we’re pretty much deciding on the next stop as we go.
We’ve been trying to leave Thailand for a week, but keep on adding just one more stop (we originally planned to hop it straight from Bangkok over to Siem Reap, Cambodia). With every stop, though, something becomes more and more apparent:
Everyone is doing the same thing.
With a few exceptions, every traveller we’ve met has had pretty much the same itinerary, travelling from manic Bangkok to Sukhothai to soak up some ruined temples, then hopping north to Chiang Mai, and onwards to the “hippy village” of Pai, where we are now.
A rice paddy near Sukhothai
There’s a certain logical fallacy in this of course, given that everyone who is where we are is necessarily – well, where we are. But it does seem strange given how spontaneous we are trying to be – indeed, feel like we’re being – deciding each next stop based on what tickles our fancy, with only a very vague itinerary in mind, that we seem to be sticking exactly to the same pre-planned route as everyone else.
Never mind. I suppose travelling around South-East Asia in your twenties is a cliché anyway (and we both now have the elephant trousers to prove it).