Rock and Beer in Thailand

Saturday 21st February 2009

By the time we arrived we had been on the go for 14hrs and where really tired and a bit cranky. Met a really nice girl on the plane that bought us a sim card for cheap calls and some noodles, she couldn’t do enough and she also took us to the non tourist taxi rank and got us a ride to our guest house in the city for 400bt which was better than the 800bt that we would have been charged. That turned out to be a bit of a farce as the taxi guy couldn’t find the guest house and in the end gave us to a tuk guy that knew where it was and ended up charging us or wanted to charge us 200bt for 2km!! But in the end I settled it for 1USD and 40bt, typical tourist tax. Checked in at 11pm and finally managed to shower and go to sleep! Only after a few beers though!!! Good night.

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Monday 23rd February 2009

We had a scoot round the city on the sky train today to visit a few sights and stock up on suncream at the shopping centers. We also got a few new pairs of flip flops. Last night my 2 quid pair from pangkor (malaysia) broke when I kicked a dodgy flag and I had to walk back with one flip flop on. Not nice when there’s cockroaches about. Not as bad as the big fat rats running about today though!

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Tonight has been a completely new experience for us. This morning at the meeting for English people at our hotel we asked about the lady boy places and the dutch guy that works here said that we should go to “queens castle” or “kings castle” as they’re the only 2 places that don’t jip you – the others make up random charges and put you up against a big bouncer if you dispute. Bangkok is notorious for them and there was no way i was missing out on seeing what all the fuss was about!
Before we found any of these lady/boy shows we had a lot of hassle off the fricken tuk divers, following us etc but got rid of em eventually. Then we looked down a street and to our amazement we just looked in shock and the first words we had in mind was DUMBO !! Their was an elephant walking towards us, only a young one as it was only 5ft tall but truly unreal. Some local was walking with it and selling food to the tourist so they could feed it.. Now if walking the streets of Bangkok at night with an elephant in tow isn’t unnatural then I don’t know what is. Its was so soft and cute, we had never been so close to an elephant never mind being suckered by its trunk. It didn’t seem bothered though and it just followed this guy like it was his mum. We just wanted to take it home and keep it in the garden. Its eyes were so nice you could look into its soul and see what it was thinking. We were mesmerized by its eyes. Truly once in a life time experience. Only in Bangkok.

So at about 10pm tonight we strolled into Queens. It was the worst. Not what I expected at all. I have never seen people do what these man/woman kinds did with cigarettes and frozen banana. It was worth throwing up over. Some people have no respect! Disgusting. There were only about 6 ladyboys and it was totally awkward because there were only 6 tourists too including us.

15ish minutes later we escaped next door into kings. It was completely different. More fun. More what I expected. Around 40 ladyboys and loads of tourists. busy busy. One man/boy thingy stroked me!! Ew! Then asked for a drink. I was like “no I will not be buying you a beer because you stroked my god damn leg”. But I was polite – It would have been me against 40 men πŸ˜‰ Even if it was me against 40 men in bikinis… Some completely naked. Hurl! Hurl! Hurl! Glad we went! Was an eye opener.

On the way back we got the nicest food ever!! 3 dishes of chicken, pork, saute veg. It was soooooo tasty. The best food we’ve come across in south east asia is here in Thailand. And another beer of course to top the night off. All in all a brill night. One of the best night of the round the world trip so far – certainly one of the most educational!

Good night!! jemma and taz

Wednesday 25th February 2009

Today we ventured up the river on a river boat to the tourist mecca of Bangkok – Khoasan Road and the surrounding area. Once we were off the boat we wandered up and down long streets full of stalls selling just about everything – even fake and impressive drivers licenses and degree certificates. Weired! I bought 2 tops, a dress, a bikini and a book. Taz bought a book and 4 tops. Excellent for bargains. The places is rammed with cheap bars and there were also a few nice hotels for around 10 quid. So much nicer than our 6 quid room in the center of town that doesn’t even have air con. We found a hotel we’ll definitely stay in next time we’re in bangkok which will probably be in a week or two. Tonight we’re heading back up to Khoasan Road. We have seriously been missing out. We’re going to visit a few bars and mingle with the backpackers up there.

