Show me the Jandals

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August 11th 2003
Published: February 21st 2008
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Yes, that is Jesse checking out the island scenery. Snapped. We are in Koh Phangan. It is the stereotypical beach paradise. White sand, blue water, hammocks between coconut trees... horrible place. The full moon party is tomorrow and the place is packed with westerners. There are some beautiful people (read girls) here, my god (nothing like you though Trace...). Not a very cultural experience, but oh well.

My trip to Kanchanaburi was very cool. There is new museum about the death railway, which was first class. Saw the bridge on the river Kwai. Stayed on a floating guesthouse and sat around with the others on the trip and got "Chang-ed". Chang beer is about $1.50 for a big bottle at the service station or 7/11 and is 6.4% Alc/vol, brilliant. Floated down the river on a dodgy bamboo raft (actually I floated down most of the way in the water). I was the only one to jump off a bridge into the river, god the English (and Jesse) are soft. Went to see the smallest bats in the world, wow, they look like butterflies. I loved them. Went for an elephant walk but was not really into it as the elephants did not seem to have a particularly interesting life, and it is hard to tell how they are treated without westerners around.

From Kanchanaburi we headed back to Bangkok and got straight onto a "VIP" bus to go south to get on the ferry to go to Ko Samui then Koh Phangan. The minibus from Kanchaburi overheated twice so we were last on the bus. The bus was chocka so they squashed us in down below on a couch thing with all the overflow luggage. This would have been OK except the trip was 10 hours driving. AND... the bus had to have a wheel changed after an hour, AND... because it was so full it went over a hump as it was leaving the service station and ripped out the bottom of itself. Stuffed some wires heading to the engine and wouldn't start. They got us to try and crash start it (very funny image of us whitey tourists pushing our bus) but no go. They got someone to fix it eventually but we were still in Bangkok 4 hours after leaving the city! The ferry was about 4 hours, so it ended up that we travelled non-stop for 23 hours. What a mission. Had a beer and watched the rugby when we arrived which made us feel a bit better (although the Springboks had us figured out a bit).

Am staying in a $8 bungalow ($4 each). On the first night I had two "buckets" which are little buckets with a hip-flask of Thai whiskey, a red bull, and some lemonade. Jesus. Lost my senses and my Jandals. I think the reason they put 6 straws in them is so you share them with 6 people rather than slurp two down by yourself...

Am going out on a night fishing trip tonight, then party madness tomorrow. Bring it on.

Enjoy the NZ winter.

13th August
I’ve got free email at the moment so thought I would send another email. Plus it is air-conditioned in here.

Last night we went on a fishing charter. It started at 6pm and we thought it finish at about midnight. Once on the boat the dreadlocked mad Thai fisherman said that we would attract shrimp and bait-fish with lights for 3-4 hours, then we would drop the net, get some bait, then move a set up for barracuda in the right place. He said about 3.30am would be a good time with tides etc, and he thought we would get back by 8am. mmmm. I'm not that crazy on fishing, so I thought I would settle down with a couple of icy Changs and pass the time struggling through conversation with "Zoo". Good fella. The captain of the boat had been taking tourists out for 18 years, and had children in Switzerland, Germany, and Denmark! The Thai crew (there were four of them and 3 of us) were sipping on the Thai version of tequila (one shot was enough for me) and after a bit the cap'in was swaying perturbing. He didn't let us go for a swim though which was responsible. Had an interesting night, and slept under the stars on the wooden deck. After 14 hours we had caught nothing, although one of the Thais caught a good barracuda, and they kept every little fish (even Stu size ones). Going for a BBQ with them tonight to eat our massive haul.

The full moon party is tomorrow because it is the queen’s birthday today.

Might go for a massage...

The internet just went down for 5 hours on the island before I could send this, and I have now eaten the barracuda and been hammered by a small but very strong Thai massage woman. "you big Buddha" "me massage you, make you strong, make me strong" , "you as big as me" (pointing to my chest). very entertaining. That’s 6 massages in 8 days.

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The top of a hill on Ko PhanganThe top of a hill on Ko Phangan
The top of a hill on Ko Phangan

The hottest walk I have ever done

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