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Here you will find articles on an ambitious plan to travel from Singapore to Morocco overland, i.e. without flying.

I will use buses and trains to travel through South East Asia, China, Mongolia, Russia, and Europe.

Read about The Plan So Far.

Discovering a mans body in the streets of Chiang Mai

Written by Joshua Fuglsang on .

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AsiaThailandTravel
Photo of a backstreet in Chiang Mai
Photo of a backstreet in Chiang Mai - Copy­right © Joshua Fuglsang

Intro

This ar­ti­cle is a brief ac­count of dis­cov­er­ing a man who had died on the streets of Chi­ang Mai. I couldn’t de­cide if I want­ed to write about this, but I have as I feel that it is im­por­tant part of my jour­ney.

The Story

It’s my last day in Chi­ang Mai. It’s 10am and I have a flight at 2pm. In­tent on say­ing good bye to some of the peo­ple that I met in Chi­ang Mai old town, I de­cide to pay them a vis­it on the way out. I walk through the back­streets of old town and from the cor­ner of my eye see a group of peo­ple hud­dled around a low wall on a street cor­ner. Cu­ri­ous about what the com­mo­tion was, I took a peek. What I found was a man’s body, pro­tect­ed from line-of-sight by the wall, a few feet from a busy street. Sur­round­ing him are the usu­al sus­pects: a group of paramedics, and a group of tourists. The most trag­ic part was the tourists, half of them were film­ing the or­deal on their smart phones. More than the sight of the body it­self, I found their ac­tions to be the most sick­en­ing el­e­ment of the whole sit­u­a­tion. I had walked past just as they were turn­ing him over, it was a grue­some sight. I quick­ly de­part.

Soon af­ter leav­ing I send a mes­sage to my dad and he gives me some ad­vice that I should try to re­place the im­age with a more pleas­ant one. He sug­gests that you can vis­it a tem­ple and re­place his im­age with one of a gold­en Bud­dha. Tak­ing his ad­vice, I im­me­di­ate­ly head for the near­est tem­ple. I am run­ning out of time now as I have a flight soon. In the Tem­ple I prac­tice some of the prayers that I learnt in Kopan Monastery, while try­ing to im­print the im­age of the gold­en Bud­dha atop his shrine in my mind. Up un­til now I could con­trol my emo­tions, but in front of the Thai Bud­dha, the Chi­nese Bud­dha, and the Ganesh idols I am over­whelmed and the tears came. For the man, of ap­par­ent home­less­ness, I pray that he has a pos­i­tive re­birth where he is free from the suf­fer­ings that he has ex­pe­ri­enced in this life. I light a stick of in­cense and do­nate a small amount of mon­ey for his mem­o­ry, then de­part.

I hailed a took Tuk Tuk and head­ed to the air­port. On the way to the air­port, on a busy road un­der an over­pass, an­oth­er Tuk Tuk pulls up along­side mine. In the back is a fel­low trav­eller from Cana­da, who is re­turn­ing home. We both laugh to­geth­er at the ran­dom­ness of the sit­u­a­tion and talk light-heart­ed­ly about where we are from and what we have been do­ing in Thai­land. It was a beau­ti­ful mo­ment which brought with it an in­tense light to clear the dark­ness which had bound my mind. Her laugh­ing face was pre­cise­ly the im­age that I need­ed, as my dad had sug­gest­ed.

Conclusion

Lat­er I found an ar­ti­cle about the man who had died. He had died due to a pre­vi­ous sick­ness, be­ing ine­bri­at­ed, and be­ing un­able to tol­er­ate the cold of the night. Read news ar­ti­cle here.

Tags

AsiaThailandTravel

About

Here you will find articles on an ambitious plan to travel from Singapore to Morocco overland, i.e. without flying.

I will use buses and trains to travel through South East Asia, China, Mongolia, Russia, and Europe.

Read about The Plan So Far.