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Tomorrow afternoon we’re going to get the bus to Pattaya and stay with Taz’s dads friend (Paul) who has lived here for years with his Thai wife and kids. He’s welcoming us to stay for a while. Free accommodation isn’t easy to resist! We’ve heard rumors from a few people that Pattaya isn’t nice. one big red light district on woman said. but even if it is bad, it’s free and there are some highly recommended idyllic islands a stones throw away. Ahhhhhhhh back to the beach πŸ™‚
By the way if anyone wants to ring us we have a Thai mobile number now. You call an 0161 number and get through to us. You pay for the local call only (Manchester) and we pay 7p to receive. Let me know if anyone wants it. Laura rang me from her mobile today while we were in the markets and the quality was brilliant. Free for laura, I paid my 7p a minute from my skype balance.
Love Jemma and Taz (who’s asleep again in preparation for the pubs tonight) x

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Saturday 28th February 2009

Hi everyone. Taz and I have spent a couple of nights with Paul and his wife Lamom and son Chris in his lovely house in Pattaya. On our first night here they took us around the town and we got drunk on a street called walking street because cars can’t go there at night. Lots and lots of people and soooo many bars there. more lady boys than we saw in bangkok too. quite a few seedy places but lots of decent ones too.

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We have done all sorts, been eating nice food, been bowling (i came last for a change) and seen some great big buddha’s! we don’t want to intrude too much so we’ll probably stay 2 more nights and take off back to bangkok to party a little on khoasan road, and then fly down to Krabi within the week. We’re hoping to bag a bargain room when we get there. book for a month and get a good deal. we’ll have to cross over to malaysia to get a new visa though because we only have 30 days and we’ve been in Thailand over a week already.

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Bye for now!

Monday 2nd March 2009

We are moving to Krabi tomorrow. Paul has offered us a lift back to Bangkok where we’ll get the bus to Krabi. It takes about 10 hours I think, so we’re planning on getting an overnight bus. We were considering the train but it doesn’t quite get you to Krabi, only near by and it takes a massive 16 hours! And a flight is 45 quid each as were haven’t booked in advance. Bus it is then!
We are currently out and about on our scooter, well Paul’s scooter bus he has let us borrow it for the day. THAT is a brush with Thai culture. I have never been quite as edgy on the back of a bike as I am here. There are no rules, and I mean NO rules. Paul says the Thai’s move out of their little villages on their scooters into big cities and forget that there are other people on the road. The don’t look, they drive down the wrong side like it’s normal and they cut you up because nobody has right of way and undertaking, overtaking and swerving just comes naturally. Nobody bats an eyelid.
Jari, one of our Finnish friends is in Krabi. He has advised us to hurry along to enjoy the vodka with him πŸ˜‰ Can’t wait for the rock climbing over the sea. Harry – wish you were here! I can’t wait for Krabi. It’s been quite an experience in the Northern cities of Thailand, we need a holiday!

Monday 9th March 2009

While we were in the intenet cafe in Pattaya last time we did our blog our scooter was taken by the police from right ourside. With the other 20 scooters parked in the same parking bay. We came out and the road was clean of scooters and we were like “What the F##k”. A guy told us outside that the police had swiped the whole lot. So we walked to the police station and paid a 8 quid fine (for parking in a god damn scooter parking bay) and waited outside for someone to bring it round. It started to pee it down and we got drenched. So we went back in and asked where the scooter was. They said it was miles way in a compound and we’d have to ask one of the scooter lads out front to give us a lift. I was mad because it was raining so I jumped in a taxi, showed him the address and off we went. I told him to put the meter on and he was like “no meter, broken, 200 baht.” so I said put the meter on or I am GETTING OUT!! So he huffed and puffed and gave it – he turned it on. Broken my god damn arse! We arrived after about half an hour of him getting lost and asking for directions and it only cost us 60 baht. We tried to remember that a crappy day while travelling is much better than a crappy day working at home…

We have been in southern Thailand for nearly a week now. We spent our first 3 nights on Railay beach East. We did some bouldering the day after we arrived and met a French Canadian called Joel who’s here on his own with all his climbing equipment. Since then we have been climbing with him and a bunch of other people everyday. There was lots of bouldering on this side of the beach but we heard Tonsai is where it was all happening. The most impressive part about this area of the view from the beach. Just as amazing as the pictures on the internet I’d been looking at.

