Meeting South East Asia for the first time

Traveling to Thailand in 1985
China town, Bangkok - Thailand in 1985

People ask me sometimes "How did you get in Thailand?" and I answer is always "By airplane". But in reality it was a bit more complex, so I did write some postings about that. Follow this story at Blast from the past. In 1985 I traveled to SEA for 1 month together with a good friend. For both of us it was the first time outside Europe and it was a total culture shock. In all ways possible. We did fly to Bangkok, in those days with Singapore Airlines with about 3 stops on the way. We did stay in Bangkok for 3 days with an American friend of my mother. Well that was the first culture shock. And after 3 days we were happy to leave dirty and noisy Bangkok. From Bangkok we did fly to Singapore where we had 1 day stop-over  before we would fly to Medan in Sumatra. Well Singapore was the next culture shock.

We travelled for 2 weeks in Sumatra and did go to Brastagi and Toba Lake. And as if we had not yet enough culture shock, Sumatra rocked the boat. So again after 2 weeks on Sumatra we were happy to see McDonald in Singapore again. After 3 days Singapore we did fly home again. My mother had been right, for me it felt like coming home. A feeling that I would later explain as "my Asian roots". For my friend it was a once and never again experience. For me it would take another 6 years before I would return to South East Asia. But that will be the next story.

Traveling to Thailand in 1985
View from Wat Arun (Bangkok)

Batak village (Sumatra)
Batak village (Sumatra)
Samorsir island (Lake Toba)
View from Hotel Carolina
Traditional dancing
Singapore
Singapore at night
The last rickshaw of Singapore?

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