Sunday, January 28, 2007

Koh Samui

Yesterday we went for a trek with my dad to try and find a secluded beach. We eventually did and were enjoying the privacy when along came a dozen or so Thais who were out for a sunday picnic. After awhile we decided to bail but stopped to watch them climbing up palm trees and tossing down some coconuts. The began hacking into them with machetes and offered us some when they saw us watching them. We eagerly accepted and drank up the contents of about four coconuts (they kept handing them to us). Then they cut them open for us and pulled out all the meat. So good. We were absolutely stuffed by the time we left.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Phuket etc

So... the Phuket thing didn't last too long. We arrived at the airport without a room booked and ended up having to pay a whopping $60 for a place that didn't even have a pool and wasn't on the beach. We moved to another place the next night and found an ok place up on a hill that was still really expensive. We made plans to stay for another three nights, since the beach near by was really nice and we figured it would be worth it... Then Natalie decided at 11pm that she was going to take off and go to Koh Phi Phi with a friend of hers...Amy and I decided we were tired of paying to much for stuff and we just wanted to be able to chill somewhere for awhile so we booked a bus to Koh Samui (to stay with my parents). We paid a decent amount for a direct bus-ferry ticket... the bus showed up on time but he spent and hour and a half driving around in circles trying to find other passengers (he was hopelessly lost). We drove for several hours while he continuously jammed people in.. we had to change buses and one point but of course they had overbooked the bus so there were more passengers than seats. Amy and I shared one seat with all our bags under us.. madness. We finally got to Surat Thani where we were supposed to catch the ferry but the last ferry had already left so we were stranded. The travel agent there was a total biatch. They said we could sleep above their office (so nasty) but we refused. After yelling at them for a long time, we gave up and booked ourselves into a pimp hotel with a gorgeous lagoon pool. It cost us $15 for the night and we treated ourselves to treats from Tesco. Had to get up at 6am to catch the first ferry. Finally got to Samui... mum picked us up from the Fisherman's Village. Currently I am sharing a bed with Boolie (a family friend) and Amy is crammed in the space on the floor between the bed and the wall. The house my parents are building isn't finished yet (we are very excited about it.. .it's incredible). I will post pics when its a bit more "done". There's a colony of people living on the property. It's quite strange actually. The workers have built themselves a little village with chickens and everything. Amy and I are moving into our own little house today and we're loving the scooters. We went to Chaweng Beach last night for some party action. It did not end well... Im embarassed actually. I spent the night with my head in the toilet of a nasty bar. Obviously couldn't drive the scooter home. Ha ha. Stupid redbull and vodka buckets. Ewww.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Food Photos

Hey.. if you wanna check out some pics of my food experiences go to my flickr site. Im not sure the exact addy.. just go to and then search my user name (mlangdon_wilkins) and my photos should come up. Yum yum yum.

Adventures in the north

I know I've been really bad... I should have been blogging a lot more often than I have but it's been hard to get enough time to actually sit and spend time doing it. I finally have one hour to get it all together. Anway, we left Bangkok about five days ago, on the night train to Chiang Mai. What a blast that was. It was super comfortable with totally pimp bunks and table service. They kept us plastered with beer the entire time (the actually stored their mobile bar-a bucket full of beer and ice- right next to us). Dinner was Thai food, served to us in our little booth, and then we moved to the "bar car" when it was "bedtime". Drank way too much beer, but slept soundly all the way to Chiang Mai (12 hours). Arrived horribly hungover and had to hop on a 4 1/2 hour ghetto bus ride to Pai. It was exhausting, and hot... the seats were so small we couldn't sit with our legs forward and had to sit sideways. Not good. Found a great little tree house style bungalow in Pai. We were all set for a three day stay before we realised that we messed up our train tickets and could only stay for two nights. So we spent our one day zipping around on rental scooters.. so much fun. We drove by the elephant camps, saw the hot springs and walked through the Pai Canyon. It was gorgeous up there... also very cold. It was about 25 during the day and dropped down to zero at night. All three of us were huddled in one bed together trying to keep warm. It was quite a shock. We opted for the suicidal mini-van to take us back to Chiang Mai (I honestly thought we were going to die). We managed to squeeze in an hour of late lunch and market shopping before hopping back on the train to Bangkok. As usual Amy was sharing her seat with someone drunk.. this time an ex-policeman who was so old he could hardly walk. He kept trying to take her for dinner in the other car... he polished of a mickey when he got up in the morning. Ha ha.. poor Amy. When we got back to Bangkok we headed to the dreaded Kao San rd. Yuck... what a sess pit. Anyway, we found a semi-decent over-priced room and spent the afternoon getting foot massages and eating lots of street food. When nighttime rolled around we decided to save some money.. we went to 7-11, bought a twixer of vodka and some fresh squeezed tangerine juice. We mixed our own bevvies and wandered the streets until midnight, eating yummy food and getting up to all kinds of mischief... more details on the outcome of that night at a later date. Anyway, we are flying to Phuket this afternoon for some well-deserved beach time. Im sure there will be more adventures to follow.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Adventures of Amy

