Where are you at the moment?

Probably most of you are sitting in an office somewhere as I type this. As for me, I’m on a beach. Yep, in an internet cafe on a beach, in Railay to be precise in Krabi province down on the Adaman coast in the south west of the country.

I still haven’t quite worked out if I’m on an island or not, I don’t think I am, this is an “isthmus” I believe. Wait a minute, dictionary.com time…….

…… “a narrow strip of land connecting two larger bodies of land” Not a great help, but I think this is connected to the mainland, but it’s impossible to get here from the mainland by any way other than a long-tailed boat, as there’s some of these huge cliffs in the way.

It was a marathon to get here alright, I took the bus overnight form Bangkok which stopped at Surat Thani for a few minutes of waiting at a travel agency where they served us bad coffee and showed “The Beach” which is highly original. Thankfully the local connecting bus came fairly quickly to connect us to Krabi, where after some confusion with tuk-tuk drivers and some other travellers I eventually ended up at the right place for the boat.

I am so tired now that I was falling asleep on the long-tail, and I had the last seat in front of the engine so this was no mean feat. For those of you that have not been on one, basically these things consist of a very high power car engine which they basically mount on a pivot with a long shaft leading to a propellor. Clearly a great idea had by someone at some stage… Some of them have turbo charges and everything and are extremely LOUD!

Anyway I have found myself a little hut just up above the beach, it’s basic but that is what I wanted, with a deck and a hammock on it and a cold shower and toilet inside. I seem to have chickens living underneath my hut which will be ideal when they wake up at sunrise I don’t doubt…

This “island” is a rock climbing mecca, I just took an awesome photo of some French guy falling off an overhang in twilight, he looked quite cool up until that point so it was perfect timing! I will probably indulge in some of that, maybe tomorrow but not so early as I desperately need to sleep, and adjust to the heat that is going on down here at the moment.

As I am now delirious at this point I will sign off!

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Heading south..

My intentions of an early night last night were scuppered as a monsoon shower hit the city, effectively imprisoning me in the bar I was in for a couple of hours extra. It was a big one alright, certainly the heaviest I’ve seen in Thailand with about 8 to 10 inches of water standing on the road I would think. It was quite fun to wade back to the lodge after the rain finally stopped to be fair, even though there’s no guarantees about what it is you’re actually wading through!

Anyway I managed to wake up just about in time to check out of the lodge, tonight I’m heading by bus to Krabi as my plans for the train tonight went tits-up as it’s full tonight. It’s mid-30’s today and very sunny so I took to the river for a cooler breeze and a ferry down to Wat Arun on the other side of the Mae Nam Chao Phraya, I thought that I really should see at least one temple on this trip so might as well be one I’ve not been to before. It’s impressive enough, and I even managed to blag my way in for free by inadvertently posing as a French package tourist, as you do.

I’ve had trouble finding an internet caff today that is working, I think last night’s rain has taken out a lot of the infrastructure as I gather this was hard rain even by normal Thai standards. Some of the TV channels in the lodge were not working this morning either. I got chatting to some locals who were also stuck in the bar last night (blatantly drinking a bottle of Thai whiskey that they’d brought in with them from a shop down the road) and they said this was not a normal occurrence.

Well then I should go and hunt down some dinner before the bus leaves at 6pm – and better get the sun cream out as well I think, I’m toasting here! πŸ™‚

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Two nights in Bangkok?

Well I got to bed at 2am last night in the end, reasonably respectable as this kind of place goes! And I only got offered sex four times, not bad considering this is not even one of the sleazy districts really, and at very reasonable rates, because as one informed me, it’s the “low season” at the moment πŸ™‚

In fact technically this is an exageration, they were only offering me massages really. But this was “…including everything, accomodation for the night as well. A happy finish guaranteed…” Maybe they were just very hospitable masseusses?

So apart from the local interest I toured a few bars and hooked up with the odd farang (tourist). The bars are mostly open air and very cosy, but also you can stop by one of the six thousand 7-11s that they have here and invest in a 640ml bottle of Beer Chang for 38 baht (75p) which at 6.4% does the job nicely. Armed with one of them and a punnet of pad thai from a vendor for 25 baht you can sit on a corner and watch the insane world going by in front of you.

I’ve moved hotels today, last night’s palace was lovely but at 2000 baht is not really a goer moving forward, so now I have a much more basic but still very comfortable place down the road for 580. This one also has BBC World so is quite useful for checking up on uprisings and ‘flu pandemics and other such nasties.. Today I’ve taken things fairly easy, just chilling out and reacclimatising to the temperature and the jet lag really, trested myself to a massage earlier (a genuine one this time without extras) which has made me a feel a whole lot better, especially what with the plane journey and so on. It’s amazing how quickly I’ve settled back into the groove, so to speak. Earlier, when I was doing some planning for the rest of this trip, I had to ask someone what day it was – I’d only been on the ground around 24 hours and had forrogtten already!

I’ve made a vague plan of action, namely to catch an overnight train tomorrow night down to Trang which is near the Andaman coast and getting down towards the Malaysian border, but still before the danger zone from what’s going on down there with the rebels, or so they tell me. Then I’ll head up the coast gradually from there, probably taking in place like Ko Phi Phi, Krabi and perhps Khoa Lak before ending up in Phuket where I can then fly back to Bangkok and go straight out again without needing to come back into the city.

So now it’s time to finalise that, so with no further ado, I hope you’re all enjoying your Monday mornings and I’m signing off to go to a bar!

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One night in Bangkok!

So I am here, in Banglampu just off the Kho San Road. No major incidents on the way down, but it was pouring with rain when we landed, thankfully it had abated by the time I got the bus to the city centre!

I headed for China Town with the intention of spending a night or two there as it’s an area that I don’t know, and certainly it’s very interesting especially in terms of street vendors and so on, but not a lot else going on and not much in the way of places to stay, so I turned and headed up here and have spent a fortune onΒ a hotel for tonight, but it’s nice and I’m tired so what the hell.

I’d forgotten quite how insane things are around here, it is totally buzzing at 10pm with many places open 24 hours anyway. It’s about 30C at the moment I’d say and this internet caff is open to the street so I sit here in my T shirt, 3/4s and flipflops, sipping an ice cold Chang as I type. What I like best is that you can wander into any bar dressed like this and the bouncers will welcome you, at the same time as they turn away well dressed and beautiful Thai girls as there’s “too many girls inside at the moment…..” You gotta luv it πŸ™‚

Right, there’s a vendor around the corner selling spit roast half chickens that’s caught my eye, then I will hang about a little while and get an early night I think (which is to say around 1am I expect)Β – it’s bound to be the only one I will get for the entire holiday I expect!

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Outward Travel

Just the long haul out to Bangkok from Edi.

Major plans include having a large steak Cornish pasty in Edi airport, then taking in Terminal 5 at Heathrow as I’ve not been there before.

Just need to pack, making sure that I leave all red tops at home, then think about where to head for in Bangkok for my first night!

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