A Travellerspoint blog


North Thailand (at last!)

sunny 3 °C
View Round the World Baby! on Dodgey's travel map.

Last time I reported in we were all set to go to the famous waterfalls near Kanchanaburi - which we did!

We grabbed a local bus and enjoyed a 2 ish hour ride though the countryside. Great bus - the back door was held open with rope so I sat right by it on the back seat - almost like air conditioning, though I always had a hand firmly grasped to the back of my seat!

The waterfalls are 2km "high" and it is a good old climb to get up to the 7th (top) fall. With some cute bridges....


I managed, once again, to kick a tree stump and smash off my healing toe nail. I'm getting used to it now. The walk (and pain) was worth it though...




On the way up we noticed loads of huge fish in the pools...


... which I discovered bite you if you stand still in the water - a very odd feeling, and it totally freaked us out. But still, I braved it :-)


Next stop was Chiang Mai - a long way up into the North of Thailand.

We caught a Government bus back to Bangkok (2.5 hours and about £1) - at one point, two Thai guys got on, spoke to the driver, then punched him in the face! then promptly walked off - I guess the driver cut them up. When we got to the bus station the driver (the punched one) asked us where we were going next, suspicious that he was going to tuck us up I reluctantly told him, "The train station", and then, to our surprise, he kindly told us which bus to catch - most helpful! We got a local bus from the bus depot to the train station - 20 pence and another hour. We are feeling quite smug now. We are regularly using public transport as it is dirt cheap compared to tourist coaches and taxis and you get a good Thai experience.

Not having prebooked anything I tried to get 2 tickets to Chiang Mai in a 1st class private sleeper cabin, but alas, they were sold out so we grabbed 2 second class sleeper tickets - half the price though! :-)

After chilling for a few hours in a bar we boarded our train. It was pretty darn good. The lady who told us our beds were (together) lied. We were sat each side of the train - opposite each other. We both had top bunks. The bottom bunks are almost twice the width of the top ones so people book them in preference. They had double beds, we had submarine bunks.... still - who cares - you are only going to sleep right? Mind you, being that we were sleeping above strangers meant we had to go to bed when they wanted to, and when we got up, they had to, or we'd have nowhere to sit.

Fortunately the Thai woman on K's side let us sit together until bed time so we could watch a movie and eat together.

Kirstin slept like a log. She loved the rocking motion. I fared less well, but we got there alive.


I will admit, I stunk so bad after all that traveling I had to wash myself in my bed with the blanket and a bottle of drinking water - phew! I was minging!

We arrived at Chiang Mai at 7.30 am and , now well versed in the experience, ignored all the taxi and accommodation touts and sat down for a coffee or two. Half an hour later, the dust had settled and we got a cheap cab to our hotel. Which was opposite a huge sound system , set up for the Chiang Mai flower festival. We moved the next day and now we are in a lovely hideaway in the back streets, paying £8 a day for a good room with a fan. No need for air con. It's hot but not unbearably so. It is a touch cooler up north, and all the better for it.

We have had a lazy explore, and stumbled into the flower parade...

(I know I know, no flowers - but these peeps were colourful, and loud)

We have also had a good walk around the bars....


.. and even went to a "reggae bar" - although they played techno!?!?!


Walking the streets is a real eye opener. Chiang Mai is 100% nicer than Bangkok - I think it is like how "Bristol" is to "London", and the prices are way cheaper here. As little as 38 Baht (70p) for a beer compared to the usual 60-70 Baht in Bangkok.

I say it is an eye opener because we somehow manage to walk down all the "red light" streets. It seems the sex trade is booming here. The format is always the same - bar with pool table, several scantily "dressed" Thai girls sitting around, lots of middle aged (and a lot older) English and Dutch men choosing their lady (they hope), for the night. Not the type of people we'd share bar space with. Rather creepy and sad.

We rented a scooter last night and subsequently took a 17k ride up the mountain to see the Wat at Doi Suthep - the most famous one here. A very scenic ride too.

(It was very busy, being Sunday and a big Thai festival too where they all flock to the Wats)

(The 319 odd stairs up to the temples, flanked by Nagas with tails that run all the way up)

(I was the slutty one this time, I had to cover my legs in a rather fetching wrap around thingie)

(Hard to take a pic of something opaque)

(At least they painted the scaffolding gold!)

