Monday, January 25, 2010

Koh Pi Pi

7:45am - Woken up by Josh knocking on the door and informing me our taxi is here to take us to the ferry to the island of Koh Pi Pi. Felt as if I'd slept for about 20 mins but within 10 we we're all in the "taxi" a pickup truck that has a roll cage & cover over the bed with bench seating. We speed to try and catch the ferry that leaves in 30 mins.

Thailand, the nation of innovation that it is, has managed to turn a 2 lane road into 3 by ingeniously devising the "middle lane". Slower traffic in both lanes move to the outside of their respective sides while the space in the middle is used for aggressive passing from both directions. They've also broken the record for number of people you can fit on a scooter (5). We make the ferry to Koh Pi Pi and post up on the front to catch the views during the next 2 hours.

On the way, you feel like you're in Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon going to Han's tournament. Huge formations of limestone jutting straight out of the water covered in vegetation with sheer cliffs like a Mortal Combat movie or something. Koh Pi Pi is a picturesque island with sloping cliffs and a beach full of Thai long boats.

As soon as you hit the dock, if you didn't realize it on the boat, you're surrounded by tourists getting hammered and wandering around. After some rough room searching (its hot as hell & we're hungover) we score a super nice spot with two rooms and Josh takes a diff spot a little ways off. "Nice" means a smallish room with two twin beds, cable tv, decent bathroom, & good AC. In this toursity island, this runs about 2,000 Baht or $60 split two ways. Another interesting thing about Thailand is that in all the bathrooms the shower is not separated at all from the toilet or sink. There is no partition, curtain, or anything like that...just the sink, toilet, & shower all right next to each other which means Pat can fulfill his dream of showering on the toilet at last!

Dinner at Josh's favorite Thai spot (he was a dive master here for 3 months a year ago) excellent curry, soup, & fried shrimps.....Pat "I'm gonna order 3 more of these plates......who's gonna stop me?!!! You?!! You?!!"

We left a little abruptly as the cook set something in the kitchen on fire and it felt as if you'd been hit with pepper spray (Thai chilis are no joke). Bar hopping for a few hours finally ending up at a roof top near our place called Banana Bar. Picture Cabo Spring Break....beers, dancing, glo paint, & "buckets" which are quite literally buckets filled with 6-7 mixed drinks & cost about $8. Also, a short Thai guy walking around with a huge beer bong, ladder, & a bunch of beers. We declined (who knows where that thing had been) but definitely watched some people get torn up by it and Shawn caught some foam sharpnel in the chest.

Eventually ended up at the beach around 3am where the party was still going very strong and people were pissing and puking in the water and just passed out on the sand.....goddamn Aussies. Make it to bed by 4am, which is crucial as we have to be at the dive shop by 7:30am, haha. Welcoms to Koh Pi Pi


After a couple days in Bangkok, everyone was prett eager to get to the water in the south. We hopped a quick flight to Phuket (no corkage fee for the beers we drank in the airport restaurant). Taxi to Rawai, the southern tip of Phuket island, where Jake has a buddy from college named Davis. After chcking out his spot, we grabbing a taxi to find lodging for us (they aren't marked here, just some guy who pulls over in a random car, negotiate pricing, and off you go) we had dinner along the water, sitting on cushions on the ground at a low table.

Food was excellent, fried shrimp & whole baked white snapper where highlights. Then to the bar. The waitresses and bartenders (all thai girls) were waaaaaaaaaay too good at the assorted bar games (connect 4, Jenga, etc) and even at the super crappy pool table with the smallest pockets I've ever seen. These girls will call their Connect 4 win 3-4 moves ahead of time and no matter what you do they always win.

Connect 4 also not the best game to play against each other for shots of weird Tequila as they only last about 5 mins and after an hour you're fairly hammered.
Place just bumped popular US hip hop (which is fairly consistent of every other place I've been in the world) so Pat got his fix of Akon he so desperately needed and Shawn almost lost it to Lady GaGa. The only exception was the "Welcome to Thailand" song and dance that thai girls perform when they meet visitors to their country.

To sum it up, 5 hours of extreme boozing, games, dancing, & Jake feeling it necessary to ring the bar bell that buys everyone in the place a drink. Took me back to the SB Yacht Club......"He who rings the bell in jest, buys a drink for all the rest". A 9,400 Baht ($270) is pretty ridiculous for Thailand but well worth it.

