Thailand


Thailand25 Jan 2007 11:12 am

I’d yet to experience an area that I dont like in Thailand.   Something that does not have a unique charm or selling point. In Koh Samui, I found it. 

Having traveled down at break-neck speed from Laos on a journey that included a pick-up truck, tuk tuks and rediverted planes from an airport with 5 flights a day (see video below) – to hit Koh Samui gave me mixed emotions

Great to meet up with friends that you get on with and have fun from Australia, but the intensity of going from laid back Laos to this Ibiza of Thailand was a little disturbing.  

The large clubs that are flanked by legions of lady-boys (who could have made more of an effort to be lady-like), the shopping all expensive and not open to negotiation, the large number of Srilankans selling suits and the Burmese posing as Napalese all trying to get your into their restaurants that line a street stinking of sewerage. 

Call me a snobby stuck up traveler now, but the tourists on this island, mainly young Australians; were not all great ambassadors for their country after a few buckets.  I hesitate whilst writing that, as there re some of you i met there – that were GREAT and will understand what i mean by that comment.

BUT – you become part of it.  Whate else is there to do but party?  You can stay there at your resort and lie around all day and have an early night, or you can just go out and get drunk also.  

So it was.  Some footage has not / could not be posted (tabloids… make me an offer).    Nearly went to Koh Phangan but thought it would be the same if not worse in regards to parties. Having now arrived in Koh Phangan – I know now that that is not the case.

Advice for the future – bypass Koh Samui, go straight to Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.

 

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Title: BIG-JOURNEY
Description: Journey to Samui

 

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Title: Swimming-Hole
Description: Destroyed Swimmers.

 

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Title: Thai-Haircut
Description: So boring it hurts.

 

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Title: Mornings
Description: Average morning in Samui.

 

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Title: Maaaasssaarge
Description: Suits massage and Monsters.

 

Thailand11 Jan 2007 04:11 am
Northern Thailand.  Historic pilgramige for Thai people.   This area is THE destination of the locals from all over Thailand. 

You mention Chiang Mai to them and they glaze over and
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Thailand08 Jan 2007 01:51 am

SCUBA diving. I have been a few times on introductory dives, but thought that whilst near Koh Tao, Thailands Dive School mecca – why not get qualified for life. Koh Tao, means Turtle Island. They now say that it is because the island looks like a turtle rising out of the water (don’t all then??) The real reason i tht there used to be many many turtles – but they are now all dissapearing and rare to see (i saw one… sleeping, in a hole in the coral. It yawned like a grandaddy turtle would in a Disney Movie)

The journey over was hectic. What you expect to be a smooth ride over the blue waters of the Gulf of Thailand.. well, watch the video below.

I took my SSA Open Water certificate which is training over 3 days and exam and then went back to Koh Phangan. however, i enjoyed it so much, i went back for a further 9 days to Koh Tao and furthered my qualification to Advanced. This includes the ability to now dive to 30 meters (saw sharks), night diving, bouyancy skills, underwater navigation etc.. well worth doing and puts miles of confidence in you. (See video below for first stage)

The night dive alone is fantastic. Wave your hand and the Phosphorescence sparkles like blue fire on your hands. Spin round and your body is in flames. NOTE: – i looked this up, and the true term is bioluminescent plankton (some of you i know will like that link). The last time i saw similar was when taking a leak off the back of a sailing boat at 2am on the Great Barrier Reef – i nearly had a heart attack when my piss started glowing when it hit the water.

One point of interest to note, was how casual things have become and how the extrordinary seems so ‘ordinary’. On this island, i helped organise a bucket chain from the beach, to put out our local bar (lotus bar) that was on fire. Everyone was staring at the smoke up the beach watching two local thai guys run to the ocean with small buckets. One shout of ‘come on guys – GET BUCKETS’ and everyone joined in.

By the evening i forgot it had even happened – and so had the bar, open as usual minus half its roof and storeroom. Photos are clearly from someone without a bucket of water in their hand.

Sorely tempted to live on this tropical paradise for the next 9 months and become a qualified dive instructor for a living, but left for Bangkok and am hoping New York has some great crystal clear dive sites to explore (?!?!?)

The photo above… is that of the view from my coffee in the mornings. Now my wallpaper. Bangkok next stop – how will i cope?

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Title: Rough-Sea
Description: Journey to Koh Tao goes wrong

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Title: SCUBA-course
Description: Learnng officialy to dive.

Thailand06 Jan 2007 03:35 am

My plan: Leave Samui, stop at Koh Phangan to see what the fuss is about for one night – then on to Koh Tao to obtain my Open Water dive liscene and then up to .

