Sa wat dee kab

 "A visit to Thailand will change your life"

I read the above early on in my searching the net and it sure has been true for me

 Had never intended to put any of this on line but a month after returning home with my feet slowly sinking into the cold wet soggy ground and my head still in Thailand I need some therapy, these pages may help me and possibly even help someone else.

 This is mostly my thoughts but I may have stolen the odd thing from other sites so if you see anything you think is yours it could be.

 After booking the cheapest flight I could find and a month of research on the net  (links)    I finally boarded a Royal Thai Airlines 747 on a cold Auckland winter day. Fourteen hours later close to midnight, after a brief stop in Sidney, acceptable airline curry and a few  Kop koon kab's to the cabin crew "BKK airport".

Had heard immigration and customs could be slow, not so.

BKK

          New sights, sounds, smells and warm.            

 How do I find the airport bus? "Taxi, limo, where you want go"   a chance to use another one of my few rehearsed Thai phrases Mai ow kab, no thank you. Take the bus was good advice, cheap quick and dropped off opposite the hotel on Sukumvit Rd.                  

Nose pressed to the window, wall to wall traffic, shops and stalls open, even elephants on Sukimvit Rd, nothing turns into a pumpkin here. 

First impressions:

                                                                                     Never sleeps. But after that flight I will                                                                                                

                           Beds. Very hard. No one mentioned that

                                                       The only fat people are farangs. Note, never get like that

                                         Thai girls are gorgeous. Note, must get closer    

Sure is hot. Good

                              Smog. Can live with it for a couple of day

Cowboy

 Day one shopping list almost complete shirts and shorts from the roadside stalls where more Thai comes in useful Paang mak very expensive, yes bargaining is expected.

Getting dark, next on the must do list is Soi Cowboy, just across the road, orientation walk down the Soi with a few sidesteps from keen girls and motorbikes then a look in the bars, remember the "bar girl evaluation form". Back at the hotel, choice is good, Thai silk, great night, where have I been all my life?

Note

Windsor Hotel charges an extra 500baht if you have a guest.

"You gotta try that"

 Day two complete list then pick up tickets for the overnight train to Surat Thani, taxi's incredibly cheap except for the one who offered me a special price; only twice the normal fare, fortunately I knew what I should be paying.

Time for a massage "You gotta try that" they tell me, more good advice very enjoyable. Oil massage 400bhat for an hour, nice girl but a bit keen, interactive, offer of extras, "I come to your room, what hotel you in, what room". Sorry I leave on the train this afternoon.

Heading south

 A cheap meal at the station then a 2nd class fan sleeper to Surat Thani, bus to the wharf and boat to Koh Phangan all for under 1000baht a real bargain and the way to travel. On the train and only one Thai in the carriage rest are farang's (funny how after only one day I'm thinking farang as if I wasn't one) who sit in little groups talking to each other, not one looking out the window. Seems I am the only one who's interested in what's out there with my head stuck out the window till it's too dark to see.

Koh Phangan

 Had booked into Rainbow Bungalows on the net, part way to Had Rin beach of full moon party fame. Taxis here are utes with a couple of bench seats along each side of the tray, one I'm on is driven by a close relation of Michael Schumacher and only uses two wheels on the corners. Got one of the cheap bungalows, could have upgraded for a few more baht but a beds a bed when you're asleep.

               

                         My cheap Rainbow bungalow                                     View from my window Rainbow bungalows Koh Phangan                                    Longtail boats Koh Phangan

Rainbow

 Recommend this place to anyone, run by Martin an expat Ozzie and his wife Noi. Martin found Thailand fifteen years back and has lived the dream ever since. The place is on Noi's family land and in a continuous state of development, accommodation from basic to great and good meals in the restaurant, Site http://www.rainbowbungalows.com/

Day the next

 Lost count already.

Hired a motorbike from the shop 100m up the road 125bhat for the day another bargain but look at the small print on the form you sign. If you bend the thing you will pay big time so take great care. Broken bike = broken wallet but worse still Broken body = broken holiday. Had planned to explore the whole island but after getting half way it started raining, good excuse for another massage in a place across the road from the wharf, older lady with no extras offered but she really knew her job, best massage I had.

Koh Tao

 Planned to do a couple of dives here and wing it on accommodation, no trouble plenty of touts on the wharf, people really try hard in Thailand. Stayed at Tommys Dive Resort, place is in a state of not-quite-finished construction, comfortable enough and the right price, if you go there say hi to Tia the girl in the shop for me.

Was told there was no ATM on the Island so took what I thought was enough cash. Turns out that is wrong as there is a functioning ATM not far from the wharf

 

 Did two good dives with the German dive master plenty of fish and love that warm water 1800baht for the two dives. The whole island is geared up for dive courses with what looks like about 50 dive boats moored in front of the wharf.

 

Ko Tao dive boat

Koh Tao to Chum Phon

 A boat ride of around 50km back to the mainland, never saw so many fishing boats, and I know fishing, at any one time on the journey there would have been no less than 30 boats in sight and lines of nets as close together as 200metres, must be as difficult for the fish as it is for the fishermen. Only saw two sea birds on the trip, the number of birds is usually in direct proportion to the health of the fishery.

Fools and others

 There was one idiot up the front of the boat trying to pass around a joint only takers were a couple of aging hippy types who looked like they had got there 20 years too late. Made me wonder what goes on in the few remaining brain cells of a clown like that, did he think carrying around and passing out dope somehow made him a big man or was he just too addicted to know the difference.

Chumphon

A different world, where have the smiles gone? the less said the better on to Hua Hin

 Advice:

Any two or more conflicting statements contained in the same phrase or sentence

Hua Hin                                            charterfishing.co.nz