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Published: February 19th 2019
Despite being super tired after the animal rescue experience, I managed to stay awake long enough to go to the Thai boxing stadium (grand word, in this case) at the end of the road. This was achieved by eating cake and drinking fresh limeade. I think some places make the farangs buy the VIP seats right in front of the ring, but I managed to get a cheaper one for the tiers. Still a farang price, 800b. It was very uncomfortable sitting on the shonky planks with huge gaps in them. It was supposed to start at 9 but was about 45 mins late, by which time I was regretting it. I could see some young boys warming up on the other side and there was an Aussie guy giving the English commentary and explaining the rules. The competitions come into the ring and do a kind of ceremony, going to each corner of the ring while wearing a special head dress. Its called the wai kru and is done to honour their teachers, family and for good luck. Before this we all had to stand for the national anthem. Taken very seriously by the Thais, less so by the tourists,
some talked through it.
The actual fighting is in 5 rounds, but not much happens in the first 2. They size each other up and bounce one leg in front a lot. There are 3 judges scoring and a ref in the ring who breaks them up when they get in a clinch. The youngest fighters start. I watched 3 bouts, so got up to about 20 years old before I decided I’d seen enough. It wasn’t particularly well attended, mainly farangs (who brought their little children with them) and a few Thais who got excited in the last 2 rounds. So I’ve been now, ticked off my list.
Yesterday I’d signed up for the Time for Lime cookery class. It was a long one, and expensive (2000b) and I was only doing it to support the animal centre. I gor picked up at 3.30 and got home at 9. It’s just north of here, at the beginning of Klong Dao beach. Really beautiful, but not if you want the beach, as that part is very rocky with fishing boats and the tide goes out a very long way.
There were about 20 of us, some couples
who took it in turns and had to cook 2 portions and singles like me, cooking all the time but less chopping and they did come round taking drinks orders, which helped pass the time. The chef, Mai, was very funny and personable and explained very well. For the soup ingredients she explained the 5 eat/don’t eat ingredients. We made curry paste, taking it in turns to do the smashing part with the stone mortar and pestle. We then cooked veg spring rolls and fish salad and then ate them. Part 2 was massoman curry (mine turned out horrible, much too sweet) and prawn tom yam soup (better). We weren’t allowed to light the gas burners ourselves and everything was cleared up as we went along. The participants were all at least 20 years younger then me and included some of the volunteers I’d met on Sunday. They get to do the course for free. One has decided to adopt the dear little sad puppy who’d been brought in that day.
It was very well organised, the place is beautiful and we all had fun, apart from the couple who had to go home early with food poisoning, NOT
from the class, they arrived with it.
Today I’d signed up for an E-bike tour and was picked up at 8.45. The other participant, Jorgen, Swedish, with muscly legs and the right kind of shorts, decided to have a mountain bike. I’d never done an E- bike before so they gave me a quick explanation of the assist button, turbo (too scared to use it) and the gears (useless with these at first) and I went up and down a few times. The first time I pressed the assist button too many times and shot off like a rocket. The bike was really heavy and the battery was bungied on bigtime. They have a few different types. Mine had really fat tyres, 10cm wide. There were the 2 of us and 2 guides front and back. Banana, the girl (Banana? Really?) was on an E and Nok on a mountain bike.
Our first stop was just round the corner at the animal centre, so I said hi to the volunteers for the 3rd day in a row! We then went off onto dirt tracks, which were really bumpy and a bit scary, especially when having to hike the
assist up to 3 on the steep bits. We stopped in a rubber plantation and then in a little local village for snacks. Everyone was very friendly and getting geared up for a cockerel barking (quote) competition, happening imminently. One guy wrapped his cockerel up in a sarong, hung it round his neck and roared off on his scooter. See pic of the wrapping. Not sure I quite believed it wasn’t for fighting, although that is supposedly against the law now.
We continued over to Lanta Old Town and to the end of the pier for a look, as it was too early for lunch, then back up the hill to the lunch stop, Easylife Bungalows. Believe me, if you stayed there your life would not be easy. They are simple huts with no sign of a bathroom (must be one somewhere) and a lot of standing water in front. Apparently the fish eat the mozzie larvae. Hmmm...... Lunch was included and it was delicious, and I had a hilarious conversation with a little girl, which went Doraemon, coconut oil (the family was selling it), Elsa (she had Frozen pjs). A couple of guys came and chatted with us,
but the break was too long, really.
The last visit was to the mangroves, we stopped at a very, very smelly place, left the bikes and walked to the sea along a board walk, a bit dodgy in parts. We had to stay right in the middle and avoid the holes. When we got to the end there were 3 boys in their school uniform all watching WWF on a phone. We were all very surprised to see each other. I think school had finished, but why they’d go to such a remote place I’ve no idea. See pic.
The last part coming back was hard work for the poor mountain bikers, a steady uphill and by this time it was very hot. We got back at 1 and had to wait a while for our lift back. I had long since fallen out with my bike seat. I had a shower and stayed in my room with the air on going for a very long time.
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