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Scott's Travel Site - THAILAND

Now that you've found my site for keeping you guys upto date on my whereabouts and activities, have a browse. I'll be trying to write updates and upload photos as and when I can, but if you want to leave a message go for it!

Diary Entries

Wednesday, 07 October 2009

Location: Ko Tao, Thailand

Well it's been longer than intended since my last update and have lots of pretty amazing places to mention and activities to talk about but am thinking that I may have to do a bit of a whirlwind description as there are almost 2 weeks to cover now!!!

CLIMBING IN RAILEY
I think that this is kind of around where I left off..... from Kho Phi Phi I headed for my next destination, Railey. Feeling that my foot was now upto the job after my tubing accident I was eager to get to this place to try out some rock climbing. For those of you not from work I have only ever done a couple of trips to an indoor place in Bristol and passed away a few ours on our climbing wall on station.

Needless to say my climbing skills are not anything to write home about but this place was brilliant, there was a level for all climbers. I went along to a school on my second day, well with a sunny spell between heavy showers it was an opportunity to chill on the beach (on a towel and not a sarong!) for a day.

The guides/instructors that take you to the climb sites are like ghekos the way that they climb the rock faces to lay the ropes, sometimes they were even doing it without climbing shoes!! Not quite as speedy at scaling the cliff face I was pretty shocked at how high I was actually climbing on some of the routes (80ish ft or if it wasn't it definately felt like it!)

Railey itself was probably the nicest place that I have seen, cracking beaches. There was one really hairy moment though when a friend that I was on the beach with stepped on a sea egg (basically this small egg looking creature with a lot of stinging tenticles). Immediately after stepping on this little fella she had around ten stings in her foot that all looked to have a kind of bluey ink in them. Aparantly pretty painful, we were on our way to a medical centre when some local thai guys called us over for them to take a look. Well there is something to be said for local knowledge and what they did to relieve the pain of the sting was odd to say the least. For about 10 minutes one guy squeezed lime juice over the foot while another guy repeatedly hit (and quite hard!) the stings with a bamboo batton. Strangely though it seemed to do the trick and though being a bit bruised from the bamboo the stings faded out. You wouldn't get that at Friend Doc!

PHUCKET
From Railey I started to make my way back to mainland as I needed to head across to Phucket to meet Jon (mate working out in Australia) who was flying in there. I got to Phucket a few days early to see the sights as there wasn't going to be any time when he got there as we needed to get straighht onto a bus and head over to the east coast as we wanetd to make it to a full moon party (huge party on a beach with around 15,000 drunk travellers!) on Koh Phan-gan.

More to follow on from here but heading off for some food now so to be continued.........................................
........

Catch you all soon xx

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Location: Ko Phi Phi, Thailand

It's around 9pm and currently sat in a cafe in Ko Phi Phi, it's been a slower pace down here with lots of beaching by day and sipping beers by night.

The boat from Krabi last week was a taster for what was to come, crystal clear waters and amazing tiny islands dotted on the horizon. Soon after arriving me and an english guy from London went for an explore, as its more of a tourist spot there are ample chances to buy those cheap knock off glasses, clothes etc. (almost every other shop!)

The beaches around where I was staying were really nice though to see the real picture postcard places a short boat trip was needed. The place that I'm talking about is called Maya Bay, where The Beach was filmed. Around there you can snorkel, couldn't believe how many fish were swimming around, and kayake. Fortunately the weather was great that day as we've had a couple of rainy days now.

And so it would seem that even thousands of miles from home I can still manage to make myself look like a total moron!!!!!! After a few days of lugging a towel to the beach i decided to buy myself a sarong to lay on (not for wearing I should point out and it was in manly blue!) Anyway after a lovely dip in the sea I got back and lay there drying off and topping up the tan. It was only later, after i'd been wandering around care free for a while, when I went for a beer in the shade that I noticed that the blue dye from that bloody sarong had ran, and not just onto my shorts, but had ran and dyed me from head to toe! I looked like a smurf on holiday! Was not impressed, back to towels for me!!!!!

Well thought that you'd all appreciate that one, only a quick one today so will update again soon xx

Friday, 18 September 2009

Location: Krabi, Thailand

Time for another update as have been upto lots so a recap is well overdue!


