Mid-winter is nigh and, with the bite of the cold, Thailand is on my mind. We’ve got another trip to the tropics in our sights – well, we’ve promised ourselves that come July we’re booking the flights. Our hoped for departure date is not till after Christmas so, in the meantime, browsing through my photos is as close as I can get to thoroughly warm bones.
Neither had I. It’s a small town, by Thai standards, 146 kilometres from Bangkok, on the banks of the Chao Praya River – the same river that runs through Bangkok. With a population of approximately 20,000 Singburi is about a third the size of my home town. But the transport is a whole lot more interesting. People lucky enough to have a set of wheels make the most of them!
Although Thailand has a poor traffic safety record I’ve only ever seen one accident – on my first trip, back in 2001. A small motorbike went into a skid at a motorway on ramp. Both the driver and his passenger walked away but not without the driver first getting a very public scolding from his girlfriend.
In Singburi my heart was in my mouth while I watched this manoeuvre unfold. But nobody-else was in the least concerned. My son, a Bangkokian, says the secret is to make no unexpected movements – including when you are a pedestrian. It’s good advice.
Fortunately, no one needed the rescue services which are based on Wilai Chit Road and reassuringly close to all the action on the main road.
We spent several hours wandering through the township and on the walkway along the banks of the Chao Praya river. The mozzies were biting, the humidity high. I managed a slow amble, nothing more. Even the dogs who followed us, hoping for food no doubt, gave up. I could only admire this guy’s determination to get where he was going. As to that cab – it’s an added extra. I guess the locals knew where it came from.
Where do you go to warm your bones?