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Monthly Archives: April 2014

From Full Moon to Thai New Year to Eating the Crickets of Khaosan

So I’m sitting in an internet cafe in Haad Rin, Koh Phangan (the Magaluf of Thailand – great insight into Thai culture down here!) the day after the full moon party. The beach looks and smells like a human toilet and it’s lovely to see the odd person passed out from the night before, though not as lovely as the ladsontour still inebriated and shouting hey darlin’ to every girl/sign of life (of which at this moment in time there isn’t really very much) that walks past.

In reality full moon wasn’t quite as crazy as everyone makes out but we were all having a great time strutting it on the tables until I put my bag down for two seconds (for a casual and highly impressive roly-poly on the gym bars, totally worth it) and, hey presto, it was gone. Oh good.

I had an amazing time nonetheless and the nights leading up to Full Moon were even better – where else can you have a jungle themed party in an ACTUAL jungle?! (Although the music was a bit too rave-y for my more mainstream liking…) It was Thai New Year (Songkran) on the 13th, which basically involved the whole town running around with water pistols, pouring buckets over passers-by and spending a solid two days soaking wet – overall Haad Rin has been seriously fun (despite the weird smells and pee-filled sea). That said it was nice to retreat from the Kavos crowds for a few hours to the more peaceful and scenic parts of the island on the back of some scooters with a little snorkelling trip to Koh Ma, a small island over the other side where the warm water is a result of the sun rather than, as in Haad Rin, bodily waste.

But to backtrack to where I left off on my last post – our adventures in Bangkok continued and I ended up eating the leg of a barbecued cricket (which tasted a bit like a burnt barbecued crisp) after witnessing weird friends eating scorpions – Thai delicacy yes please. Barbecued rat on stick next? Erm…

Next stop after Bangkok was Chiang Mai up in the North of Thailand – the surrounding areas were beautiful and we went elephant trekking, bamboo rafting, hiking and swimming in the mountains and watefalls. We did our own scooter trip around Pai, a small hippy village which seemed to be in the middle of nowhere but which most definitely hasn’t escaped the backpacker crowds – still a lot more untouched than the islands with lots of quaint mountain villages, stunning waterfalls and a ‘mini grand canyon’. Getting down to the islands on an overnight train, bus and ferry was an experience in itself and we finally made it to Koh Samui, one of the largest and most family-orientated islands down here – it was a lot more beautiful and peaceful than I expected, though our nights were a different story (one of them ended with a random and slightly scary guy from the Marines breaking down our door because we (mistakenly) thought we’d lost our key). Today we’re heading over to Koh Tao for some scuba diving but before all that I’m going to hibernate for approximately 20 hours and catch up on the old beauty sleep – ciao!

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Posted by on April 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

One night in Bangkok and the world’s your oyster (in the words of some song from the ’80s)

So I’ve finally arrived in Bangkok and so far it’s certainly lived up to expectations. I have to say I was feeling rather sad to have parted down under until I rocked up to a Thai parlour for a massage today and heard the guy in the booth next door casually receiving a ‘happy ending’. I then proceeded to learn that my travel buddy Claudia’s masseuse happened to be a lady boy – all this in the space of half an hour.

Last night we got physically harassed by five year old children, partied on the street and learnt how to resist buying wristbands with the likes of ‘I¬†heart eat bum’ written on them. We shared a bucket of the (falsely) rumoured speed-spiked red bull on a probably¬†unlicensed pop-up bar and ate pad thai for 50p – bit of a contrast to our last stop, Cairns in Aussieland. That said, Cairns was amazing – we saw turtles, clownfish and reef sharks while scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, went crocodile spotting on a boat and trekked at Cape Tribulation, part of the oldest rainforest on the planet which features one of the most poisonous stinging trees in the world (and which somebody once reputedly used as toilet paper – ouch).

But Thailand is just so different – the architecture is amazing and the streets are filled with colours, smells, sounds – everything is vibrant – and a little underground. Now off to see a bit of sophisticated Bangkok with a trip to Sirocco, the world’s highest sky bar – although not before a quick trip to check out the sights of the red light district and the ping pong show ticket sellers (when in Rome/Bangkok). Hashtag YOLO.

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2014 in Uncategorized