$48 in Bangkok

6 22oz Singha beers
2 large bottle of water
3 street vendor spring rolls
1 plate street vendor pad thai
1 pair fake Pradas
1 handheld green laser (perfect for warding off aggressive hawkers)
2 Bankse print t-shirts
1 plate Panang Curry w/ rice (excellent)

And this is the touristy part of Bangkok, haha

Friday, January 22, 2010

Shawn Wilt Ladies & Gentlemen

" Costa Rica"
"Maybe it's Ramadan" on why the nightlife in Bangkok might be slow
"I don't care at all, everywhere's awesome" on the bar scene in Koh Pi Pi

High Kick

2nd night in Bangkok and we're at Lumpinee Stadium. Obviously no one is going to Bangkok and not seeing a Muy Thai fight, especially since Jake trained Muy Thai for years and I'm a huge MMA fan.

To back up a bit, our group has changed already. Pat's cousin and buddy have gone down to Krabi in southern Thailand to rock climb and we've been joined by another one of Pat's friends from SF, Josh. Anyway, we arrive at the stadium via cab and grab some street curry for a quick bite. In Thailand, you ALWAYS need to ask/specify/insist on the spiciness of your food. Thai people can handle a ridiculous amount of spice and they will test you here if you're not careful. After hearing that this particular curry was "a little" spicy, we knew we were screwed but just ate it anyway.

I pretty much spent the next 20 minutes with my mouth open, hoping that the air would make the burning go away. Beer didn't work either. This was pretty much the reaction around the table while the Thai guy next to us dumped whole chilis on his curry and took it down without flinching. Lesson learned.

1700 Baht later (about $50) we had seats 6 rows back from the ring. The stadium is not particulary huge and we had an excellent view of 8 fights. These guys are vicious and just beat the living shit out of each other. Liam would have been so stoked being the Fairtex fanatic that he is.......

All the fighters were lightweights, bantamweights,etc (not too many heavyweights in Thailand, everyone's so small), but they really put on a show. We also got to see the fighters warm up as they do it in the area in front of the bathroom where our seats were. You're standing at the urinal and next to you is some short Thai boxer taking a piss before he goes and kicks his buddy in the head. Pretty sweet


wow.....I can't believe I left almost a week ago. Seems like an enternity as there's just been so much going on. One of the parts of traveling that I really enjoy is how much longer the days seem when everything is new every day.

I'm currently in Koh Pi Pi, a gorgeous island in southern Thailand but I'll start with a quick re-cap of Bangkok as we spent a couple pretty hilarious days there.


Being that there ended up being 6 of us (met up with Pat's cousin and buddy) we made our way to the super-backpacker strip known as Khao San Road. It's a complete shit-show and we figured we might as well participate for a day or two. Essentially, it's a couple hundred yards of everything you could ever want to buy (knock-offs), massages (including a one where fish nibble at your feet), restaurants, bars, clubs, food vendors, etc.

Anyway, we got some rooms at Khao San Palace (sweet roof-top pool)and grabbed food and beers. You have to bargain for EVERYTHING here. Any price vendors quote you is 3-4 times more than for a local. Pat has pretty much mastered the haggle, walk-away, and even when they agree, just keeps walking.

The city is just so busy, cars, scooters, motor-bikes, tuk tuks, are everywhere and going soooooo fast. People hassling you to buy whatever they're selling (you get used to this), food everywhere, music blasting, and its 85 degrees out at 9am.

Needless to say, we sampled a fair number of bars ended the night laughing at Pat and Jake grubbing on a variety of fried bugs. All in all, it's a huge tourist scene but pretty fun for a night or two.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Drove down to SB today with Pat & Thor (a regal british bulldog) and unloaded everything at my parents. I've gotten rid of my SF apartment and stashed everything but a couple bags of clothes in Pat's garage in the Sunset in anticipation of a return to SF eventually. It's definitely weird to leave SF after calling it my home since 2006 but at the moment I'm still planning on moving back.

Dinner with the parents and a couple drinks downtown with Pat and Jake (both coming with me abroad) and then home to figure out the long list of crap I have to accomplish tomorrow before we leave on Saturday from LAX.

All pretty boring stuff, but there's more to take care of before you leave for 3 months than one might think. Tax extension, haircut, travel notification to B of A, hold on my cell phone, hold on my gym, new sunglasses, procuring "sleep" aids for the plane, travel insurance (which one might need if one is so inclined to participate, willingly or unwillingly, in some aggressive activities, which has been the case so far in life).

Also, there will be a fair amount of scuba diving in Thailand, Indonesia, & Australia so it pays to be insured in my opinion. Anyway, lots to take care of tomorrow before dinner and lots of drinks with all the boys in SB.

Bring on the East