Sunday, 28 August 2011

Khao Sok and Koh Samui.

One of the perks of being a teacher is the holidays. I've just had 6 weeks off which is the longest holiday I've ever had in any employment. For the first four weeks I stayed in Phuket and the final two weeks involved a motorbike trip around the south of Thailand. I have been back at school for one week where I have met the new staff as our embryonic school continues to expand and evolve. I should receive my PGCE certificate from Nottingham University next week.

Mark Goodman from Manchester. He teaches History and Geography next door to me. Like any Man U fan he is significantly misguided regarding the intracacies of the beautiful game. I like to remind him of how the real United destroyed the red half of Manchester 5 - 0 in 1997.

This is Guy the Mackem who owns and runs Sh'Bang bar in Chalong. He was not happy when NUFC beat SAFC at the Stadium of Light last week!

However, Geordie Steve from North Shields was ecstatic. He runs the Lost Penguin bar next door. We were the sole NUFC representatives for the game. I even wore my Toon top which turned out to be an inspired decision.

I have been thinking about buying one of these. A Honda CBR 250. 110,000bt. According to a mate these things go like 'shit off a stick'. I might wait until I can pick up a second hand one.

One weekend in June, Shan and I went for a motorbike trip to Khao Sok. This is a mountainous region in western Surat Thani province. The windy roads are excellent and the scenery is spectacular.

Here we are at the entrance to the national Park.

A big river flowing nearby the massive dam here.

One part of the dam. There's a big hydro-electric power station near here.

It looks a bit like a inland sea. Parts of this huge resevoir are said to look like Guilin in China. Massive lime stone karst structures break impressively out of the water.

This is Shan's bamboo hut for the night. We had one each for 200bt.

Quite a nice view from the balconey. There are jungle clad mountains everywhere. The tropical rainforest creates a deafening chorus during the night.

At the end of the 2011 academic year, the kids had a party at here. A trendy location with discos, trampolines, games room and of course this swimming pool. It was a good laugh.

Obviously there was no drink available and the kids had the teachers dancing. It's a very strange feeling to be dancing sober!

This is Steve (another Manc) and Callum. Callum hails from Galasheils and travels the world attending seminars and selling IT stuff. He has a degree in physics and was hugely entertaining crack down at O'Malley's one night.

This is little Gemma of year 8 demonstrating how much marking I had to do at the end of term. I think you'll agree that it's a canny pile of work. Note the small red M&M Albert Einstein on the shelf behind.

This is where I stayed at Had Lamai on Koh Samui. It was right on the beach and near the centre od Lamai's night life. It was a nice change from Phuket. I woke up one Wednesday and simply jumpeed on the bike and escaped Phuket. I stayed Ao Nang, Krabi for one night. Trang for four nights. Rachapat University in Nakkon Si Tammarat with Stefan for one night and two nights in Samui. Coming back from Samui was a nightmare because of the rain as I crossed the mountains. I got drenched. I had to keep stopping in small bus shelters to wait for the worst of the storms to pass. I left with no map and no plan - the way one should travel in my opinion. Flexibility is crucial.

Lamai beach, Samui from my restaurant chair.

This is Geoff's bar in Chaweng. I met Geoff two years ago when I stayed in one of his guest rooms for three nights. I told him about an Aussie in the Philippines who runs this joker jackpot game and was surprised to see he has started doing it himself. Geoff is Monkey's mate.

I drove across the central road of Samui island. Samui got hit badly by rains and floods earlier this year. Look at what happened to the roads here!

Here I am leaving Samui. It costs 150bt for me and 100bt for my bike but I wasn't at the mercy of the rip-off taxis.

On the way home, as I was crossing Sarasin bridge in the dark, I noticed my bike passing the 30,000km mark. The bike is over 6 years old and I've had it two years during which time I've added 27,000km to the machine.

This is a Thai tradition called Galaa maprow. You have to try and walk on coconut shells. It is harder than it looks.

What else has happened in the last couple of months? I've had my petrol stolen from my bike again. Someone nicked my denim jacket. I lived with a lass called 'Beer' for two weeks at the start of my holiday but that didn't work out - she was 34 from Sukhothai. I started dating a 32yo Hi-So chick from Bangkok but that didn't work out either (she has met Prince William!). I am currently hanging with a lass who works at McDonald's. Her name is Ice and she is 22. We'll see how that goes.

I stubbed a tab out on my ankle in Chalong one drunken night. I passed out in Guy's bar one night in mid-conversation. I've read 12 books. I have not been online for seven weeks which has been liberating. I went out last week and purchased scales, thermometers, compasses and various other mathematical teaching aids.

The best part of my holiday was seeing all my old mates in Trang - particularly Matt the Slayer who likes to kick rocks! I really miss those lads. I had an excellent evening with Tom where we covered such varied topics as religion, history and living in Thailand. There's a few new lads there who are a bit younger and have changed the dynamic slightly but it's still pretty much same same before.

In another three months I'll have been away 2000 days or 5.5 years and I'll be 38! I can feel the BIG 40 looming in the not too distant future! Perhaps I should not delay in buying the new bike as it looks like a perfect 'mid-life crisis' toy!


bogadit - normally

soot thai - last

kwang - across

Philosophy:    All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.

1 comment:

  1. Keep on going. I red your stories a couple of years ago where you went trough Bangkok on your way to Pattaya. I thought it was daring on a Bike even you had some help.
    I did it too. with only two fines trough Bangkok.
    But it is a challenge.
    Now I have 33000 on my Phanthom in just 27 months, and I am away in my old country for 2 and a half month every year.
    But I must say I am a bit older, feel young thoug. Get going your way. it is impressive.
    Good luck.


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