I am nomad. Hear me roar.


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Goodbye Koh Samui, Hello Chiang Mai

Today we finished the first leg of our trip, we packed up our bags once more, bid farewell to the Buddy Oriental Samui Beach Resort and jumped on a couple of planes to Chiang Mai. It took us all morning as we had to switch planes in Bangkok, we were able to retain our cabin crew for the second part of the journey however, it's always nice to have familiar faces on board.

When we arrived at our next hostel we were greeted with empty backpacks and camping gear for us to personalise with our own luggage, as tomorrow we are headed on a trek into the jungle and mountains here in Chiang Mai. We will be off the radar for about 3 days, as we hike to elephant villages, swim in waterfalls, and ride bamboo rafts down rivers.

It's going to be a blast, see you on the other side.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Phucked in Phuket

Sunday was a day of rest.

We ate lunch at the Hard Rock Café, we lounged in the pool, we said goodbye to the boys and we flew back to Koh Samui in a heart-breaking 55 minutes. Heartbreaking, because it had taken us over 12 hours the day before to get to Phuket, but it was absolutely worth it.

Saturday had been the best party night any of us had had in a long time.

It started with dead flesh eating fish because the others were Doctor Fish virgins, then included a sumptuous Thai meal, the promised ping pong show with out the ping pong balls, and lots, and lots mojitos served by our awesome barkeep for the night, Sai. Sai was at this bar that looks like a cave with tigers in it and she was brilliant, she kept the drinks, water, and refreshing towels coming just as we needed them. If you're ever in town I recommend you go visit her, tell her I said "Hi" and "kob khun kha" for the fabulous evening.

Once we had drunk more than our fill, we stumbled back down to the beach, lit our lanterns, and went for a midnight swim. It just don't get no better than that.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Lighting Lanterns

Partying in Patong

No Ping Pong?

We had promised ourselves before we left the hotel that we were going to have the night that experiences everything that Patong has to offer, and I mean everything. So when we turned down Bangla Road and were accosted with menus for shows thrust in our faces and cries out from all directions. "Ping Pong! You want show? Come, come, you want ping pong?". We didn't resist.

We were lead through an almost empty bar, occupied by only a few people playing pool and lit only by neon and black-lights. Down a few short stairs, where the black glass doors opened in front of us. As you'd expect it was almost completely dark, illuminated only by the stage, and even then the beams of the spots didn't travel far. As we entered, I could hear a whistle being blown in short sharp bursts, I glanced around at the expressions of the viewers, they all looked as though they didn't know whether to be amused or disgusted, this clearly indicated we were in the right place. 

The four of us perched ourselves on stools around a bar table, ordered a round, and turned towards the stage. It wasn't until this moment that I truly appreciated who was blowing the whistle, and how. To this day, I don't quite understand how, but there she was, sitting on the stage blowing a whistle with her lady-parts, just like that. 

Our beer soon arrived, as the fanfare played, and the next act began. It was a lot more subdued than the one we had walked in on, nymphs dancing softly with bare chests and skirts flowing like moonlight until the lights close. 

The fanfare played again, a girl walked onto the stage, and without any warning, promptly pulled approximately 30 razor blades tied together with string out of her bits. 


She held the string out for the audience, and for a freak moment I had the horrible thought that she was going to skip rope with it. Instead she picked up a piece of rubber hose and proceeded to demonstrate that the blades are indeed real by slicing inch-long lengths off it. I'm pretty sure my jaw hit the table, I was so dumbfounded, and by the incredulous looks other the others' faces they were in the same state of shock. 

The stage lights dimmed again, this time gym mats resembling a table and chairs were placed on the stage, there was a call for volunteers, and a plate of something unseen was laid on the table. The girls moved in the crowd and rounded up Bear, one of our Newtown boys and 2 other unsuspecting victims. They were given seats at the table, and had to eat the fruit of the girls' naked flesh. Everyone involved was pretty glad we'd had our hepatitis boosters before we left Australia. 

Next, the lady with the whistle was back, this time she shot blow darts at a balloon that Bear was holding. Incorrectly aimed darts skewered themselves into the wall on either side of her, until finally the balloon popped with a bang.

Another more subtle dance followed, the dancers were bare breasted in cropped oriental embroidered vests, long creamy-coloured bell sleeves lending further flow and elegance to their limbs as they brushed the air with scarlet feathered fans.

