Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Yangon Pattaya Bangkok Jakarta

Pattaya first time

The views from the top of the Sakura Tower in Yangon were great. It was 5 star luxury and a nice way to spend the last night in Myanmar after the hardships of travelling there.


Back in Bangkok I drank three Chang beers and threw up! Sick again! I had a chest infection but the staff at the Clinic Guesthouse helped me through it by supplying antibiotics. Once recovered, I headed two hours down the coast to Pattaya with a lass called Bee. This place is crazy! There are hundreds of bars open 24/7. Thousands of sexy working girls and sex tourists. I figured I couldn't spend all this time in Thailand and not see it. So I'm for a couple of days before heading to Jakarta in Indonesia for my first ever venture South of the Equator.

Bee took me to an erotic lesbian show which was surprisingly artistic. There are many old men walking around with young stunning Thai women. You have to see it to believe it! I found the whole experience overwhelming and I reckon three or four days would be more than enough for most folk in the World's capital of prostitution.

Bangkok

I've spent the last few days in Bangkok arranging flights to Jakarta via Kuala Lumpur and then from Jakarta to Taipei via Manila a month later. I have to organise a two month tourist visa for Taiwan in Jakarta and then I'm set for work when I arrive in Taipei on the 28th August. I've been emailing the teaching agency in Taipei and things look OK for starting work in September.

After sorting the Taiwan visa in Jakarta, I aim to visit Bali for a few weeks where I can meet Rene the art dealer whom I first met in Myanmar. 

Jakarta

Jakarta is massive. I think this is the biggest city I've ever been in. There are around 25million people here. Indonesia is the World's most populous Muslim country with around 240million. It's all quite staggering. The traffic is immense and going anywhere during rush hour is pointless. The pollution alone is a force to be reckoned with. The mosques have loud chanting blaring out at all hours and city cockerels cock-a-doodle-doing all night. So what better way to start my journey here than an all night binge on the Bintang beer?

At Bangkok airport I met Karsten the Dane whom I first met in Borneo in January. We couldn't believe randomly bumping into each other eight months later. We drank a lot of beer on Jalan Jaksa on our first night. It was great crack with him and his Jakarta wife reminiscing about Borneo. I spent a lot of time drinking on Jalan Jaksa here. Jalan is Malay for Street and Jalan Jaksa is Jakarta's equivalent of Bangkok's Khao San Road.


Pangandaran

I took an 8hr bus across the central spine of Java Island to Pangandaran on the SW coast. Many locals surf here and they're really good at it, especially the bairns. I was stung by a jellyfish while snorkelling - agony. I went to Batu Karas (Hard Rock) beach by motorbike. I think this town has the largest gay community in Indo as everybody I met seemed to be camp. I'm sure the Koran has something to say about this!!

This is my first time South of the equator and it doesn't feel any different, I don't feel upside down or anything! I couldn't wait to have a shower and observe which way the water drained. I was happy to see it swirling down the hole in an anticlockwise direction - the opposite way to England!

I spent ages at the Taiwanese embassy in Jakarta. I was quizzed to death and almost told them to poke their country up their collective Chinese arses - nightmare! Hopefully, tomorrow I'll collect my passport and head to Bali for two weeks.

Indonesia is a bit of an eye opener. It's very different from anywhere I've been before. The people can be friendly but a little over-bearing at times. Not everybody wears the traditional Muslim dress. Needless to say it's very hot along with the friendly women. Must dash as I have to sort out my bank as I'm spending far too much cash here.

Indonesian karaoke is crap and the local tabs stink of perfume! Everyone presumes you're an Aussie!

Some Indonesian:

Mahal (expensive)

Besar (big) Kecil (small)

Praba Haga (How much?)

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