Saturday, 28 January 2012

Back to Ko Panyang

Man I was pleased to see Dave! He'd come over to Thailand for a 3 week holiday with his sisters best mate Laura. I knew there was going to be some challenges ahead when he told me that he'd spent 200 pound on one night in Bangkok (I'd spent 20 pound!). The three of us met up with his mate, Joe, from Uni that was living and DJ'ing on the island and we all went back to his place. Joe is a bloody hero, he put the three of us up for about 4 nights and was a great host the entire time. That night we went into town to pick up some supplies and pre-drinks and my only acquisition was a sangson bucket and a bright pink ladies hat (for 'pea-cocking' at the party). We basically spent the next 3 nights getting pissed up Hat Ran beach! It's all a bit of a blur and the evenings have kind of blurred into one, but I'll try and remember what happened on each night.

Night 1:

Arrived at Hat Ran beach wearing my pink hat and felt like a boss. I didn't even need to approach girls with lines, they where coming up to me to strike up conversation about my hat!

The only downer of the night was that Joe's Thai girlfriend passed out on the dance floor and had to be carried to a near by hotel to be put in the recovery position. That sobered me up pretty damn quick as I thought she might die at one point - turns out she does this all the time!

Night 2:

Rocked the pink hat again but this time it was a lot less busy as it was the night after the full moon. Saw a bunch of french girls and said to Dave to come come over to me in 5 minutes and say "there you are, we've been looking for you". I then walked over to them and said "excuse me, have you seen my mates around here, I've lost them and I can't seem to find them anywhere". This was a pretty lame opener but it did the trick and according to "the game" it's best to demonstrate a time constraint so that the girl(s) doesn't think you're going to hang around with them all night and be stuck with them. I got on particularly well with the one that could speak the best English (not just because she spoke the best English, but also as she was the most confident of the bunch. The pink hat acted as a great conversation piece and I even managed to string together some french conversation to impress her. I went off with the cutest one to get to know here a bit better but the conversation was a bit strained and she was a bit too shy for my liking. I managed to get chatting with the confident one again, and after a while we managed to find a quite corner of the beach to take advantage of. The point of this story is not to gloat about getting laid on a beach (although that is a great side product) but state that when we finished our deed I looked over to see 5 Thai security guards watching us at it! Slightly embarrassed I put my clothes back on and fortunately they dispersed without locking my half naked ass up in a Thai jail for indecent exposure!

Night 3:

We all went to a local Kareoki bar for an hour or so then Dave and Laura got bored and rode off to the beach party. I decided I was shattered so headed back to the house to get an early night.

I'd put some stuff in about what we did in the day time but to be honest all we really did was ride around on mopeds and catch rays on the beach. I did have a particularly nice moment when I watched the sun go down on a completely empty beach and the clouds looked amazing. Can't really do it justice by describing it on here but it was truly beautiful.

The next day Laura, Dave and I decided we'd head to Ko Phi Phi to see what it had to offer... apparently not a lot!

Diving on Ko Tao

(1st-8th Jan)

The Canadians and I woke up on new years and decided to get the hell off Panyang ASAP. We jumped on a fast ferry to Ko Tao and collectively felt rough as dish water due to a combination of a hangover, lack of sleep, lack of sex and a pretty choppy boat ride. Got to Tao and made a bee line to meet up with my Russian counterpart Olga at her place. She'd promised to teach me diving so I figured as I was giving her some sweet loving that she would give me a good deal on the instructions. This was great in theory, and worked out ok for the first couple of days. Then due to a combination of living out of each others pockets, the two of us sharing her room with a couch surfing guy who had about 10 hammocks all over the place, the language barrier, her boss putting pressure on her to teach me the open water course in as little time as possible, we had a bit of a falling out. Not a major one, but enough to put an end to the romance element and put us just as friends afterwards. 

