Ian Wrights journey begins in the densely populated
capital, Bangkok. He finds cheap accommodation
on Khao San Road and visits one of
the many fashion shops in the vicinity.
Ian discovers the popular art of Thai Boxing, and endeavours
to try out his new found skills. Finding out that most
boys begin learning this art from the age of eleven,
he wisely leaves it to the professionals, and watches
one of the dozen fights held each week.
Early in the morning, Ian heads to Damnoen
Saduak floating market to sample some of the
local cuisine and to haggle with the Thai women in their
wooden canoes, selling their fruit and vegetables. Later
that day he heads to the biggest and oldest temple in
Bangkok, where Ian views the stunning 150 feet long
reclining Buddha. He also visits Patpong, the infamous
red light district in Bangkok, and even though it only
covers two streets it makes a disturbing impact.
From Bangkok, Ian heads east to Surin, making
a brief stop at the ancient Khmer ruins.
Thousands of people flock to Surin annually to participate
in the elephant round-up, which celebrates the strength
of the elephant. This amazing event includes a tug of
war with one elephant pitted against one hundred strong
and Ian. Even with Ians help, the men
dont stand a chance against the elephants
Continuing North, Ian takes a train to Chiang
Mai, stopping en route at Lopburi,for
the annual monkey festival. Arriving in Chiang Mai,
which lies in the mountains of Northern Thailand, Ian
embarks on a three day trek towards the Burmese border,
where he meets more tourists than hill tribes, stays
afloat on a raft in the rapids, rides an elephant through
the jungle and tries to avoid the lethal sting of the
Ian heads north east to Chiang Khong on the Mekhong
river, which borders Laos. He takes the boat
to Luang Prabang, the ancient capital
of Laos and experiences village life and cuisine at
the small village of Pakbeng.
In Luang Prabang, Ian, now fed up with eating rice,
indulges himself with French bread and croissants and
discovers more about the French influence in Laos, which
was colonised a hundred years ago. Hiring a bicycle,
Ian stops off to watch the villagers produce paper,
for which Laos is famous, and cools off in the Taat
From Luang Prabang, Ian travels south east to Phonsavan in Central Laos and meets the Mines Advisory Group.
This area was devastated by two million tons of bombs,
dropped by American war planes during the Vietnam war.
Ian sees the local people being educated on the dangers
of shrapnel and bombs and learns that many houses have
been constructed from war junk.
Ians final flight is to Vientiane,
the capital of Laos located on the border with Thailand.
Here Ian joins up with Ammata, an ex London club-goer
who returned to Laos to become a monk. Ian enjoys a
steam and herbal massage at Wat Sok Pa Luang temple and then celebrates with the Full Moon Festival
at the end of his incredible journey.