Friday, 25 November 2011

A boat into Phung Chang Cave, Phang Nga.

  • 1993 days or
  • 5 years, 5 months, 14 days or
  • 172,195,200 seconds or
  • 2,869,920 minutes or
  • 47,832 hours.
That's how long ago I left home. I was 32. Now I'm 38. I had my 33rd birthday in Chengdu, Sichuan province, China. I had my 34th in Tainan City, Taiwan. I had my 35th in Pattaya, Thailand. I had my 36th in Trang, Thailand. I had my 37th in Phuket, Thailand and my 38th also in Phuket Thailand. I have been living in Thailand for almost three years. I must be due a change!

I just got news that my brother Mick is coming over on the 14th January for three weeks so that should be good.

Shitty balls

Here are some of our students voluntarily making EM balls. These balls are made from organisms rolled in moist balls of cow poo. The balls are then sent to Bangkok where they can be dropped into the flood water to help reduce the spread of nasty diseases. As you can see below, Korean Fred is enjoying himself.

Bike trip

I quit drinking and smoking on 31st October 2011. I needed to do other things to fill in my weekends, so I started going on huge bike trips. This is the walkway to the viewpoint on the recently completed Sarasin Bridge linking Phuket to the mainland.

The steps up to the viewpoint.

The newly completed dual carriageway bridge looking back towards Phuket.

Not all beaches in Phuket are like Patong or Nai Harn. This is the deserted Mai Khao near the bridge.

This was the entrance to the EM Ball place. They were hoping that volunteers would make 20,000. Our kids managed about 200 before the smell had us running.

Islamic food from the North of Phuket Island. You don't see many foreigners in these parts.

Near the restaurant I found a rickety track leading up a mountain with an Air Force comms centre at the top. There was radar:

Satellite and microwave links:

and a shrine for Bhudda gazing over an incredible vista:

After the mountain I found this spooky green lagoon in the jungle:

And then I saw a rare baffalo. These are a common sight in most of Thailand but not so common in Phuket. Tourism, fishing and rubber are the games here - not farming, therefore, not a lot of rice or buffalo in these parts.
I finally managed to 'pimp up my bike' by adding some illuminous blue lights to the number plate. I now look like a mobile disco at night times like many of the local teenagers. These lights do serve a higher purpose and that is to help you be seen by the other lunatic drivers on this island.

We had Loy Kratong again. Here's Arina sporting some traditional Thai attire:

Here's everyone at the school dancing. I refrained as I had ran out of Loys to eat and Kratongs to wear.

A view towards Phuket airport from the rickety mountain road.

On another day I rode up to Phang Nga province and ended up going 1km into 'Elephant's stomach' cave. Here is my guide for the adventure.

We had to negotiate monkeys swinging on the vines at the entrance.

We started off in a little kayak.

Things rapidly became pitch black. There interior of the cave was incredible with many fascinating and peculiar rock formations. A colony of massive bats were defying gravity by hanging upside down from a smooth ceiling. You could only see them as your headlamp swept passed. We then transferred to a raft. We then had to wade through an underground stream until we reached the furthest you can get. It was very eerie in the silent darkness. Later, as I emerged from the dark, the outside noise and light were overwhelming!

This is the elephant statue outside. The cave gets its name from the mountain which is said to resemble an elephant although I couldn't quite see how.

Here's 20yo Nat who works at my friends bar in Kata. Kinda cute.

19th November 2011. Manchester Steve who runs my local O'Malley's set up a party for my birthday. It was also Brum Paddy's 42nd birthday on the same day so it was a double celebration. Steve laid on free bangers and mash and the place was rammed. It was a great night. Needless to say I fell off the wagon and got shitfaced but, worse is that I smoked loadsa ciggies after 3 weeks of abstinence. Thankfully I haven't had anymore so far this week. Another downer was the Toon's first defeat away to Man Citeh. I got over this by drinking until sunrise with Chloe the barmaid.

Here's Paddy and I being retarded.

Steve actually burnt my 'RedBull' vest and gave me a trendy shirt to wear instead. Here I am the next day with Ice in Michael's bar after non-stop booze from 1900 Sat - 2300 Sun. 28hrs of booze with no sleep is quite a feat for a 38yo bloke!

I include this pic to show you what a rip-off Patong is. Patong is the whore-filled Blackpool of Phuket. I rarely venture here as it's full of whores, touts, conmen, mafia-linked taxi dudes, thieving jet-ski swindlers and annoying drunken tourists. The worst of Thai and Western culture seems to manifest itself here. Mango shakes can be had for 40-60bt elsewhere on the island. 120bt is £2.40. That is not cheap for a glass of fruit juice that is locally abundant.

I have only three more weeks left at Headstart Intl School before a two week Xmas break. I then start work at the nearby Kajonkiet School on far fewer hours and a slightly reduced salary. However, I am hoping the new job will be far less stressful.

Pahom - blanket
Morn - pillow
Tee norn - bed
Pa man - curtain

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