THE SLOW BOAT INTO LAOS
So following on from the last time when I was still in Chiang Mai..... after finishing wrestling the giant cat fish into submission I returned to my guest house with the intention of starting the next leg of my trip which would be Laos. I had a few oprions; to fly (quick but not all that interesting), to bus (bit of a trek on a hot bus through the day) or by slow boat over 2 days with an overnight stop over in a small village off the Mekong River. Bit of a no brainer so went for option 3. That night when I was about to book things up I got chatting to a group that were staying in the same place but due to go off in different directions the following day. Anyway one of the french guys was planning the same trip on the slow boat so decided to tag along.

Before even getting to the slow boat we had a 6hr bus ride to the border where, joined by 4 german and 1 dutch guys we had an overnight stop in a place called Chiang Khong. Not a great deal there other than mosqittos and smelling toilets so had an early one ready for the boat in the morning.

After getting to the boat a little on the late side there weren't any seats left in the main area (yep they certainly do cram you on!) and so the 6 of us (dutch guy went north) had to set up camp for the next 7 hrs on the deck next to the engine!! Was a bit noisy and am sure that it can't be too healthy sitting next to a boat engine for that long but after a few Chang lagers and games of cards the hrs soon started to pass. The scenery on the river was lovely as we passed by tiny villages made up of wooden shacks with the lush green back drop of the mountains. As the afternoon passed people started to get tierd of sitting around and so the whole boat seemed to start wandering and mingling with each other which was pretty good and meant that by the time we hit our overnight stop destination of Pak Beng our group had grown by another 7 with an English, Dutch and American couple and a Welsh girl. With that sort of sized group, after diner, there only seemed like one obvious thing to do!!! Yep learn some foreign drinking games with Thai whiskey and afterwards advise them as to where they're going wrong and how we do it back home!! Mission complete!

So the mood on the boat for the second day was very much more chilled, people were either sleeping, reading or sticking things on people that were either sleeping or reading! Finally we arrived at Luang Prabang (where i wrote the last update from) which had a bit more to see and do than our previous stops.

LAOS FONDUE
On one of our nights in Luang Prabang the ever changing group (the Dutch couple and 2 german guys had moved on but 3 English girls joined us) went for an authentic Laos meal at a really nice restaurant where we had to be taken across a small river in fours by narrow boat. Due to it being low season out hear we were able to pretty much have the place to ourselves and so made the most of half price cocktails down on this decked area overlooking the river before heading upto a big table where we sampled the Laos fondue. Difficult to explain the dish so it may need a photo but basically it is a metal dome over hot coals that you cook various meats on, the juices of which run down into a tray around the outside of the dome where soup and vegetables are simmering. Best food that I have had on the travels so far!

WATERFALLS
Before heading down to Vang Vieng, a now smaller group decided to check out some nearby waterfalls and have a bit of a swim. All very picturesque so have some nice pics from there.

VANG VIENG (MORE TO THE POINT TUBING!!!)
The purpose for our next stop wasn't for supping up the Laos culture nor was it for resting our achey bones! No this stop over was to try out something called tubing! To explain, this is where you hire a large infatable tyre, get a tuk tuk 5 or so km up river where you then float down stopping off along the way at watering holes which are more frequent than Northeners on Weston-Super-Mare's sea front!! Each of these drinking platoons has some sort of water feature, either rope swing, zip line, slide all of which throw you into the water.

I did pick up a bit of a knock on my ankle on one of the swings but nothing too bad, just had a bruise right on the bottom of my heal this week. Seems to be going away nicely, just in time for climbing!!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhh!!

UPTO DATE
Well from Vang Vieng it has been a series of bus rides, taxis and flights really with not a great deal to report inbetween. I'm now in the South of Thailand in a place called Krabi where I will be leaving to head for Ko Phi Phi tomorrow morning. This is the picture postcard island so am looking forward to putting my feet up on the beach for a few days before planning the next part of the trip.

No more news that I can think of right now; I had to find a place to shave my head the other day, no not because the monk thing got me thinking but because it was like wearing a wooly hat whilst standing in a green house (well you've all seen this afro!). Great, now I have a sun burned head to look forward to now that I'm heading for the beach!!

