A Travellerspoint blog

December 2011

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to everyone from Bangkok

semi-overcast 32 °C

Hope everybody enjoyed a wonderful Christmas Day and that you're all suitably merry on sherry, mince pies, port, turkey, duck, roast potatoes, red wine, more red wine, cheese, biscuits....the list goes on.....seriously though, I hope you all had a lovely time with family & friends. As you can probably tell, we missed you all .... and our Mum's cooking....Christmas Day was strange to start with - on Long Beach, Krabi, but it turned into a fun evening with a Thai Buffet and the most cheesy karaoke evening!

We were staying in another 'beach hut set-up', an upgrade on the last place in terms of hut style, run by a Thai couple, their adorable daughters, and pack of dogs - most of which we fell in love with. We made a great unit of buddies to enjoy christmas, and though it may not mean much to you all, I feel I need to mention them as we spent a week with them (including christmas) all and wouldn't want to forget..... We met a South African couple (Beronese and Kelvin) who we did some book swaps with (we definitely got the better deal, I think!) intelligent and energised, they will be moving to the UK to study the classics at Oxford or Cambridge, yet us mortals managed to have a deep a meaningful with them about SA politics across our verandahs.....nice!

A great Aussie group of 4 - Heather, Lockie, Irin and Robbie (the latter being a heavy bearded, full figured gay and proud guy who loves singing Mariah and Britney in a hilarious tongue in cheek way - made our Christmas evening). They also saved our bacon when we travelled to our hut by boat - the Thai boatman couldn't get near enough to shore, so we arrived in an eery 'Lost-like' style, the sea up to our knees, complete with backpacks, bags and the like...without these guys to help us with our bags, it could've been interesting.

Sara Marie (Northern Nutter who likes to tell you how much she's spent on 'looking as good as she does') complete with her two guys - it took us 3 days to work out if they were her sons, brothers, lovers or cousins......we got there in the end - nonetheless they were a very entertaining 'family'.

A mad french woman with a very kind heart, her husband and their two punchy kids.

Two Finnish guys who were working at our camp while earning their keep so they could practise their Thai Boxing in the evening - think Eurotrash, techno bling dressed guys, with tribal tats and bad undercuts, complete with mean faces - you're getting the picture.........but the biggest softies who would greet us in the morning with comments like, 'hi there......vell, vat a bootiful morning sit is' They were a bit odd

So that was our Christmas - an electic mix, not forgetting the Thai owners who were way too enthusiastic about Karoke including Sang Som from the bottle drinking Grandma who loved kissing everyones kids; and camouflage army-gear wearing Grandpa who just loved to party. Ross kept calling out 'fire in the hole....' which he wasn't bothered by, thank goodness.

On our last day, I inadvertently became Doctor Doolittle, broke up a dog fight that left Tofu with a bleeding face (Ross applied the Iodine perfectly) and then fed and watered a very very young pup that had got separated by it's Mum, before the French husband got on a moped and returned it to her in the woods.......
The place felt like a commune at times (in a good way), everyone waved us off as we left with the french lady calling out.....'you two are soo lucky, so so lucky - what a fantastic adventure, just brilliant' - she's right, and we have to keep pinching ourselves. This was the first time we had left a place with any emotion, as when travelling, once you're ready to leave, you just go and get excited about the next chapter.

We arrived this morning to wonderful Bangkok via a 13 hour night bus. Jaded but excited to be here for new year, we're staying in a great little Danish-run guest house and have met another lone traveller - Henry from Holland, who has given us some great tips for our trip into Laos.

Happy New Year to everyone, hope you all enjoy the celebrations wherever you'll be. We'll be watching the lantern festival and fireworks on the banks of the Chao Praya River.......

Tonight, Ross will thrash me at pool...:-)

Love to you all,

Charlie & Ross

Posted by charlieandross 03:43 Archived in Thailand Comments (8)

Transit days

sunny 30 °C

We have now experienced a number of transit days - days getting from one destination to another. This is fascinating, frustrating, enjoyable, and tiring in equal measure. Our last journey from Mai Khao to Krabi long beach was as interesting as any of the others before it; a beach walk followed by golf buggy drive, coach journey, auto tuk-tuk ride and finally a long tail boat to the shores of our new derelict beach destination. Safe to say these modes of transport have been surreal, exciting and tiriring in equal measure.

The average transit day starts with Charlie and I packing up everything we own into our travel bags. This process is becoming more well oiled though, clothes are getting rolled - not folded, more space is being utilised in our day bags, dirty towels disposed of and bagzips taking extra burden of weight in smaller compartments. We really are starting to get into the swing of this back-packing malarky. Exciting stuff hey!

