Published: May 8th 2012April 20th 2012
Muay Thai ringside
This particular fight was brutal, guy throwing the punch gets KOd about 30 seconds after this photo
Hello from Cambodia!
Lets crack on. We arrived in Georgetown in the early afternoon and booked into an old colonial style hostel with a vibrant Reggae theme. Yes, it was as cool as it sounds and the beds were each in their own little cubby holes with curtains. Georgetown wasn't too special a place, similar in feel to KL but a little smaller and with a less-than-average china town. This wasn't a problem as it was an extra stop and only for one night to aid travel times, but we got rewarded by an awesome evening meal in one of the 3000 or so local Indians. By this point in our trip we had fallen in love with Iced Coffees after discovering how awesome and cheap they are in Ipoh, turns out Iced coffee makes for a great drink with a spicy curry.
Next stop was Langkawi, a beautiful island off the West coast. After a week or so of city hopping this was the perfect time to hit the beach and get away from the noise, and this was the perfect beach to do it on! White sands, a day long reggae festival on the beach
From the film '"The Beach"
including sunset views, and luke warm waters without things that can kill you. We loved this place so stayed for a few days more, one day we spent water-fall hopping on hired mopeds, but mostly we just chilled in the hostel.
Then it was the start of Thailand! We arrived in Patong in Phuket at 4am in the morning which wasn't too fun and settled into a small non air conned dorm room. Jeppy at this point promtly got into bed and didn't leave for the next 3 days, a victim of Dengue fever ruined his experience of Phuket somewhat. Patong was the place of mid-life crisis motorbike gangs dreams, I have never seen more beer guts sporting matching harley-davidson black tee-shirts. Watching a tough gang member getting drunk and dancing like your dad complete with pointy finger spinning and bopping is pretty funny. Anyway, the best way to describe this place is as the place to get ping-pong shows, hookers, tickets for Mau Thai boxing and in fights with essexs lads, definitely not a family holiday spot! Our highlight here was ringside tickets for Mau Thai, complete with 2 incredible knockouts. Low-light was loosing connect four to a
The 5am start was definitely worth it for this
barmaid (slash stripper) and having to buy her a drink.
After Langkawi we thought it difficult for a beach side resort to compete, Phi Phi did more than this and was incredible. We happenned to be here over Songram, which is Thai new year (2054, they must have mis-counted somewhere) so we spent 3 days getting attacked with water guns and water bombs which is their tradition. It's pretty fun but dont really think it would transfer to English new year, it maybe a little cold! The beach side bars all had fire shows at night, along with our first exposure to the infamous buckets (midi of thai whiskey, one can of red bull, one can of coke, mixed in a childs sand bucket costing 2 pounds). Buckets are strong and require a certain level of caution, attempting a flaming skip rope for example is not advised. 'The Beach' was filmed here so we went and saw that on a snorkelling trip. It was breathtaking and we were relaxing in the bay taking it all in when we were rudely interupted by a tsunami warning. We had to be rushed back to shore and head up to the viewpoint
overlooking the island due to a 8.6 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Indonesia. Luckily the tsunami never came, but if you look up photos of the last one in 2004 you can appreiciate why the locals were worried.
After Phi Phi we made the long trip to Bangkok. Situated in the heart of the backpacker district was a lot of fun, and not nearly as seedy as expected. Koh San road had some good markets by day and some good bars by night, with only the occasional ping pong show offered. We decided to use this one of many trips to the capital to do most of our sightseeing, so we went to a disappointing daytime china town (will try by night next time) and the shopping district around siam square, which was full of air conned shopping malls and slightly elevated prices (but to be fair if you buy a watch here it is probably more likely to be genuine!). We also saw a couple of temples and got fitted for a suit, so all in all a successful first visit.
We are now in Siem Riep in Cambodia, a leaflet described it as the place where it always feels like yesterday. Being here does not make that claim any more understandable. We got up at 4.30 this morning to make the trip to Ankor Wat to see the sunrise, and it was definitley worth it! Ankor Wat and Ankor Tom are both stunning places with some incredible architecture. The city of Ankor Tom apparently had a population of 1 million when London had 50,000, it is huge. The discovery of Ankor Wat is a pretty funny story. Apparently an early explorer made a detailed plan of the ruins he found but mistakenly thought he found them in India... must have been slightly hard to find them on that information! This was also our first experience of elephants which take people around the ruins, its only when you're right up close or watch them walking that you realise how impressive these beasts are.
Next stop Phom Peng..