8th April
written by Hope

We’ve come full circle…our final stop in SE Asia was the same place we started: Bangkok. As many backpackers will tell you, you really don’t want to hang out in Bangkok for too long. We did our best to avoid the place but we had some visa issues that needed some attention, so back to Khao San Road we went. It’s funny how much your view of a place changes after you have something to compare it to…when we first flew into Bangkok, Khao San Road seemed fine; nothing to write home about, but we weren’t repulsed by it either. I guess it’s because we had no point of reference. After seeing what the rest of SE Asia has to offer, Khao San seemed like an absolute pit and we couldn’t wait to move on (next time, we think we will stay in the Siam Square area instead).

We didn’t do much else in Bangkok except take care of our visas, but we did manage to see Oak one more time. Oak invited us to stay with him and his wife in their newly-built house as their first overnight guests. It was quite a shock to go from Khao San to their gorgeous, multi-level house. Since the house is so new, it is very sparsely furnished, but you can already see that Oak and his wife Auey’s tastes veer towards the modern: everything is black or sparkling white.

oak's amazing house, bangkok
Jeremy and Oak computing at Oak’s dining room table.

It was against this stark white background that we realized: we were dirty. Seriously, we never felt so dirty in our lives…and we fancy ourselves much cleaner than other backpackers! It was embarrassing. We quickly took showers and changed into our nicest (cleanest) clothes. I even put on a pair of earrings, hoping that might distract from our disheveled bodies. I guess we had been amongst dirty backpackers for too long…our hygiene scale got a little skewed. :)

We also got to see Oak’s Muay Thai (Thai Kickboxing) manufacturing plant, and he gave us free t-shirts from his line…so nice!

oak's muay thai manufaturing plant, bangkok
Thai kickboxing gloves at Oak’s warehouse. Buy them here: muaythaistuff.com!

Oak also took us out to a steakhouse…which was amazing! Even better, the restaurant had a Western theme, complete with wagon wheel chandeliers and Thai waiters dressed in Western gear. Thais have this strange fascination with the wild west…we saw many an “Ol’ Saloon” and “Wild West Steakhouse” in Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

thai cowboy steakhouse, bangkok
Is it just me or does the Thai cowboy in the portrait look like my dad?

It was a great way to close out our trip: great food (notice that we did not want Thai food for our last meal in SE Asia) ;), followed by a night out with new friends, ending in the comfort and luxury of sleeping in Oak & Auey’s (gorgeous) house. We had a great time in SE Asia, but we’re looking forward to the next chapter in our trip: Taiwan!


  1. Hope's Dad

    There could be some imposter of me sometime.

  2. Adam

    On with the show!

    p.s. It’s baseball season back here.

  3. eddo

    Totally looks like Daddy. :)

  4. 10/04/2009

    Why does everyone outside the U.S. have a fascination for the wild west?!

  5. Jenny White

    Next time you stay at the Atlanta Hotel! No more Khao San Road for you, it is hideous.


    I had no idea that your dad was a model!

  6. 12/04/2009

    Jenny, that hotel looks amazing! Definitely staying there next time. And, you won’t believe this, but my Dad WAS a male model…he was a Winston cigarettes man back in the 70s!

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