BANGKOK - 'Sin City!'. It took us a matter of hours to discover why it has this nickname. We went for a farewell meal with our Cambodia tour group and Dave, after nightmare bus journey was having a few back problems and fancied a massage. The hotel that we were staying at was very nice, too nice for a couple of lads like us in fact so he thought that it was arespectable enough place to experience a Thai massage. I was sitting in our room, when he arrived red-faced and out of breath but thats because he took the stairs! It turns out that the masseur was a little bit too friendly and DSW stated that there was 'definite cupping!'. When she asked if he wanted longer for a tip, this was his cue to get the hell out of there! If we were not on a budget maybe the tip would have been more forthcoming!!! Dave took this in his stride but the more conservative aussie on our tour called Andre was shell-shocked. That was just the very first evening in Bangkok!!!
The next day DSW said he was going to get a tattoo when in Bangkok but to my disappointment this was not two russian lesbians, it was an actual tattoo. It was said to be a quick and easy job and after 12 hours in the chair, it was complete, just like that! I was eased through the agony by my companion jake offering to sing for me, we all know jake likes the odd ballard and this was very soothing. The final result can be seen in the latest pictures. I (Jake) was tempted to get a tattoo on my face to make it look like I had a real beard but resisted well.
One night, after dinner and plenty of beers we were approached by a tuk tuk man offering to take us to the red light district of Bangkok and there was a shout of 'WHEN IN ROME!' and off we went!!! This was what happened. We got off the tuk tuk and CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED .......and we got back on the tuk tuk and made our way home, astonished by what we had seen.
After a few lively 'Sin City' evenings we headed north to Chang Mai and of course it was another overnight journey. This time it was a bus and due to another monsoon the bus leaked water on us for 12 long hours until we reached our destination- Chang Mai. After a quick kip we went out to see the sights. As night beckoned we decided on having a few beers before dinner. After spotting a sign for some local thai boxing we decided this would be an excellent way to let off some steam. We then walked down past loads of bars to the ring in the centre, as we sat down we were served our beers and settled in to the fight, it was then that on doing a quick scan of the hall we realised we were surrounded by loads of slutty looking girls. On closer inspection some of these girls were built like s***houses and spoke like barry white. We were in a thai boxing venue trying to act tough surrounded by a load of ladyboys and go go dancers eyeing us up. 6 seconds later we had left.
After a few more beers over the shocking england game our beds beckoned. As we were strolling back a moped carrying a load of thai girls pulled over screaming (dsw claims they were screaming david beckham while pointing at him). The travellers were then hi jacked and taken to a nightclub which was full of other travellers. By this time we were smashed and after chatting with some other travellers the pair of us cannot remember a thing we said we stumbled home. Although, we can't remember much, I did discover a lady's phone number in my wallet the next morning. Her name was Colin!!!! That night was the only time I didn't mind seeing DSWs naked sleeping as I was just relieved that no ladyboy antics had taken place.
The past three days we have been trekking in the jungles of a place called Pai in Northern Thailand which was an amazing experience. We were in a group of 11 similarly aged travellers and had a guide called Chan (Doc..who is Chan?). The treking was going up throgh the moutains and jungles near the burmese border.Each night we would be staying with a local hill tribe and in the days alongside the treking we would see waterfalls, go elephant riding and bamboo rafting. After a tough 4 hour bus ride up the mountain we arrived at the village lahru. here we were greeted by the village children who introduced themselves with hello 20 baht and holding out their hand, v cheeky, and had lunch over looking a valley. It was incredible there were pigs and livestock running about and lived in basic wooden bamboo huts yet still had a great big satellite dish outside, we think for soccer saturday but this was not confirmed. After lunch we began our trek up to the village of lishu.
When we signed up for a trek we expected a few tough sections and a few hairy moments but nothing like what we would experience. I think andy mcnabb would have struggled over the terrain. Luckily dsw and jake had to draw on their jungle warfare training (tirabad 1999) to negotiate the surroundings. Although it was tough it was also incredibly beautiful and the views were awesome. As well as the terrain we were dealing with the heat and humidity which was hotter than the sun. Luckily dsw had donned his bandana to cope with the resevoirs of sweat he was producing. After going up and over mountains, through streams and rivers we started climbing when we reached our destination and played a little game of footy with the local tribe kids. Although, it was essentially a kick-about Dave's 'Competitive Dad' side came out when there was a shout of 'Next Goal Wins' and he proceded to bodycheck (Nat Lofthouse style) a 6 year old kid into the back of the net. He celebrated as if he had scored the winner in the Berks and Bucks cup final. We retired to eat while the kid was rushed to hospital.(not confirmed-dsw).
The tribal lads, who could speak very little english, then got the guitar out and played such tunes as 'Save Tonight' by Eagle Eye Cherry and the R.Kelly classic 'I believe I can fly' and we danced the night away by candlelight while the local lads smoked opium - We were forcefully offered some opium but this was one time where 'When in Rome' did not apply. We were treated to the local women and children singing and dancing for us and as we had already had a few beers inside us we decided to sing along. At one point dsw and jake decided to lead the group in some traditional thai dancing but apparenty such moves as a lunge and a kieron wicks stretch are not very traditional, still the locals loved the banter. After the women left the men smoked more opium and drank more moonshine. Although people were chatting you could still here the sound of the jungle, it was the most relaxed and chilled out we had ever been, literally chilling out in a little bamboo hut with no amenities absolutely smashed out of our faces on opium.... only joking sally and cathie.
After one of the best nights sleep of the trip we were up and away on to another day of trekking. Again masses of hills and jungle but before lunch we managed to find an awesome waterfall. Chan informed us that the night before a man had died in the waterfall and then sent us unsupervised to it while he had a liedown. After sweating our k*** s off all morning the previous night's incident didn't deter us from getting in the waterfall to cool down and we came out unscathed, apart from a groin injury sustained by Jake due to a bit of playful banter and a very strong current involving a sharp rock. Next on the agenda was a cheeky little elephant trek which sounded fun in principal but was one of the most uncomfortable trips and the hamstrings took a battering.
The main event of that evening was DSW getting a comedy penis drawn on the side of his face while we played a game of 'Bang, Bong'. Whenever a mistake was made, the culprit had charcoal drawn on their face and as Jake got to draw on Dave, a c*** and balls was going to be the only result. (See Left). The worst players of the game had so much charcoal on their faces, it made them look like ex Leeds United player Tony Yeboah.
The final trekking activity was Bamboo Rafting which was eventful. We were on seperate rafts and were both given the job of steering from the rear which proved to be a painful decision as we hit the bank often. On one such occasion, Jake was at the back of the attempting to repair the raft as we were moving and as he turned he was smacked in the head by a thick log and was sent into the river.
Tomorrow, we head to Laos on a two day boat trip and we are going to spend a week or so there.
Jake and Dave.