Playing golf in Chiang Mai

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19:37



Boredom set in pretty fast this time around since I did all the touristy activities on my last trip so I was soon looking for ways to fill my day. I had a sudden thought about playing a round of golf since I play a bit back home, albeit badly, so looked into finding a place to whack a few balls about.

A quick Google revealed about 10 courses in a 40km or so area which surprised me, apparently golf is big in Thailand and especially here in Chiang Mai, so I did a bit of research and checked out my options.

The closest course to me was Stardome.

http://www.stardomegolfclub.com

A pretty cool looking course that offers a few unique features such as night golf; the course lit by lights that simulate daylight yet still give you that twilighty feeling as well as being perfect for avoiding the heat during the day. Another slightly odd but typical Thai feature was the option of hiring a 'refresher' girl. I'm not sure what exactly they do but I imagine it's just following you around looking pretty and giving you food, drink and the odd bit of small talk. In any case, looking at the 'menu' online was a bit surreal.



The thing that turned me off from playing here though was the blatant dual pricing. As a foreigner/farang you expect to pay a bit more but c'mon.. standardly displaying it is a bit fucking rude and probably turns more people away than they realise, not that they care.



That, and stuff like a minimum tip (500 baht for the refresher girls apparently, on top of the hire price!) made me look elsewhere. Not that I'm cheap but fucking hell, I'm not paying someone to do something I can do myself, regardless of how pretty they are.

Eventually I found a course that seemed alright, in Hang Dong district around 20km out of the city, funnily enough called Hang Dong golf course. Great name no? Can't forget it in a hurry, if I do I just remind myself it's something to do with my dick and oh yeah.. Hang Dong!

So I checked Google maps, planned my route and jumped on my moto.


Hang Dong Golf Course

I found the place pretty easily and rocked up into the car park. At least I thought it was the car park until a bunch of little old ladies ushered me a bit further down the road to another parking spot. They were all dressed in funny pink uniforms, all over 40 and about 4ft tall which was cute and kinda funny and I soon realised these ladies were the caddies.

I'd never played with a caddy before. I knew they carried your bag and helped you out with club choice etc. but I figured they were strictly for the pros or super rich and were generally unnecessary, but most Thai golf courses have a 'no caddy, no play' rule in force. (Most but not all).

So I go to reception, getting alot of stares as the only farang and being unable to read or speak any Thai I just about manage to rent clubs for 200 baht and pay the green fee for a 9 hole round of golf, also 200 baht if I recall correctly. The caddy fee was also about 200 and lastly 8 balls cost me 100 baht. Overall still fairly cheap, especially compared to back home.

I'm standing around waiting for a caddy and this cute little old lady comes over and says hello, straps my bag in a trolley and gestures me to follow her to the first hole. While waiting to tee off I'm getting alot more looks, being in the typical tourist get up, looking lost, being a lone farang and my caddy has retreated over to her caddy friends giving me the odd look and expressing her sadness at being stuck with this big white oaf.


People waiting to tee off on the first 


As my tee off nears and after watching a bunch of well off Thai guys hit beautiful golf drives a young guy comes over to me and asks if I'm playing alone. I say I am and he kindly offers to play together, partly because his group was at a limit and he was left out I think but either way it was nice. He was quite well off, in good golfing gear and was an up and coming pharmacist who was playing golf with his boss and some surgeons from the local hospital. He also spoke near perfect English which was a surprise and a relief since my caddy had about a 10 word vocabulary.

It's our turn and he sets up his shot, looking every bit the pro. Good stance, the golf wiggle, backswing, BLAAAAAAAMMMMM! A great drive down the fairway like it was an everyday thing, casually picks up his tee and walks back towards the caddy soaking up the praise. Now I'm up. I put the ball on the tee and stand up, the ball falls off. I reset it and awkwardly line up my shot knowing I'm gonna look like an idiot after I top the ball and it bounces about 20 yards towards the clubhouse. I hear my caddy talking with the odd 'farang' thrown in and I just sigh.. fuck it, I'm gonna enjoy this day.

