Published: May 3rd 2007May 3rd 2007
"I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: all times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone;"
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson, "Ulysses"
On Kho Phanang, I stayed @ a ridiculous guest house. I paid $3 per night and had a great view of the main beach called Had Rin (home to the Full Moon Party). The guy who owns the guesthouse (we'll call him Krusty) is the ultimate clown. When I first showed up to the guesthouse it was 11 in the morning and I was surprised to see that he was already drinking a beer. He "wooed" me with his charming personality and convinced me to stay @ his guesthouse for the next 5 nights leading up to the full moon party. He assured me that he would do all the cooking for breakfast and dinner each day for only $3/plate. In the past he has been a chef for Guns & Roses, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Green Day and (saving the best for last) Justin Timberlake (just to name a few). By the looks of the man, I'd say he partook in more than
finally got a Jordan jersey!
just cooking with Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd. While he is only 51 years old, he looks like Germany's answer to Keith Richards. The next morning when I woke up, he once again had a beer in his hand and a few empties on the table. He also held what appeared to be a small baseball bat. I wondered why the bat had smoke coming from one end of it and why Krusty was putting it to his mouth and inhaling. After wiping the dust from out of my eyes, I realized that it was no baseball bat, but rather the biggest "medicinal" cigarette I had ever seen. We stood there exchanging some small talk and having him tell me all about how he boycotts the Guiness book of world records, because they refused to recognize the worlds biggest rolled joint, when he was in Nimbin, Australia. Followingthis I and a couple others requested the advertised All-day breakfast. Krusty's response was "Yesssss (he talks with a drawn out lisp), I could make you breakfast....but, its sooo much effort and I'm verrrrry bussssy now". We all, laughed and just decided to go into town to get breakfast anyways. This process repeasted
Krusty @ 10pm
yea...10 pm, 10 am...he's always the same.
itself almost everyday we were there, which wouldnt have been a problem, except that for 4 out the 5 days it was pouring rain. After returning from breakfast (which would go down around 1pm), we would return to the guesthouse and do some reading, play some games and watch movies until dinner time. Krusty on the other hand, would fill up on a steady diet of Beer Laos and in order to rehydrate would usually have a redbull or 7! per day. I never saw the man eat food nor did I see him drink water. He said that he lost $300 on beer each month because people steal beer from him....The only person that may have stolen any beer from him was his alter ego. He also enjoyed hitting on girls that were 30 years his junior, so I wasnt upset when I left the guest house on the final day. However, on that final day, he owed me a few dollars and paid me completely in change. I was upset that my pockets were now filled with coins and falling down, but later in the day when I tried using this change to buy some water it was
thrown back in my face by the vendor. Then the vendor said "no water for you!". Upon closer inspection, the currency that Krusty gave me was from Malaysia and Singapore....Krusty ripped me off!!!
Rewind 12 hours....The island is absolutely packed with backpackers. Primarily Swedish girls and guys with lots of dreadlocks in their hair. Everyone is getting geared up for the full moon party. Everyone at our guesthouse painted their faces, arms, chest...etc and rested the hole day, as it was sure to be a very long night. The full moon party is like a Marathon and not a sprint, so you have to pace yourself. We could hear the dance/trance and techno music blasting down at the beach from our guesthouse and could see people spilling down there around 11pm. We ended up heading down at around 1:30 am and already there were people severely intoxicated. Saw 3 people passed out in a ditch, girls being carried away. This island has a terrible history of people passing out and having all or their stuff stolen and also of girls being assaulted, so it surprised me that so many people could lose complete control of themselves just because they're
at the "full moon party"....how fun is it if you wake up, dont know where you are, cant remember a thing and have no money, no camera and no passport. Infact, some were unlucky and didnt wake up, as 5 people apparently drowned in the ocean that night. I'm not sure why they'd be swimming in there anyways, as there are no bathrooms on the beach, and there is constantly a long extended line of guys (and girls) relieving themselves into those shallow waters.
Anyways, we started drinking some buckets, which are, well...buckets, filled with a mickey of Sang Sung (which is the Thai whiskey, a coke, and a redbull). A couple of these and you're set to dance the night away. We all danced all up and down the beach, where there were people EVERYWHERE!! The beach itself is about 400metres long and has about 6 bars that are blasting their own music for everyone to dance to. We hopped along down the beach, making new friends along the way and having lots of laughs. There were dancing stages that were also built with poles that went up and across, and inevitably acted as monkey bars for people.