(The main Buddha inside a temple)

(Buddhas everywhere!)

(And another)

(An ornate building, not a Buddha)

(These are everywhere, I think you ring them for good luck)

(Another beautifully ornate building)


(Something is missing from this picture......)

(Oh yes! Me! - This one is for you, Michael ;-) )

A really beautiful place and a lovely ride through the country.

Back at base now and downloading loads of movies on the free internet. We have even been to "Tesco Lotus" and got ourself a £1 polystyrene ice box so we can make a "fridge" for our room - we are spending time in there catching up on the new "Lost" and "Battlestar Galactica" in the evenings. Sad but true. After over a year of traveling so far, we like our creature comforts.

(Riding down the lanes back to our place. A very carefully, and gingerly self portrait on the move)


Posted by Dodgey 01:46 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Moving Inland

View Round the World Baby! on Dodgey's travel map.

OK, so since we last spoke, we were on Koh Phi Phi. We stayed for a few more days, our accommodation was great and Phi Phi is a fun place to hang around.

Our last few days we generally chilled at bars and on the beach. On one occasion we were happily sipping beers and watching the sea life when a gaggle of “larger women” plonked (quite literally) themselves in front of us. One of them (the one in the centre) actually had the same shape figure as a Manatee (look it up) – all topped off with horrific hair beads. Those beads should be banned.


A truly shocking sight. I always feel sorry for really fat birds that don’t have any breasts – totally unfair for them (you can’t see the front, but trust me, her figure was basically like a lump of play dough). The saddest thing is we saw similar girls wolfing down full English breakfasts the other day. Still, I know I’m hypocritical, smoking myself to death, but I’m stopping before I’m 40 – i.e. in a month or so – then I can be as mean as I like about lardies.

Moving on to prettier subjects, Kirstin found her own private island….


After our beers we wandered down to the far end of the beach where we hadn’t been so far and found a really cool beach bar.


So we sank some more beers, and yes, you guessed it, I managed to injure myself again, this time stubbing my toe on a plank of some sort….


I’m getting truly frustrated with my “Mr Bean” ability to hurt myself now. Still, a small cut and a large blister. I’ll get over it.

Three younger Swedes were on the beach playing Frisbee so I joined in……


What a catch!. We had a good laugh, drunk more beers, then arranged to meet up later at a bar that has a boxing ring, where anyone can challenge anyone else, all for a bucket of drink.

It was a bit of a shocker when we saw the first two contestants were young girls! – one chick was on her own and the other had a gaggle of Essex girls behind her for support. They kicked the shit out of each other! The Essex girl won. No surprise there.


After that, lots more lads had a go with varying levels of success. One memorable fight was a guy who clearly knew what he was doing against another who hadn’t a clue. Carnage. At one time, a guy entered the ring and refused the offer of a head guard. He trounced the other chap. I guess that was a bit of a hint… bit like a gladiator saying, “no need for a sword mate” – time to run.

After that I can’t remember much, but we ended up at a beach party for a short while.

We also ate some more street food. Chicken on skewers, or as Kirstin called them, “bacteria on a stick”. Which reminds me, I had the most fantastic snack the other day. Lots of street vendors offer up fried chicken legs – huge things – not in breadcrumbs like KFC you understand, just deep fried so they are very crispy and dark. On their own, they don’t really appeal, but I carefully instructed one chap to slice mine up, sans bone, and put it in a white bread roll with just mayo. He looked bemused, but dutifully made me the goddamn best chicken sandwich I’ve ever eaten. All that crispy skin! It was heaven! As I was devouring it, a young Australian chap wandered over, looking very concerned, and asked me (In a strong Aussi accent), “Is it safe mate!?!” - , “Sure”, I explained, “As safe as any Thai food – can’t be sure, but at least you can see them re-cook it on the grill, and prepare it in front of you – God only knows what goes on in the kitchens in a normal restaurant”.

With this encouragement, he ordered, and a few minutes later, asked how mine was made, got my advice, and had exactly the same. I’m fairly sure the street vendor will be making many more fried chicken mayo baps. Hey may even be the future founder of TFC.

