Hi everyone, how time flies as it’s time for me to reflect on the past again! You will recall from Part 12, that Brendan and I were spending a wonderful month together while I was showing him around my beautiful Thailand.
During our trip to the west of Thailand near to the border with Burma, we went to see the famous River Kwai and the Burma Railway Bridge that featured in the film ' The Bridge on the River Kwai'. I had previously visited this area when I was at the High School and we were taken to go rafting there on the fast flowing river.
As you will probably know, the River Kwai and the Burma Railway construction was the scene of terrible atrocities and hardship for prisoners of war, during World War Two. Around 13,000 prisoners of war died while working on the bridge and railway, together with an estimated 80,000 – 100,000 civilians, who had also been forced to work. The Prisoners of War and the civilians working on the bridge and railway line construction endured extremely harsh and cruel treatment by the invading Japanese forces. We also visited the museum there, which portrayed the event in great detail.
While in that area, we also visited a floating market in Damnoen Saduak Floating Market where it was amazing to see all of the products being sold from heavily laden barges on the river. There are several similar markets in Thailand and they are always a spectacular sight and very popular with tourists. The barges also had wonderful local street food on sale and we had a great time wandering from boat to boat to see and try out the varied and interesting products.
Then it was then time for another one of my ‘tiny white lies’ to backfire on me. As Brendan had said that he disliked cities and loved the countryside, in my emails back to him I just ‘may!!!’ have indicated that I felt exactly the same way! This was only to impress him though as I thought that it would be better if we had exactly the same interests J
The truth of course was that I loved the busy life of the cities like Bangkok and that I also loved eating all of the various foods that were readily available there.
Like a lot of you ladies out there, I of course loved to go shopping as well. Brendan had enjoyed our time together in the city but his true love was of course the countryside and nature. Well, I would like to say that we compromised on this and did a little of both during our time together but we didn’t and yes you guessed right….we went walking again!
After we left Kachanaburi ( River Kwai area), we returned to Bangkok and then boarded a night train to the north of Thailand to visit the city of Chiangmai. We left Bangkok at 6pm and enjoyed a very scenic journey arriving in the city in the morning.
It was my first trip to this beautiful amazing and vibrant city with its nightlife, amazing places to eat and we found the people to be so friendly and laidback.
We spent our first night in a hotel there and explored the wonderful city and shops …… and yes, I did manage to see some really good shops!!!
While there we arranged to join a 3-day trekking tour into the spectacular and beautiful mountains…… yes, that was me walking again! J We were part of a group of around 7 fairly young people (just like us!!! ) that came from Australia, New Zealand, England and Scotland of course although other than the guides, I was the only Thai there.
We walked through many old and beautiful villages during the tour and most of them didn’t have water or electricity, just like my younger days in my home village. Our Guide was Mr.Ton and together with his assistant he made the tour so interesting while explaining about the basic and rustic lives of the mountain village people who lived there.
I’m not sure how many kilometres that we walked each day although by this time I was getting used to walking long distances and was becoming quite fit. As we were visiting the north of Thailand in February, which is during the Thai winter, in the mountain areas it can become relatively cold with temperatures ranging from 5-9 degrees centigrade.
As we passed through each village we found the local people to be very friendly and they would come up and welcome us when we arrived. Each night we stayed in a different village and on one night we also stayed in a hut that was in the forest. Mr. Ton lit an open fire and we all sat around it with him playing on his guitar and all of us singing along to the music, together with some of the local children. I was a really lovely experience.
The entire Trekking holiday there was a wonderful and one that I will certainly never forget.
While we were on that Trek, the most romantic day of the year came along…
it was the 14th of February, Valentine's Day. Being very new in our relationship, I wondered what exciting event would happen on this romantic occasion although to be fair on Brendan, we were hiking in the mountains at the time and there weren’t too many shops around. However as Valentine's Day comes along on the same date every year!!! ………. Perhaps he may have considered a degree of forward planning!
Again you have probably guessed it right…….. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING happened and we carried on walking with the subject of Valentine’s Day never being mentioned. L!!!
Despite Brendan’s apparent lack of outwardly displaying any romance on that day, we were having a great time together while enjoying each other's company….
with me always walking about 20 paces behind him of course as I couldn’t keep up!
The entire trip and holiday together was really successful and Brendan and I were having a wonderful holiday together and we appeared to be getting on really well J
After we left the Chiangmai mountain area, we then visited the area known as the ‘Golden Triangle’ where Thailand borders Laos and Myanmar and the rivers Ruak and Mekong merge together. It is really beautiful there.
After our visit to the Golden Triangle, it was Sadly and all too soon time for Brendan to leave Thailand to continue on to the next stage of his holiday in New Zealand and then on to Hong Kong before returning to the UK. On the 24th of February 2004, I said goodbye to him at Bangkok Airport and sincerely hoped that we would see each other again as we had discussed.
As luck would have it, not long after Brendan arrived in New Zealand, storms and severe flooding hit the country. That seamed to be fate as instead of staying on there he decided to return to Bangkok to see me..... Now that was romantic!
However I suppose really that the freak of nature in New Zealand may have had something to do with his decision.
Again, we spend a lovely time together, obviously with the odd marathon walk thrown in. J During our time travelling together I saw many different places that I had never seen before such as Chai Mai in the north of Thailand and Hau Hin in the south east. Despite being with Ian for a number of years I was never taken on holiday or had the opportunity to travel.
Before Brendan was due to leave and continue on his journey to Hong Kong, I took him to my home village to meet my mother and the rest of my family. His arrival caused a great interest, as this was one of the first visits from a ‘Farang’ (don’t worry, I will explain later!) My mother told me that she thought that Brendan looked like my father; perhaps that is why I was drawn to him? Needless to say that during his visit to the village the language difference was problematic but we manage to understand each other through sign language and various gestures.
Although during our time travelling together Brendan has see the any Thai Massage shops in the city it was only when he visited my home village that he was surprised to see just how important Traditional Thai Massage was to our country’s culture.
It was normal practice for me and other Thai girls like me to massage the other members of our respective families.
Well folks, speaking about massage, it has reminded me that its now time to leave you again and get back to work at the Thai Massage Room & Spa as my clients will be arriving soon. I look forward to catching up with you again next week with Part 14.
In Part 14, Brendan and I will continue our holiday together before he leaves me again to travel on to the final part of his holiday in Hong Kong. I wonder if he will return to Thailand to see me again???
Posted by Noi McIntyre on October 16, 2019