The wheels of life – in Thailand

So far, the pain of carrying my helmet around hasn’t paid off: I’m still walking around Bangkok on foot. I don’t mind, though. Instead of riding, I look at the 2-wheeling scene, and it’s pretty drab. Which is not reassuring for Laos.

In two days, the biggest bikes I’ve seen are 2 Harleys. A kind of Hornet fizzed past this morning, but after that it’s scooter and small capacity bike paradise. The strangest thing, to me, is how silent most of them all are. In fact, the loudest vehicles around are the tuktuks, which all seem to have sporty exhausts, and some taxis.

On my Ten, I’ll be spotted a mile away here. Again, that says a lot about how conspicuous I’m going to be in Vientiane, not to mention rural Laos.

There’s a lot of Toyota Fortuners around – slightly altered Land Cruisers. As far as roads go, they are straight, long, very busy, and in decent nick in the centre at least. Sticking to speed limits doesn’t seem to be a main priority.

The police ride 200cc ‘boxer’ bikes with a bit of front fairing and a screen.

Weather’s grand, mild when the sun is down, people are nice enough, with so far none of the hassle were given in China: no finger pointing and laughing for instance. We shall see if the same applies to rural Thailand later, when I get hold of a bike and visit Thailand from across The Mekong in Vientiane.

The centre of Bangkok consists of a collection of big shopping malls, and yet the impression is different from China. I won’t complain.

Walking around day and night, I’ve seen a number of older white men doing just like me. Funny how I always wonder whether they are pedos on the prowl.

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