Yes... the adventures of Amy, not me. Mostly because all the funny shit seems to happen to her so I think she deserves her own post. We will start with day 1 in Thailand when Nat and I decided to endulge in a foot massage. Amy wanted a full body massage so off she went into her little private booth to get rubbed down. She came away feeling quite pleased with herself, that was until she told us that it was weird when she got her boobs massaged. I burst out laughing because, yes, it is weird to have your boobs massaged... in all my oil massages I have never had anyone touch my breasts. Later that day she decided to get her legs waxed... After several botched attempts to wax her, the ladies attempted to thread her no avail. When they realised that they couldn't, the pulled out a razer and started dry shaving her legs. At this point Amy flipped out and pointed out that she could shave her own legs at home and it wouldn't cost her 400 baht. They continued to do it until Amy jumped up and tried to leave... they of course demanded that she pay 200 baht for her one dry-shaven leg. Her further fiasco occured when, on the bus home from Pattaya, she was seated next to a deleriously drunk hooker. The woman slammed a beer, opened another one, and passed out, spilling the freshly open beer all over Amy's foot. Amy took the beer away and tried to ignore her... not possible. The woman started ranting and flailing in her sleep... grabbing Amy's leg and talking in Thai. At one point it appeared as though she was having a very, um, erotic dream and was moaning like a dog in heat. Just when Nat and I couldn't supress our laughter any more the woman jumped up, apparently sleep walking, and ran into the toilet. She was in there about half an hour before she came back and started propositioning Amy. First it appeared that she wanted to "sleep" with Amy in the toilet.. then she changed her tune and wanted to come home with us because she had nowhere to stay. Needless to say, were all very relieved when she finally got off the bus. Amy is slightly traumatised but at least she's laughing about it.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Thailand... finally

So we finally made it to Bangkok. I haven't been writing daily since I've been waiting for things to happen. Much of what we've been doing, I did the last time I was here so I'm not going to go into the tedious details. Our guest house is fabulous. It's really just an old apartment building which has been lined with wood-panelling throughout the inside so you feel like you are in a little Thai hut. The price is right too. On our frist day we headed straight for MBK shopping center where we treated ourselves to some shopping, hair cuts and foot massages. For most of our meals we have been going for Thai... street food...yummy. The other night we hit up about six stalls in one go. We started with meat on a stick, grilled fresh in front of us. Then we went to a little soup stall and just pointed at random ingredients until they threw something together for us. It was very beefy... noodley (is that a word).. and oh so good. To that we added a green papaya salad (hotter than hell) and had to eat it with a mountain of sticky rice because it was so spicey. The next stall offered more soup so we opted for one with fish balls in it. Mmm fish balls. Next we went for the Thai version of KFC... deep fried chicken drumsticks. Sooo yummy. Total, we spent about $6 Candadian (divided by three of course, ha ha). This, accompanied by some $2 beer from Cheap Charlies, made for a fantastic meal. Yesterday we took a day trip to Pattaya, a beach about 2hrs away. What a mistake. I was worried I was going to catch Syphillis from the sand. It's like one giant brothel with nasty fat tourist men picking up young Thai prostitutes. Not fun for us. The beach was flithy and we had to endure nasty men filming us with a video camera and an onslaught of vendors trying to sell us everything from bed throws, to ice cream, to hair elastics. After a long busride home we hit the streets for some Phad Thai. Yum yum. By the way, Im going to set up a separate photo blog of all the food i see and eat here. I will put it on my flickr account...details of that later. Today we relaxed on the rooftop of some fancy hotel, taking in some sun and spent some time at the gym. We are booked on the 6pm overnight train to Chiang Mai were we will catch a bus to Pai, a small town in northern Thailand. Peace out for now.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Macau Continued

So lunch at Fernandos turned out to be quite a treat. We had to wait quite some time for a table but not to worry...there was a bar nearby. Fernando's is a quaint little Portuguese restaurant with red and white checked tablecloths and is usually packed to the roof with hungry customers. We decided to go for the whole spectrum of food so we ordered the suckling pig, fried crab, garlic prawns, grilled fish and portuguese fried rice. This was acommpanied by several pitchers of Sangria (a great idea at the time, but regretted later on when the hangover kicked in as soon as the plane was in the air). We stupidly assumed that the restaurant would take Visa so after racking up a fairly hefty bill we were shocked to learn that it is a cash-only establishment. Of course there were no bank machines on the island so we were looking at taking a long busride toi fetch some cash. Fernando's son actually offered to take our names and email adresses and said he would send us the bill, ha ha. He really did mean it to. Eventually we were able to write a personal cheque. We stumbled into the airport, literally and set off for Thailand.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


