I always expected to be hitchhiking to Asia some day. The proper way to do it seemed to be by making a two or three year long trip, and spend this time living in the Middle-East, exploring India, Nepal, Tibet, Indonesia and Lao, and many other countries on the way. There’s nothing quite like slowly travelling 1000’s of kilometers overland, and seeing the landscape, customs and climate change little by little, while all the time meeting random friendly people on the road.
Today there are no little changes though. My whole biorhytm just got shifted by five hours, the climate just went from nice & fresh to very hot and humid, not to mention that I’m 8600 kilometers from home, deep into Asia.
One of the first things I notice is a huge sign above a road outside the terminal: “We love our King”. The customs is surprisingly easy and fast, a bunch of stamps get stamped on papers, a picture gets taken of me, and just 40 seconds later I can move on.
Just as with hitchhiking, right after the customs and fresh into an alien country, is when things can get quite overwhelming: a new country, an alphabet which I can’t read and a lot of people eager to earn some money: “Hello my friend, how are you doing! Where are you going?” To which I reply: “To Indonesia my friend, to Indonesia.”, which usually leaves them just confused enough not to push on anymore.
This is Bangkok after all.
I still have another 3000 kilometers to go. Not by plane though, I’ve flown enough. Now that I’m here I’ll travel the rest by land. A small coincidence that I got a plane from Berlin to Thailand, but now that I’m here, I’m here. The first thing I did after seeing the offer for the flight ticket was to check hitchwiki for information about Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. All seemed well, and I especially like the page for Malaysia, which says:
“Malaysia is a country in South East Asia.
It’s nice for hitching. you have a real expressway running on the North South axis from the Thai border, to Kuala Lumpur, to Singapore. Stay on the gas stations with the nice food stalls. It is pretty easy to get a ride there. In rural areas too.”
For now I Bangkok I’ll take a few days to adjust to Asia. It should be easy, not in the least since I’ve a comfortable place to stay with a couchsurfer, Mary, who lives not to far from the city centre, and has been a great friendly help so far.