These Are The Ways Thailand Has Tried To Kill Us

In Thailand, we're in constant danger motor scooter accident, murderous monkeys, or venomous snakes. And by "constant danger", I mean we've seen those things, minus the accident, murderous, or venomous descriptors.

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Full Show Script

  • [move up side]

  • EVO: I'm just going to come out and say it: There are a myriad ways that Thailand has already tried to kill us. And we've only been here for a month. 

  • SHE: We're here on an extended house-sit for an ex-pat French couple, Camille and Franck, while they're away on holiday. They've somehow managed NOT to die in the four years they've lived here, so Evo might be exaggerating the death-risk just a tad.

  • EVO: Every time we go out on their scooter, we're flirting with death. Traffic lanes are mere suggestions, one-way streets become two-way at certain parts of the day. And they drive on the "other" side of the road in Thailand. Notice how I've learned not to call it the "wrong" side. You're welcome, England!

  • SHE: OK, the scooter is a little nerve wracking, I'll give you that. There seems to be special rules for scooter drivers, like driving against the flow of traffic, turning out of any lane they damn well please, and flowing around stopped cars to bunch up at the crosswalk on red lights.

  • EVO: We needed to understand the scooter etiquette, mostly so we don't look like idiots. And so we don't get thrown in jail. Or become stains on the asphalt. Franck and Camille probably had the answers.

  • [scooter etiquette]

  • SHE: As we thought might be the case, the rules weren't all that hard or fast. "Do what's most efficient without getting ran over" seems to be the only scooter etiquette in play.

  • EVO: They also have a truck, which also almost killed us. You've probably read the post and seen the video. That's a lot more entertaining than listening to audio of us bouncing round in a truck on a jungle trail, so go watch the video and read the story to learn more.

  • SHE: But that adventure did give us the idea of starting up our own Jeep tour company based out of Thailand. Here's us discussing the idea over beers with Camille just after we made it safely back to civilization. 

  • [jungle tour]

  • EVO: And what a fortuitous conversation. Almost prescient. Because both of those creatures -- monkeys and cobras -- tried to kills us last week.

  • SHE: I think you're embellishing again.

  • EVO: Quiet, woman! Let me tell the damned story! First, murderous monkeys. Or at least microphone stealing monkeys. It started out innocently enough, with a trip to the Ngao Mangrove Research Center

  • [playing cards]

  • SHE: Ignoring Evo's fascination with altering the lyrics of 80s classics, the little red underbite dog did lead us to monkeys. And bait was used to get one monkey to pose for the camera, though probably not the kind of bait Evo wanted. While I was taking One Minute Memories videos of the monkeys (mangrove macaques), Evo was capturing the sounds of the mangrove forest and stupidly walked away from his audio recorder. And a monkey took it. Not very far,but it made for an interesting, adrenaline-fueled conversation afterwards.

  • [monkey spit]

  • EVO: And if it's not death by scooter accident or deadly monkey attack, it's cobras. They're all around us. Always.

  • [everythings a snake]

  • SHE: Is this your idea of a segue to the snake we found in the kitchen the other day?

  • EVO: You mean the cobra attack from the other day?

  • SHE: What? First of all, that audio clip wasn't even related to the snake in the kitchen. Second of all, it wasn't a cobra, it was a radiated rat snake.

  • EVO: It was still deadly.

  • SHE: It's not even venomous! 

  • EVO: There are over 200 species of snakes in Thailand. At least 60 are venomous. And I didn't hear you suggesting I break out the field guide to identify it.

  • SHE: All I know is that I hope for both our sakes that The Aquabats don't sue us for using their song Attacked by Snakes from their 1997 album The Fury of the Aquabats! We love the bats!

  • EVO: And speaking of things that are trying to kill us in Thailand, we never did figure out what this was from a few shows ago:

  • [mystery creature]

  • SHE: We may not know what creature was making that noise, but I do know one thing that is trying to kill us.

  • EVO: What's that?

  • SHE: You. What were you thinking driving into the jungle on little more than a yak trail searching out some mystery creature that was enraged by the sound of our motor scooter.

  • EVO: I don't think they have yaks in Thailand

  • SHE: Whatever. Just do the ask so we can get to the clip of a future show...

  • EVO: July will bring us halfway through our year-long world tour experience. It's be a great ride, and we're looking forward to the next six months. And beyond, if we can swing it. Along the way, we've collected a lot of stories, some of which have made it in this show. And we've learned a crazy amount... and most of that hasn't made it on the show, or on our blog, or in our newsletter. It's all great stuff, but the deep-knowledge and insight gained doesn't fit the storytelling format of our site. So... were spreading it around. In the next few weeks, we'll share the details on some articles we're publishing on other sites. But there's so much more we could share. We just need places to share it. So if you think a guest blog post from us would work on your site, let us know. If you want to interview us for your show, website, or media outlet, we'd love to do it. We've got plenty of time, so just get in touch. We'll move our schedule around for you.

  • SHE: Here's what we're working on for a future show:

  • [spicy]

  • EVO: Hot food aside, here's to hoping Thailand doesn't kill us before said future show. Cheers from Ranong!

  • SHE: We travel the world as The Opportunistic Travelers largely because of our generous listeners.

  • EVO: People all over the world pledge as little as five bucks a month, and in return, they get a hand-written postcard from us sent from wherever opportunity has taken us, every single month. Sign up today at TheOpportunisticTravelers.com/postcards.

  • SHE: We also stay for free most of our journey. No, we’re not super-stars or anything. We eliminate hotel costs and stay in some great cities by housesitting all over the world. Get our complete list of the actual housesitting sites we use every day at TheOpportunisticTravelers.com/stayforfree, and stop spending money on hotels when you travel, too. Thanks for listening to this episode. I’m Sheila Dee.

  • EVO: And I am Evo Terra. Our theme music is "On the Ground" by Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com. All other sounds, voices, and odd bits you hear were created by us. And this podcast is just the start of the audio, video, images, and written content we’re producing as we travel the world. Got an idea on how we could work together or a place you like for us to visit? Visit TheOpportunisticTravelers.com to get in touch. Now would be good.


New episodes of the The Opportunistic Travelers Podcast are available every Tuesday. Of course, Tuesday can be a very different thing depending on where we are in the world. Cheers!