Tag - hawkers

The Hard Sell – Getting too much?

The Hard Sell

Khao San Road (KSR), never offers up a “day of rest”, so last Sunday I was not surprised to see the usual carnival of Saturday night Sang Som bucket refugees parading up and down the strip.

However, I was astounded and pucking fissed off at the increase in not only the number of Non-Thai hawkers along KSR, but also their overly aggressive ‘sales pitches.’

Whether Non-Thai merchants should be allowed there or not is another story, but what is definitely not needed is their intimidating and sometimes hostile “bazaar’ remarks aimed at passersby out for fun, not confrontation.

How has this been allowed to happen?

Without exaggeration, it is literally like running a gauntlet of “hey my friend, a new suit for you…or hey beautiful a new dress for you” again and again. I ask you, how many 20 something year old shirtless guys or bikini top girls wearing cargo pants are exactly out shopping for a new suit or dress on KSR?
KSR is a crossroads for new arrivals and those leaving the kingdom, where friendships are made, everyone can chill out, and visitors can enjoy Thai hospitality and have fun with the Thai merchants and food sellers…not suffer a constant barrage of insults from disgruntled Non-Thai hawkers.

Action is needed to help our friendly hosts reclaim KSR as a Thai only fun loving merchant area, so the next time you are offered a new suit or dress along KSR by a Non-Thai hawker, go ahead and respond with a simple “Out” and enjoy the moment of doubt and bewilderment left on his face.

These are the personal opinions of Keepitreal and don’t necessarily reflect the view of KhaoSanRoad.com… But what do you think? Does the hard sell drive you up the wall? Let us know what you think… Add your comments below… Email us if you want to send views on another issue…

Ipoh, Malaysia

IpohPerhaps most famous for its rich and varied traditional cuisine, Ipoh is one of the largest cities in the whole of Malaysia and can be reached easily by taking the train from the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. Situated on the banks of the mighty Kinta River, Ipoh is also known for its picturesque gardens and charming buildings, earning it the nickname of Bougainvillea City.

The Old Town district is the perfect place to explore on foot, and there are also plenty of pavement cafes and restaurants in this part of the city where visitors can simply sit and soak up the atmosphere for a while.

Ipoh is famous for its food, and there are a wide variety of dishes to try. People travel from as far away as Singapore to dine on delicious curries, noodle dishes and a huge range of local specialities. A good place to find cheap and tasty food is at the hawkers stalls that line the road and gather by busy markets, especially in the evening.

Those who have got plenty of time to spare in Ipoh will want to take a trip to the cave temples of Perak Tong. This area was established as a place of worship by a devout Buddhist priest back in q926, and a large number of caves and grottos can be found here, many of which have been decorated with murals, which some of the chambers feature Buddha images and are used as places of worship to this day.

The cave of Sam Poh Tong is located to the south of Ipoh and contains a turtle pond. Another interesting day trip is the temple of Kek Look Tong, which also features a cool cavern. Climb into the cave and walk through to the back, where you will discover the Chinese Buddha of Future Happiness. There is also an ornamental garden with ponds and pagodas behind the cave.