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Week 21

Phatthalung - Surat Thani - Chumphon -Hua Hin - Phetchaburi - Bangkok - Saraburi - Lop Buri - Nakhon Sawan - Tak - Doi Soi Malai - Mae Ramat Noi - Tha Song Yang - Mae Sariang - (Refugee village) - Mae La Noi - Khun Yuam - Mae Hong Son

Week 22

Mae Hong Son

Thailand. A large country with everything in its favour. Climate, coastline, mountains. But most of all, people. If the Turks take friendly pills every morning, then this lot must be mainlining. Except for one old dear in a local shop up here in Mae Hong Son, who has a lick of her lemon necklace every time she feels a smile attack coming on.

On the motoring front, if you thought that the US was the home of the pickup, you have never seen southern Thailand. Striking up a motoring conversation with a local petrol-head, your should start with "What make is your pickup?" In all the car showrooms you pass, the only vehicles on display are pickups.

Surprisingly, this is the first country since (and including) the UK where this is the case. Surprising, because, in 4-door version, they must be the most practical mode of personal transport on the planet. You have the interior of a saloon, yet a boot in which you can carry practically anything. It can be covered or open, accessible from the passenger cabin or sealed for security (useful for mother-in-law transport).

For those who received an email from me last week, you have this VIP pass to the Bangkok Motor Show to thank. Access to the Press Room, supplied the internet connection and coffee.

Lifeblood for the computer, and lifeblood for me.

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Weeks 21 and 22