Bangkok to meet Michael who had left Samui for Phuket. All this in a week. From there, enter Cambodia and start the travels again. Not so

Koh Phangan. World famous for it’s Full Moon Parties. A pilgrimage for some, where the main beach in Had Rin becomes one heaving sandy nightclub and the waterline becomes the gents toilets littered with plastic bottles, buckets, cups and flip-flops.

I arrived on a boat full of westerners, expecting the worse. There was still 3 weeks until the next full moon party and the town was quiet. Little did I know that it was quiet, because people were still sleeping from what is one CONSTANT party on this island. Every night, parties on the beach. People don’t even head out till 10pm, stay up all night on the redbull and go to bed around 4 to 6 am.

I hired a moped and went outside the main area that first day – and was pleasantly surprised. The hills and roads surrounding the main party town of Had Rin were so treacherous, that many people would not dare take a moped too far.

This is in fact Thailands most dangerous and fatal road. I saw a twisted moped surrounded by at least 2 litres of sticky blood on one day. Later that week, on a minibus to the ferry, I was to meet one of the riders, an Aussie, covered in scrapes and bandages. He was one of 3 people drunk and drugged on that moped when it crashed midday after Full Moon party. The English passenger was in hospital still with head injuries and the Swedish driver, dead.

So – the road, a perfect barrier to keep the unwashed at bay and the glam tourist industry at a minimum in most areas. This island is BEAUTIFUL. I found numerous little fishing villages, untouched by the tourism. Pristine beaches, palm tree forests and food stalls for the locals. Koh Phangan was not what I had imagined it to be.

I headed out that night on the main beach and found the party. Dumbfounded by the beauties of Israel, Sweden etc… drinking in their bikinis – what man would not want to stay out longer. Bed at 6am. Three days later, I realised I had been on that beach 3 times and not yet seen it in daylight. I had to change plans. Michael kindly was not too perturbed about me not coming to Bangkok on time as agreed and headed home to Australia. I went to Koh Tao to have a break for 5 days for my diving and arranged with travel friends from Malaysia, Laos etc.. to spend Xmas and New Year on Koh Phangan. What to write? Party, sleep, lay on the beach, Party, sleep, lay on the beach. No matter how sensible a person you are, Phangan sucks you in and turns you into your devil twin. Mother Theresa could turn up here and be seen with her habit over her shoulders dancing with a bucket in hand.

3 weeks on this Island and time to go, before my liver and kidneys run away without me. BUT – why not stay a few days more for the full moon party on the 3rd Jan? Because my visa runs out that day. So? Do – a ‘visa run’. (see seperate blog post) Where you leave the country and get a stamp again on entry that gives you another month in Thailand. All in a 24 hour period, you are back on the island the next evening feeling dead. That’s where the Redbull helps. Back to the beach to gyrate with Mother Theresa and, hell, why NOT jump through that suspended hula-hoop thats flaming with kerosene, you and your brain are on holiday.

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Title: To-Phangan
Description: Journey to Party Island

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Title: Real-Deal
Description: Koh Phangan’s other side

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Title: Beach-Life
Description: An afternoon on the beach

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Title: Fire
Description: They made me do it

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Title: xmas-day
Description: xmas on a Thai island

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Title: New-Year
Description: 40k+ bodies on a beach

Thailand01 Jan 2007 07:01 am

I watched as the world unfolded in a reversed fish eye warp . Temples, skyscrapers, Starbucks, trucks, powerlines – all slipped in and out of an angled view similar to that of a shiny round kettle, or a polished spoon where your eye is the largest feature of your face when you look close enough. The back of my motorbike-taxi drivers helmet was so reflective it had taken my thoughts away from the chaos that we screamed through; nudging over 80 kmph at times

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My attention suddenly came to, as our back wheel and I narrowly avoided being crushed – as we snake between a two second gap that two oil belching buses were closing.

Bangkok. My only regret about this town, is that i needed both hands to hold onto the back of the taxi-bikes and could not video the experience. Tuk-Tuks may be a ‘must do’ in Thailand, but for clear time effiency and adrenalin factor – get yourself on one of those bikes and experience the terror, smells, sights and sounds of the Bangkok Streets and you will never feel so alive as you do in those 10 minutes.

To get out there amongst the smog, people,cars and suddenly find yourselfin serene quiet ancient temples – bikes here isuggest are the only way to enhance the experience.

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Title: Bangkok
Description: A day out in BK

Thailand24 Nov 2006 04:25 pm

Koh Phi Phi

“Trust me, it’s paradise. This is where the hungry come to feed. From mine it’s a generation that circles the globe and searches for something we haven’t tried before. So never
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Thailand24 Nov 2006 04:04 pm

 

Sitting at a bar on stilts on a hillside, on the West Coast of Phukett, Thailand. Sun is about to set on
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