Grip, backswing, BLAAAAAAAAAAAMMM!

I fucking kill it. Straight down the middle of the fairway and about 50 yards further than my playing partner, absolutely beautiful. I hear the caddies say 'Ooooooooooo!! FALANG FALANG!' in surprise and feel like the king of the world. My caddy comes over with a big smile on her face and tells me 'good shot, velly good' and we start walking up towards our ball like new best friends.

The rest of the day was spent chatting to the guy, who's name I can't remember sadly but he was a really nice bloke, and making uncharacteristically great shots with the odd fuck up thrown in. Despite the language barrier I really got on with my caddy and she was the highlight of the day, excitedly cheering on my good shots and calling me 'number one!' after some great ones.

The course itself was beautiful and well looked after, with a great signature island hole for the 8th.

The 8th at Hang Dong.

Overall it was a really relaxing and enjoyable experience, lovely people and amazing scenery with the added bonus of playing one of the best rounds I've ever played.

Once my 9 holes were over I said my goodbyes to the guy and his caddy and walked with mine back to the clubhouse to return my bag of clubs. I knew I had to tip the caddy, this is how they make their living, although how much I wasn't sure. I figured it was around 150/200 baht at Hang Dong for 9 holes but she'd made the day so enjoyable I had to give her 300. I folded the notes up in my hand and and passed them to her like a drug dealer before saying goodbye and setting off back home.

As I was driving out of the car park I saw her walking back to the caddy area and she gave me a lovely smile and wave, and I left with a huge smile on my own face, number fucking one!



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Arriving in Chiang Mai

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21:07


Chiang Mai! Capital of the north, the most chilled city in all of Thailand and one of my favourite places ever.

Instantly you can tell it's completely different to Bangkok; there's no mental traffic, no skyscrapers, there's greenery where there was trash and it's way cooler temperature wise than down south in the capital. People are friendly, there's a laid back vibe and being a tourist city there is everything you could ask for, from activities like bungee jumping and stroking tigers to playing pool with friendly locals in an open air bar.

I took the sleeper train from Bangkok at a cost of 881 baht, around £12, leaving at 7.35pm and arriving in Chiang Mai at 9.55am the next day.

The sleeper train was actually really fun and comfortable by asian travel standards. After finding my bunk I was approached by a neighbouring Thai family who politely asked if I could swap with them so that they could bunk together in a cubicle (4 bunks) so I gladly obliged and they were overly thankful as Thais can be with each person coming around the corner to say thank you themselves.

My bunk 


You're given a thin blanket, pillow, prison style mattress and a curtain for privacy, as well as a menu for overpriced food and drink to consume on the way. I ordered ham and cheese sarnies for breakfast and settled down for the night.

As I got comfortable I was joined by a Russian woman who was really talkative, albeit with broken English, which was cool at first but after a while I was just nodding and laughing without a clue what she was on about, and eventually I made my excuses and pulled the curtain across to get my head down.

I woke up about halfway through the journey and it was fucking freezing! I thought the train had passed right through Thailand and ended up back in Wales, but apparently the nights up north do get chilly in rainy season despite the days still being boiling hot.

I got back to sleep, woke up about an hour from Chiang Mai as daylight unfolded and enjoyed the scenery on the last leg of the trip. Unfortunately the Russian woman got up at the same time as me, actually pulling our curtains apart at the same time, so I had to deal with that a bit more. I'm sure she was a past hippy who did way too many drugs, surely something was up with her. She kept going on about weed, then her boyfriend, then weed, then her ex husbands new wife, then weed.. all in barely understandable broken English. To be fair she said she had only been learning English for a year so it was impressive in that case, but fuck me, she wouldn't shut up.

Eventually the train arrived at the station and I got a tuktuk to my hostel, Kikie's House, in the Old City area of the city. I'd stayed there before and really enjoyed it so naturally it was my first choice second time around. It's run by 'Kikie', a lovely Thai person who is always smiling and her Dutch/German boyfriend, Marco, both of who are avid bikers and so they offered me loads of advice about riding the Mae Hong Son loop and various routes from place to place.

