Hounds Abound

By Stephen Ewashkiw | March 27, 2014

11,901 km so far.

With no local equivalent of Bob Barker, and without the same penchant the Vietnamese show for eating them, dogs abound in Thailand. It is a good thing it is way too hot here for most of them to do much except lay around.

Dog Day Afternoon

Even when we’re out riding early in the morning, the dogs seem to be having a kip. I suppose if I had been up all night barking at every little sound I’d be tired as well. They seem to like napping on the asphalt, which provides a nice warm surface, if not a particularly safe spot, to sleep.

Often they don’t even budge when we ride past. A few, presumably those who have been hit by a scooter one too many times, jump out of the way.

The dogs in this video Jane shot while riding are only a fraction of those we encountered on this small side road this morning.

As long as they aren’t chasing me, teeth bared, I don’t mind riding around them.

dogs on the road in thailand

Weaving through the dogs near Nakhon Sawan.

We end up following the dogs’ lead most afternoons. After struggling to find a decent lunch, we usually head back to the hotel where the air conditioning makes life bearable, and more often than not have a cat nap.

Jane’s note: Let’s all start calling it a “dog kip”. Just coined a new phrase. Bam!

Scavenging For Scraps

I don’t know how this many dogs find enough to eat. I suppose they are less picky than we are. We often see them rummaging through trash heaps, which is something we haven’t had to resort to yet.

Tonight came close.

We asked the hotel receptionist where the night market was, as we had read it had lots of food stalls. She showed us the location on our map, so we headed towards it.

The area of the city where the market was supposed to be was all fenced off, however. We couldn’t tell if it was military housing, a university, part of the hospital, or a really low-security prison, but a large section of town was ringed in barbed wire and inaccessible to regular old farang like us.

If the night market was in there we were out of luck.

We walked past a restaurant with a sizeable selection of vegetables outside, so decided to try our luck. Unfortunately the owner only appeared helpful, and ended up bringing us far too little food, despite us having explained we were very hungry.

Unsatisfied, we went for a walk to see if we could find second dinner. From reading various blogs, Jane had an idea as to where the night market might be hiding, and as we got closer things looked promising. Food stalls started to appear, and before we knew it we were in the midst of 50 carts piled high with different delectables. Most were selling some form of meat, so we settled on banana crepes, one of the only vegetarian options.

small shacks in thailand

The ferry “terminal” for the 5-minute boat ride we took today.

If you ever find yourself in Chai Nat and don’t want to dumpster dive with the dogs, the night market is one block east of Phrom Prasoet and two blocks north of Thanon Wongto (15.18873°N 100.12506°E).

Don’t go to the opposite side of town, even if your hotel receptionist tells you to.

Soundtrack: Paul Simon, Graceland  

Want to see the route map? View it on Ride With GPS.

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