With a minging hangover (large Chang beers – thanks!) we jumped on a ferry to Phuket, to catch a bus back to Bangkok. I took the trouble to read the Phuket Gazette – wow – what a place – they get one tourist death on a scooter EVERY day. That and shootings, muggings, etc. Not a place to venture out on the streets at night, and especially on a scooter! A lot of the crime is boiling down to the fact that Thailand is suffering a huge loss of tourism after the troubles at Bangkok airport in December, and on top of that, the global recession.

A foreign guy on the ferry put his music player on at full volume (a phone I think) – it was truly awful – some warbling lady at ear piercing levels. A French contingent of people in front of us were looking pissed off, and with my serious hangover, I snapped. “Dude! Turn that crap off! – Get some headphones” – with that prompting the French joined in , supporting me, and he buggered off with his lady to the outside deck. Seriously, what are people like? Why would you ever think that sort of behaviour was ok? Idiot. There seems to be a pattern of Russian sounding people behaving like this as we travel……

At Phuket we got a Government bus to Bangkok. You can get tourist buses but they have a horrific reputation for delays, and more importantly, luggage thefts. They are cheeky enough to put a chap in the luggage hold, and during the 12 hour trip, he goes through all the backpacks, stealing anything valuable. The amount of reports I have read about people having their wallets emptied is incredible. I mean, who in their right mind, puts their wallet in the baggage hold!?!? The Thais are even cheeky enough to crawl, in the dead of night, through the bus, going through people’s day-bags!

The Government buses are cheaper and totally safe. So we booked a first class bus to Bangkok and waited around for 1 hour before boarding. We could have got a “VIP” class bus, where the seats are wide in a way the airline business class seats are, but it was £20 instead of £12 each and we decided that as we’d be asleep the whole way, what’s the point?


As it turned out, the bus was great. We boarded at 6pm, watched a movie on my laptop, ate the free dinner provided, put our earplugs in and eyeblinds on (courtesy of first class Emirates airline :- ) ) and went to sleep.

We woke up at 6am, in the centre of Bangkok (we did get woken up at 12am for dinner in a café – we declined, a very odd time to eat!). After that, we got totally ripped of in a taxi – they told us it was 35k’s to the centre of Bangkok and charged us £6. It was 5k’s and should have cost about 80 pence. Ah well, you can’t win all the time.

(I’ve just moved inside from our balcony in Kanchanburi – you’ll see a pic later – it is sooo hot in Thailand right now, you have no idea. Unreal. And England is engulfed in snow! – all those years with a 4x4 and NOW it snows. Bah!)

Anyway, we chilled in Bangkok for a few days, just to get a feeling of normality back, and fast food….

(Yep, they deliver McDonalds to your room at no extra charge)

We spent most of our time watching the freaks on the Koh San Road, and Soi Rambuttri, where we stayed. I’d show you pics of tattooed nightmares with dreadful hair etc, but this bird was a classic…

(part sofa, part aquarium. What was she thinking?)

After we’d had enough of Bangkok (which doesn’t take long) we decided to go to Kanchanaburi, a provence of Thailand that hosts the “Bridge over the river Kwai” – although the truth is, it’s not on the Kwai, the author of the blockbuster film got it wrong, but the Thais, being creative chaps, renamed the stretch of water under the bridge to match the name of the film.

This time we decided to take the train as we’d enjoyed it so much going down to Cambodia last year. It is slower and a little more expensive than the bus but a much more enjoyable experience.

The station is not far from where we were staying so we decided to walk, avec backpacks etc. Half way we realised the error of our ways and got a tax. Talk about hot and sweaty! – A beer was in order….


And then the station..


T’was a lovely journey and we arrived in good form in Kanchanaburi and jumped on a random songthaw (taxi thing) and got dropped off at a random lodge on the river Kwai (not really the Kwai, you understand). We didn’t like the place so we walked for 2k’s to one we’d read about. It’s on an island on the river. After much asking around we were put on a small ferry shuttle boat and taken there. No idea how much, or what it was like, and it was dark. We laughed on the boat – we really didn’t have a clue.

As it turns out the place is lovely. We have a room which two of its walls are glass sliding doors, looking out over the river. A touch pricey though at £26 a night.

(Our outlook)

(Not a bad way to start the morning)

(Their longtail boats are different here – there are no waves – it’s a river, so they are like “Speedtails”)

Today we took the free boat to shore and hired a scooter and went off to see the Allied Cemetery ..