After yet another ferry ride we got to Macau... we were hugely looking forward to getting away from the HK smog. No such luck. I was looking out the window on the boat thinking "wow, there sure is a lot of salt spray on these windows". Ha! Welcome to SMOG CITY. I have never experienced pollution like this. You can hardly breathe. Its unbearable. It's even worse for Nat with her asthma. Anyway, our guesthouse is a cute little hole in the wall with puppy dog and alphabet wallpaper. Nice sweaky little bunkbeds. The old Square is gorgeous... full of old colonial buildings (complete with starbucks and McDonalds incorporated into them). It was hard finding a place to eat that was affordable so we ended up splurging on Italian. We spent a whopping $25 each on an appies, pasta and two bottles of wine, ha ha. Sometimes its best to stop being stingey and think in terms of Canadian dollars. Anyway, todays walking tour around the old town was... less than thrilling. This afternoon we are heading to Hac Se Beach which is made up of black volcanic sand. Lunch will be at the famous Fernandos restaurant... gastronomique stories to follow Im sure. We fly to Bangkok this evening.

Friday, January 12, 2007


Street Waffles
These are by far the best dessert Hong Kong has to offer.

Lunch... this was the "side" to my noodle soup.
Best BBQ pork ever.

HK Pics

Hong Kong

Well.. after an extremely tedious and sleepless flight (with a seat in front of the toilet so we were the victims of the Chinese obsession to pee every ten minutes and do Tai Chi moves in the only open space on the plane) we finally arrived in Hong Kong. Needless to say, a few things have changed since we were here last. The crazy high-speed train to the island was a bonus. Stepping out of the subway was ovewhelming. The lights... so much light. Everything is flourecsant... it burns. The streets are packed with people.. you can hardly move. The smells are the same though.. very familiar. It took us forever to find our hostel (Im not very good with maps at all) but we eventually got there, dumped our bags and took off down memory lane. Nat was quick to remember all the little streets and shops... it took longer for me to get my bearings. We treated ourselves to some delicions street waffles with condensed milk... mmmmmm.
Day two (after Nat and Amy had their Starbucks fix) we headed up to the Peak (the highest point in HK) via the famous peak tram.. it was freaky. The angle is so sharp it actually makes your neck hurt. When we got to the top it was so windy it felt like our faces we going to blow off. We almost got hit by a garbage can that blew over and started rolling down the hill. In the afternoon we headed to Kowloon side (the mainland) and ate some lunch. I had some FANTASTIC noodle soup with chicken and BBQ pork. So good. We tried shopping but were way too tired so we headed home for a "nap". That turned into sleeping our entire afternoon away. We woke up in a panic and had to run.. literally.. to make it to a bar before Happy Hour ended.
Day 3 we caught a ferry to Lamma Island. It seems to have turned into a Hippy Haven in recent years. We dined in a Vegetarian Cafe and then set off for a trek across the island. The smog was so thick you could hardly see three feet in front of you. In the evening we headed to Wan Chai for Happy Hour. Our bartender was a Canadian named Phil... he invented a fantastic blue cocktail for us that we proceeded to name "Blue Balls". We met a really nice guy who ended up footing our bill for the entire night.. and then he left in a hurry for a business emergency... score for us. That certainly helped the budget.
Today we are headed for Macau... not sure when yet but soon enough. We are off to Bangkok tomorrow evening. I will post more as things happen.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Waiting to leave

Okay... so originally I was being fairly patient and wasn't in a huge rush for Tuesday to come... then it snowed. I cannot believe how disgustingly cold and wet Vancouver has become and I really can't take it anymore. I think Nat and Amy feel the same way. My room is mostly packed up.. my bag is almost there. I'm tying up all the loose ends and I am ready to leave... NOW! So far the plan is flexible... we arrive in Hong Kong on Wednesday evening (we lose a day during travel). This will be my first trip back to Hong Kong in 10 years (since the 1997 handover). We've only got three nights there before ferrying to Macau (an ex-Portuguese colony on the China coast). After one night there we will be flying to Bangkok and the rest of the journey is an open road (sorry for the bad pun). We will probably head North to do some trekking. The flight to HK is going to be brutal... 14 hours. Yuck. At least we are all on the same flight. I've got my MP3 loaded to the max with tunes for the journey. I'm stoked.