We arrived at Bangkok fresh from a 9 hour flight and raring to go, well not quite. Heather and I had decided that once we checked into our hostel room, we would have a shower and go to bed as it was quite late in the evening. Something I have realised while we have been travelling is that things never go according to plan and I should have known that as soon as we saw Matt (from Fiji) playing pool, that our plans were out of the window. We put our luggage in our room and didn't take too much time to look around just in case we didn't like what we saw. We hit the street with Matt,two of Sally's friends (more about them later) and James who said he would take us to where the ping pong shows were. The heat was unbelievable and it was late in the evening, we weren't prepared for the smell either- it is awful. We arrived at Pat Pong in style (a tuk tuk) and we were practically jumped on by everybody in arms reach, trying to get us to go into their ping pong shows. After careful consideration we decided on one and went in. In the space of 10 mins we had a banana fired at us (you all know my opinions on bananas, I was not impressed) It's unbelievable how many women are prepared to sell themselves in Thailand, every couple of minutes there were women coming up to Matt and co, selling their business. Heather and I felt so much better that we had a few guys with us on the first night in Bangkok because I don't think either of us would have felt particularly safe without them there. The first night was the start of a very entertaining few days with Matt, Mark and Duncan as we all travelled down to the islands together to hit the Full Moon Party.
The morning after the night before, we went for a visit to the Khaosan Road to see the temple and to get some noodles. (the important things in life haha). We got a taxi (5 of us in 1) and with 3 tall guys, it wasn't the most comfortable taxi ride I've ever experienced. We bartered for a good price though so I suppose we couldn't really complain. As soon as we set foot on the Khaosan road, it began to rain. As Mark and Duncan had only been out of England for a few days at this point, we figured the lovely British Weather had decided to follow them. Our plan for the day was to sort out travel to the islands to get to the Full Moon Party and with the help of a travel agent, we booked ourselves onto a VIP bus/ ferry which would only take about 15 hours.
Satisfied with a job well done, we bartered with a tuk tuk driver to take 5 of us back to our hoste. I don't know how many of you have been in a tuk tuk but I promise you, it is no easy task. There is about half the space in a tuk tuk that there is in a taxi so comfort levels were out of the window. I couldn't get comfortable at all as I was sitting on a spike and so ended up sharing the drivers seat with him. The great thing about Thailand is that there is absolutely no sense of safety whatsoever and people are out to make as much money as they can. We were getting looks of disgust and confusion from taxi drivers, pedestrians and other tuk tuk drivers but we got back in one piece and hit the supermarket for rations for the long journey ahead.
After doing our shopping and eating our shop bougt noodles in the hostel restaurant, we decided to make our sandwiches for the journey. Mark suggested nutella and Heather suggested jam- (all the staples for a nutritiously balanced meal) The only sensible one in the group was Duncan, who stuck to ham sandwiches. As far as the sandwiches were concerned, I'm not sure which we enjoyed more- whether it was making them or eating them. Mark and I watched in amazement as Heather became a one woman production line producing some well cut jam and chocolate sandwiches. We had 3 types; jam, chocolate and jam and chocolate together. Heather cut the chocolate ones into rectangles, the mixed ones into triangles and the plain jam were left square. She then layered them up in the bag so that we were never more than 2 sandwiches away from the one that we really wanted. We also left some plain so that we could have crisp sandwiches too. Through the sandwich making, I have come to realise that I have some strange eating habits and can't believe that they haven't been pointed out before. I have been brought up to eat savoury things before sweet things ie meals before dessert and it is amusing to some that I carry this over into sandwiches as well- I don't understand why you would eat a jam sandwich before a crisp one but each to their own I suppose haha.
We boarded the party bus and although we were concerned at first, we were quite pleased with the facilities that we had on board- nice big seats and we were at the front of the bus so lots of extra leg room. We were doing a good job of keeping ourselves to ourselves until the drunken crowd from the back of the bus decided that they needed to get to know us better. A couple of Canadian girls and a couple of English guys who had been on the bus for a couple of hours. The Canadian girls were so drunk it was unbelievable and the guys thought they they could do a really good impression of a Scouse accent- how wrong they were haha. Any hopes of getting some sleep on the overnight bus went completely out of the window after the bus broke down. A truck driver going past decided to stop to give our driver a hand but what he had forgotten to do was to put his handbrake on. What happened next was a moment of comedy gold as we all watched the truck roll into the ditch and the driver run back to it with both hands on his head.