Moved out into a dorm after 3 days of living with her and we got on a lot better afterwards. The diving itself was pretty damn good, obviously beatifically fishes, fantastic coral, a giant jelly fish (which was pretty scary actually!) and I qualified with my open water within 5 days (a mere 3 more days than the Canadian girls took!) The day I moved into the dorm I bumped into the Aussie girl that I'd met at the mud bath in Vietnam. I think I said it at the time, but it's worth repeating, she was the hottest the girl I'd met on my travels so I thought I'd use my new found game skills to see if I could win her over. We arranged to meet that evening and by the time I got there she was already pretty drunk. Everything was going perfectly, I didn't buy a single drink because all the dutch guys she was with kept buying me shots and she was getting more free drinks from the bar staff than she could drink so was giving me hers! We all then went to a lady boy show which was bloody hilarious, at which point it all went Pete tong. This Swedish guy who looked like that sleaze ball from Good will hunting (the one that tries to embarrass will's mates in the pub) totally out gamed me. I'm not entirely sure how he did it, but he managed to go off somewhere with her and didn't return for about an hour. Then I realized that she'd given me the key to her room earlier in the evening which left me in a bit of a pickle. What was I suppose to do, she didn't know where I was staying, had no way of contacting me, and was effectively locked out of her room. I figured the best thing for it was to crash on her bed until she came home in the morning or that night and that way she would get the key back. Annoyingly about 2am she came up to the room, knocked on the door and was standing there soaking wet with the sleaze ball and the two of them had gone off for a 'swim'. I explained that I wasn't sure what to do about the fact I had her key and she was cool with it (I'm pretty sure it was the logical thing to do) and went off to my dorm. The next day I headed back to Panyang to meet up with Dave....

New Years on Ko Panyang

Got to Ko Panyang with no-where to stay. People where saying that there was 100,000 people expected to be at the full moon party so I was hoping to somehow wing it and get somewhere to stay. I asked at a few places on the other side of the island (hat Yao) but everywhere was fully booked. Just as I was running out of options, I walked into a travel agents and asked if they knew of anywhere and a woman there told me she has one room available for 2000 baht (40 quid - bear in mind that I'd been paying between 2-10 pounds on accommodation until then) and asked me if I had any friends I could share the cost of the room with. I replied with "no I'm here on my.... hold on.... . Jordan?" I looked over to see the two Canadian girls I'd met in Vietnam, Jordan and Lea sat at the internet cafe! I asked if it was OK to crash on their floor and give them some money towards the room and they where happy to accommodate me (as they where both pretty hot I thought this was win win!). So the three of us went off to the room and that night we all went out to see a thai boxing match at a nearby ring. I played it like a boss, at first I was betting Jordan (the more bubbly and talkative of the two) 10 baht a fight predicting the winner. Then as the evening went on (and we both got a little tipsie on buckets) I proposed that if my fighter won she had to give me a kiss and if my fighter won I would have to kiss her (I know right?!?!) To my delight and surprise she agreed to the arrangement and at first I was just kissing her on the cheek and vise versa. Then on the final fight, which my fighter won, she went to kiss me on the cheek and I turned my head at the last minutes and she kissed me on the mouth :-). That night, Lea went to bed pretty early and the two of us stayed up chatting for a while then we wondered down to the beach to fool around for a while (DNC).

Next day we slobbed around on the beach all day and picked out some groovy bright clothes in preparation for the new years party that night. I was really not looking forward to it as I expected it to be a cock and vomit fest   (lots of drunk aggressive blokes and people being sick) but it was actually really good fun. Literally within 10 seconds of getting onto Hat Ran beach itself (the party beach where all the full moon partys are held) I'd lost the Canadians and as neither of them had a phone I didn't waste a minute trying to find them. Met up with Debz and Loaf at the big new years banner and spent a good hour photo bombing groups of people. If you've never heard of photo bombing (although I'm pretty sure I've talked about it before on here) it's the process of jumping into the background of a strangers photo and pulling a silly pose/face. It's pretty much my favorite game while travelling! So after we got done with that I went off to get a shitty england flag done on my arm for 50 baht (it was proper rubbish!) then the three of us went off exploring. Before long we where talking with a couple of dutch girls, one of which was really hot (blonde) and the other was ok (brunette). I put some ground work into the hot one then the other one was all over me like a rash. I actually (with approval from both of them) kissed the brunette, then kissed the blonde, then watched the two of them kiss, then we all kissed together. I felt like a porn star. Unfortunately this story doesn't have a 'happy ending' as although the brunette had her hand down my shorts for most of the evening we had no-where to go as she'd lost the key to her dorm and I was staying on the floor of the Canadian girls! Then to make matters worse, I lost the brunette and spent about 2 hours trying to find her with the blonde only to be told that she had the dorm key the whole time. Man I was pissed at her! I decided to cut my losses at 4am, jumped in a taxi and headed back to the room.

