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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Escort Central

We came to Hua Hin 2 days ago and has been a refreshing, if not slightly disappointing, change to the hustle of Bangkok. Mister Al no longer gets pestered every 2 steps if he'd like to buy a tailor-made suit, if he wants to buy me a rose from a young girl, see a "ping-pong" show or go for some back street massage (its now more like every 10 steps!!!) Hua Hin has defiantly made us get into the back packing spirit and have a little chill. 
Before I go on I forgot to mention in my last blog the flooding situation here in Thailand. As we were flying into Bangkok looking out of the window it was obvious the citys been hit by severe flooding, the rivers were resting on the brim and field after field appeared water-logged. Along Khoa San Road there were still sandbags around the shops and guesthouses but these were removed before we left. When we did our river trip the smaller ports were flooded, with what appeared to be tables and chairs from little restaurants within the ports underwater. Wooded planks had been laid down for people to walk along above the water and big pipes were churning the floodwater back into the river. We felt sorry for the families along the riverside whose homes and businesses had obviously been effected but also amazed and impressed with how they've adapted- we saw people had hung their clothes neatly on hangers out of their windows above the river. Thankfully for the Thai people the rain has stopped, however Mister Al is disappointed as he's dying to stand out in the warm rain and get soaked!!!!

Now back to Hua Hin, I'm sure I mentioned this was a place recommended to us by the "middle-aged," lovely lady who sold us our visa for Thailand back in Liverpool. Hmmm.... this lady defiantly comes to Thailand for reasons different to Mister Al and myself!!! It was sold to us of being a "quiet fishing town" on the coast with nice beaches.
The bus journey here was fine, a little bit squishy but the 4 hours passed quite quickly. When we arrived the bus dropped us off in the middle of a street so with our lonely planet map we proudly navigated our way to the guesthouse we had previously booked, (well we asked 2 people for help but we probably could have found it with out them!!!). The guesthouse "Pattana" is nice, it has a lovely bar/communal area with fairy lights all around the outside. After checking in we quickly set out to explore the beach. This is where the disappointment began. It was packed, full of little "on the beach" restaurants each with their own small space on the sand and deckchairs and umbrellas, and the sea was a rather brown colour with litter floating in it, not what we had imagined.

That night Liverpool were playing Manchester City and we had no trouble finding a bar showing it (Hua Hin gained a point on Mister Als score card!) It was here we noticed the number of "older" western men with "younger" very pretty Thai women. We realised we were in "escort central" as we now call it. This has made good people watching for us though. 

The next day we decided to give the beach a go. We didn't really swim in the not very nice sea but we did have a gorgeous lunch sat on a chair and table in the edge of the sea with our feet dipping in the water! The sun was out and we catched some rays! We also went for our first run since coming to Thailand along the beach bare foot, which was fab, we were very, very sweaty after but we loved it! 

Today we got a tuck-tuck to Takiap, (aka chopstick mountain), where there's a temple on a hill overlooking Hua Hin with a "big Budda" to one side. The best thing about here though was that it is home to hundreds of wild monkeys!!!! They were everywhere, freely walking around the street, up into the temple. We watched a group jumping into a large bowl of water and pushing each other in. I was a little bit scared, as I know these wild monkeys are prone to jump on people especially if they have food. We had our water tucked safely in a bag but we saw a couple who literally got pounced on by about 4 monkeys as soon as they bought an ice-cream, a battle in which the monkeys defiantly won!! 

Today was our last day in Hua Hin and we have swapped and changed our plan for tomorrow so many times this afternoon! When we were in Bangkok we accidentally stumbled across a Thai boxing ring used for Thai boxing training and fitness training. They offer a package for a week just out of Bangkok where they train you twice a day, accommodation and food included and all under our daily budget. However the camp has been closed due to the flooding and is hopefully going to be opened again at the end of this week. We also found another gym offering the same kind of training on Koh Phagnan (where we are spending new year) so we’ve contacted both and hoping one will accept us. So it depends on this what we do in the meantime, we didn’t want to go all the way south if we end up going to the gym in Bangkok but at the same time we want to fit the east coast in before going to the West for Christmas. After walking around and finding out different prices to go different places for about 3 hours tonight, getting lost and very sweaty we finally came to the decision we are going to Khanchanaburi tomorrow, by train first and then hopefully finding a bus to take us the last part. Here we can go to Tiger Temple and do some other activities while we wait for the gyms to get back to us. Then its either back to Bangkok to the gym or to the islands on the west before Koh Phagnan for the gym.

Just realised this is a massive blog, were sat outside the guesthouse and the young guy working here has been waiting for us to come off the internet so he can go home but we didn’t realise so I’m going to have to post this in the morning. Also I’m getting bitten by naughty mosquitoes all over my legs, luckily we have some tiger balm in the room which stops them itching!

