Thursday 12 May 2016

Upbeat Umphang


is Thailand's largest district located in Tak Province. At 4,325km² it's larger than 26 of Thailand's 76 Provinces. It's about the same size as Isaan's Mukdahan Province. It's also the remotest area in Thailand with a population density of only 6 people/km². There's only one road in and out - the 1090 from Mae Sot. It's 164 km of motorbike porn with 1,219 curves through pristine wilderness.

Me and wor lass went there as part of a 4-night 1,400km Songkran loop. Twas mint.

But first we had to drink beer and smoke wet tabs in ridiculous shirts as buckets of water were thrown everywhere for the Songkran celebrations.

Then we were off .... up the recently resurfaced road to Pai. This sign advertises a place to 'hoy ya ring' due to the number of bends on the road.

Disaster struck just outside Pai with the battery giving up the ghost. We had to push the bike about 2km in the scorching midday sun to a small repair shop in town. We replaced it for 750bt and continued on. You don't realise how heavy a motorbike is until you have to push it. Imagine what a pain in the arse this would've been if it had happened in the middle of nowhere?

A couple of viewpoints along the way.

Finally made it. It took a mere 7 years in Thailand to reach this elusive destination.

What a cock. Just outside MaeSot.

We hit 66,666km. Two thirds of the way to 100,000km or 1.66 times around the Earth's equator.

Our last night was in Tak town. We stayed in a HiSo room behind Tesco with AC and everything. Not my normal kind of abode when on the road but it's funny what having a lass can do.

There's a footbridge crossing the wide but shallow Ping River. We chilled here with the locals before heading back to Changers. This nondescript town was Wan's favourite place of the trip? She was a superb travel companion.

Chiang Mai

We went to the cinema to watch a Thai comedy about monks. Coincidentally, some of LuangPeeJazz was filmed on location at Wat ChalermPrakiat - the temple at the summit of an impossibly steep mountain that we visited last month. Why do they say "filmed on-location"???

We then went to HangDong for a bowl of 10bt noodles - the cheapest in Thailand.

This place, near the noodle shack, is called, optimistically, Chiang Mai Canyon. It used to be free but now you have to pay 50bt to enter. Bollicks to that. Head a bit further on to Ob Khan National Park.

Ob Khan National Park

Is an anomaly. It's free. The only one I've ever seen in Thailand. A river flows through a gorge where kids jump in from the top. We went on a busy Sunday where hundreds of Thai families were sat having picnics in the shade. A pleasant location just outside CM.


We changed apartments recently. Wan was moaning that my old room had shared toilets/showers. Being a posh lass she wanted something with private facilities. So, I rolled out the red carpet. 2700bt/month with AC. This photo shows Wan in the kitchen - at the foot of the bed.

I'm the only Farang residing here for some reason.

It took all of one trip on the bike to move our shit. Incredibly, Wan has less stuff than me. She's the easiest-to-get-along-with lass I've ever had. She rode 1400km on the back of a bike in boiling weather with no wingeing. Class.

Near my school is the hottest dentist in Asia. By hot I mean fit. She filled a tooth and cleaned the rest for 1100bt all in. I'd gladly pay another 1100bt to give her a filling. I now don sunglasses when brushing. Sexy lass, top teeth, cheap price.

There's only one Jo

I was saddened to lose me best marra recently. Aussie Jo was seduced by Isaan. The lure of Laos was too much and he's off to live in Roi Et. Brendan and I took him to watch CMFC for his last night in town.

He didn't seem too impressed with CMFC's 4-0 demolition of Samut Songkram, lifting them to third in the table.

Another night, Wan and I joined Brendan and his wife Guk for a BBQ before watching CMFC thrash second placed Ubon 4-2. CMFC swapped places with Ubon moving up to second in the table. Compelling stuff.

While NUFC got relegated from the EPL, CMFC are looking more and more like genuine TPL promotion contenders this season. They've been great at home but, unfortunately, fail to carry that momentum away. Will they pay the price for this poor away form? Time will tell.

During the Ubon game smoke was pouring in from this massive bush fire behind the stadium.

We rode right up to it where small crowds had gathered to take selfies.

I'd never seen anything like this before - twas quite a sight to behold.


I received some legal threats for the first time in my life. I now know that defamation doesn't mean taking a shit. I always got it confused with defecation.

In my most popular blog post: How I lost $250,000, I erroneously stated that I lost my entire life savings through Barry Payne and Montpelier Wealth Management.

How could I have made such an error? Well let's see.

1. Barry worked for Montpelier as a "self-employed agent, marketing their services to prospective clients and acting as an introducer".

2. Barry used the name card shown here.

3. All correspondence regarding the Centaur scam went through his Montpelier email address shown here.

4. Barry never mentioned he wasn't selling the Centaur scam through Montpelier.

However, Montpelier claim they "have never had Terms of Business with Centaur Litigation". They said I was defaming them - albeit unknowingly.

Therefore, rather confusingly, it appears that Barry Payne was pushing the Centaur scam independently. Montpelier was not involved at all. Had I known this at the time I may still be rich. Montpelier's name lent the enterprise an air of legitimacy.

Like a pussy I caved in to their demands and removed all mention of Montpelier from that post. T'is only fair if that's the case.

I'll go even further and apologise to Montpelier. It seems Barry had us both over a barrel. Unfortunately I'll continue to suffer the consequences of this ambiguous financial farce. Nothing's as it seems in the murky world of finance.

Gets even better

Duane McGaw was one of the principals of the $160M Argentum/Centaur scam. His brief CV in the Centaur brochure is pictured above. He's now running QSHIQ, a posh-arsed Japanese restaurant in Vancouver, Canada. I'm happy for him. Maybe he can treat some of his victims to a meal there one night.

This page at OffshoreAlert sums things up nicely. Basically, thousands of investors are reduced to poverty while the bloke we invested with flaunts big posh restaurants in our faces. MMmmmm. Shouldn't he be in jail? Remember, the biggest criminals wear suits and work in finance.

A Decade

It's 9 years and 11 months since I left Blighty. What an incredible ride the last 10 years have been. I'll go over the highlights next month.


Left a hole
New folk pointless
Not worth the grief

Roi Et called
Off he went
Isaan lure
Heaven sent

Must move on
Do the thing
Buddha said
Never cling


SobDoc = fail an exam
SobPan = pass an exam


  1. 4,325 26 76 6 1090 1,219 4 1,400 2 750 7 66,666 100,000 10 50 0 free 2700 one 1400 1100 1100 cheap 4-0 4-2 $250,000 $160M 9 years and 11 months 10 years

    1. ฝรั่งนี้มีแต่ความดีใจให้น้องสตีฟใช้ชีวิตรวย ๆ ต่อในประเทศไทยนะครับ

    2. ฝรั่งหรือ สตีฟเป็นคนตะวันตกแล้วนะครับ เชียงใหม่มีคนตะวันตกเยอ ไม่ดีเลย