Yes, you read the title right.
So on my recent trip to Hatyai, Thailand with Crazy Catea, I got my teeth realigned by a street “dentist”. Or at least attempted to. As horrible and crazy as it may sound, I did it nevertheless! Anyway, more about it later since I want to talk about other highlights of our Hatyai escape first.
I wanted to dedicate a long post to the Asean Trade Market but only to realise I had forgotten to take pictures!! Tamade.
Anyway, I bought some cheap clothes from there and spent at least half the time bargaining with the hawkers. To my utmost horror Catea said I reminded her of her mom! WTH where got??
Conveniently located near the Hatyai bus station (it takes about 15 to 20 minutes on a tuk-tuk from the Lee’s Garden area to arrive), the Asean Trade Market is such a great place to shop for clothes and also second-hand stuff but I only got to know about the latter after coming back from Hatyai and reading about it online.
No wonder the sling bag I bought from there looks like someone had used it before. Nevertheless, it still looks great and cost me only RM12, so no regret very much.
On the second day in Hatyai, I woke up early (like I always do) to snap pictures of the things in our guesthouse out of boredom while waiting for my travel mate to wake up.
Look at this very old-school fan regulator and power point in our room:
The room looked dirty but wasn’t. It was just old but very comfortable.
It had an air-conditioner installed but we reckoned we could survive without it, and that pretty much summed up why we only paid RM30 instead of RM50 per night for our room.
It proved to be a great decision because the room was really comfortable and neither hot nor stuffy.
I left Catea a note because I was beginning to get bored and wanted to take a stroll down the streets outside our guesthouse. I was thinking maybe after I came back Catea would have been ready for the beginning of our second day…
So an hour later after returning to the guesthouse, the note was still there on the exact spot on the table, unread.
Cat was still sleeping!
Later that morning we passed and saw this CIMB ATM which gave me a funny feeling. What is our bank doing there haha!
It was Sunday and unfortunately most shops were closed, but when we passed by a soi (side-street) we saw dozens of people queuing up in front of this restaurant:
Look at the crowds:
Turned out this shop was selling salted vegetable soup with pork insides. We joined the crowds nevertheless.
Catea ordered only for herself because I already had my breakfast earlier while Catea was still sleeping. The dish looked like it could feed two persons – just look at the crazy amount of pork and pig offal served!
Catea couldn’t finish the dish and didn’t like pig offal so I had to finish the dish for her. It made me slightly want to throw up afterwards as I am not a fan of pork.
The bill came up to RM16 including drink. It was one of the amazing dishes I had tried in Hatyai but slightly expensive.
After breakfast we visited the Hatyai City Municipality Park, where one can see from afar a statue of a standing Buddha of approximately 20 meters and another statue of Guan-yin made of jade.
I won’t delve too much into the Hatyai City Municipality Park. If you’re interested, you can read more on the Municipality Park here. All I can say is that I think the park is worth a visit.
Some pictures of us on our way to the hilltop of the Hatyai City Municipality Park:
After spending about four hours at the Hatyai City Municipality Park (it was crazy hot!), our tuk-tuk driver dropped us at the Diana Complex Shopping Center because he said there was a market nearby.
But at the shopping center we asked and asked and no one seemed to know anything about the market. :(
Saw this banner in Diana and I suggested to Catea to don this kind of hair. “During my wedding,” she said. I told her it must be in the exact letters: C-A-T-E-A.
Bought a chocolate-dipped coned ice cream at Dairy Queen inside Diana because I thought its shape interestingly resembled that of a pile of shit.
Eh it really did leh!
Just when we were about to leave, we accidentally stumbled upon a lousy-looking booth behind Diana and guess what they did?
ORTHODONTIC SERVICES! And at costs below those in a proper dental clinic because the people involved were most likely unlicensed or uncertified “orthodontists”.
So there was this guy and another person whom I suspected to be his wife who did dental braces and retainers at really cheap rates. They also made fashion braces for people who would wear them as an accessory. Just look at these colourful plastic pieces below:
I’m not sure how they did with these plastics, but I think one gets to choose the colours she want to be added onto the brackets on the braces and these “orthodontists” will get the braces done by using their unprofessional-looking but seemingly handy equipments!
We spent almost an hour just trying to get him to explain to us how it worked because I felt like doing it and was quite fearful something might happen to my teeth afterwards.
No one from the store could understand English and although Catea knew some Thai, still more profound sentences could be a challenge for her.
Good thing was that the guy was super helpful and uncalculative, so he called his friend up to be our translator.
I swear if he was a Malaysian he would have asked us to go home lor.
The translation process took us forever and I almost felt like giving up.
In the end we concluded that having braces put on might be a little troublesome for me as they would stay semi-permanently on my teeth. That also meant I would need to go back every now and then for the braces to be realigned.
And the best solution? To make a pair of retainers for my upper and lower teeth!
If you want to know how much they cost me, it was only RM100, which means RM50 for each one. I think the price was totally reasonable. Even if it may not work in the end, it was, after all, only RM100 and what mattered most to me was the experience and thrill.
Before working on the braces the guy got a mold of my teeth structure like what all other orthodontists would do. What really impressed me was that they probably had the lousiest equipments to run their service but somehow they were still able to pull things off like a pro.
Here is how my lower teeth mold looks:
Yes I know my teeth are bad!
Unfortunately after that, he told us to come back after 4 hours, and thus I didn’t get to see him work on those retainers.
I managed to capture one photo (although we were told not to) of the guy working on one of my retainers and from here you may get an idea of the kinds of equipments they were using.
Four hours later…
Putting the braces on!
I know some of you may think they are useless, and I am thinking the same too. But like I said it was the experience that mattered to me and it was definitely an eye-opener for me!