I was only there for a day, but I saw virtually no Farang. No Farang tourists, and only a couple of guys who looked like they were in residence. Lots of tourists, mind you, but they all seemed like Malaysian men. They have it tough back home, you know, with the lashes and everything, so they go to Thailand to cool out once in a while. I understand.
I was warned to be careful because of the “Muslim” terrorism in the neighboring provinces of Thailand, I say “Muslim” because it’s not really religion-based, the angry people are ethnic Malays who ended up in Thailand after a border reshuffle about a hundred years ago. I protested, I feel completely safe, I have no dog in that hunt, they’re not the Al Quida types, they’re fight is much more local and White foreigners have nothing to do with it. “No,” my friend explained, “not because you are Farang, because you are a government official.” Oh, yeah, I thought, recalling that they kill teachers down there willy-nilly.
I passed a few hours in a downtown mall, lunch, etc. There were lots of little locally owned clothing stores, and I must say that the selection looked very stylish and hip. (It that the same thing?) There was a nice little store that sold mostly high end kettles and cutlery, which unaccountably had a big counter full of nice brass bongs and glass pipes. After I got back I read that while I was there the police did a huge multiple-location raid and busted a big drug gang.
The food outlets included:
3. Hachiban 8 (a nice Japanese owned ramen chain)
4. Pizza Hut
5. Fuji (another Japanese outfit, delicious, moderately priced)
7. Chester’s Grill (as in “CP,” a big Thai chicken products outfit)
There were also lots of tattoo parlors. This was true all over town. Maybe that’s illegal in Malaysia too.