Anyway thanks for all the messages, speak to you soon xx

Friday, 11 September 2009

Location: Luang robang, Laos

Right then here goes for the next catch up entry which is a bit overdue and so might go on for a bit. Am now in Laos, in the second biggest city (more like town as it's not very big at all) called Luang Probang. Think that the best thing to do is go back to the last update and move on from there, so here goes....

Like what people said to me before I flew out here, 2 or 3 days will be more than enough time to spend in Bangkok. They weren't wrong! Having traveled up the North to Chiang Mai things weren't so manic, sure the traffic is still caotic but you don't have the constant bombardment of locals trying to get you to part with your cash. I travelled up on monday by night train, total travel time was around 13 hours! I suppose I was was a little on edge with that journey as it was the first one on my own on Thai public transport, but with a bit of time to spare and a couple of Chang lagers later the train rolled up and on I hopped. Having now done that journey there really wasn't anything to worry about, the train set off at about 19.30 and I would guess that by 22.00 everyone had turned their seats into flat beds with a curtain that pulls across and were sleeping their way through the journey. The toilets were a little on the grim side, simply a stainless steel bowl sending everything straight onto the track!!

THE MONK RETREAT

So after a short Tuk Tuk ride I arrive at my guesthouse, quite a chilled place with lots of common areas where people sit around chatting, reading, snoozing. Whilst waiting for a room to become available I got chatting to a couple of people sprawled out on some comfy chairs that mentioned that they were heading off that afternoon for an overnight Buhdist meditation trip. Basically you go along to this monk retreat called Wat Suan Dok, have a bit of monk chat, try some meditation and eat with the monks. Sounds like it could be interesting experience I thought so had just about enough time to sling my bag in the room and wash my face and off I went.

On arrival at the retreat we were greated by a monk in his orange robes and taken straight to our rooms where we had to get changed into some white clothes. The first shocker came when we had our intro and were told that from that point on we were not allowed to talk to anyone. Strange experience being in a situation with a group of 9 travellers and not even being able to so much as ask where they have even travelled from. Then came the meditation...... well after a little bit of chanting it was explained what you are supposed to be trying to do when meditating, the basic gist is that you aren't supposed to be thinking about anything! Easier said than done, especially from someone who is already finding it tricky not to talk! It was an interesting experience to see how these monks go about living their lives, can't say that I really agree with it as they pretty much go about their business with no feeling or emotion about anything and there soul purpose is simply to give their body the bare minimum that it needs to survive and most of the rest of the time is spent meditating. Got back from the retreat the following day and enjoyed some beers that night, having spent 24 hrs silent think that I chewed the ear off anyone with the misfortune of pulling up a seat beside me!

TREKKING

So with that little experience over I arranged to go on a trekking trip on the Thurs of that week. In between I started taking the Malaria tablets that I had brought with me. One word of advice, make sure if you have to take them then you do so in the evening after a big meal! I made the mistake of going for the early morning slot just after breakfast, well that was a sure fire way of spending the next 36 hrs bring my boots up, unable to keep the smallest of things down. All good now though as have switched to the evenings, so back on track!

After being picked up on Thurs, the group (a mix of around 10 people from england, france (oh well can't be helped!), holland and germany) headed north out of Chiang Mai for about an hour, before we started our 4 hr trek through the jungle to our overnight hut we went on an elephant trek. Really good fun, think that the elephants were well looked after and certainly didn't look like they were short of any food. Huge great things! As we were trekking around with them we could feed them bananas and bambo by passing it to their trunks, there was a little baby one that was following us around which was generally being a nuisance to the older elephants which was quite amusing!

The trek itself was quite a long, hard slog through the jungle as it was uphill all the way. One of the guides had to carry the bag of one of the english girls who looked like she had been sponsored by Ginsters Pasties and was struggling a bit with the walking and the fact that there was no spar shop in sight! Our overnight stop in a wooden hut in a hill tribe village was nice, one of the guides had a guitar that he was happy playing away whilst the rest of us shared a bottle of whiskey that i had the foresight of bringing with me.