So that was the arrival. The Russian nutter followed me to Kikie's but luckily she got put in another dorm and when I saw my chance I was gone. Out for the day, looking around the fucking corners when I got back to make sure she wasn't waiting for me.



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3 Things I Didn't Miss About Backpacking Asia

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00:13
So I'm back in Bangkok, day 2, and realising the rose-tinted specs I wore while remembering the last trip blocked out a few bad things about travelling to Asia.

The Heat

It's hot. I'm actually sat in a cafe having a beer and watching people go past while it's pouring down with rain and still I'm sweating like a pig.



It took a few weeks to acclimatise last time so I'm in for a good few sweaty days yet. Deodorant works well enough to keep you from smelling like a sewer for a few hours but if you don't pop back to your hostel every now and again for a quick shower you're in trouble. I've also been advised to talcum powder my balls so I'm off to the 7-11 to pick some up shortly and have a generous sprinkle down below.

Thai people are used to it obviously and walk around dressed like westerners in winter.. jeans, jackets etc.. though I'd probably collapse if I tried it myself. Which leads to..


Falang-itus.

The word for foreigner in Thailand is Farang, although they have trouble with R's (think egg flied lice) so Falang it is. Generally I've found that some Thai people look down on farangs despite Thailand being known as the land of smiles, and in Bangkok you're often passed in the street by Thai people looking at you like you've just killed their cat.

Due to the heat it makes sense to wear shorts, thin tee shirts and flip flops but now you look like the typical Farang tourist and stick out like a sore thumb. Kinda how an American visiting Britain in shorts, hawaiin shirt and bumbag would look to Brits

Being looked at with derision, contempt or whatever isn't nice to be fair, especially having to deal with day to day things like getting a moto taxi. You walk over to a group of drivers, sweating like an idiot in your tourist get-up and you're greeted with 'Ooooooo, Falang.. *Thai words*' and laughter as they crack jokes amongst themselves about how they're gonna rip you off and scramble to be the one who takes you on the scenic route.



It's understandable in a way and human nature I guess but it can be a bit annoying at times.

That said, I've found most Thai people are genuinely friendly, especially the further north you go.


Tummy Troubles

Asian food is arguably the best in the world but your stomach needs time to get used to it. Tummy trouble strikes in an instant and is unforgiving. One minute you're walking down the street and the next there's explosive diarrhoea booking a first class ticket to sunlight. Toilets are hard to find unless you're in tourist areas so my solution thus far has been to flag down a passing moto driver in a state of panic and direct him to the nearest BTS station where there is a toilet. It's a race against time so moto drivers are ideal as they whiz through Bangkoks many traffic jams without a care in the world. Although if you've found a toilet with a dodgy bum gun and lack of toilet paper then all the taxi drivers in the world couldn't help you.


So yeah, 3 things. In all honesty it's hard to complain when there are 100's of positives, but sweaty balls and constant toilet runs do take getting used to.
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Bangkok - Chiang Mai.. Taking the night bus

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06:41



The trip from Bangkok to the northern city of Chiang Mai was my first experience of a night bus. Buses are everywhere and are the main mode of transport between distant cities for travellers and locals alike so if you're backpacking you're probably gonna experience them alot, each additional journey building a hatred of buses deep inside your soul.

I booked the ticket at some kiosk in Bangkok, going for the 'middle' class. The price was about £10 or so which wasn't bad for a trip that takes roughly 10 hours, although I was slightly disappointed that I had to take the bus in the first place as I'd hoped to ride the famous sleeper train that takes you there amongst some lovely scenery but it wasn't running, derailments and crashes meant it'd been shut down for months while the track got repaired. That said, I think it's up and running again now so I look forward to taking that route when I return next month.

So, the bus. Not much to report, it was basically just like a coach in the UK. If it wasn't for the TV playing some Thai soap opera with hilariously bad acting (highlight of the trip) you'd think you were on a National Express. Until the driver started driving.