On balance, my new years cost me about 10 pounds and I pulled two two girls at the same time. Can't really complain! 

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Christmas on Ko Samui

On the boat over to Ko Samui we'd managed to book into some beach huts for a very reasonable price, especially seeing as we where arriving in a really touristy area at the peak of the festive season. Essentially there was 5 of us; me, a German girl called birte and the three guys from Melbourne, Langers, Pat and Tom. It rained pretty much the entire time we where there but we still managed to have a great time. 

Christmas eve the four blokes went to the local town to check out the thai boxing and have a few jars. We managed to keep things cheep by buying our beers from the 7-11 and standing at the back of the audience instead of paying at the little bar stands and getting fleeced by the local girls dressed in very sexy outfits who where trying to get people to buy beers from there bars. The thai boxing matches where excellent, but we where all pretty shattered from the bus trip so kept it low key and had a relatively early night. The next morning I woke up, opened the door to my beach hut and looked out onto the beatifull thai beach..... and it was pissing it down with rain! We figured we'd make the most of it anyway and rented a couple of mopeds and rode around the island for a while. We then spent a fair amount of money firing a 44 magnum and a pump action shotgun at the shooting range. Fuck it, you've gotta spend a bit of money on Christmas day! Then I met up with  Log who i'd been hanging out with in India and had a pretty damn good roast diner at an Irish bar. That night we headed to a beach party and the two of us headed back to my beach hut ;-). On balance a pretty damn good Christmas day! 

The next day I realized that within 48 hours I'd had my bank card stolen from my bag when I was in Bangkok and I'd left my other bank card in an ATM (again!). So I basically just had my credit card to get money out which charges 33% on cash machine withdrawals. Fortunately I was meeting up with Debz and Loaf in a couple of days who where kind enough to lend me enough money to live on until Dave came out to meet me with the replacement bank cards otherwise I would have been pretty screwed! 

I can't really remember doing a lot else on Samui, Debz and Loaf came out to meet me which was great to see them again. I was trying to have a bit of a detox in preparation for new years on Panyang.....

Holla! City of Squala!


Ok, I was expecting a tourist hell hole and to be fair it was actually better that I expected. I thought I might as well go the whole hog and stay on Ko San Road and try to embrace the madness. Within half an hour of checking in I got chatting to a really hot aussie girl who was travelling with her mate, but he'd gone off to bed so  I offered to hang out with her and hit a few places. Now I've been reading 'the game' ever since I bought it in Saigon and ever since then I've been employing some of the tactics they talk about and been pretty damn successful with the ladies ever since. One of the things they talk about and emphasize the importance of is 'peacocking' which is the process of having elaborate clothes and/or accessories when you go out so that you stick out from the crowd and it gives a conversation breaker. This works a treat! I had a santa hat on which is how I got talking to the hot Aussie girl in the first place (I employed this tactic at the full moon party on Ko Panyang by wearing a bright pink ladies hat suitable for a wedding and it made a cracking conversation starter :-)). So the two of us headed onto ko-san road and shared a couple of buckets. She then proposed that we head back to the hostel for a bit so as we walked back I was thinking 'I'm in here'! As I set up the pool table she went up to her room to get something and after half an hour of waiting for her to come back downstairs I gave up waiting and went back out on my own. When I spoke to her the following morning it turns out that she'd thrown up then passed out in her room! So the lesson here is that buckets are lethally strong and a drunk girl flirting with you may rapidly turn into a passed out girl.... not flirting with you!

