Travel Watch: The Wild, Wild East

They descend in droves, not on horseback but out of buses from Bangkok, in freshly pressed, checked shirts, shiny boots and Stetson knockoffs. Rawhide bolo ties abound, as do silver belt buckles bigger than fists, emblazoned with eagles, U.S. flags and broncs rampant. Some sport spurs and fringed, flapping chaps. Legs bowed in homage to John Wayne—or perhaps from three hours stuffed in a bus—they clink and swagger their way to concrete tepees and log cabins, past paddocks full of horseflesh and a main street straight out of Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns. Strategically placed speakers echo with the haunting twangs and...

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