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We’re now in a hut on Tonsai beach. This is where the serious climbers go! There are hundreds of them, on every rock that is climbable there’s a rock climber on it! Getting to Tonsai from Railay beach was so hard it was just horrible. We had 2 options – boat or trek over the steep mountain hill. So us being stingy backpackers we opted for the hill rather than having to pay 2 quid each on a boat. So at 11am we left our bunaglow on Railay beach with ALL our gear totaling 40kg and started the very steep trek. It was so hot and so humid it looked like we’d been swimming when we gt to the other side. It took about 45 minutes. On the plus side the climbings better here, Joel our climbing buddy has moved here too, and our hut is 6 quid a night instead of 11 on the other side.

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Plus the food here is really really good and cheaper. Yesterday while taking a break from the sun we got a whole BBQ tuna fish, a big chicken leg and some rice for 130 baht which isn’t even 3 quid for the 2 of us. It’s good to just order a pile of food and share it. It was all done on the BBQ which they just keep going all day so that peckish sunbathers can come and pick some off without having to wait. Lovely! Railay was a little bit pricy.

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I have climbed some routes which were really scary for me and I’m very proud of them! Go me! They’re all sport routes so you don’t need to make your own ancors which makes life much easier. There are some very hard ones. So when we’re flat out we just sit and watch the better climbers rack their routes out. Our hands have taken a bit of a battering and my knees are bruised so yesterday we took the day to kayak instead. Talk about getting a tan, it was so hot. It always is here, very humid, but on the water we just sweltered!

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We have come to Ao Nang today by boat for a little break from the beach. We’re in an internet cafe that charges 60 baht an hour. On Tonsai they charge 3 times as much which is why we haven’t updated our blog. There’s also only the occassional time you pick up a mobile signal and there’s absolutely no wireless availability over there! We still have wet feet because when you get off the longtail boat you have to jump in the water and wade a bit up the beach. Taz jumped in too early and got slapped by a wave, ha ha ha. Wet shorts!

Sometime over the next couple of days we’re going on a deep water soloing trip. A boat takes you out to some rocks in the sea and you climb for as long and as high as you can and then you let go – argh! Meters high. We’ve seen people doing it on youtube in the Krabi area. Can’t wait for that. Nothing to make the little bruv jelous! Haha. Taz is very excited!!

So speak soon. And when you feel chilly and pale, think of us πŸ˜‰

Sunday 15th March 2009

I haven’t had chance to update the blog for a little while so here’s what we did this week…

On Monday after a nice rest in Ao nang for a bit of essentials shopping (handbag for me) we returned to Tonsai on the long tail. This time we were the only people on it so it was more fun. We got thrown about and splashed with every wave. I never imagined before coming travelling that getting drenched with salt water on a bumpy boat could be fun πŸ™‚ back in Tonsai we met the french people we’ve been hanging around with for tea. We had a couple of large chang beers. They’re 100 baht each which is about 2 quid. They’re not expensive but it’s still annoying having to pay 100 for them in the bar than 40 in the shop! We’re so stingy! One of the guys, Joel hid his key for us so that we could go in his bungalow the following morning and get his climbing gear (he’s brought everything we need – rope, quickdraws and harnesses) and then set off up the hill for the last time to our hut at the top of the hill. We were both quite drunk so it took ages!!!

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On Tuesday we carried our heavy bags down the hill and checked into the mountain view resort. 400 baht a night. Here we get electricity from 6pm until 7 in the morning. Bonus!

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At the top of the hill it turned off at 2ish so you woke up sweaty 😦 We really like our new room. It’s a proper concrete building with a nice bathroom and no huge gaps for bugs to pour in at night. Not bad for 8 quid. We paid for 4 nights. We met Johan (from France) at his hut for our morning climb. Johan wanted to come and spectate but not climb – he’d had a massage and was very sore and thought he’d better have a rest.

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Very wize, climbing everyday wears your strength down a bit! Me and Taz found an easy 6 to climb first. Then we moved round to what I think was a 6b or 6c and it was pretty hard. I got stuck on an overhang for about 10 minutes and had to give in. I couldn’t hold on anymore! Loads of fun. In the afternoon we moved to the other side of the beach and bouldered for a bit. When the sun started to set (and after about 3 mozzy bites each) we called it a day, packed up and sat on the middle of the beach away from the insects and watched the sun go down. The bay is so beautiful when the sun is going down. Tonsai was very quiet because it was a full moon that night and we heard that lots of people had deserted to Phi Phi for the full moon party. We aim to be there next time it rolls around in another 28 days!!