Soon there was another call for volunteers, and a guy and a girl were pulled up on stage. The girl was subjected to a half lap dance, half massage, throughout the entirety of which she covered her eyes and shook her head in shame, whilst the guy was being coaxed out of his clothes and into a towel.

It was then his turn for a massage, he had three masseuses, six breasts working him. He appeared to be loving it despite the crowd watching. The girls then took turns, the last one using her butt cheeks to slap him around the face.

She must have either finished him off, or he was thinking about dead puppies because, suddenly, she whipped off his towel, leaving him naked, at which point he waved around his flaccid self for all to see. 

Whistle Lady was back again after this, she cracked an egg into a glass, the hard way.

On this note, we left. We hadn't actually seen a ping pong ball show, but we figured we'd seen enough.

It wasn't even 9 o'clock by this time, the night had only just begun. 

Adventure Arrival

As it turned out I didn't have to be too worried about finding our stop as the bus driver ushered us off pretty quick smart and onto yet another shuttle when it was time. This shuttle took us onwards to Patong Beach and promptly deposited us at the wrong hotel. Bear and I were exhausted, and I'm very sorry to say that at this point I was more than a little snappy, working on only weak directions from the concierge at the wrong hotel and a tourist map that Bear had the presence of mind to grab, we paused for a Big Mac, some air-conditioning and to gather our bearings. Fed and cooled, minds clear, our path ahead was much easier to find.

We head out again, on foot this time, in search of our friends, the other half of our urban family back home, the Newtown Boys. We trotted off down a hopeful looking driveway, when suddenly we heard the most glorious sound in the world, it was Bear's name yelled down from a balcony, it was over 12 hours after we had started out from Koh Samui, but we had arrived.

Adventure Continued

As the rain sets in and our scheduled arrival time of 3 o'clock slips past, I begin to wonder if this adventure perhaps, needed a bit more planning on my part. I'm definitely regretting not having packed better, as I'm jacket free in the icy temperatures on the bus. The air conditioning unit above me becomes a faucet in the rain, I move seats, letting the deluge drown the cushion I had been occupying. I'm not the worst off, the poor little kid in the seat across the aisle from me has been being sick in a bag on and off for 3 hours. Bear, at least, has been able to nod off, leaving me to quietly watch as Thailand flashes by outside.


Bear and I are on an adventure to find our friends, they're somewhere in Patong Beach on Phuket, and we are on our way to look for them.

Our search began very early this morning with a 5:30 wake-up, we packed and showered to be ready for our 6:30 shuttle bus to take us to the docks. We were resigned to the fact that we would miss our morning meal when we booked our trip, so we were happy when the shuttle was late as it gave us time to share with the buffet. The shuttle soon arrived though, and whisked us away to the dock on the western side of the island.
By 8 o'clock we were on the ferry, which was a more modern jet-cat kind of thing than we were expecting, it was a little disappointing as we had been hoping for something much more crazy and rickety. Our passage across the water was smooth and we alighted to be shuffled hastily into another shuttle. An hour later we were deposited at the bus station that time forgot and completely bewildered.
It had amenities, sort of.

There was a toilet with no paper and a bucket / ladle combination to flush with, there were six items on the menu but they had run out of two and there was a forty-five minute wait. There was, however, a very nice ham, cheese and lettuce toasted sandwich with tangy mayonnaise, in which they had managed to toast the bread, warm the ham, and melt the cheese but not wilt the lettuce, so it wasn't all bad.

After the wait and the sandwich we boarded the bus. It was 11 o'clock and we were moving again.
The bus has a musty odour and damp seats due to the dual cause of leaking air conditioning and decades of passenger sweat. We now have 2 hours left of a ride scheduled to be twice as long. The city streets have been left behind and we are making our way through what appears to be half jungle half farmland with lush green groves of palm and another variety of tree I don't recognise. It stands tall with slender trunks and white bark similar to a birch. The only indication of any kind of cultivation is the straight rows in which the trees are planted.

Just now, it has started to rain, soft fat droplets are drawing channels on the windows of the bus and intensifying the almost neon green of the vegetation outside, as the television inside plays what one can only assume is Thai-Pop. We've been labelled with stickers to advise those around us where we are going. I only hope, in 2 hours, when it is time, we are able to locate the stop that is ours and the next shuttle.