The next morning me and a couple of other people went out for a tuk tuk tour of the city, now I'd read in the lonely planet about tuk truk scams where by they don't take you where you want to go but instead take you to tailors and travel agencies to get commission out of you. So we'd agreed to pay this tuk tuk man 20 baht each for a tour of the city, stopping at a couple of temples and a couple of 'shops' and after 2 temples, 4 travel agencies and 4 tailors the tuk tuk man was fed up of the fact that we weren't spending any money in any of the places and abandoned us at one of the tailors without us even paying for the 'tour'! I thought it was hilarious that he'd wasted like 3 hours of his own time and given us a free tour of the city and his 'scam' back fired as we hadn't earned him any money :-). We then grabbed a local bus to MBK, a big shopping center in Bangkok, and I bought myself a mobile phone and the others bought some supplies. That night I grabbed a sleeper bus to the islands and met these three guys from Melbourne who I partied and stayed with for the next few days on Samui.

So there we have it, the capital of sex and seediness and I didn't go to any ping pong shows or get with any lady/ladyboys. Pretty tame really! 

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Ho Chi Min (Saigon)

I really didn’t expect to enjoy Saigon as I figured it would just be another Mumbai but there’s something about the place that made it really cool. No-one can ever explain what it is but for some reason Saigon seems to be a big hit with travelers (unlike Hanoi). On the bus I got chatting to a couple of English guys called Rob and Tom who reminded me of my mates back home. They had a great sense of humor and it was so nice to be able to speak bollax without having to explain what certain words mean. And what I mean by that is even if you speak to an Aussie, a Canadian an American etc you still end up having to explain certain phrases or words and asking what they mean by things like “rooting” or “wristy”. Anyway we got off the bus and where bombarded by the usual taxi drivers and sales men trying to get us to go to their hotels and at first I was my usual cool and calm self and politely told them we knew where we where going. Unfortyunately I mildly lost it with one woman who kept asking where we were going and told her to “go away” only to realize shortly after that she was actually a government employed tourist helper! She then showed us to a cracking hotel where the three of us shared a sweet 3up dorm room with AC and attached bathroom and I apologized for being rude to her (she was fine with me and probably got that all the time). The three of us got straight on it and after a great fajita meal we hit a few bars and pubs before heading in around 4am. Most notable things from the evening where the 30p beers from the street bars, bumping into my Dutch friends from Goa and Hoi Anne and the English guys managing to barter the price of noddles from a menu at 3am! I know you can barter almost anything but I figured if itt was in black and white there was no negotiation, clearly not!

I woke up at around 11 am which was by far the biggest lie in since I Bahrain. Until then there was always something to wake me up, be it an alarm clock, a dog barking, an alarm clock etc and I felt amazing for it. The three of us wanted to go to the cu chi tunnels to fire some guns but we’d missed the last bus there by a clear 4 hours! We managed to get a taxi to take us there, wait and take us back for 10 dollars each which we thought was pretty good going. As you may have seen from my videos on FB I unleashed 10 rounds of an AK47 and 10 rounds of an M16 which was as cool as I expected it to be .Other than that the tunnels where a bit lame, the guide rushed us through the entire process and there wasn't really a lot to see or do. That evening we went for a quiet few drinks as we planned to get up early the next day for the Mekong Delta tour.

The Mekong delta was fascinated, and I wish I could have spent some more time there. I'd met up with the dutch guys the night before who had slated the whole experience so I wasn't expecting great things, but it was the best bit of 'culture' i'd had in weeks. We started off with a bus trip to a local factory/shop where handicapped people worked making handicraft art. At first I was giggling about the guide's pronunciation of the word Handicraft thinking he'd made a major faux par with his language translation, then I saw the people working and felt really guilty! A lot of them where blind and still managing to make beautiful pieces of tile art and egg shell type things (please excuse my lack of knowledge in art/handicraft) which was really impressive. I thought about getting a few pieces but I figured they'd get battered in my luggage so I didn't follow through. After that we carried on to the pier and took a boat through the river. I've got photo's that do it pretty good justice on my FB. Oh, the tour guide was fucking hilarious, he was cracking me up as he was like a Vietnamese stand up comedian who started all his sentences with "cus you know..." then usually ended each 'section' with a joke about the Vietnamese or westerners. He had all the jokes about lady boys, Vietnamese motorbikes being fucking dangerous, Vietnamese women; no money no honey etc... I can't really do him justice on here but he was really good. We then stopped off at at a place where they make coconut sweets in all different flavors (peanut/ginger/toffee etc) and they where so lush I ended up buying 6 packs! then we took some photo's holding a big ass snake (not sure on the type, perhaps one of you keen Herpetologist's can help identify from my FB pics!) and watched some traditional Vietnamese musical performances which where slightly hampered by some rude Chinese couple who talked through the whole thing (and those of you who have tried to watch x-factor with me will know that I don't tolerate talking through musical performances!) but I still enjoyed it. we also rode on a donkey and cart through a town and went on some traditional Vietnamese long boats which was great 'culture' (please read 'culture' with a dumb Essex girl voice). That was pretty much it for the mekong delta, a great day out and thoroughly guilt free travelling :-). 