Invariably the cost of travel is normally quite varied, a three hour coach journey yesterday (about 110km) cost us 3 quid each whilst the long boat (5 mins) cost us 2 quid each. Sometimes there is little rhyme or reason as to the cost of travel but this is all part of the greater experience.

The number of modes of transport, borders crossed, frustrations yet to be experienced, hunger, tiredness and surreal journeys will no doubt increase. This is always exciting and for one day every eight or nine days this will be our commuting routine for the next ten months.

Ross and Charlie

Posted by charlieandross 00:54 Archived in Thailand Comments (3)

Heavenly Bliss on Mai-Khao

overcast 27 °C

Hello Friends & Family

Well, what can I say....we are in heavenly bliss. We are staying in a non-touristy, away from it all, low key blissful place called Seaside Cottages on Mai-Khao. This place is peaceful, soulful and inspiring. We are staying in a bamboo beach hut with just enough space for a double mattress which is one of just 5 on a small plot of land right on the Mai-Khao beach. Birdsong and the crashing of waves fill our ears morning and night. Run by a British guy who prefers the Thai way of living, everything is rustic, traditionally Thai and completely down to earth. We're in heaven. We can see the beach from our hut. The shared bathrooms are immaculate and the food is some of the most authentic Thai food I've had - cooked by his Thai Wife. We even get to use the luxury pool and wifi of the hotel next door which is pretty much empty due to the economy, yet our place is booked up until after Christmas, so we're getting the best of both worlds - not bad for two sun junkies back-packing eh??

Today has been overcast but most of the time it's incredibly hot and sunny here.

We will be going on a sea-fishing trip while we're here - both really looking forward to that and we'll have some cooking lessons too. We've also got a little fitness regime going (don't laugh girls, but Ross counts me down on my skipping - he's whipping me into shape!)

Keep the messages coming - lovely one from you Phil...glad you're all enjoying the blog. We'll send an update in a week or so once we're in Krabi.

Let us know all your plans for Christmas, ours our pretty much sorted - beach, BBQ's and campfires are promised before we begin our tour through Thailand via the Mekong.

Love you lots and missing you all (including RW guys - thinking of you all - hope the Christmas party was a good one)

Charlie & Ross

Posted by charlieandross 01:32 Archived in Thailand Comments (1)

Kata, Karon and Kamala beaches - Lazy days

sunny 38 °C

Just a quick update, we have visited the aforementioned beaches in and around Phuket. Kamala beach has probably been the quietest and nicer of the three but having said that all three are stunning! Kamala has been very peaceful and as you will see from the photographs we have had most of the beach to ourselves. We have also had a few Thai massages to help ease the burden of sunbathing and these have been well earned after our first months' travel.

We are off to Mai Khao (slightly further north) on Tuesday for some basic beach hut accommodation. The huts are tiny bamboo structures on the beach and are very primitive. We are also looking forward to this mini Robinson Crusoe adventure and this will lead us nicely up to Christmas.

We very much hope everyone at home is enjoying the Christmas build up. We have seen a few Christmas trees here and who knows what we'll be doing, eating and drinking on the day itself, but for now, life is a beach!

Thinking of you all shopping, going out and having fun. We will try to contact as many of you as we can on Christmas Day. (Quick note to family, 4 postcards from India have been sent in total, but there seems to be a lag, please let us know when/if(!) they arrive).

Love to everyone,

Ross and Charlie.

Posted by charlieandross 22:07 Archived in Thailand Comments (2)

Bowling out of Bombay

36 °C

We have left India early due to needing the sun and also because we have finally has enough of the 'Indian' way. Although our journey so far has been great, India has been largely frustrating. We have had a good time in Mumbai but decided to call an emergency board meeting. I know what you are all thinking; tough decisions need to be taken. What will the intrepid duo do next? Well, I will tell you, we have tackled this problem head on and decided to jet out to Thailand. Phuket to be precise. What a liberating choice that was to make too! Ah, I almost forgot, the 'tan-off' has also commenced. Charlie has little chance of winning this though...

...Actually, Charlie won the inaugural competition back in Menorca in June. So my chances of taking the title are slim. Anyway, where was I, oh yes - India! Can you believe it, we tried to get tickets for the third one day cricket international between Indian and the West Indies and they were priced at near on £100!! The Indian Cricket board have been complaining in the press about empty stadiums and the Indian public not supporting their national sport. What do they expect?? The average wage in Mumbai is well under £10,000 per year and the average annual salary for the rest of the country far lower than that. This is just the tip of the iceberg of the social illogic we have encountered. This is all of course part of the greater journey we are on, and also a big learning curve for us both, but we are glad to have moved on.

Thailand has been great so far; the people charming, the food very tasty and the beaches simply gorgeous. Charlie will give you a full update on our island hopping in 36 degrees heat!!

Ross and Charlie

Posted by charlieandross 07:34 Archived in Thailand Comments (1)

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