Thailand Part 2 and the Chocolate Factory

Other than Bangkok, we also visited Ko Samet, Chiang Mai and Pattaya.

Ko Samet was a idyllic little island off the eastern coast of Thailand with white sandy beaches supposedly so white the locals named it the beach of especially white sand (or something to that effect). To be scientifically accurate, the sands were more a dirty ivory than white, but I suppose in bright sunlight with a stretch of the imagination and a touch of romance I could concede the point. Despite the lack of proper roads, vendors of trinkets and scarves ran up and down the beach hawking pretty things to women, who evidently are able to shop even in sunblock. Yet, I believe the 2 days I spent on Ko Samet to be the best of my entire trip, relaxed, indolent and mostly stress-free (except for a close brush with some snakes).

Contrast with Pattaya, where the beaches are filled with deck chairs squeezed together like seats at a theatre and enough hawkers to do your every bidding (for a price) in the day and prostitutes to satisfy your every craven need (for a price) in the night. The city is the ugliest tourist city I’ve ever seen, with prostitutes everywhere and the endless supply of caucasian men exploiting them. I’ve seen uglier cities, such as Kolkata, but the ugliness of Kolkata stems from the poorness of the populace, not from general lack of taste and seediness of industry.

I wouldn’t recommend Pattaya as a holiday destination until you’re at least sixty, all alone, desperately need sex with someone a third your age and have money to burn. Then you’d be right at home there.

(I don’t fit that category – I’m just uninformed)

And that’s all I’m gonna say about Thailand. Go yourself – it’s pretty safe and easy to access for Singaporeans and it’s also cheap. Exploit your S$.

Went to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory today with Q & A (such humourous initials, they have). And it was so Tim Burton I would have recognized it even if you’d turned the sound off and made me watch with only 1 eye open. If you’re a fan of Burton (or Depp, who is also brilliant as Willy Wonka) go watch it. If you like arthouse flicks watch it. If you prefer action or horror movies and can’t appreciate intelligence in movie then don’t, because you’re gonna yawn through it. Not to say it’s a highly intelligent flick, but it’s self-conscious enough to make you think, has a few surprises to the classic Dahl story and an amazing example of how one artist can adapt the work of another artist to his own ends.

I’m gonna have to think of it next time as Roald Dahl’s CatCF and Time Burton’s CatCF, because they’re so different despite being largely similar in story. Not just in plot, neither. Hats off to costumes, the first time I’ve been impressed by costume design in a movie (other than maybe Godzilla).

Might watch it again if persuaded enough, and you need someone to accompany you (because CatCF is such a scary movie).

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