Next day I flew to Thailand (Bangkok) but I'll write about that another time as I'm thirsty.... for BEER! 


Kitesurfing in Moy Nei

I’d heard a lot of good things about kitesurfing and I’d also heard that Moy Ne was one of the best places in the world to do it. So I figured fuck it, I’d throw some money at some lessons. It was 50 dollars an hour through Rip Curl but as they where a name I recognized and had a pretty good looking setup and professionally looking instructors I decided on the 7 hour “get up on the board” training course for 330 dollars. We started out with some theory on the ground whilst waiting for the wind to pick up and thenh set about learning how the kite works and how to control it into the wind. This was all good and I enjoyes playing around on the beach and was starting to get the hang of it. Then we went into the sea to try out being towed by the kite whilst the instructor was holding onto my back. Again, I was doing well at keeping the kite in the powert zone and then all of a sudden the biggest wave I’ve ever seen nailed the pair of us. It felt like a tsunami hit me and whilst I was being battered by the wave and dragged under the sea by the kite I managed to release the kite slightly too late and it came smashing down into the sea breaking it. After that I decided I’d had enough of my kite surfing adventure and as I’d only paid for the time I’d already done I decided not to do any more for fear of injury. I like to think of myself as a bit of an adrenaline junky, I like riding motorbikes at silly speeds, jumping out of planes etc but the feeling of being in a washing machine and seeing a fair few injured holiday goers put me off and I decided I’d save my money for Scuba diving (which was a great choice) and made my way to Ho Chi Min to chill for a few days before my flight to Bangkok on the 22nd. 

Life is a beach!!

Apologies once again for my tardy blogage, I shan’t fob you all off with my usual reason of lack of internet access (although that is true) I’ve been having too much fun! Pretty much since my last entry in Hoy Anne I’ve been going from beach to beach (apart from a few mandatory stops at major cities), but before I make you all jealous with visions of sun kissed paradise, you may be pleased to hear that it’s mainly been shite weather!
My first stop was at a place called Nha Trang which the top gear lot stopped in at to play on the beach during their Vietnam special (if you haven’t seen it it’s quality!). Although it pretty much pissed it down the entire time I was there I decided to make the most of it by basically throwing money at it! I started off by trying something new and going for a mud bath at the nearby health spar. This was actually pretty cool once I got over the initial icky feeling and coldness of the muddy water I was sat in, and once I let go and submerged myself under the mud let the cool liquid fill my ears (yes gross I know!) I managed to drown out the noisy kids and loud Germans and was at peace, all be it for about 10 minutes! I got out to wash myself off stopping briefly to chat up the most smoking hot Australian girl I’ve seen on my travels and sat in the Jacuzzi bit followed by the beautifully warm waterfall and pool. The aussie girl and her English mate joined me and the two northern I’d be-friended in the pool and I managed to muscle in (pun intended….) on going for a cheap and recommended massage. This was probably my best massage of my travels and although I exchanged contact details with the slamming Aussie girl I was destined to not meet her again as I managed to lose my phone the following evening! That night I had a chilled evening sat watching some free TV ready to get up bright and early the next day for some touristy boat trip round some of the islands.

