Spontaneous Travel Tales & Other Things

Hi, my name is Alan C. Foster and I am currently the owner of Baktrax;  Budget small group tours in S. E. Asia. www.baktrax.com. I am an ex-pat Aussie who has spent most of the last fifteen years in S.E. Asia. During my travels over that time, I have seen and experienced many spontaneous things. It is usually these things that remain in your memory the longest. When travelling in Asia expect to see things that will amaze you and at first, you will find it hard to believe even. No matter how long you spend here some things never cease to amaze you. I still see things on a daily basis that are hard to believe even after fifteen years. These things often come about because of the local drivers, both motorcycle and car. I finally got a photo of five on a motorbike in a Cambodian market but more on these tales at a later date.

One of the most spontaneous events happened a few years ago. When not travelling I spend most of my time in the north Thailand village of Pai. In a valley surrounded by blue mountains, Pai is just about as good as it gets for most of the year.  To keep fit when in Pai I ride my bicycle up towards a waterfall in the mountains where I pass through some minority villages along the way. One of these is a Lisu village where I know some of the locals quite well. One Sunday morning as I rode through the village there was a group of people beside the road including two friends, Oi and her brother Saam.  Saam means three in Thai. So named because he was the third child. They both called on me to stop but wanted to keep going up the hill. On the way back I stopped to say hello. Apparently is was Lisu new year and both my friends who speak English offered me a glass of herb whiskey at ten in the morning. For luck they said. No way I said. I will never touch the foul smelling stuff ever again. Ok, they said how about a beer. Alright, I can take that I said. As this was going on an old man was holding and caressing the most handsome rooster while chanting at the same time. This continued for a while before all of a sudden he produced a large knife and cut its head off. Holding the rooster by the legs it was doing what all headless chickens do and splashed blood all over the place. The man then held it over the road as the last of the blood flowed onto the road. Saam told me it was good luck to put blood on the road. This may explain in some way all the road accidents in the kingdom. So after another glass of beer and a sweet biscuit, I got back on my bike and rolled back down the mountain giggling to myself about the spontaneous event that saw my shirt with a few spots of lucky blood on it. I could certainly do with a bit of luck I laughed. Pai is one of the most amazing places on the planet. The spectacular scenery coupled with the nicest people living in one of the quaintest villages means spontaneous events occur all the time. Trek to more remote villages or party at night, Pai will never disappoint any visitor. Baktrax Thailand and Malaysia budget small group tour includes the best Pai has to offer plus a cooking course with the best cook in town at Pugi’s cooking class. Pugi is an international cook who speaks German and English as well as Thai. She spent many years in Germany cooking international cuisine but it is her Thai food that she does better than anyone else in Pai. And there is no bad food anywhere in Pai. If I was a first-time Asian traveller this is the tour I would choose as it has the lot in my two favourite countries in the region and probably some spontaneous events along the way also. Expect the unexpected. Cheers.

I will write regular articles on spontaneous travel events and other things in the future that will give you the history of how Baktrax came into being after a spontaneous brain haemorrhage in 1996. Hope you enjoy them. or can experience them yourself.

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