At this point, even more of our dignity was lost as we decided that we needed to use the bathroom. Although I was quite happy to go in front of people at Fraser Island, I wanted to use a proper toilet. It was possibly the worst toilet I have ever seen and I'm still not at grips with the Turkish toilets. Mark got more than he bargained for with Heather and found Heather using the facilities...by a tree (I think haha)
After waiting an hour for a bus, we all piled onto a single decker which was practically falling to pieces. One of the windows were cracked and pretty much all of the seats were torn. The driver wasn't even going to put all of the bags on the bus and so Duncan, Mark and a few others obliged. The next few hours were spent in fear as we watched the driver go for gold along the highways without any sense of concern for us at all. Heather was very vocal throughout the journey as she was at the front of the bus but all we could do was sit back and pray that we made it in one piece. We all managed to a get a little bit of sleep at least before we hit the second leg of our journey- the ferry. We were promised a 3 hour ferry ride but in Thai time that really means 5 hours so by the time we hit Koh Samui, we were all travelled out. We were impressed by our accommodation- there isn't anywhere in England that would offer this standard for such an affordable price. Please ask if you would like the name of the hostel where we stayed. Heather and I decided to be upmarket and get a poolside appartment. On the second evening the guys moved in next door and we had our own party block. The first thing we did after putting our bags in, was to hire mopeds for our stint on the island. We went out and about in Lamai in the evening and we were shocked again by what we saw. There were so many Western men and Thai women but hardly any Western women at all. There were pole dancers a plenty and lots of women selling themselves. The guys decided that they didn't want to be outdone by the Thai women and so got up on the poles themselves and I think they were better than the women- at least the guys could flip themselves upside down haha. I am going to skim lightly over the subject of the football match because I think it is a disgrace. The guy who owned the bar we watched it in is a Utd supporter, so he was quite pleased with the result as you can imagine. I still can't believe the score and don't think I'll get to see the second leg but hopefully we'll still be in it.
We spent lots of time in the pool and the first day was spent with Heather getting thrown around by Mark and Matt whilst I attempted to do some sun worshipping, which didn't last very long. Seeing her getting thrown around was one of the funniest things I've seen and I only wish that I had had my camera to do some filming.Heather had decided she had learned her lesson on the first day so didn't come into the pool on the second.I incurred yet another injury in the pool- I jumped in and cut my foot on the step of the pool. It is ok now but it was touch and go for a while haha. Mark and I spent the day diving for pennies and throwing shapes under the water whilst Heather, Duncan and Matt slept/ watched dvds. We were all doing some serious preparation for the Full Moon Party haha.
The party itself is amazing- lots of dj's set up along Haad Rin beach. There are podiums everywhere and the drink of choice is the bucket. Buckets are filled up with 1/4 litre of spirit, a mixer and some ice all you need to do then is worry about how not to get it all over yourself. The rain was unbelievable and I don't think there was any point in having a shower/ brushing my hair because it looked like we had all just stepped out of the shower fully dressed. The amusing thing about the rain here is that there hasn't been rain like it in 18 years and I have this on good authority from a man who has been visiting for this long. Any how the party was still incredible and we all busted some pretty funky moves. We got split up though and the 5 of us had completely different experiences of the full moon. H,Duncan and Matt were lucky not to get arrested by all accounts we've heard whilst Mark and I found the drum n bass and pretty much stayed there. Don't really remember much from the night and there aren't any pictures to help us piece the night together so we are relying on drunken flashbacks haha.
The highlights of Thailand so far have been the mopeds, the full moon party and the biggest water fight I've ever seen. To celebrate New Year, there is a huge water gun fight in the street and lots of talcum powder is thrown. Its like being back in Fiji haha.
I have learned a valuable lesson while we've been here and I'd like to thank Duncan for bringing it to our attention- the schooling system in the South is in need of some serious modernising, particularly where Geography classes are concerned (wink wink haha)
Duncan/ Mark- had a wicked few days with you.good luck with the rest of your trip and enjoy the next full moon
well folks we're gonna love you and leave you as we are heading for a few drinks with Mr Fiji Gold aka Simon.
see you all in 3 weeks and remember- the North/ South divide is only an imaginary one. You don't need a passport to enter ;o)
x x x