The next morning I woke up, went downstairs and exchanged football knowledge with the hotel owner whilst waiting for my lift to the boat, only to be informed that the chap who booked the trip the previous night hadn’t arranged it! So my football fan come hotel manager plonked me on the back of his scooter and tore off towards the pear for a replacement booze cruise he managed to arrange last minute. This was to prove mainly awesome as the trip itself was a blast. It consisted of me, two irish guys, a couple of Europeans and a couple of English girls being the only drunk “fun” people on the boat and a whole bunch of pretty boring Russians/germans and Chinese tourists (not sure why they had selected this trip as it was blatantly just a piss up on a boat!). Same as Halong bay really; jumping into the water from the top of the boat, swimming in the sea etc then a big meal with all the punters. Then they cleared the table and turned it into a massive stage and the cabin crew suddenly turned into musicians and proceeded to performed live music with drums and guitars. Then they played a song from each of the origin countries of the guests and asked a representative to come up and sing along. So of course when it came to England I was up like a shot! Wonderwall by Oases was then played pretty well, but sung appallingly by the main singer, and all the time I was hoping he would just shut the fuck up and let me sing the song by myself. It wasn’t just that he was completely out of key, couldn’t pronounce the words and had a terrible voice, I could have coped with that, it was that he was out of time with the rest of the band who appeared mildly embarrassed to be associated with him. Oh, and one of the crew doned a coconut bra and called himself the ladyboy and I’m rather ashamed to say I motorboated his makeshift cleavage for the entertainment of the crowd. They then created the ‘floating bar’ from a few rubber rings and a bottle of syanide strength vodka and fruit. The ‘bar man’ had clearly been hanging around with some English tourists as he kept shouting, whilst dispencing the booze, “bloody good barman, cocktails fucking minging!” Anyway on the trip back to the shore I managed to agree to a drunken threesome with the two English girls and arranged to meet with them and the irish guys at the why not bar that night. A well earned powernap and a kfc later I met with the irish guys but unfortunately the English girls never came out to play . The Three of us then hit the sailors club which is the happening place in town and set about chatting up some Aussie girls. I wasn’t really involved in the conversation for a while as the Irish and Ausies all worked as quantity survayors, but I managed to get the attention of the hottest girl by explaining that I was a professional Massuse and I was in SE asia to set up a massage studio (it’s not lying, it’s flirting). The Four of us then took turns to dodge the security and run into the sea (seeing the 6.3 irish guy, who was built like a rugby player and wearing nothing but his under-kegs dodging flying tackles from tiny Vietnamese security guards was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen). It wasn’t that they didn’t want us to go into the sea for our safety, they just didn’t want us going in on their segment of the beach as presumably they didn’t want the paperwork. I was chatting to this English guy about the book “the game” and just as we where exchanging contact details to meet further down the road I spotted a gap in security, whipped off my shorts and legged it into the sea. I immediately regretted the decision as the waves where fooking huge and battered the hell out of me! I also got loads of sand into my underwear so had to spend the rest of the evening with itchy nads . More importantly somewhere along the line I lost my phone, which I was confident the English guy had until I met him 5 days later in Ho Chi Min (Saigon) and he told me that the last thing he remembers of that evening was being kicked out and ruffed up by a bunch of very angry security guards and he didn’t know why. I suspect that was my fault for running unto the sea as they may have thought he was next to go in! Oh well!

The following day I met with the Irish guys and we agreed to head to the water park on the neighboring island. Somehow we also managed to aquire a still hammered English guy who had long hair and looked like your classic hippy stoner. I wasn’t to impressed with my first impression of him but he turned out to be harmless entertainment for the day. It was hacking it down all day but we still managed to have a ball at the waterpark and the highlight was defo when the four of us went down one of those rubber rug type slides (where you lye facing forwards like we did in Turkey) and at the end I turned around to see that the English guy was making an absolute commission as he’d somehow got his junk trapped in the handles! By this stage we had a pretty good audience of Chinese/Vietnamese locals watching as he struggled to get clear and then his swimmers fell right down exposing his meat and two veg to the on looking Asian families! I nearly cried with laughter.
That was pretty much it for Nha Trang, the next day I headed south to Moy Ney to try and find some sun…..