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Wednesday – We got a buffet breakfast, a 2 quid all you can eat thing! There’s a chef that makes you eggs and omlets on tap if you like. Tea on tap – yey! And plenty of cereal etc. The usual. I had a dodgy belly, nothing serious just a bit dodgy. Probably eaten something wrong! It’s hard to imagine though because the food’s so damn good! We didn’t do much, jsut relaxed because we were a bit sore from the climbing the day before. We trieds to do a bit of snorkeling but couldn’t see much and the tide was really far out. Something to do with the full moon I think. We met the usual gang for tea and agreed that we’d try to hire a boat in the morning to take us deep water soloing and snorkeling around the surrounding area.

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So when Thursday rolled round I found it really hard to get out of bed because I was still a bit dodgy. We made it in time for the all you can eat buffet. I felt better around 10am which is good because at 11 we set out as a group of 6 in one longtail boat and a group of 7 in another longtail.

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A mix of British, Canadian, American, French and Russian. It was so cool to hire our own boat and driver! It coat us 6 pounds each, 300 baht. First we went over to an island which I think is called Monkey island and all along the back of it is solid rock, really high and vertical. Perfect for deep water soloing. The water you jump or fall into after your climb is so deep that it’s actually quite teriffying! There’s a picture of me and Taz at opposit ends of the great big rock that Joel took, we were both plucking up the courage to jump, argh!

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Then we did a couple of snorkeling sights that one of the guys had been to before and said was good.

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This is where Taz snorkeled through a little passageway under some rocks and scraped his legs and hands on the razor sharp shells and rock on the roof of it when a wave came through it and pushed him to the top! I fixed him with some eye patches.

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We asked the longtail boat driver if he had anything and he just started laughing like a woman. He was led down with a tube of vicks vapour up his nose. Apparently he had a cold… in Thailand..

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So anyway I went back in the water after a little while because I’ve never been that close to fish before.

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I’ve doneΒ snorkelingΒ a few times, but this was way cooler! There were hundreds of fish and a lot of them were swimming on the surface and didn’t seem to mind you swimming with them. I just did some floating, no swimming and when I looked up I was like 200 meters from the boat! The current was very strong. Nobody found it easy to get back to the boat. As I was about to climb in, I touched a jelly fish. It felt like a huge pile of goo wrapped around my hand. I didn’t see it so it scared the life out of me! We hadn’t seen any in the area. But 2 minutes later I was like oh my god – loads sailed past with the same current that was carrying the snorkellers away. They were moving past the boat really quickly, I counted around 10 very large ones and then stopped and did some sunbathing instead. So hot!

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We stopped of at a few other snorkeling places and an island which I think is called Chicken Island for some food. It had the nicest, whitest sand and the clearest sea I’ve ever seen in my life. It was like a postcard. In fact I bought a postcard of it and sent it home. You could hardly open your eyes it was that bright. We both got a very good tan and a couple of people went red.

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So the day after our snorkeling trip I took Taz to Ao Nang on the longtail to get his leg checked out. They dressed the deepest wound with waterproof stuff and gave him the all clear. While we were there we bought some Hong Thong – ha ha ha. It’s a bottle of rum. Only 3 quid so we invested πŸ˜‰ We also got some Indian food to make a nice change. Now we’re back on Tonsai, chilling out after a nice cold shower. At tea Joel asked if we’d look after his climbing gear for 5 days while he visits an island with his girlfriend. This is good news! Also, we’re borrowing his stuff tomorrow because he’s going kayaking.

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Yesterday (Saturday) we met Joel at 11 to trade our snorkel set for his climbing gear. We set off and tried a pretty hard wall first. Taz got all the way to the end. But I tried to unclip what he had hooked in which was hard work so I didn’t get there! Later we crossed the mountain path to Railay East and met up with the french people from the boat trip the other day. Taz did another very hard looking lead climb. I think it was a 6b. He did a very good job!! He was knackered, so I had my first ever attemp at lead climbing outside. I got to the top of my first one and was very proud! I was a little bit scared at first but ok in the end. I was so excited I did two more climbs right after. Morgan, a beginner from France top roped after me. I’ve never lead a climb that a beginner can top rope after me before, it’s usually Taz that leads and I top rope. So it was a good day for me πŸ™‚ Later in the small world bar (where we’ve been going every night now to meet up with the others) Morgan bought us a beer and invited us to France. He rents a section of beach and some staff near Marseilles in the south of France from April to September every year and runs a kids club there. He apparently earns a lot of money doing this. Enough to travel October to March every year. He’s going back to France in 6 days I think to start setting up. After 1 beer I was a little light headed. After 2 beers we all were! We got a pizza that was made in a proper stone oven for tea, we went out just the 2 of us which made a nice change. Usually we go out with our French friends πŸ™‚ We had a really good day and a really good night. I suppose that’s what travelling is all about!

