A Travellerspoint blog

Google Maps lies!!

In which i make another monumentally stupid decision

Back in 2015 I walked some 10km through Reykjavik at 1am to photograph the Northern Lights. It was November, very cold and an extraordinarily dull walk through residential streets on one side and the black of the Atlantic on the other. When I arrived, there was nothing, no Northern lights, no mosre than a green tinge to the photos after a long exposure. I drudged back at 3am tired, cold and annoyed at myself.

Fast forward more than 4 years and it's midnight in Bangkok as I return from a three hour walk on blistered feet with three bottles of beer that dissolved their cardboard packaging half an hour before, but I had to buy them then as 7/11 obviously closes at 11 (It doesn't, I could have bought them at the 7/11 200m up the road).

I had decided to visit Khao San Rd, THE popular backpacking destination in Bangkok, nay Thailand or the whole world if you believe the hype. I had avoided it so far, not wanting to stay anywhere nearby, but I thought I should at least give it a look...

The whole walk was only about 6km, but I'd had a couple of stops, one to find a toilet without success (after half an hour of busting to go I found a deserted hole where a building once was) and another to eat some ropey roadside chicken for my dinner (didn't kill me}.

Some of the walk was nice. There's an area near the Grand Palace where all the shops sell flowers. All of them . It's something that I've only seen in Asia, whole areas all selling the same product. There are two roads next to my hostel that just sell shoes. I'm not sure how they compete, they all seem to charge the same. Go figure.

Eventually I arrived at Khao San Road. Immediately experiencing a barrage of noise, scorpions on sticks and offers of ping pong shows. I avoided everyone as much as possible, but sat down in the least crowded bar I could find to at least have a drink while I was there. It was here I saw my first Asian cockroach, which ran out, looked around in disgust at the filth and disappeared.

Finally, after using the bar's wifi to video my old work colleagues to show them how what I was doing with my amazing new life I left, not before being propositioned by two women of questionable sex and then escaping away from them into the Bangkok night. My job was done.

My point is that Google Maps lies. Things always looks far closer than they are! They trick you into walking, into going places that you wouldn't bother visiting if you really knew how far away they were. They tricked me into a three hour trek to an Icelandic Lighthouse and they tricked me into visiting a Thai hive of scum and villainy that would make Han Solo run screaming.

At least it was warm this time.


I did none of these, nor did I drink buckets, have a happy ending or enjoy a ping pong show or anything else other than drink a beer (Go Singha!)

Posted by cblanc102 06:02 Archived in Thailand

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