Thigh Land

Ha Ha Ha!!! What a hilarious title! Oh dear. That is classic. What a start.

So, I guess I’ll take you through my recent holiday to Thailand with Mia.

‘Twas Monday the 3rd December 2007 that we flew out from Sunny Perth. It was 10pm when we left though so it wasn’t really that sunny. We flew with Tiger Airlines which wasn’t that bad really. Just like flying with Jetstar. Gets you there…. Most of the time. The flight to Singapore took about five hours then we had a long stopover in Singapore. Now I know you’re all thinking, ‘awesome, Singapore airport is sooo cool!’ Unfortunately we landed at the special ‘Budget’ Terminal and couldn’t get into the ‘sooo cool’ part without a boarding pass for an airline leaving from that part. So we hung out at Maccas (the only thing open on the ground floor that you could get to) for a few hours then checked in for the short one-and-a-half hour flight to Phuket.

By the time we arrived in Phuket it was 9:30am. So we spent all Monday night flying in planes and waiting about. We’d had some snoozes whilst travelling but we were both still well tired. Apparently, the hotel we were staying at is new and tricky to find but we used some bus service at the airport to get there and they seemed to know where it was. It cost us about $5 each to get from the airport to our hotel in Patong Beach. Not bad for an hour trip. I looked out the window for a while and thought it was kinda South Americanish, with the dusty streets and beat up old houses. I then fell asleep and woke up with drool all over my hand.

We stayed at Square One hotel. The Thai’s pronounce this ‘Scare Un’. Here are some photos of our room and the view out the window. The construction area is out the right side of the window and the nice jungle part is out the left.

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So the hotel was pretty nice. Cheap, clean, air-conditioned.

When we left it we wandered the streets of Patong Beach. Some things I noticed was that the weather wasn’t too bad. I was expecting Port Douglas-style 30 degree plus mega humidity suck-the-air-out-of-your-lungs kinda stuff but it was fine. Not so humid, it got a bit hot in the sun during the day but that’s just like anywhere really. We just stayed awake during the first day even though we hadn’t had much sleep the previous night because we had a nap in the afternoon and woke up feeling like rubbish. Here are some shots around Patong Beach town.

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I was also expecting mega random rain but that only really happened once. We were strutting the streets at night and it just dropped. I don’t really have a good photo of that but it was the kind of rain where if you were in it for one second you would be instantly soaked.

One bad thing is that you can’t walk down the streets without people hassling you, trying to sell you stuff. You’ve got all the markets and street vendors along the road as well as heaps of taxis and ‘tuk tuk’s (basically a taxi) asking you if you want their services. It’s mental sometimes when they’re sticking things in your face and holding your arm. Probably the best strategy to combat this is walking directly behind some other people so they cop the brunt of it. I thought about buying this T-shirt which said the same thing in Thai on the front but didn’t think it would really work.

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When you buy stuff pretty much everywhere you have to bargain. You can usually get things for a fraction of the original price they said. Mia’s strategy was the traditional start really low and meet them in the middle but I felt bad offering them a pittance for something, because you had to seeing as their starting prices were often quite high. I usually just appeared disinterested and/or walked away. Sometimes I looked like I was thinking about it but I was really mentally calculating that amount in $AUS. In that time they slash the price by more than half and then you can start haggling. It’s annoying sometimes because I would just like to know how much something would cost, without the intention of purchasing it. They would also never admit to not having something. ‘Do you have this in green?’ They scrabble about for a bit, obviously they don’t have one then they just hold up a different colour or something else completely different.

So the first couple a days we spent getting the lay of the land. Then we did some tour things with a days rest in between which was a good idea. The first one we did was a Phi Phi islands tour. There’s a lot of amazing nature in Thailand but they’ve wrecked some of it by building shops and stuff around it. This is Maya beach. Awesome beach but it was a bit chocka full of tourists like us and boats. With water like that though, it was still well fine.

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This is Viking Cave. Apparently, that cave goes in and up in a massive cavern for about 100 metres where some bird flies all the way from Siberia or something to lay its eggs. Cool. Of course the Thai’s ravage it and sell the bird nests to the Chinese so they can make Bird’s Nest soup. Yum.

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We swam out to monkey beach which is a little beach where you can knock about with some monkeys and feed them bananas and stuff. No photos because I had to swim there.

On our non-tour days we sometimes checked out other towns like Phuket Town and some of the other beaches. That’s where we discovered this awesome dinosaur mini golf.

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Time for another tour, this time it was a bit further north to Phang Na bay. This was a big bay filled with these sheer islands that jut straight out of the bay. It’s like this as far as the eye can see, all around.

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There was one famous island which is from one of the James Bond movies. Here is a shot of it and then I turned around to take a photo of the beach I was standing on. Way out in this bay they built a bunch of shops on this beach. Idiots.

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We were on a big boat for most of this but we also went on some canoes to check out some caves and lagoons.

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We saw a monkey in the lagoon and we gave it a banana. I took a short video of it but it’s not that short in the end because I couldn’t figure out how to stop the vid.

In Phang Na bay is a real, live ‘Lake Town’. Just like the Hobbit. There is a panorama pic of it at the end of this post.