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I don’t know who it was who tried to call our thai mobile last night at 12.30 but we lost our signal when I tried to answer and couldn’t find the signal again…

Today is Sunday. Our day of rest! We had breakfast at 11 and we’re not planning on doing a whole lot today. Just relaxing and watching others climb this afternoon. Because tomorrow when Joel leaves we’ll be using his climbing gear for 5 days. Probably climbing all day, everyday, so we need a bit of a rest. We’re both a bit stiff today so I think we’ll go for a massage in a few hours πŸ˜‰
So that was our week in a nutshell… how was your week?!

Jem and Taz x

Saturday 21st March 2009

Where has this week gone?? We’ve both done lots of climbing. We’re completely burnt out! We’re staying in Ao Nang tonight for a McDonalds tea (everyone needs a break from rice every once in a while) before we go to Burma in the morning to get a new Thai visa. Apparently you need a brand new 10 US dollar bill to get into Burma. If it’s wrinkled or mucky they won’t accept it… so we’re hoping we can find a bank that’ll exchange because we don’t have any left! Then we’re planning on spending 2 weeks travelling up the coast and into Cambodia and Vietnam for a bit. Probably Laos too. We’re very excited! It was hard to leave Tonsai this morning because it’s so beautiful and we have made some good friends, but we’ll see some of them again because Joel is from Canada (planning on moving there for a year after uni) and Johan will be working in Sheffield when we get home, he’s from France. We’re going to meet up and go climbing together when we get home which will be nice πŸ™‚
So bye for now! Jem and Taz x x x x

Sunday 22nd March 2009

Last night we rented a scooter for 100 baht from outside our hotel which is about 2 quid. We took a trip to Krabi town for some food. Krabi town is a bit of a dump! So when we got back to Ao Nang we bought a large Chang beer each and sat on the street and watched the world go by. The night scene here reminds me of Pattaya – ladyboys and prositutes hanging around in every bar. They get quite annoying when you just want to chill and have a beer. So street it was. Then we got another! They’re only 37 baht and they’re really big beers πŸ˜‰

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We got up at 6.30 with a hangover today. At 7.30 we were on the bus to Krabi town with our take away McDonalds breakfast! The bus was so slow we missed to bus to the Burma border by 10 minutes, it left at 8.30. Amazingly the bus station called the bus driver, told us to pull over and it waited for us to catch up in a taxi! We were on the bus until 3.30pm. Very long journey! Then we had to get a taxi to the port to get stamped out of Thailand, get on a boat for 30 minutes to Burma, stamp in to Burma (the boat driver sold us 2 pristine 10 dollar bills for the fee) and stamp out again. The second we landed on Burma soil the drug dealers we trying to sell to us… then we got back to Thailand on the boat and stamped back in. All that for another 15 days in Thailand!!

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We are now somewhere called Ranong. We don’t know where anything is and it’s 5.45pm… and we’re starving. So our first stop will be food… then find a hotel!

We don’t know what we’ll be doing for the next 2 weeks in Thailand or where we’ll go afterwards but we’ll let you know when we do!! Bye bye πŸ™‚ Jemma and Taz

Monday 23rd March 2009

Today has been a brilliant brilliant brilliant day!! We got up and decided that we might as well stay here in Ranong another day so that we can relax and do a lot of washing! Yesterday was such a long day on the bus and the visa run just took it out of us. So we moved out of the crappy asia hotel that we found last night for 3 quid and moved into the rattanasin hotel for 4 quid. It’s much nicer and very big πŸ™‚ Breakfast cost us 50p each. Last night a huge tea didn’t even come to a quid each… This area doesn’t have tourist prices yet.

We rented a scooter for 2 days and set off to the hot springs we’d seen on a map 10k away. We broke down after 10 mins so the company came and swapped our scooter and off we set again!

