Thai Life

 

Thailand Backpackers

But even I was once within the backpackers gumblish ranks.
I was on the inside looking out, finding out what was the right path. A wayward adventurer amid a bunch of charlatan wannabes learning the advanced ways of diving. They thought they were the 'special ones'. Indeed they were out to experience within a biased western mindset.
That all changed for me following a fateful trip to Malaysia via Hat Yai (another story) where my alter-ego kicked any notion of backpackermanship as a compass into the sea!

From there I served my apprenticeship into the ways of expatmanship by a wild Norse American while working as a DM.
To be fair some of them are a fresh breeze and in the groove of things. I met a few good folk-backpackers who kept it real, weren't arrogant and if backpackers have a heirarchy they'd be the princes, barons and counts keeping them in line.

Alas a lot of left-wingy, rose-tinted fools are in the back-packer ranks. Socialism is a big problem on the Koh Tao diving scene now.
I can't say I like those types that much. Tolerate and converse if I have to, but that's about it.
Usually very surface level and talkative on the outside, but very hollow and usually unless you are of their age and ideology (think wooly lefty's) there's not much
I can tell you though that 'usually' backpackers are the cheap charlies and don't want to pay big money for the girls. In fact a fair few that travel in mixed-groups are what you might call crypto-feminazi (or even supremacist?).
This does sound strange but if you are one of their number who is 'into' the thai girls, you won't be flavour of the month. More than one confided that if they wanted a thai girl they'd sneak off to another island or the mainland. It was that petty.
All the male guys will pretend to completely not be in LOS for the ladies, but for the 'temples and culture'. Well I can tell you that unless they are completely queer or with a decent girlfriend they are lying though their teeth.
Reason being they will be trying to score with the farang backpacker girls and act like they are in the UK ;)
This is quite pathetic and if you want to see the 90s man emaciated look no further. They'd be slagging down the mongering dudes doing their thing in Pattaya. You know the usual blag 'Sex tourists this and that.'

I didn't know having a woman in a foreign-country must make you a tourist? I guess we should call ourselves 'food, clothes and bike tourists' while we're at it...

I'll tell you the truth, I've not even looked at this supposed once backpacker 'mecca' called Koh San road. A friend of mine was lavish about 'you must go to KSR' many years ago.
I'm like 'Why? What's there?'
'Oh it's THE place, Backpackers, where to go, and places that'll get you transport'
'Fck that for a game of soldiers; why would I want to be surrounded by a bunch of farang when I'm here to be in Asia. I'll just go to the train station and find my own path.
' :)
So that's KSR fcked off for me.

Maybe started by back-packers, but finished off by the samsonite brigade (SB). The SB are the two week hero's, the couples with kids (why bring children to los?) the elderly folks, some of the nordic folks with money flying around them like a dyson sphere or just plain rich kids pretending to be backpackers...

THEY are the real reason for big prices on the islands and elsewhere. I've seen 'true' backpackers arguing till they were blue in the face to get a 'cut-rate' diving deal, discounted hospital bills and sat around a bar sharing a bottle of water like beggars in the desert.
More than a few bar owners despise back-packers for this reason.

But the samsoniter's are the money machines that make prices go up like a rocket, not so much the backpackers.

I used to stay in a really cool and teak-fashioned guesthouse. Clean and basic, prices where very affordable. Back-packers loved it and it had a low-key vibe...
Thai girls hung out there (they could afford it too) and shook their thing if you grooved it right.

Yet the Farang owner got 'clever' and just leased the entire guesthouse to the locals and increased his prices for the samsoniters, taking the sure-fire buck.

Backpackers are a dying breed now on the mainland, compared to the boom-town 90s to 2000s there's hardly any. Rising prices, other areas that are cheaper have meant a thinning of the herd. A good and a bad thing...

 
Farang columnist Johnny BThis section is compiled by our resident biker in Thailand - WR

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Chang Mai Province Phitsanulok Bangkok Koh Tao Koh Pang Yan Koh Samui