…and then the War Museum – which catalogued the history of the trauma that was the making of the railroad though the region, under Japanese control (horrific).

After that we scooted up to see the famous “Bridge over the River Kwai” – kind of disappointing really – expected it to be far, far bigger….



But interesting none the less.

We also spotted lots of accommodation for way less than we are paying so we’ll move tomorrow – we are paying 1300 baht and we’ve found AC rooms with good views for under 300 baht…. And I had to buy petrol for the scooter…..

(Petrol in whisky bottles, 40p each. Classy)

It is so quiet here it is unreal. The island resort we are on – well, we are the only people bar 4 Germans. The other guest houses are empty. When we get the free ferry shuttle to our island we are always alone.

It’s lovely, and kind of “real Thai” here. We went out of our way to drink in shitty looking local bars today – and they are very cheap. We’ve been paying 70 Baht (£1.50 for a beer) up until now, but today we’ve paid as little as 40 Baht (£75p) for the same beers. In fact, our resort is so expensive for beers that today we bought some beers in the market for a fraction of the price, 2 x big bags of ice, and a bag of salt, and I’ve made a “freezer” out of our sink. Saved over 100%! Our beers are chilling (or maybe freezing) as I type – ready for after dinner when we watch the marathon that is “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”. 3 Hours.

(Watched the new James Bond last night – a bit contrived and very confusing about what the bad guy is up to. Good pace and action, but they are starting to lose the plot – the bad guy is supposed to be building a world dominating space station, or a special nuclear island, not starve people of water to make some money – bit gay really)

Off to the waterfalls tomorrow then and I’ll report back.....

Posted by Dodgey 18:35 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

ON The Beaten Track, and Loving it.

sunny 35 °C
View Round the World Baby! on Dodgey's travel map.

After Clare left we spent another 4 or 5 days at Koh Lanta to recover from the alcohol excess. I got a tummy bug, again, which we soon sorted with antibiotics. Suffice to say I think I know what period pains feel like now.

After putting it off last year, Kirstin decided at last to get her tattoo! Something small and fun, and on her wrist so she can cover it up with jewelry if it looks awful in her old age.


She had it done the traditional "bamboo" way. No electric "sewing machine", just a guy holding a long bamboo rod with a row of tiny needles in the end, stabbing it rapidly, like, well, a sewing machine. Apparently you get finer detail and a lot less pain and scarring. Don't fret, they use needles fresh out of a new packet!

It all went very well - not much pain, and it looks great. Will update with a picture close up next time. I'm going to put it in with my "injuries" post :-)

Once we'd settles our huge bill for nearly 3 weeks of heavy drinking we caught a quick hour and half ferry to Koh Phi Phi.

We'd put off going there last year as it's very well known, and has a reputation for being expensive and very touristy, but the lure of the "Beach" (from the film of the same name) was too much, and besides, it is near, and on our way back north.

Koh Phi Phi is basically two large land masses of limestone joined by a thin sandy isthmus which makes it's two main beaches, one each side, with the town in the middle. The beach you land on is busy with boats and ferries, the other, is not. It was totally flattened when the tsunami hit and everything has been rebuilt, only bigger.

We were actually pleasantly surprised when we arrived. No building seems to be over 3 stories tall and the beach on the other side is stunning.


(Someone a little more adventurous than us - we fancy European health and safety for this kind of thing)

We managed to secure an A/C room, a really nice one, for 1500 Baht (30 quid) a night in a quiet area away from all the noisy bars. A very good rate for here. Thailand is suffering this year from a loss of tourists due to the argy-bargy that happened at the main Bangkok airport at Christmas.

Overall it is a very good layout here. Great beach, lively town, reasonable prices. We even found a real Italian Pizza house where they serve Prosecco!

Someone English obviously had a hand in the creation of some of the signage here..


And by far my favourite....

(Oh so good! - the irony... the fish.. maybe a woman... see??)

Generally we have been relaxing (of course). I've snared free wifi on our balcony, and I've cracked into another one too - I've totally sussed how to break wifi passwords now - a very useful skill!).