We paid a quid to get in the springs and spent hours in there. It was so amazing. There were a couple of locals and me and taz were the only “fallang” in there. There were lots of different natural pools that you could try. one of the filled directly from the spring into something we can only describe as a pond! But a hot pond with clear water and sucker fish in it. The fish sucked and sucked and eventually we came out with no scabs on the scrapes we’ve both got from climbing – they chewed the all right off! sounds gross! they were quite big as well, about 6cm long some of them. You could just see them gathering around my bashed knees and ankles waiting for a nosh on them!! We have decided that as our hotel has cold water as usual we’ll go to the spring tomorrow and have a bath in it in the morning! That would be weird but actually a load of locals do the same. And the water always stays clean because there’s a constant flow. They also have very nice man made spa pools with spring water flowing through them if you don’t want the fish pecking away at you, but you’re not allowed to use shampoo in them! Overall, money well spent πŸ™‚ We can’t wait to get back tomorrow.

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I remember last year how disappointed i was with the hot springs in banff, canada. There were literally about 50 people crammed into a manky swimming pool that was filled with spring water. It also cost about 15 pounds to get in. Not worth the money at all. It was a terrible tourist trap. The spring here is so much better. Amazing, amazing!! We’re glad we stayed to do our washing! We may stay longer…

Tonight we’re going to a few pubs that we’ve found in the area that sell very cheap beer. There’s so few tourists here that the prices are low as generally only local people stop for a drink or something to eat. Good news for us! It’ll be interesting to see how many years before this little town charges twice as much for the beer like everywhere touristy that we’ve been, and how long before they build a huge hotel next to the hot spring. I’m glad we’ve been to a rather undeveloped part of Thailand. It’s brill to see what you can find if you venture off the beaten track on your scooter…

Anyone who come to Thaialnd, make a trip to Porn Rang hot springs!

So we’re off to the pubs, bye for now x x x x

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Tuesday 24th March 2009

Just a quick update for today!

Last night we drank quite a lot of beer. We sampled a variety of bars and found the cheapest Chang in the area πŸ˜‰ Taz ended up on the phone to Rick for quite a while for a massive catch up so we didn’t actually get to sleep until about 4. Good times!

We woke up at 7am because our room is soooooooo bright in the morning! We got a nice breakfast out on our scooter and visited some different hot springs just up the road from us. The water here was too hot to get into but you could dip body parts in if you dared! I went as far as a toe and that was enough! It went red!

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Then we revisited Pornrang springs for a swim and a clean. It’s the first time for 4 weeks that I’ve been able to wash my hair with hot water!

This afternoon Taz got a shave “Thai style” with a very sharp razor blade on a stick. The guy did a really good job for 60p and Taz says he’d have one every week if they did them at home.
Then for the best bit, at 6pm we went for a Thai massage. We’d driven past the spa building this morning and popped in for a price list. A very reasonable price list! So we had a 90 minute one each. The did everything, pulled all your toes until they cracked, dug their elbows in your feet, stuck their fingers into your spine!

Good day πŸ™‚

Sunday 29th March 2009

We are now in Chumphon.

Well today we had an extra long lie in because we had air con for starters and being in a hot country, when you do have it you can seem to sleep in a whole lot longer. After we moved hotels we picked up some delicious Thai soup for breakfast and then got on our motorized bike and headed out for a nosy around and stumbled across this unbelievable non tourist beach area which had crystal white sands and an absolutely see through water.

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There was also quite a few small jelly’s floating around but ok to swim with. We spent a fair amount of the afternoon just led in the red hot shallows which me and Jemma could not get enough of, but had to head off after a while because the sun was that intense unless you had spf 50 on you would of had serious sun stroke. Which by the way I think I caught a slight bit of because being fair skinned I think its probably my prerogative. (Think prob most fair skinned people know what I mean except for JEMMA)

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One point when a certain someone comes over in june we could prob drop by this place for a day or so because this is the place for an OCD tanning session. Afterward we ate some delicious dinner at a local eateries which was another outstanding meal and VERY CHEAP, grilled catfish, ridiculously hot beef dish with a thousand chillies in it, soup and thai curry and plain rice.. Wonderful!! All washed down with some chang beer….

Taz and Jemma

Monday 30th March 2009

After a lovely long sleep in this morning we headed out this morning to try and find out the train situation for Bangkok. We got to the train station, couldn’t find anyone that could speak English, picked up a nonsense timetable and went back to our room for shelter. It hasn’t rained for days and it’s really baking.

