Tag Archives: songthaew

Phothong

Phothong is like a mini bus, the public transportation of Phuket.

To accommodate more goods and passengers, vehicles were modified by cutting the body leaving only the front part and lower chassis. Then a new body was built on it, made entirely of wood, with a roof on which goods can be stored and with two rows of benches along the length direction of the vehicle for passengers.

No need to modify pickup trucks but just install the new body.

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Pickup Truck Jeepney

Normally red in color, this pickup truck transformed into Philippine jeepney-like vehicle is used as a means of passenger transport around Chiang Mai. I like the idea that there is a trash basket on one side of the step platform.

Thai Curiosities at a Race in Khao Yai

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Last January 31, I found myself in Khao Yai, Pak Chong about 200 kilometers from Bangkok for some running related journey. Runners from 40 countries participated in this quite popular Asia Pacific trail running race series organized by The North Face.

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Waiting for the race briefing the day before the race, while seeing several trail ultra marathoners with smooth head but in an appealing masculine way.

I have previously participated in the Philippine and Singapore editions of this series. This time I joined the Thailand edition.

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The author finished at 3:10:48 in 12th place out of 225 women participants (6/118 in age category) of the 25 km distance race.

The event was terrific. Furthermore, the local flair of this race was noteworthy where at gun start (actually squeeze horns were used), a Buddhist monk stood at the starting line and blessed the runners with some sort of holy water as we started to cross it. And where the rising sun was seen as prominently round, with yellow-orange color above the hills as we ran on reddish dry dirt including some nonrunnable ascent to almost 600 meters above sea level. And where the trail passed through chilli and cassava plantations.

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Post race buffet of Thai dishes of which the author partook to her heart’s content, seasoning her rice with Thai patis

And where the post race food was a buffet of khao pad, pad thai, unidentified Thai macaroni dish with accompanying condiments such as Thai fish sauce with chillies, and local fruits – banana, watermelon, and guava.

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Thai massage on hay beds

And for a post race treat – signature Thai massage by local women on hay beds.

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The mighty songthaew as the runners’ shuttle

With regards to ferrying runners from nearby hotels to the race venue and back, there were those ruggedly handsome songthaews. As for the necessary amenities, they have those portalet trucks with theme park look but with practical toilet configuration, and this has become my favorite race portalet as of today. And of course, the run on the trails of Thailand as well. Kob kun mak ka.

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Portalet trucks: Each truck has door for female on one side and male on the opposite side with six cubicles for each gender plus a wash sink

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