Today we decided to go and check out Ko Phi Phi Ley - it's the smaller island just a mile or so to our north - a protected National Park. You should know of it - they filmed the movie "The Beach" there - hence the great draw for tourists. We read that it gets uber busy after 10.30am - you get lots of day trippers from Krabi, Koh Lanta and Phuket coming over just to run around on "The Beach" and take their photos "en location". We also decided after our last snorkeling trip to NEVER EVER go on a group "anything" EVER again. This feeling was reinforced by our Africa experience. We just can't stand being with tossers. Simple as that. And we like to be on our own timetable.

With all that in mind we got up at 7am this morning and went and secured our ride...


We paid 1500 Baht (30 quid) for a 3 hour trip. We could have done it in a group for about 150 baht I'm sure, but no way buddy. Not gonna happen. Nope! Some things are worth paying for.

Being up at this time in the morning afforded us the opportunity to see the wreckage from last night's beach party....

(Silly ass was fast asleep , in the sun)

Mind you, he probably had a few what we bought last night.....

(Yep, our 1st bucket!! - 1/3rd bottle of what was described as local vodka, and tasted absolutely not like vodka, 2 bottles of red bull, and a can of tonic)

Our driver was a good choice, he went slowly. Some of the other ones go like the clappers.

1st stop was, of course, "The Beach".


As you can see, the advantage of getting up early was clear. When we left there were about 10 big speedboats and a multitude of longtails on it, with screaming Asian tourists everywhere.

We weren't actually interested in the beach itself, the water was more enticing...

(Fancy a swim? I did!)

The water was the most beautiful I've ever seen. Crystal clear and full of fish and coral.

I donned a snorkel and mask and dived in, scuba style (backwards).

(Swimming with the fishies - ahhh!)

As I was snorkeling near the boat I saw things dropping into the water, then, within seconds, I was totally engulfed in beautiful colourful fish. Amazing - right by my nose, hundreds of them, coming from everywhere.


What was happening was our driver (sailor? skipper?) was throwing rice into the water by my head. It was totally awesome - I've never seen anything like it before (scuba divers, stop scoffing, I'm new to all this). The fish were touching my feet and legs. A very weird feeling.

At this point I was screaming with delight through my snorkel, which kind of sounds like a whale I guess, but Kirtsin was in the boat. Her tattoo has to be kept dry for a few days :-( - then it occurred to me she could hang with her tattooed arm off the boat steps and put her head underwater. Brilliant - I'm a genius!




She loved it - all I could hear through her snorkel was excited squealing - I also noticed she had her legs and feet curled up - clearly finding it as freaky as I did.

Once we'd done with the rice (I think we got through our driver's lunch) we headed off ....



...to some very , very pretty coves.....


With the most beautiful water



Totally stunning, and very funny too. As we left, other longtails arrived, in great numbers, and the sped in a loop through the bays at break neck speed so they could get their customers back to then grab a new load. Soooo glad we did it privately.

On the way back we passed some caves that the locals farm birds nests from - for birds nest soup - a real delicacy with the Chinese I believe.


Then it was back to the main island - in my new shorts! - Yep - I've gone all "Continental" and got myself some small trunks. Wearing long trunks is all very well and cool, but when you get out of the sea you are soaking for an hour or so - it's a real pain, so I gave in to the European way, and I like it I have to say. Just got to tan my thighs now!


Once we got back we treated ourselves to a full English breakfast!

(Note the name of the cafe..... classic)

Lovely, real bacon, sausages, hash brown, beans and fried bread.

Back off down to the beach now, hope the jellyfish invasion of yesterday has cleared up....

Speak soon!

Posted by Dodgey 22:30 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Snorkelling and Snoozing

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View Round the World Baby! on Dodgey's travel map.

Well, I said the West coast weather was reported to be crap – it’s not been – it’s been fantastic.

We made the decision to head over to Koh Lanta (West coast), as the weather was supposed to be crap everywhere we decided that we might as well be in a cool place if there was going to be nothing to do but shelter from rain and drink beers and gins.

It’s quite a tall order to get from Koh Phangang to Koh Lanta in one day. It’s not the distance, it’s the variables involved – mainly how long you end up waiting around for each connection. We got the 12.30 ferry across the sea to the mainland, then a coach to a distribution depot, then waited 3 hours for another coach to Krabi. By the time we rolled into Krabi is was 8.50pm, in a bus depot, in the middle of nowhere. We assumed we’d just stay the night in Krabi then hit Lanta in the morning – you only need a 300 baht ferry and it takes about an hour. But… I knew the last car ferry to Lanta was 10pm and I ended up arranging a private taxi all the way , “You can DEFINITELY make the 10pm ferry, right?”, “yeah” – he seemed confident.