We stopped by the sports stadium here at around 3pm to see what was going on. In a word – nothing. There’s a 400 meter track, a football field etc… We decided to come back at about 6 when it was cooler for a jog round the track. At about 6.30 we turned up and there were scooters and people everywhere! We nervously crept onto the track, not really knowing if we were allowed. There were people playing football, kids training for some kind of martial arts and after 10 minutes club music started blaring out and about 100 Thai people started jumping about doing aerobics in a nearby field! We were originally only going to do a couple of miles but we ended up doing 24 laps – 6 miles! I think the club music helped, ha ha. Taz said the atmosphere, and loads of people jogging together made it like a fun run or something that you’d do at home. There were some really sporty people there, grandma’s kids, everybody running around this track. Weird but wonderful. Oh, and we were the only foreigners there as far as I could tell. No change there then!

We grabbed a few beers because we’ve been very good on our budget recently in these cheap little towns. We saw a Thai band in a bar full of Thai people. I kept expecting the drummer to get up and have a bitter with us… funny the things that remind you of home πŸ™‚ All the songs were good even though we couldn’t understand the words.

We plan another sleep in tomorrow and we’ll be retuning to the very nice beach we found the other day. Ahhhhhh the life of leisure!

Wednesday 2st April 2009

Tonight we’re getting the 9.30pm VIP bus to Bangkok so we’ll be there at 4.30am tomorrow. Not the best time to arrive south of the city but 9.30 is the last bus. We considered the train but it’s nearly twice as expensive. The bus is only 8 quid each for the 7 hour journey on a really nice coach with big comfy seats (hopefully!) We won’t have to pay for a hotel tonight which is a bonus.

Very excited about Bangkok! For starters Taz’s friend Craig, who’s traveling the world with a mate of his is also arriving in Bangkok tomorrow. He has just been to Vietnam so we’re going to raid him for information. We’re all staying at the Sawasdee hotel near Khaosan Road. So it’ll be a big night tomorrow no doubt, good job we travelers can get drunk on a few quid, ha ha.

We’ve also find a place called “The Cave” where we’re going climbing tomorrow and probably the day after. Lots of bouldering I think, and they’ll lend you gear if you want to climb the walls… fun times! We’ve missed climbing since leaving Tonsai (a bit) so we’re going to spend the day doing as much as we can.

Oooooh and we’ll be getting an Indian! Some of the best Indian food we’ve had was on Khaosan Road!!

Friday 3rd April 2009

We’re in Bangkok again. The bus we came on was brilliant. Very easy to sleep and it has restored our faith in busses. They gave you a pillow, a blanket, water, cake. And when we woke up in the morning they gave you more food, a strong coffee (taz drank mine too) and a hot face cloth. Ace!
Our hotel is the Happy House. 11 quid a night. The best option by miles that it just tempts you to sleep in the comfy bed all day. Many are full because of the upcoming Thai New Year.

Had a bit of a panic because I remembered at around 6pm yesterday that you can’t get a Vietnamese visa on arrival. Never have been able to. You have to but one outside. So we asked in a visa office and they said 3 days which was no good. We didn’t even have 48 hours. So we had to pay double, 40 quid each for an express visa. Phew! Glad that’s sorted. They’ll be in the office an hour before we get the bus for our flight.

Last night we met up with Taz’s mates, Craig and Gaz. They arrived in Bangkok at about 1am so this is the time we set our alarm so that we could get up, help them get a room and then we stayed out drinking until after 5am. Drank lots of large 80p changs from the 7 eleven and sneaked them into bars to avoid paying double. I’m surprised I could still function. Crazy night but very good!! Paying for it today – Me and Taz haven’t had a hangover like this since we’ve been away!!

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We will miss thailand! Our last night was another brilliant night. We spent the day recovering (apart from trying to go climbing but it was shut- probably a blessing in disguise) and got a few beers around 9 after an amazing amazing Indian. Then the 4 off us ventured round to Khaosan Road where all the action was going on. The night was well underway and after smuggling quite a few more beers into some of the pubs we topped the night off with an hour of two of dancing in a nightclub that was thankfully free to get into. I think it was called Le Club or something. Sarah E you will god damn love it! I imagine this is what Ibiza feels like – hot, lots of dance music and the place was rammed. It’s a night I don’t think any of us will forget! We left at the more reasonable time of 2.30am. There was no sign of the night slowing down for Craig and gaz though, they stayed well into the morning. All we’d paid for was 80p beers from the 7 eleven all night. Bonus.