Asian drivers are mental in general but the bus drivers take the cake. The drivers themselves work insanely long hours, often having a day job such as driving a tuk tuk or telling you the temples are closed, so to keep themselves alert for the bus driving shift alot of them take speed/yabba/some kind of amphetamine. Bus crashes are relatively common, usually with multiple fatalities, although the jury is out on whether it's the gofast making the drivers drive at silly speeds with poor judgement or the lack of it that's leading to them nodding off at the wheel. In any case, sleeping as a passenger is pretty difficult when you're hurtling along at 100kph and turning corners on two wheels.

Typical Thai parking job.


The other thing to be wary of when taking buses is theft. As with western coaches you jam all your luggage in the luggage carry in the side/underneath, but leaving anything of value in your backpack is a recipe for disaster. I'm not 100% sure how it works but the general consensus is there's a bloke hidden in there that rifles through your belongings, pocketing your valuables. I picture him as a midget for some reason, a little Thai Tyrion Lannister. Personally I think that if you're stupid enough to bring a fucking 15" MacBook along with you while you're travelling through Asia and some of the poorest countries in the world then you deserve to be robbed.

Anyway, the trip itself was pretty uneventful apart from holding my breath and praying I'd survive every now and again.

One thing I really enjoyed about these trips was arriving at the destination, jumping off the coach and not knowing where I was, where to go, kinda just being planted somewhere and having to figure it out. It's hard to describe but it's a great 'freedom' sort of feeling.

Oh, and if you've ever wanted to feel famous then an Asian coach trip is your ticket to stardom. The coach pulled into the station and as I looked out of the window all these guys were running alongside, trying to catch my eye with their hands in the air like I was one of The Beatles. It stops and I make my way down the aisle to the door where I'm swarmed by moto and taxi drivers all vying for my attention. You can barely get out, they're all making a grab for you like some weird mix between the paparazzi and the undead. Being a clever fucker I turned down all their offers and walked outta the station area for 10 minutes until I found a lonely moto driver who dropped me into the Old City area of Chiang Mai for 1/10th the paparrazi price.

But yeah, that's why Asia is so incredible, even the bus rides are an experience.



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Experiencing a Thai Soapy 'Massage' Parlour

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03:04



A few days into my trip to Thailand I'd made it to Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai itself was probably my favourite city that I visited throughout the entire trip (although it was only a 6 weeks long so I didn't exactly get all over the country). It just has a chilled vibe and an almost rustic charm to it despite being a pretty busy city full of tourists.

Anyway, I'd not visited the red light district of Bangkok or gone to any sleazy places but I definitely wanted to experience that side of things, mainly curiosity, and essentially just for the experience. It's funny actually how people might look at the whole thing, fat old blokes, degenerates, scum, hookers blah blah blah all springing to mind but apart from being nothing like those preconceptions, if nothing else the experience taught me alot about myself and other people. I experienced it first hand when meeting fellow travellers and the topic inevitably came up. I'd basically just be like "Yeah I went to one of the massage places, surreal, but you gotta experience it haven't you?" to which the look and reply was usually disgust and holier than thou. Bear in mind these same people were fucking a different guy/girl in the hostel every night while Skyping their partners back home inbetween. 

So yeah, regardless of moral judgement, here I am, young, single, no problem getting laid by the way, I'm not Brad Pitt but I'm not the elephant man either, I just want the experience. So how did it go?

It went.. okay.


First I had to find a place. I was sat in a sleepy little bar in the hot afternoon, quietly drinking an ice cold Chang and using Google to find the nearest brothel, as you do. I don't think it would have raised any eyebrows if I asked the waitress for directions and a recommendation to be fair, as anyone who's been to Thailand will tell you the Thai people are only too willing to help, sometimes to a fault. Hell, she probably woulda drove me there and haggled a discount on my behalf.