We drove so fast, and his music was so loud, I called it the “Nightmare Disco”. At one stage we were doing 145k’s though a 45k limit. He peaked at 165k’s, sometimes cutting corners completely, at night. It was like being on a rollercoaster, only this time, you COULD die.

The upshot was that we got to the ferry at 9.55pm – phew! Clare and Kirstin just talked to each other all the way, about anything and everything, so as to remain distracted to the obvious terror.

Our taxi took us all the way to Fishermans Cottage, where we stayed for 5 weeks last year. We knocked back some travel weary beers, and crashed for the night.

In the morning, guess what… yes… SUNSHINE! Yay! – Silly weather reports.

We met all our old friends here (the owner and staff). They’ve got wifi now! :-)

Generally we have been chilling, swimming, and drinking , of course. I managed to break another toe kicking a rock under water while playing bat and ball. At least this one broke “straight”.

(Back to our favourite beach, tide out)

(Where you are pretty much guaranteed spectacular sunsets)

We had a “big night” on the 16th – Kirstin’s birthday! – Kun cooked us some special food , which he paid for (thanks dude) and we all had a major session and danced on the beach. Clare seemed to do the most dancing…. With the most people… lol.





(Clare with the owner, Kun)

A couple of days ago we went on a speedboat snorkelling trip to Koh Rok – a marine park about 40 minutes away. Saw lots of coral for the first time – some of it moves when you swim near it. Weird stuff, oh, and quite a few clown fish. It seems we only recognise fish if they were on “Finding Nemo”. Cretins we are. It was very good snorkelling, if sometimes a little shallow, people were standing on Coral , bare foot, with their bodies out of the water. Cretins.



(My water babies)


It was a super hot day with little to no shade. Clare summed it up nicely when we got back to the bungalows. She felt like she’s just stepped out of a microwave.

I managed to injure myself AGAIN. I’m getting so ticked off. Perhaps it’s the approach to 40 years old…. This time I was climbing back into the speedboat after snorkelling, and as I pulled myself up with the handrails / steps, the whole thing bloody broke off, trapping my finger (yes, the same one as in Egypt) between the steel railing and something else hard. Result, ANOTHER deep cut that looked all white inside, just above my ring, on the top side.

We plastered it up and I’ve since cleaned it and it seems to be closing up very quickly (and of course we have all the meds with us now). The girls bought me some new plasters today – cartoon ones. They thought it would be funny. Except they are child size too. Look out for an “Injuries” post soon, I’ve got photos of most of mine so far. Lovely.

It’s fair to say we have had a few drinking sessions since Clare has been here. I’ve even got a taste for “White Russian” cocktails now.

We also rented a tuk-tuk and went for a tour of the island, stopping off for lunch at the View Point café…

(Our trusty steed - this one was a LOT easier to drive than last year's)

(View from the cafe)

The tuk-tuk was as hilarious as last time. I tried to navigate a steep-ish drop-off from concrete to dirt, and tipped the whole contraption at about 45 degrees. We thought we were going over. I fell out of my seat and clare was half way out the front, whilst Kirstin was slipping in between the bike and the passenger seats. No harm done, and a lot of laughing.

Clare is setting off back home tomorrow. Will be very sad to see here go. Then, we are off, after a few more days chilling, to Koh Phi Phi for a day or two, then straight up North to discover the other half of Thailand.

Just remembered one more thing, well, two. Kirstin and I went to go to bed the other night only to discover a coconut had fallen through our roof, and onto our mosquito net, which it collapsed. So we were presented with a bed covered in wood and bamboo (from the roof), plus a huge coconut right in the middle. K had a lot of trouble sleeping that night!

Also, when we were in Koh Tao, we heard (and felt) a huge thud very near by. When we looked up, a coconut had fallen and landed in between three girl’s heads, missing one of them by an inch at most. It was close enough to knock off her sunglasses. They were all lying face up asleep. Talk about a lucky escape. These coconuts are dangerous!

Finally - some memories of Clare's visit (and I'm in there too as at last, there are people to take photos of me!)