With a reasonably early start the next day we headed off for day 2 which would see us taking in some waterfalls and doing a spot of white water rafting. Not quite white knuckle rapids and despite my efforts to overturn the raft everyone had a good laugh on them. All in all a good 2 days with lots of different activities and sites (including a cow with really long ears!) and one that I would definately recommend!

FISHING FOR GIANT MONK FISH

This is something that I had found whilst browsing the internet back home and thought that it would be cool to have a go whilst out here. I wasn't wrong! The guide that took me out travelled to a big lake about 45mins outside of Chiang Mai, there were other people fishing there all of which were having a bit of luck during the day. Our fishing however was more than luck, this guy obviously knows his stuff as throughout the day we seemed to be constantly pulling in these huge great catfish and as the day went on they were getting bigger. I have some great pics of these which you really will have to see to believe but the weights of these things ranged from about 10-25kgs (the biggest over a metre long!) Possibly the highlight of my trip so far although did get back to the guesthouse stinking of fish!!!

Well if you've managed to read this far then am sure that you think that it's time for a break so will save the next stage of the trip (the slow boat into Laos) for the next time that I get online.

Hope that you are all well, I have now set up a Skype account (make phone calls over the internet much cheaper than a thai mobile) so will hopefully be able to call easier from now on.

Speak soon xx


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Recent Messages

From Bollty
Yo Papa smurf , glad to hear you are having a great time . Not sure when you are back but enjoy the rest of your adventure.
ps, if you have a few Baht spare a nice pair of Ray - Bans would not go a miss !
Take it easy , see you soon , Bolty .




Response: Not long left now fella!! Am now on one of the islands with my mate who is working over in Australia, in the middle of doing our PADI diving course at the moment! Really good, am due to do the final 18m dive tomorrow!! I should think a pair of Roy Bans can be arranged, Aviator style?
Cheers mate
From Hilary
Enjoying reading all about your travels. We are off to Devon again this weekend as weather is great.Enjoyed the bit about the smurf. Hope you have some photos.love H and M
Response: Certainly do, i'll arrange a visit when I get back to let you hear all about it. Nearly the end of the trip now but finishing on a hi by doing my scuba diving course, is really amazing! Am set to go for an 18m dive tomorrow which is gonna be great, look forward to catching up xx
From James
Scott, really enjoying reading what you have been up to....Jesus you write just as much as you talk!! only joking mate it's all good stuff. I was talking to my window cleaner the other day & your name come up & he knows you (thought that was a bit strange), I realised straight away he must be a fireman & does the old window cleaning part time.. Enough talk of work mate, enjoy the rest of your trip...James Laura & Georgia xxx
Response: Ha ha I try my best mate! Been climbing on this really amazing island this week, no embarassing stories to report other than falling asleep on the deck off the boat on the way over with my top off and so looked like a letter box for a few days!lol Looking forward to catching up soon x
From mum & dad
Brilliant to at long last have a call with us both able to listen in and talk. Enjoy your next climb and look forward to another call later in the week. Have a good week-end moon party and hope all goes well with the meet-up wioth John. xx
Response: Cheers M&D
Only online briefly so will call tomorrow evening but all going well, climbing has been brilliant! Speak to you soon xx
From hilary and Martin
Another boring weekend catching up on gardening jobs, weather beautiful.You have inspired us with your descriptions of boozing so are just off to the patio for a glass of wine. We are really enjoying your updates and cant wait to see al your photos. love Auntie Hil and Uncle Martin xx
Response: Since i've been down the south of the thailand on the islands there has been a lot more of that going on. Have now had a few days off to get back on track and thinking that it's time to head to a new place tomorrow. Spk soon xx
From Andy
Hi Scott,