Overall Hua Hin is not what we expected however we’ve explored it, been somewhere off the average back packer trail and had a good laugh together :)

Lots of love to everyone xxxxxxxx

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The next leg of the tour

I feel like my visit to Bangkok was a real eye opener for me, today’s blog is not for me to try and change the world or anything daft I just feel like id like to be honest and talk about what we have seen.

As we were driving out of Bangkok yesterday I couldn’t help think to myself that Bangkok has had its boom, a long time ago.  The city is full of buildings that look from the outside derelict but in actual fact are full of families.  Before we left Bangkok yesterday we took a 5 minute walk out of the busy hub of  Koh San Road into what I could only describe as a shanty town. It seemed that bits of corrugated iron nailed together was home for the locals. Little narrow alleys and people sat outside there homes with the front panel opened up as an invitation to their very own jumble sail. Probably hoping for that very rare family heirloom to be found like the trotters! It was really sad to see people living like this just trying to survive another day.  

On a whole as we left Bangkok, I feel like I need to go back to Koh San Road because I did enjoy the hustle and bustle, maybe not being asked If I want a suit every 2 steps. One time I was half tempted to say to the bloke “listen pal its 33 degrees with not a bit of wind in the air, your in the wrong sport, try asking me if I want shorts and a fan, not a suit.” Koh San Road is very addictive and already after one day in Hoa Hin I’m missing the street stalls selling very fast, very cheap and very delicious food.

After being here a week miss Alex and I only noticed yesterday sat on our mini bus to Hoa Hin that Thailand drive on the same side of the road as back home. (the right side ……. The left hand side but the correct side)  I’m not sure that the driving test is to the same standard though! I thought Egyptian taxi drivers were crazy but the Thai’s are on a different level.

So we arrived in Hoa Hin yesterday afternoon and miss alex, me and two young dutch girls with a toddler were at a crossroads literally. We didn’t have a clue where we where in town. Just chucked out of the mini bus. (I’ve been kicked out of better mini buses than that) We felt really sorry for the Dutch girls with the toddler and had a chat about it last night.  The number of families backpacking has surprised us. For instance one example, the other day we saw a family of two parents and three children at an age of in-between 6-10. They looked like a really close knit unit and what better education for the kids than life itself.  Some people might have mixed views on a mother going travelling with such a young toddler in South East Asia, but I think we came to the same conclusion that it really does depend on the individual mother and her parenting skills.  Good luck to her.

As I’m writing this it sounds like a B52 bomber is doing a fly by above my head but miss Alex has spotted a bee flying around us. The sting would be like a javelin thrown by Steve Backley. For this reason I’m off now to take cover and then grab some breakfast.

Speak soon xxx

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Bushtucker Trial

Sa wa dee krap, pom sa bai dee krap. Hey everyone I’m fully embracing this travelling and I’ve learnt how to say hello I’m fine! Well its an app on my phone.  Yesterday we bought a boat pass for 150 baht, which is roughly £3. This allowed us to take a boat ride up the river and stop to get off at various points.  One of which was a temple called Wat Arun. It was a roasting hot day and miss Alex had to cover her arms and legs to gain entrance. I felt a little sorry for her as I  traipsed around in a vest top and shorts. Another stop on the river was at a shrine that was erected 150 years ago. I’m not sure we actually sure went to the shrine that was shown in the guide book. There was a little old man who could not understand us. He was very welcoming and took us around his “shrine” I’m going to be honest an say it looked more like Steptoe s yard than an ancient shrine. The little old man was called Mr Bonkook and was very keen for us to take hundreds of pickies. The last stop we made on the river was to grab a bite to eat. We decided to go off the beaten track a little and try our hand at a street stall. It must have cost us little more than a pound for the most delicious Thai veg soup and chicken fried noodles.

Since being in Bangkok I’ve convinced myself that it is ok to drink Chang beer, because of 2 reasons. The first being that even though it is the shirt sponsor for Everton football club, no one has a clue who Everton are over here and the second reason is that Everton are a non profit making company so the money I spend on Chang will not change much! So last night I decided to to have a Changathon with myself while miss Alex was drinking cocktails. However the Changover is a killer. This morning the pair of us felt so rough.  Last night we noticed a stall that sold fried bugs and crickets, so miss Alex dared me to eat one, I’m glad to say i completed my very own bushtucker trial and came back with the gold stars. Being the big man I challenged miss Alex to pick one for me to eat and she gladly chose the biggest cricket for me. 
We decided that today we were going to do nothing but loaf by the pool, after we booked our bus and accommodation for the next leg of this journey. We are off to Hao Hin tomorrow and should arrive about 3pm. It’s a 3 hour bus ride and as I’m writing miss Alex is busy in the room packing her bag.

Speak soon xxx

Friday, November 25, 2011

We're in Bangkok baby!!!

