Myles Harrington

Archive for the ‘Thailand’ Category

Thai Good Times to Bangkok Blues

In Thailand on December 19, 2010 at 8:41 am

The Union of Myanmar thankfully let us back out into Thailand and we headed straight to Chiang Mai for my last night with Adam. We did well on our last night hitting three clubs throughout the city using my previous knowledge that I gained three months ago to full advantage.

Been there and got the t-shirt

Firstly we tried to go and find Nogh, the gay guy who took me out on my birthday to Mandalay Club. Sadly for us he had left The Queen Vic pub job to work for the Tourism Authority of Thailand, a step up he said he wanted. I was pleased for him to discover this, but disappointed we wouldn’t have our gay guide for assistance. Adam was especially disappointed.

Instead we took a Chiang Mai pub crawl into our own hands starting off at The North Gate Jazz Collective for a couple of cocktails, moving on to Hot Shots where the band publicly took the piss out of us for drinking the cheapest whisky on the menu. Next up was Mandalay with some new Thai friends we met in Hot Shots, who very kindly drove us there and we skipped on by the entrance, avoiding the 300 baht fee. Bored of camp men and their queens we missioned it all the way to the outdoor reggae bar that I frequented on many occasions on my last visit to Thaland’s former capital.

It seems to be a running occurrence that when I drink the cheapest whisky I spend the whole next day in bed and luckily I only had to get up so I could get the night bus to Bangkok. I had two seats to myself on the half empty coach so I could spread out and get a relatively good night’s sleep. I got chatting to a retired Iranian school teacher who was sat opposite me and we discussed travelling and family. I then asked him the question that obviously sprang to my mind when he said he was from Iran; “What so you think of Mr Ahmadinejad?”, to that he simply replied laughing and grabbing my arm “I think it’s best we don’t talk about politics”…mysterious. Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Myanmar? Might As Well

In Myanmar, Thailand on December 12, 2010 at 11:37 am

I had a couple of places in mind to visit for the week I had to return to Thailand before my flight from Bangkok. Chiang Rai was the natural stop off point from Laos being the first major town. After a swift and fun border crossing that involved drinking the only cider I have managed to find in Asia a couple of Swedish pear ciders and we paid the boatman an extra 10,000 kip to go a long route to Thailand, slightly down stream on the Mekong. Once over we had a swift transfer to a rickety local bus for two and a half hours to Chiang Rai.

CIDER!

When I’d spoken to people about Chiang Rai they pretty much all said the same thing, it’s like a mini Chiang Mai and has an amazing white temple that is well worth a visit. Our first night there didn’t involve much, just the usual drunken antics like annoying a couple of Thai girls by trying to cook in their kitchen and making friends with groups of locals in the hip Face Club in order to have some of their whisky.

Annoying the staff

On day two we got a local bus from the conveniently, and unusually for Asia, centrally located bus station to the White temple. I was blown away by the place. Its official name is Wat Rong Khun and it’s the brainchild of a Thai artist called Chalermchai Kositpipat. Kositpitat is hoping to expand on the current building and have nine identical white temples on the site completed by 2070, the outside of the temple is magnificent and it’s a shame it wasn’t a sunny day when we visited because I can imagine it would have looked even more impressive glistening in the sunlight. The inside of the temple was just as fantastic. It’s meant to signify a type of heaven and hell with Buddha on the wall facing the entrance and on the entrance wall ‘hell’ depicted using modern sci-fi creation murals, these include Neo from The Matrix, the guy from Avatar, Spiderman and Superman. Read the rest of this entry »

On My 24th Birthday I Had Pink Eye and Went to a Gay Club

In Thailand on September 11, 2010 at 9:20 pm

By the time it was September the 7th we’d already discovered that Chiang Mai would be a great place to spend a birthday. After three days in Thailand’s ancient capital, our group; Holly (Claire’s cousin who we’d picked up in Bangkok before Laos), Claire, Taylor (A good time American girl we’d picked up in Luang Prabang) and I were pretty pleased with the place. Mainly due to two nights at the amazing Reggae Bar with their live in-house  ska band and our hungover day trip to ride elephants, raft down a river and visit a butterfly farm.

Tay, Hols and the Elephant Man

And so it was my 24th birthday, now in my mid teens but vitally to the vain, still closer to 20 than 30. I found myself in the fortunate birthday situation of having a whole empty day ahead, being on holiday and with a girl who wanted to treat me. What a fantastic combination for a great day. The only problem was the illness that had plagued our whole group since Luang Prabang. The infamous Laos pink eye. Rumours around the tubing circuit are that one in every two people get pink eye within four days of their dip in the Nam Song. In our group it was one in one, all one at a time. At first it was Claire who we royally ripped the piss out of for catching, then Holly, myself and even Taylor and a guy we briefly met called Ryan were infected. My case was so bad it’s even worse than the example on Wikipedia and I made many women scream from the sight of me.

I hate people who wear glasses indoors

Read the rest of this entry »

Bangkok Bastards

In Thailand on August 26, 2010 at 10:43 am

On the morning of our last day in Ko Phangan we managed to get a cracking price on a combined taxi-boat-bus ticket from to Bangkok. We’d leave the hotel, picked up by a taxi at midday and arrive at Khao San Road in Bangkok the next day at 6am. It was perfect. All we had to do was check out of the Family House where we’d stayed in Haad Rin and wait for the taxi. Checking out wasn’t as easy as it normally is. I knew something was up when they said they wanted to check the rooms and the smearky owner sent off his minion with a walkie-talkie to scan for damage. Unfortunately for us the special shakes hadn’t gone down too well with the girls, so their sheets were rather heavily sick stained. This was the perfect excuse for Mr Smerk to extort the farang. He demanded 1000 Baht for two sheets and a towel, about 20 quid. We tried to negotiate but he wouldn’t budge and threatened to call the police if we didn’t oblige. Eventually Emma gave in and gave him the money. He said the sheets were destroyed so he’d have to throw them away. To our annoyance after being conned he started to hose them down. I went back to claim what we’d paid for to make sure they were properly disposed off and he grabbed the nearest weapon to hand, which happened to be a shovel. I managed to grab the bin liners with the laundry and backed off from him while he was swinging and smiling. He followed us down the path pretending to call the old bill. That was the first Bastard of the day. We didn’t know the biggest drama was still to come.

John's wheelchair couldn't get up the stairs so we had a party in the car hold

Read the rest of this entry »

On An Island In The Sun

In Thailand on August 22, 2010 at 9:42 pm

The train ride from KL was ridiculously comfy and we met a great guy called Francisco (given the monikers San Fran, Frannie and Fannie by us), a Spanish German who was also heading to the Thai party islands of Ko Samui and Ko Phangan. At the border crossing from Malaysia into the Kingdom of Thailand I thought I might not be allowed in because from my appearance I was classified as a ‘hippy’ and the sign at the border said the king doesn’t allow them in. Luckily the immigration official wasn’t paying too much attention to my scruffy sandals and dirty hair.

The 70s styling of Malaysia's finest sleeper carriages

In our attempt to save money (as always) we decided against buying the combined bus and ferry ticket to Ko Samui that would have got us there at about 9pm. Instead we did it on our own, got way behind schedule because the government bus also doubled as a florist, delivering boxes of flowers throughout the whole of central Thailand en route. So we were stuck in Surat Thani for an evening with our new-found German friend and had to get the expensive but fun and smooth night ferry. Read the rest of this entry »