Thai Boxing Kick Bangkok Thailand Photo Ooaworld

Bangkok, Thailand and Cambodia Travel Writing Notes

This travel writing post from the OOAsia journey features notes from a quick layover in Bangkok after visiting Vietnam, then our travels through Cambodia.

For more from Bangkok and Thailand, view all the Thailand travel stories, videos, photos and writing on Rolling Coconut’s Travel section.

For more from Cambodia, read the travel tips, Cambodia itinerary and see all travel stories, videos, photos and writing on Rolling Coconut’s Travel section.

Bangkok – Travel Writing and Diaries

  • Land in Bangkok and have secured invitations to a Media Conference by reconnecting with former colleagues, peculiar feeling of putting our long-form travels on ‘hold’ and reconnecting with past life and professional peers
  • Elect to stay at a modest hotel near the center in Pratunam, surprised by the expansive Indian community
  • Chit Lom luxury malls and modern buildings
  • Learn about artisanal arts and traditional shows of Thai dance, weaving and Support
  • After the conference, we move to Khao San Road, backpacker heaven
  • Also have to beware of crooks – including 7/11 clerk
  • Visit the mesmerizing Grand Palace and Emerald Temple
  • Scenes of Thai Boxing throughout the city, open-air gyms and people of all creeds working on their high kicks
  • Decided on staying a few more nights (which eventually amount to 7) – unfortunately I’m feeling lazy, and much of this extra time is spent counter-productively
  • Red light districts, 6% of economy tourism – at least 10% of tourist dollars spent on sex trade, up to 3% of economy
  • Monsoon has begun – the daily showers have become thick curtains of rain, we’re swimming in the city. It’s time to move out.
Nana's Nights Bangkok Thailand Photo Ooaworld
Nana’s Nights Bangkok Thailand

Red-Light District: From Patpong to Soi Cowboy

  • Visit Red Light Districts during the rainy night, Patpong, Nana’s, first drinks
  • Rain
  • Flooded when we get to Soi Cowboy, beggar children running in the pool of rain. Customers and their Go-go girls removing their sandals as they walk through to their cabs.
  • Red neon lights galore, names like Baccara, Suzie Wong’s, fruit stall, girls standing in yellow, barely moving amidst the loud techno music
  • Rotation, other lightly clad team emerges onto the deck
  • Like sushi bar rotation
  • (Japanese crowds still)
  • Through the doors five or six girls standing on stage, dim red lights.
  • And then the music is switched, and within seconds they’re naked
  • “Come on, go up there.” Friendly waitresses egging the clientele – former workers caught up by age
  • Uncomfortable to witness this show, not as much for its crudeness or ostensible lack of prudeness as rather considering the surrounding context and business which leads to these life situations – when not outright exploitation -, whether through lack of education and economic opportunity, or tough luck and predatory souls, the pimps who drug them and the Dirty Old Men (and young in fact) who pay good money for these services,
  • the whole environment that leads the girls to this, and men to them,
  • “I think it’s time for us to go” because it’s getting uncomfortable
  • I acquiesce, but give me a minute to process
Photo Ooaworld
Angkor Wat Sunrise Siem Reap Cambodia


  • Leave Khao San on a backpacker shuttle to the border with Cambodia and nearby Siem Reap, home of Angkor Wat
  • The route is well traveled. Backpackers and border-crossers line to the border control. Regulars and expats too – at the time Thai tourist visas could be renewed by simply stepping out of the border and coming back.
  • Wondrous days recouping in Siem Reap


  • After having spent one (delightful, restful) week in one place, Siem Reap, and enjoyed a change in rhythm – we’re no longer chasing the ‘clock’, as it seemed there always had been a deadline or some sort of obligation to attend ahead of us, we make it to Battambang.
  • During the afternoon, the empty, dreary streets remind us of a mix of Can Tho and Hue, in Vietnam.
  • Our accommodations, overlooking the red roofs of the sleepy town
  • Pepsi Factory, Temple, and we should visit  

Phnom Penh

– Arrive in the night, a shotgun bearing guard eyes us from behind the shuttered door of a hotel


  • Cloudy skies as we enter Sihanoukville

Phnom Penh

Again, again same hotel – less moldy this time

Kampong Cham

Enjoy though nothing much. Small town of passage.

Go to a restaurant whose quality steadily decreases over the days.

Ride a motorbike out. Guy doesn’t ask for passport or money. And off we are. See some temples and drive by quiet, wood-shacked villages. End in the Muslim area and walk around – real poverty, but no unhappiness (stereotypical view)

Phnom Penh

Ready to leave – have slowed the pace down – no more obligations. 23-24 days, second longest stay in any given country after China – and hardly comparable in size or distance traveled.

This destination and travel story is part of OOAsia, a Year-long Journey and Travels through Asia. This the second installment in the OOA Journeys:

  • OOAmerica – Travels through North America and USA Road-Trip
  • OOAsia – Travels through Asia
  • OOAmericaS – Travels through Central and South America
  • EurOOA – Travels through Europe
  • OOAfrica – Travels through Africa
  • OOACeania – Travels through Oceania
  • OOArabia – Travels through North Africa and the Middle East

Looking for Travel Tips, travel reviews, itineraries and practical travel information? Check out the OOAworld Travel section by Rolling Coconut and browse stories by country.

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Hi, I’m ooa revo. I like to create using different media including Film, Photos, Writing, Animation, Videos, Drawings, Painting, Poetry, newer media such as XR/AR/VR/360, and more! Many stories and work on OOAworld are inspired by world travels, as well as a Movie / Documentary asking people I met along the road: "What's your philosophy in life?" Follow the adventure on OOAworld and social media or by signing up to email updates!