I scour a few blogs and decide on a popular soapy massage parlour called Sayuri. Chiang Mai is worlds away from Bangkok as far as nightlife is concerned and as such the few massage parlours in the area really go unnoticed by most people. You actively have to seek them out compared to tourist Bangkok where you can't walk more than 20 yards without someone offering you 'boom boom' or shooting a ping pong ball out of their snatch as a hello. The hush hush nature of Chiang Mai's sex scene also means that not all places are foreigner friendly or even English speaking, so I went for Sayuri outta convenience more than anything as it accommodated farangs like me.

It's 7pm, I plan the route on Google maps and set off on my rented moto. I expected a seedy backstreet, a single wooden door in a dimly lit area, maybe one guy stood outside looking menacing, but when I drove down the road (which in all fairness was dimly lit and pretty quiet) I suddenly came to a building that looked like a fucking casino. Bright lights, hundreds of motos parked outside, throngs of Thais milling about in the car park.. surely this couldn't be the place. But it was, I'd found Sayuri.


The pic above doesn't do justice to the epic scale of the place. I park my moto near the entrance, lock it up and start feeling self-concious as I notice I'm the only farang around. I tell myself 'Fuck it, it's an experience' and take about 3000 baht out of my money belt that's stashed under the moto seat ready for the weirdess that's about to unfold inside. The blogs I'd read mentioned that the prices rarely go above 2000 baht for even the best girls, with 1200 (£25) being the standard and so expecting to be charged a bit more as a farang and allowing for the girls tip (customary apparently), I figured 3000 baht would be plenty and pocketed the notes in the most suspect way possible as if I was about to commit a heinous crime. I left my money belt under the moto seat as I figured the girls might dip their hands in it while my clothes are on the floor. I'm smiling writing this now as I look back on my thought process and naivety.


Inside Sayuri 

I walk to the entrance and push through the big glass doors to be faced with a Scarface style lobby, staircases running up both sides before meeting in the middle where there are a few smaller glass doors with Thai writing etched into them. Fuck. I try to look through the doors but it's hard to see anything and I briefly consider just giving up, but I notice theres a corridor in the corner so I pop my head around to see what's there and am greeted by the sight of three old Thai ladies just sat there in plastic chairs. They look up and one says "Hello?" to which I nervously reply "Uhh.. I'm looking for massage..". The old lady looks at her friends, looks back at me and says "Massage, you wan' full body?". I nod my head thinking 'Fuck.. I'm about to pay for sex with a Thai lady older than my nan' and she points to the glass door closest to me. Phew! It's on!

I braced myself and pushed open the glass door to be faced with the most surreal scene I had ever witnessed. The room was long, maybe 20 metres, with comfortable looking chairs and tables all along one side where guys were sitting and drinking. On the other side was a massive pane of glass running the length of the room that had about 30 girls sat behind wearing numbered nametags. It was kinda like this but longer..


Actually Google managed to find me a pic from inside that shows part of the actual Sayuri 'fish bowl' as it's called :


(Obviously taken in secret as photography is strictly prohibited with big signs all over the place reminding you so.)

I'm still feeling self-concious as hell but nobody bats an eyelid at my presence  so I walk to the end of the long room and turn a corner to find a legit style bar and seating area devoid of any hookers or weirdness. Oddly enough it's empty. I buy an overpriced drink for the nerves before I wander back out to the viewing room, take a seat opposite the fish bowl and start eyeing up the merchandise. I figured out that the girls are positioned from left to right, A to C, with A being ugly and C being beautiful. The prices obviously increase the further right you go. It kinda made me feel bad for the girls who are plumped over on the far left but it's a system that obviously makes sense if nothing else. Of course even most 'ugly' Thai girls are immensely hot by Western standards so you can't really go wrong. For reference, the pic above is the far left, the ugliest girls. 

As an aside, I can't stress enough how beautiful Thai women are, absolutey jaw dropping beauty. I'd heard stories and saw pics before visiting but I never really 'got it' until I saw them in the flesh. I rode the BTS skytrain in Bangkok on my first day in Thailand and saw women going to work, shopping, whatever, just regular Thai women going about their day and my jaw hit the floor. They really are that beautiful.