Sounds like you are having a great time and can't believe you managed 24hours in silence - that must have hurt! Disappointed that you aren't going with a european monk style haircut to show the loacals how it is done! I have just celebrated the big 30, so looking forward to having a few beers on your return. Enjoy the rest of the trip. Cheers, Andy
Response: Cheers Andy and happy birthday, mine is only a few months away so i'll continue to forget about that for a while! Meeting up with Jon next Fri which will be a good laugh, gonna head across to a full moon party and then do some scuba diving. Will def arrange a weekend, night when i get back for a few beers. Cheers
From Mum & Dad
Absolutely brilliant to have the long telephone call on Thursday, make sure that you rest the ankle up, and don't leave it too long if there are no signs of it getting better, get x-ray if necessary. Your idea of a 2-3 day chill-out seems just about right. Get plenty of sun and pictures. I don't think it will be possible to match mum's holiday tan, it is the best ever. I will keep mobile on at all times, if you can't reach us at home. Justin's work saga goes on and on (you could not even invent it). Give him a call for an update. Reuben will be in hospital on Saturday morning 07.30am. Take care, and keep enjoying yourself. xx
Response: Hey! Yeah will keep a check on the ankle though not really putting too much strain on it relaxing on the beach. The temp is very warm down here so should hopefully start working on the tan. Tried to upload pics yesterday but had a few problems so will have another go over the next few days. Spk soon xx
From Hilary and Martin
Just finished reading latest diary update. WOW! Great weekend weather but now turning grey and chilly.Glad to hear you are keeping up the Knapp tradition by drinking lots!!Take care, Love H and M xxx
Response: He he! I try my best xx
From Gadget
Hey Scotty!! Sounds like you're having a wicked time mate! Awesome, hope you're loving it! Thailand is wicked eh? I never got up north so loved hearing about it! It pleases me to know that you also got stiffed by a tuk tuk driver!! Me and the missus got taken to every tailor in the ruddy city trying to get to the temples!! What does she want a suit for!!?? Gotta love the thai whiskey! Have fun with Jon mate, looking forward to more updates. I LOVE YOU LONG TIME, gadge xx
Response: Cheers Gadge!
About to sit and write another update now so have a look later. Down south now and heading to Phi Phi tomorrow, time to get some of that sun shine!!
From sue
hi scott it looks like your
having a wonderful time i am
sure you are enjoying
all the sights and experiences
your mother and me could
not have coped with the
silent treatment with monks
enjoy your trip and i will try
to speak soon
look after yourself
love auntie sue
Response: That is a very funny thought, I don't think that youand mum could have made it through the introduction without passing some chit chat!! he he! Speak to you soon xx
From
Off to Devon for weekend and weather looks great! Hoping to go walking on Dartmoor and maybe even BBQ! Auntie Sue sends her love. Hope all is well with you and looking forward to hearing your latest news.Love H and M xxx
Response: Sounds like a good weekend is instore, especially if the sun makes an appearance! Have finally managed to set aside a few hours to sit down in an internet cafe and get the diary up to date. Has been really good so far, will give the full run down shortly. Thanks for the message, speak soon xx
From Nicola
Just looking at photos of you on my facebook. You were tagged by someone else. Looked like a buddha shrine or something. You were all dressed in white and looked positively Monk like!!!! Haha! Never thought I'd see the day!!!!! Take care, Nic XXXX
Response: Hey Nic! Yeah after only 2 hours in the north of Thailand managed to find myself in an overnight Buhda meditation centre! ha ha! Was very bizarre, will explain all about it in the diary shortly. Hope you are all well? I've set up a skype account now so can make calls a lot easier than i could before, all i need is an internet cafe as apposed to good phone signal which can be a bit of a problem. Speak to you soon xx
From Alvin
sounds great mate i love thai whisky long time!
Response: Wonders will never cease to ammaze me! Alvin are you actually using the internet!!!! All good mate, will try and bring some back for a sampling session when i get back!
From Bolty
Yo mate , hope all is going well and that you are taking in the sights not just drinking the whiskey.
I must say the way you look it might of paid you to take a visit to the tailors after all ( only kidding ).
Also just a word of warning, are you sure the thing that you ate was definately squid ,especially after " THE 2 GUYS " introduced you to Thai whiskey that night ! lol
Take it easy mate and enjoy yourself , keep safe , see you when you get back . Bolty
Response: Actually thinging of it I was blind folded..... AHHHHH!!! ha ha! Things going good here mate, you'll crack up when you read my next update. After only being in the north for about 3 hours I found myself at a buhdist meditation retreat with a load of monks for a night! Very bizarre, will upload some pics when I have better internet speed. Speak to you soon fella, Monk
From Justin (BRO)
Darts. Took out another one of pinkers county players tonight. Next stop Phil Taylor. Dad quite brown. Said McDonalds at airport was £10 for a burger or £6 for a pint. There back safe. My New job starts Thursday should be a four day week. Alexa 2nd course anti biotic for chest infection. Reuben set for op on Sat 19th. Take care Bro.
Response: Hey bro
Maybe Bristo will be taking you up on your offer to sponsor you!! I have a skype account set up now as was getting annoyed about missing calls that I had promised to make due to phone reception. It works much better anyway and is the cheapest way by far. Will try and call over the weekend for a proper catch up. Hope all good, speak soon x
From Mum & Dad
It was very good to talk to you and very unexpected as I dıd not believe that the mobile would work. Where do you ıntend goıng after your trecking? We have had an exhausting tıme with several boat trips and a few late nights. I am not almost completely white haired as a result of the intense sunlight, it has been constantly ıin the 40,s. I am not sure whether you can access the football or if it is of much interest whıle you are away, but Rod and myself are shortly off to watch the England game. After the match we ıntend to go to Lınekers bar for a late one, and then 1 day left of the holiday. Take care, and enjoy. Love M&D xx
Response: Didn't catch the game last night, didn't realise it was on otherwise may have been able to find it somewhere. Back from the trekking which was brilliant (will right more in an update) and booked up to go fishing for catfish tomorrow!!!! Speak soon x
From Martin and Hilary
Sounds like your are having great time.Weather here is awful, windy and raining but not the size of golf balls! take care and keep taking photos. love H and M xx
Response: Already have a new batch of great ones from my trekking adventure for when i can upload again, off to a big sunday market in Chiang Mai later this evening so am sure will get some good ones there to! Speak soon x
From Jon
Nice update there mate, looking forward to meeting up. Make sure you get some monkey news from the locals in Chang Mai. Looking forward to a few local whiskeys and seeing how friendly you are with the locals after 6 weeks. Hope you enjoy the jungle - let me know if there are any spider buggers out there, managed to avoid them so far out here, long may it continue....
Response: Cheers mate will drop you an email later as after speaking to people have a few more ideas of where we can go, gonna be cool though! Treking was great, you'll love it when you get to go! Quite a bit of steep climbs though!
From Chris
Hello mate,

