most of my time.
I don’t know why exactly as there were many contributing factors, but mainly it just happened.
I made my first visit here in late 1968 when I was a young sailor 24 years of age. At the time I was stationed with River Assault Flotilla One at Dong Tam, Vietnam. So when I became eligible for my period of R and R (Rest and Relaxation) I chose Bangkok, as it was only an hour away by air. This way I could start enjoying myself much faster than the other destinations that were being offered like Sidney, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Hawaii, Manila and several others, which I can’t remember now.
During the remainder of my Navy career I had the pleasure to visit Thailand numerous time and I always enjoyed myself. I found it exotic in a wild west sort of way. For the most part the people were friendly, the women beautiful, the weather great, the beer cold, and most importantly it was very very easy on the old wallet. There are also beautiful temples, palaces, beaches and lots of green scenery to be seen and enjoyed. However, to be truthful, during these early years and while a single man, I didn’t see much more that the inside of bars and massage parlors (as indicated in the below photograph) with maybe an occasional visit to the picture show. But, those are stories for another day.
After getting married, I didn’t visit for many years except for a brief working visit in the mid 80’s. The purpose of that visit was to talk directly to The United Nations Committee On Refugees and the Vietnamese Embassy. This was for the purpose of trying to get my wife’s family relocated from Vietnam to the United Stated. By the way it was a successful visit. Which is also another story for another day perhaps.
After my second marriage ended I decided I owed myself a vacation so again headed for Thailand. On this trip I actually did a lot of the normal tourist activities and really got to see the country for the first time. I also spend my evenings in two well established expatriate hangouts meeting many westerners that live here. After, many conversations with them, I decided that I would give it a try for a year or so. I had a little money saved (and I stress a little), but thought I would be able to live on what was left of my navy retirement check, after my first wife was given her share monthly.
So after going back home, resigning from my job, putting my personal affairs in order I bought a open return ticket and set out for a new adventure in my life.
of my time and money.