Anyway, I sit opposite the C's ('cos I'm a baller) and I figure that if I'm only gonna experience it once I'd better go all out and do it properly. I eye up a beautiful looking girl who looks slightly older than most and has a womans frame rather than looking like she's barely out of her teens, take note of her number (which IIRC was C52), then walk up to the reception-like desk at the end of the room. I state the number to the receptionist then get another taste of the surreal. A Thai gentleman walks up to a microphone that is stuck to the wall and as casual as he was loud shouts 'C-5-2' like he's calling fucking bingo numbers, prompting the girl on the otherside of the line-up to get up and disappear behind a curtain. 

At this point I realise I have no idea of the price so I ask the bingo caller how much it will be and he tells me 4000baht. My brain is too scrambled by everything that's gone on at this point and all I manage to do is mumble 'Oh.. ok.. moto.. bike in seat.. be back.. 4000..' and make my way back up the room, outside, into my moto, into my money belt, back up the stairs and back along the room to the bemused Thai guy with dollar signs in his eyes where pupils had once been. I hand over 3x the usual cost and realise there's a small Thai girl next to him, obviously from the fish bowl, looking up at me with a blank stare. Now I realise that TV adds 10lbs and mirrors in gyms make you look thinner but this fish bowl glass added about 2 foot in height and a different hair colour. I stopped for a second as the cogs slowly turned in my head.. 'Wait.. did I pick her? Fuck.. you must have.. wait.. maybe I did.. she was sat down.. she's obviously gonna look different standing up.. yeah..' before she reached out and grabbed my hand, leading me past the desk and down a set of stairs. I follow her downstairs, we get to the bottom and there's another desk where my lady says something in Thai to the receptionist/record keeper, then, I kid you not, she picks up a whiteboard marker and adds a tally under her name. I swear the place only opened an hour ago and she's a few fences deep. We walk along underground corridors and now it's beginning to look a little bit more seedy as we stop at a door, she opens it and urges me inside..


The experience

The room itself wasn't too bad. There's a shower, bath, bed and.. plastic lilo.


She starts running the bath and turns to me with a smile on her face before saying "You first time?". I'm stood there like a lemon just nodding my head while she starts undressing, then she gestures at my clothes saying "Take off." I strip and we're both naked as she walks over to me and presses her body up against mine, having a feel with her hands like you do a car you're looking to buy and ooooooooooh'ing at the tattoos covering my chest. All I could think at this time was 'Fuck me, this girl is tiny'.

The bath is half full so she turns off the taps and places the plastic lilo on the floor motioning at me to lie on it which I do. I'm on my back, she fills up a small bucket thing with water from the bath and throws it over me. I'm wondering whether I'm in the right place when she starts squirting me with some lubey oil substance and repeatedly washing it off by pouring more buckets of water onto my naked lilo body. Then shit gets real. She lies on top of me and fucking surfs my body. She's sliding her body along mine quite sensually and the lubey oil feels quite good but all I can picture in my head is a slippy slide back home. Actually it's probably amazing for her because I'm much taller than Thai blokes so she can get some serious long slides in. That goes on for a minute or so and she points me into the bath, getting in opposite me. I suppose this is the 'get to know you' phase as she's bathing me and trying to strike up conversation but she barely speaks English and my Thai stretches as far as hello so the conversation is more frustrating than comfortable, though we laughed at the situation and I'm sure there was a twinkle in her eye as we both shared a 'what the fuck am I doing here' moment.