(Clare's room at the Fishermans Cottage, Koh Lanta)

(My name's Bond, James Bond. .. Well, need to work on the weight a bit ;-) , and the shorts )

(Surprisingly , I really enjoyed this)

(After just a few beers I decided to make our own little Honiker on our balcony)

(Not a bad way to spend the day - Koh Tao)

(... and the night)

(Not our handywork - don't think I could bring myself to do it)

(Clare's "Princess bed" made from 2 mattresses and 2 mosquito nets - took here a long time to perfect this)

By Clare! We'll miss you xx

Posted by Dodgey 19:30 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Happy New Year!!

View Round the World Baby! on Dodgey's travel map.

Well, well., well. New Years Eve was a laugh!

Koh Tao is fairly low key so we were actually looking forward to it. Not like somewhere like Koh Phangang which would be guaranteed to be crammed with drunk Brits throwing up over each other.

All the bars had something going on, including ours – a free buffet, but we skipped that as we’d booked a table at a decent looking restaurant – which turned out to be superb. We had fillet of beef fondue – it was so good we ordered a second one! We of course necked plenty of gin and beer.

After that we headed to the beach itself equipped with Vodka Redbulls…


…and wandered up and down watching all the fire dancers, fireworks, and various lanterns. It was a great atmosphere. – A note on vodka Redbulls here – their Redbull is their own concoction – far far stronger than ours at home – it’s like being on narcotics!


(Lots of these guys everywhere)

Loads of people were launching fire lanterns – basically a large paper lantern with a candle at the bottom, so it heats up and flies away – to amazing heights. At midnight one bar launched loads of them.

The whole thing was great. Everyone was in good spirits, there were lots of fire “acts” – i.e. staff would spin a giant fire skipping rope and whoever fancied a go would try and skip it. Or they’d have a large “hoop” on fire and you could jump through it. Lots of drunk people set off fireworks that went in all directions, including into bar areas. It’s all in the video below… a small recap of our NYE.


Happy New Year! :- )

A couple of days later Clare arrived from freezing England! So the first thing we did was soak up some sun..


(A little sundowner below our bungalow)

We ended up taking G&T’s down to that small beach and watching the sunset.

We spent a few days chilling in Koh Tao and then decided to move on. The island is fine but kind of repetitive after a while. Ah yeah – K & I had our first “street food” on Koh Tao – chicken and pork – all for a fraction of the price in restaurants, and it was superb. …. And… we never got ill!

So… we took Clare to MaiPenRai on Koh Phangang for some serious R&R and sunbathing.

(Seem familiar? Yep! Jan 2008!)

(Clare relaxing – we got the same bungalow as when Matt and Justin came over)

(Back at the mountain-top bar having sundowners)

We’ve had a few good days of sunbathing and chilling at the “secret beach” and drinking far too many Gins. The weather has turned a bit today – it’s a full moon so the sea gets very choppy. The path below our room gets totally covered by water when large waves come in. We had a good laugh watching people “run the gauntlet”.

(Clare just escaped it)

(This girl was not so lucky)

We had ring side seats and laughed a lot. One guy got a total strop on with his girlfriend for getting drenched – hehe.

Not sure where we are off to next – will need to monitor the weather. The East coast is all a bit crap at the moment so we’ll see….

Oh – nearly forgot – injuries – got some more! – on NYE I had a cigarette in my hand and went to high five some drunk guy next to me (just to shut him up really) and instead of a high five, he clasped my hand, bending over my fag and totally burning my knuckle. That’ll take time to heal! – Also I kicked a rock in the dark on the beach and snapped half a toe nail off – that has almost healed already thankfully.

Still – we are lucky – the amount of scooter accidents over here is shocking. People hire them and don’t know anything about safety. They ride around in summer wear (almost nothing) and then come off – either sober or drunk. When you walk down the main “path” in Koh Tao you frequently see girls and boys with bandages on their legs, knees, and arms – and some horrible scars. We even saw two lads come off right in front of us – they touched the front brake on a sandy path – fatal mistake. If the hire company warned everyone about using the front brake on sandy roads the accident rate would shrink incredibly. Of course, they make a load of money from it so it’s not in their interest.

When I returned my scooter the woman looked at me and said, “No accident!?” in a way that was clear that she was surprised and mildly disappointed!
Speak soon!

Posted by Dodgey 20:10 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

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