Monday, 9 August 2010

Phuket v Hat Yai. Phuket bike trips with my Isaan bargirl.


In Thailand people are crazy about LFC. I don't see the fascination with a load of thieving Scousers, but there you go, what do I know? If you want a tent with a over-rated-non-champions-league team plastered all over it - come to Phuket Town.

Sports week
On Thursday 5th Aug, my school descended on Surakun Stadium for their sports day. As I've commented before, Thais are a hugely ceremonial bunch. The opening ceremony lasted two hours. It was amazing. Immaculately dressed kids suffering in the extreme heat. These lasses below freaked me out somewhat:

The extravagance of the costumes was far better than the sports performances.

It's a nice day for a white wedding.
This nice young fella gave me some spray for my aching shoulder. He was running the 400m which deserves a medal in itself given the temperature here.

Here's the brass band. I'm reminder of a Wembley cup final. Talking of which, I watched Man U beat Chelsea last night - scary for the Toon's first game!

Boozing Yanks

At about noon (Thai time) we went to a bar where Ashley demonstrated her skills with a bottle of Black Cock. What a name for a spirit! Look at Brett's smile! On the World Cup chart behind, you'll find that SAPAIN won the whole thing. My name is Sateeb and I wish I was from Sapain.


I left the folks to their afternoon boozing and headed to Nai Haan beach for a swim. On the way home I saw a mass of lanterns being launched.


After our reconciliation, Oy and I went for a dinner date. We ate fiery Isaan food from Oy's province in the North East of Thailand. I can eat spicy food but this stuff was from the Earth's core. I had to order an emergency supply of ice to supplement my tea. We met at the massive shopping mall. I'm getting used to all the mod-cons of Phuket - this place makes Trang seem like the stone age!
The following day - only because I'm romantic - I took Oy up To Sae hill to see the aerials. There is a mass of comms gear at the top of Phuket Town's tallest mountain.

We went on the trusty old bike. I'm slowly getting my confidence back although, admittedly, I'm driving like a pensioner.

Here's Oy taking a break to look at the monkeys. I don't know why, but it turns me on when she drives the bike?

This is the alpha male. There are hundreds of monkeys up this hill.

And also really ugly soi dogs.

Being a Buddhist, Oy is prone to praying. I was impressed by this temple's tiger theme. Plastic animals are a huge thing here. One of the soi dogs stole one of Oy's shoes here. It took us half an hour to find it.

This a view of Phuket Town from Khao Rang - another hill near town.

There are many tourists up here and for some reason, this group from Singapore decided to sing their national anthem - weird!

Here we are appreciating the view. My room is somewhere in the background.

Ko See Rae
We then passed through Phuket's fishing port and crossed the bridge to See Rae Island. We ended up at Laem Tukgae - a sea gypsy village. You can still say 'gypsy' in Thailand as political correctness has yet to raise its stupid head here - thank Buddha. This village is basically a place where fat Islamic fishermen laze around all day. It's really filthy here too. We ate some fruit and I was laughing as Oy was worried about throwing the skins away. The place was literally covered in shit and she was worried about adding a few bio-degradable rambutan skins!

As ever, the tourists aren't far behind. Just across the bay from the filth is this five star luxury hotel. The contrast is startling.

This sign says: 'Krua yip see' which means Gypsy Kitchen. This is possibly the most expensive restaurant in Thailand. We settled for a sprite as we couldn't afford the food here.

Near the village is a temple on top of the Island's biggest hill. We took a drive up to see all these Buddha images.

This is the final staircase to ascend to the small temple. I like the dragon handrails.

I prayed and asked if the Toon can have a trophy this season. It remains to be seen if anyone was listening to me.

Another view towards town.

Inside the temple is a huge reclining Buddha. Oy decided a prayer was in order here.

Deep in contemplation in this thought provoking environment. What made me laugh here is the little golden money tree. Many local people think all Westerners are millionaires. This is reflected in the double pricing strategies deployed here. I'm sure they think money grows on trees in the West. Well, here's the proof money grows on trees in Thailand:

I feel like that bloke at the beginning of those old movies. There's no feeling like giving a massive bell a whack with a big stick.

This is my local eatery at the moment. Nice cheap food and beer. You can also take a tricycle tour around the old town.

This is soi sip et - or the 11th side street of Pom poon road. There are a whole host of gangsters and prostitutes down there. It's a neon haven of sleaze after dark. Local Thai men like to drink rice wine down there.

On Saturday night, Oy and I went to eat some Joom Jim. It's kind of like Moo Ga taa. This probably means nowt to English folk. Here she is taking care of the logistics.

On Sunday we went to Expo. This is Phuket's huge indoor market. Oy wanted a dictionary and I wanted a coffee.
A view down the huge food court.

This is Paradise bar in Rawai. An old Navy lad owns this. He did 9 years in the mob. He's been in Thailand about 5 years. I love the tropical bamboo feel. This is where Oy will work as of today.

While we were in Expo I bought a Thai flag and some little England stickers for the bike. The number plate indicates that the bike is from Nakkon Si Tammarat. Anyone with a basic grasp of Thai should be able to see this! I like looking at number plates in Thailand to see which province they are from. It helps your reading skills too.

The match. Phuket 2 - 0 Hat Yai.
At 6pm on Sunday 8th August I went to watch Phuket Town v Hat Yai at Surakun Stadium. Here's Lee from Derby and Colin from Dundee preparing for the game with snakebites. I don't know why they're wearing those hideous tops. Something to do with the charity shield?
First, I had to buy a ticket. Only 50bt (1gbp)!

On into the satdium. They kicked off at around sunset.

Unfornuately I didn't win the half time lottery.

A crowd of about 2000 watched Phuket cruise past a lacklustre Hat Yai to establish a 6 point lead over second placed Satun in the Southern Thai second division. Playing in their famous green kit, Phuket easily overcame 10th placed Hat Yai.
In typical Thai style the kick off was 5 minutes late. However, Phuket dominated from the start. They had a goal disallowed on 20mins. Hat Yai were limited to tame long range efforts throughout the first half. On 25mins Hat Yai conceded a sloppy free kick 25yds from goal. The resulting strike broke the deadlock in spectacular fashion. The goal galavanised Hat Yai but Phuket were back on top after 5 mins. Just before the break the Hat Yai goalkeeper pulled off an amazing save to keep hopes of an unlikely comeback alive.
The second half was a carbon copy of the first. Again Phuket dominated. They spurned two golden opportunities to increase their lead. Finally, Hat Yai, unable to prevent the inevitable, conceded a second on 83mins. Here's the Phuket players celebrating their 2 - 0 win by the corner flag.

Trang are 4th placed! You can see the league table here. If Phuket win a play off I'll be watching Premier league football next season!
Free drinks!
After the game, I headed to O'Malley's bar in town to watch the charity shield. I then went to Chivas nightclub to meet the lasses. Unbelievably, there was free beer all night. This is where my alcoholiday abruptly ended.

Chanat - win
len - play
hai daa - shoot

1 comment:

  1. How yee!

    Saw the damage to the bike, mate. Glad you're alright.

    How can there be free beer all night?!!!
    Not fair. Not fair at all!