Bath over, time for the bed. I lie on the bed, she grabs a condom, puts it on and gets all sucky sucky. A minute later she jumps on top but obviously she's fucking tiny so it's a bit of an effort for it to get in and she's owww'ing and saying to me "Slow.. Slow!". I'm thinking 'I'm just fucking lying here man, what do you mean slow? You go slow.' but she manages it and slowly starts riding away. This is when the porn star routine kicks in. First comes the 'Oh yeah!'s, then the 'Oh you so big' then the slightly odd 'Oh mistah!'. After about a minute of this it's back to the 'Owwwww's before she tells me to get on top. On top I'm trying not to look at her face because the porn star stuff is half making me laugh, half making me flaccid, but I'm doing my best to keep it together. I figure rather than just pump away like a machine I'll try and make it a bit more normal/natural and so I move my hand up her body a bit looking to caress her (fake) tits, but as soon as it gets near she swats it away like a fly and shakes her head at me. I'm just fucking confused at this point. I'm wondering how people can pay for sex when it's this robotic and not at all passionate, whether I've just got a dud or this is the reality of hookers, how much I just paid for this and how badly I want to just fuck off back to normal civilisation for a beer. There was only one thing for it, so I pictured my ex in my head, pumped away and got the job done.

After the deed was over the atmosphere was quite friendly between us and she took me into the shower, washing me down and being smiley and gentle. She dryed me off with a towel and started getting dressed so I followed her lead and got all my shit together. At this point I realised I should tip the girl, but looking at the 500 baht in my wallet and realising I'd just paid stupid money for a slightly odd and very disappointing experience I was reluctant to hand over the full whack so I gave her 300 baht with a thank you. I wasn't sure whether she was happy or insulted by it because she just stood still just looking at me with her hand just holding it in the air for a few seconds.

Experience over, we left the room and made our way back up the stairs to the viewing room/main reception where she turned to me, outstretched her palm for a firm handshake and uttered two words.. "Good luck".

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6 months and one measly blog post later..

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01:41
I know, one blog post. Well one and a half. In my defence I rarely had time to sit and do things as I was constantly on the go, so I figured I'd build up pics and videos and put it all together later near the end of the trip.

Then my phone got stolen in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.. game over.

Anyway, an update. I'm moving out to Phnom Penh (ha) in a month, for good, hoping to find some TEFL work. The thing is I don't have a degree so it might be more difficult to find a position with only a TEFL certification to hand but he who dares Rodders.. he who dares.



I have just enough money to last me a few months, if I don't find work though.. fuck knows. I think I might buy a small motorbike, tent on my back and be a full on vagabond. It'll be an adventure that beats the shithole UK ratrace in any case.

I'm gonna be a pretentious fuck with a quote now but I keep coming back to it whenever doubts arise in my head.

"If you're going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don't even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery--isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you'll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you're going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It's the only good fight there is." - Charles Bukowski
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Bangkok - Day 2 at Wat Pho

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12:32
After the first day in BKK, I figured I'd have to go see the temples, especially the reclining Buddah at Wat Pho.

A 'wat' is like a little temple village, hard to describe really but there's loads about, Wat Pho being an especially famous one 'cos of this giant golden Buddah.

I got the BTS to an area I was told it was, got off and got some Pad Thai from my lovely Thai friend who has a stall outside the station. She's in a video I made somewhere, she's awesome, and makes it super spicy. She tried teaching me how to use chopsticks but fucked if I could get the knack of it. She applauded me for trying though.

The BTS system was so simple and so efficient once I figured it out, it's perfect.

Anyway, I wandered up the road a bit and asked for directions from a motorbike taxi and it turns out its miles up river and I should get a boat :/

So I go to this like pier along the river where people are waiting for boats like taxis, all different styles and sizes, and I ask this foreign couple if it goes to Wat Pho, they said yes, they're waiting for it now.

I thought it was pretty cool that these boats were free too, until the boat came and I noticed them take out a ticket or piece of paper. Turns out it was for guests of their hotel, so I was fucked again. Eventually I realised the tour boat pier was about 50 yards up the road, so I go there and buy a ticket up river for like 60baht, a pound or so.

It was a generic kinda tour boat really, cheap and cheerful, with a a Thai/English your guide pointing things out in the way. The river itself is crazy, dirty and full of undercurrents, but weirdly mesmerizing. It sounds retarded but it doesn't move like a normal river.




Along the river the views were pretty cool and a lot of other boats passed.





To be continued ..
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