My curiosity was stirred when i received this e-mail (reproduced below)from a female traveller - an Asian, now living in Europe. We bumped into each other in BKK (I was travelling with a friend), and she wanted to tag along with us on a journey through Chiang Kong-Huayxai-Muang Ngoi-Luang Prabang-Ponsavan-Xam Neua-Na Meo-Nam Xoi-Quan Son-Thanh Noa-Hanoi-Hue-Nha Trang-Saigon-PP-Battambang-Siem Reap-Poipet-Aran-BKK...she, too, had in mind Laos, Vietnam & Cambodia.
But on the day I departed for Ponsavan from LP, she didnt show up...my friend and I were worried...but there was nothing that we could do...until I read this message from her in Xam Neua. very perplexing indeed...and set me wondering...
For travelling with you, I doubt I could travel with you again. You are real traveller and explorer and to be honest I cannot compete with you. Indeed, my travelling style is 'farang style' and I am a bit relax while enjoying new environment and not too fact to 'aware' that something is interesting nearby. Since I decided to continue travelling, I have been meeting all farangs on the way and we made friends...I am sorry to be a destroyer in your travel plan...Thanks to be my travel guru. I learn a lot about how a real explorer has to react in new environment.
Well, TP members...do you have say...it will be most interesting to know...!!!
Well, it's kind of like the discussion that we've had before on the forums about travelling as a 'traveller' or as a 'tourist'. I think that's the kind of difference your friend is referring to. For some there is no distinction and others have to have a distinction in order to feel good about their particular preference....
Personally, I love being a traveller, but every now and then being a tourist is wonderful too
I concur with what Sam has said. Seems to me that you are a "traveller" and she is a "tourist" and simply wants to relax a bit more than you.
By the way, where is Chiang Kong-Huayxai-Muang Ngoi-Luang Prabang-Ponsavan-Xam Neua-Na Meo-Nam Xoi-Quan Son-Thanh Noa-Hanoi-Hue-Nha Trang-Saigon-PP-Battambang-Siem Reap-Poipet-Aran-BKK ?
As Sam has stated, there has been quite a bit of discussion on this subject. Here's is one thread that you may find of interest. It definitely got members thinking about their views on the differences and similarities in travel styles.
Traveler vs. Tourist
Hi Sam, James, Isadora....thanks for your observations
I have delved into this topic of traveller/tourist b4...i thought,for a moment that if there was "farang style" of travelling, there must also be "non-farang style" of travelling based on her remarks!
And James, those were the places I passed through and stopped over during my trip through Thailand-Laos-Vietnam-Cambodia-Thailand (5 weeks)...My primary aim was, however, to test out the new international border crossing between Laos and Vietnam at Na Meo-Nam Xoi...Still very much a local crossing...hardly a crossing for international travellers yet!!! Everything is checked...including your soiled clothings, toiletries,etc!!!!Phew!
If I understand, "farang" is a Thai word for a white foreigner. So, one could interpret "farang" style travelling as being similar to how white backpackers travel in Thailand. It could be intrepretted as more than just the old "traveller vs. tourist" threads, but more along the line of local travellers versus backpackers. I think it points to how white backpackers might be viewed in South East Asia.
Thailand is obviously a very popular destination for young European and North American kids. They have a backpack, but there is a pretty standard route that they travel. It's bars and beaches and a few temples and jungles along the way. It's a gaggle of white North Americans and Europeans trying to figure out where the full moon party is.
Non-farang style would be travelling off that route.