Glad to hear you got there okay and had at least one hiccup to tell of in true knapper style! Photos look good, you and tuk tuk (the gentitals in) are a real match!

Have a wicked time mate, catch you later.

Suk Suk x
Response: Yeah cheers mate, those tuk tuk guys are absolutely mental! They seem to have to overtake at every opportunity it's insane
From Mum & Dad
Scott, I am not sure that you are gettıng the messages that I am sending. We are doıng a faır few boat trips thıs time, Saturday was a bıt hairy as the sea was very choppy, lots of people sick. Tonight we are goıng to Talk of the town show. Weather constantly over 40 degrees, what ıs ıt like wıth you. Nıce to see the pıctures, just keep aware of all around you. Wıll speak again soon, take care love mum & dad. xx
Response: Nice to chat on the phone earlier (thurs afternoon) Just about to write some updates so will tell you more there xx
From Mum & Dad
Scott, glad to see you made ıt O.K. Watch out for the money trıcks. Not sure whether my phone wıll work. Please let me know the tıme difference. Love M&D xx
Response: What like the floating 5 pound note and the vanishing 20!!ha ha
From Benny boy
How the bloody hell can you get someone else's boarding pass when you checked in on-line! If we weren't worried before, we bloody are now!
Can't wait to see some photos of you and the new bride you will no doubetly bring home! Don't forget if her names Bobby, you might want to ask her the off side rule, if you get a detailed response stay well clear!
Stay safe
Response: Tell me about it mate, not the best way to start my trip!
From Claire
Have a fantastic time, see you soon, love Claire.xxx
Response: Shall do sis, speak soon x
From Justin (Bro)
Have a great time. Make sure their really ladys!!!!
Response: Har har har! Cheers bro
From Scott
I'm not really messaging myself! Just seeing how the leaving a message thing works :-)
Response: Yep all seems to be working!