Other stuff we did… We bought a stack of DVDs for about $2 each and they all work so far. I bought everyone in my family Christmas presents. The food was really good. The Thai food was great and the safest option. They had European and American stuff as well but we mostly had Thai. It tasted good but I think it made us a bit sick towards the end. I checked out the Maccas and it was just like a Maccas at home. I went to a KFC which had all kinds of weird and wonderful things. Now, all the other eating places we went to usually had whiteys in them too but I walked in too KFC and it was full of Thai people munching on their chicken and it was the place where I had the most problem communicating my order. They had a cool ice cream part where you could get lots of new and interesting things. Now I know you’re all thinking, ‘why would you have KFC in Thailand you idiot?’ Fair enough but you get a bit sick of Thai food for breakfast, lunch and tea everdyday and I thought it would be cool to see if these places would be just like home or different.

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The traffic in Thailand is mental. A lot of people use scooters so the road is full of people on scooters darting about the cars. The general rule is you drive on the left side of the road but you’ve got people side by side and pulling out in front of others. We only saw one aftermath of a crash though and that was in the wet. You’d be mental if you hired a car and tried to take them on. Better to just get tuk tuk’s or buses and not look out the front window.

On Mia’s birthday we went on a jungle safari kind of thing. We drove hell North for a while and then jumped on some elephants and had a strut around the jungle. It was good to see some non-watery nature. We then jumped on a canoe and floated down the river to see some more watery nature.

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Overall I thought Thailand was an excellent trip. There were a few negatives such as the hassling and the streets were a bit dirty and smelly but it’s a beautiful country. I’ll bung in some more random photos at the end here. You can’t drink the tap water so we bought a massive thing of water for about $1 that lasted us the full 9 days. There is a pic of me drinking some.

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Here are some panorama type pics I took on my new camera. The file sizes are pretty big though so maybe download them instead of viewing them in a browser. It’s better like this though because then you get a big view of things with lots of detail and stuff:

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The flight home was the worst day of my life. Woke up at 5:30am. Mia was fairly sick and I wasn’t that great either. I sliced my finger open washing a knife. We got ready and went downstairs to leave at 6:30am but even though we booked transport with our hotel back to the airport they had no idea. So we found another taxi despite the early hour and got to the airport. Our flight was delayed. We got on the plane and there was sandwich scraps on the floor where we were sitting. I think I left my wallet in the pocket in front because when I was buying cheap alcohol at duty-free I had no wallet. I went to the little office place to check and they said they do full sweeps and clean the plane every time it lands and they didn’t find it. I thought that was a bit untrue because of the mess on our other plane. Anyway no wallet. In the end it had no real money, just my licence and visa debit card. I cancelled the card and got a newbie for free and a new licence for $18.50 so no biggy now. When I got to Australia my luck changed. I dropped my litre of tequila about a metre and it just bounced off the solid floor. Untouchable. I then got everything through customs even though I had lots of dodgy stuff like the DVDs and some wood things that were bad. The flight back was a long day but it was the day. We got into Perth at about 10pm so we didn’t wreck ourselves too bad by flying all night again.

I spent a couple of days chilling out and recovering at Mia’s house in Perth. It was her Dad’s birthday the day we got back so the next night we went out for tea because it was Mia’s birthday a few days before that too. I had myself a monster chicken parma because I felt like some solid Aussie pub food. I couldn’t finish it. That is the end. Thanks for reading.

Oh yeah, how did I pay for this seeing as I don’t work and just get by on Centrelink? The CAS. Make the system work for you.

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~ by Hooly on December 26, 2007.

4 Responses to “Thigh Land”

  1. I love CAS. It’s what keeps you and I going. I hate the SNAP Preview thing that wordpress gives me. That annoys me a lot. Sounds like a lot of fun. I’m glad you wore the beater to play golf. Trying to blend in with the locals, I can tell. Now that this blog’s out of the way, we can get back to playing SNES.

  2. Great blog.
    I have some questions.

    What did you think of Thai beers – Singh & Chang

    Did you get well stroppy at any vendors?

    Did you ride a scooter?

    I’ll think of some later.

    -Ed

  3. Thanks Ed.

    As for Thai Beer, Singh is quite nice and that’s qhat I usually drank. I got me a Singh beater too. Chang was quite nasty.

    I got well stroppy at some vendors and vendors got well stroppy at us. The most was when I was arguing with some kid who was managing a stall. I was buying some lighters and he wouldn’t budge and kept trying to tell me they were ‘good brand’. I was telling him that they’re not really good brand they’re just copies cos I was getting angry at his silly prices. Vendors got stroppy at me when I refused to bargain. I just said no I don’t want this I just had a look at it.

    I didn’t ride a scooter because I didn’t really need to. And also because of the mental Thai traffic and I didn’t wanna get shot over some non-insurance thing although I could’ve just ‘persuaded’ a cop to ‘make things go away’ like you did 🙂

    There was one story that I forgot in both of the Thailand blogs. I was interested in a ‘genuine’ Rolex so we were talking to one lady at a stall that Mia had already bought something from, because we though we’d get a better deal or at least a speedier one. She said she had more at the back so we followed her to the back of her shop where she moved a shelf away, moved a board away that was behind the shelf and there was a hole in the plaster that we crawled through. That led to a big room at the back that was chockas with all the jewellery. After some haggling we decided no to the watches because she wouldn’t accept anything less than $50 which is too much for a fake Rolex that might stop working the next week. She got really pissed off at us then and went into a big tirade about what people think she can sell things for but we escaped out the hole again and ran off while she was still yelling from the back. Fun.

  4. Excellent post – a very interesting read. Thx!

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