The poles were about 40 feet high and like you'd see in Mardi Gras, people are swinging off of them and (fittingly) full-mooning others....It was hilarious to watch, but I'm surprised nobody plummeted to their death.
It was about 9 in the morning and the sun was out and there were still some straglers dancing away, we were just sitting down at this point and chilling out for a while. This is when I turned around and squinted at a television that was perched up in the corner of one of the bars. I couldnt believe what I saw, it was Chris Bosh and the Toronto Raptors on TV. Not knowing if maybe I'd had one too many buckets and was just dreaming, I jumped up and ran towards the bar and sure enough, there was game 5 of the Raps/Nets series. The second half had just begun and I said "bartender, give me a Heineken"...to which he replied "we're closed"...damn it! Well, I perched myself infront of this television and excitedly watched the my first half of basketball all year. The best part was that I just went next door and bought a Heineken from the 7/11 next
door...oh, and a bonus was that the Raps actually won.
The game finished around 10 am and I then met up with some other friends from my guesthouse and we all went for breakfast and hung out until I caught my bus to Phuket. By the time I arrived in Phuket I had about 1.5 hours sleep and other than that had been awake for 36 straight hours. In Phuket, it was great to see Pope and Shaw. Pope is now a hard working school teacher now and Shaw will be starting as a teacher in the near future. But if he doesnt find a job teaching he could be a tour guide as he did a fabulous job as my personal tour guide, taking me to all his favorite restaurants and spots during the days while Pope was at work. Phuket is incredibly touristy and was devastated from the Tsunami in 2004. It has since rebuilt and is now thriving and hence is definetly the most expensive city in Thailand that I visited.
Pope has all sorts of Maple Leaf DVD's, so we watched a bunch of those and then went out for a big night out
on Friday with a few of their friends. I was all set to get a tatoo as well, but the only time the tatoo artist could fit me in was the Saturday morning @ 9am and since we didn't go to bed until 8, I decided it wasn't in my best interest. We saw Spider Man 3 in theatres, terrible movie...dont waste your time/money. The cool thing is, that in Thailand they have VIP seating. This is where you get your own private love seat, along with all the candy and popcorn you can eat, with drinks included as well. They also bring you a nice little blanket for comfort as well, pretty sweet.
On Ko Samui, I had the opportunity to rend a motor bike as well, which is terribly fun. Unfortunately (or perhaps, fortunately for my own safety) I could only get my bike up to 91km/h. Flying around winding roads with nothing on but a pair of board shorts and a helmet was very fun. Not to mention, incredibly fuel effecient. A whole days worth of driving cost me $1.
It was great seeing Pope and Shaw before I went back home. Because we were
so busy and usually pretty tired, it hadn't sunk in at all that I was set to leave the next morning....:(
The journey home was a long one to say the least...total travel time 50 hrs.
7am- Shaw drives me to a tuk-tuk drop off and I am whisked away, by a smelly moto-bike driver to the airport.
11am- I arrive in bangkok and go to Khao San Road to pick up all my souvenirs and clothes in storage
3pm- Take taxi to bangkok airport
6-Fly from Bangkok to Singapore
9pm-arrive in Singapore for a 12 hour layover. This airport is just a LITTLE better than the one in Bangladesh. It has free internet, unlimited Xbox and a movie theater. The movie theatre is where I slept for 4 hours.
9am-Flight from Singapore to Korea
1pm-2 hour layover in South Korea...just enough time to make a nice little jewelry box. While we were making it I was delirious due to lack of sleep and was saying all sorts of silly things. The lady helping me make the box said "oooh, is this for your girlfriend?" To which I responded, "no, I dont have a girl"
Thailands Biggest Leaf Fan
Pope actually has a bunch of recorded Leaf games on DVD that we watched.
To which her eyes lit up like a fire and she said "I'll be your girl"....I was so tired and realizing that I have no real reason to return home, considered the offer for longer than I should have. (see pic)
3pm- leave from South Korea to Vancouver
Add 12 hours due to time zone adjustment
10pm- Arrive in Toronto
While I am now in the confines of my old bedroom, I hope to have 2 more blog entries. 1 with a bunch of cool pictures that I haven't posted and one more for a reflection on the trip. Watch for them!
There are more photos below