Yey we got here safe and sound!!! Everything's gone so smoothly so far, lets hope it stays this way! As Mister Alex said in his blog we were shocked at how little our bags weighed, defiantly means I'm going to hit the bargains on Khao San Road, already spotted a few tops, hairbands and a couple of dresses!  

The flights weren't too bad, Mister Alex's day was made by seeing some famous footballer who used to play for Liverpool- I was all ready with my camera but he just got too embarrassed, he was like a little boy at Christmas waiting to go and see Santa!!! Got a little bit nervous on the first plane to Istanbul as we had our bags sniffed by dogs twice (I've never had it done once in England before) and when we were having breakfast in the airport an announcement came over the speaker asking 3 people from our plane to return to security for further checks!

Got here yesterday morning at 3am to all you guys back in England and I have to say we are really struggling with jet lag, Thailands 7 hours ahead. We're staying in a nice guesthouse to break ourselves in gently and after our first Thai meal and a couple of Chang beers (yes Mister Al did tuck into a few Changs despite them being the sponsors of Everton!!), we decided to grab an early night only to be woken at 01:30 by the loudest music ever- our room backs onto a massive club, we havn't been able to swap rooms so bring on tonight!!! 

We are already loving the food and eating in the street, had a gorgeous lunch today of noodles with chicken and the most amazing soup ever, was so hot and spicy but I just couldn't stop eating it, with a bottle of water only cost us about £1.30!!! 

We decided to purchase a boat pass today along the river stopping at different ports around the city, we firstly went to a temple called Wat Arun. It was beautiful, I remember seeing the temples last time I was here but this one has got to be my fave. The detail was fantastic, set in gardens, it had a lovely feel to it. We were also allowed to walk up the steep steps to the top of it giving us views across the river and of Bangkok. Like with all temples and important buildings in Thailand Mister Al was fine to go in wearing his shorts and thin strap vest, however me, being the female, had to put on a long sleeve t.shirt I had in my bag and rent a lovely blue and white long flowery skirt, which I kept standing on the bottom of when walking up the steep steps and it also made me very very hot! It is boiling here, I cant help look around at some of the other girls and they look lovely and cool in their dresses and then look down at my own top and see a little sweat patch forming!!! Hopefully we will become acclimatised soon!

After the temple we got back on the boat to further down the river to visit a shrine, after nearly getting lost and giving up we stumbled across it. Initially from the outside it looked very impressive however when we went in we noticed giant cobwebs over all the models of Gods. The old man working there was a fab guide if not a little crazy wanting us to take a million photos most of which with one of us and him in!! He was a nice man though and his photo tactics meant we felt inclined to give him more of a donation than we had initially agreed!

Next was back down the river to an area that hosted a rather "posh" shopping center, which we gladly used to walk around and make the most of the aircon! It was round here we found the street stalls with our yummy and amazingly cheap lunch. 

I think the sun and the jetlag had got to us by this point so we headed back to Khao San, hit the pool on the roof for an hour and have now come to the room to cool down before tea. Got one more day in Bangkok before heading to Hua Hin (a place recommended to us by the lady who sold us our visas in Liverpool). We are not quite sure how we're going to get there yet but we'll figure it out. 

Missing everyone lots, lots of love xxxxxx

Thursday, November 24, 2011


 It’s the 23/11/11 and today we fly to Thailand via Istanbul. typically the first thing miss Alex said to me as she woke up and has said to me everyday she wakes up “Al I feel like crap this morning! Honestly Al I’m so tired this is the most  tired I’ve ever felt, EVER!’’ Once we got up it was a mad dash to make the taxi for 8:00 am.  At the check in there was a nervous moment before we our bags on the scales. As it was our combined baggage limit was 64kg and we weighed in at about 49kgs so after all the re packs and re re packs we were 15 kg under. Im sure miss Alex thinks that’s a licence to get more clothes now!

As we were going through the various checks points through security a UK border control officer stopped and asked if she could ask miss Alex a few questions. One of them being “what is the reason you are leaving the UK?” I couldn’t resist I told her it was because the fuel was due to go up to £1.50 a litre and we’d had enough. There was a blank look on her face.

We had a boss breakfast in a Mexican restaurant, I must admit at this point I still couldn’t believe that we were about to travel half way round the world to start something massive. After breakie we went downstairs to the boots to get some bits like bottled water and chewies maybe even sweets. Didi Hamman only walks in. I told miss Alex who it was and she suggested I get a quick pickie hm. I’m certain he’s heard me telling miss Alex that a Liverpool legend has just graced us with his presence, after all he did change the greatest ever European final when he came on as a halftime sub in 2005. Those of you reading this haven’t a clue of the Istanbul 2005 final, then I suggest you Google it.  Like a shy kid I bottled it, I couldn’t even manage to ask him for a quick pickie which I’m certain he’d of been happy to do as there was only miss Alex, me and Didi Hamman in the boots store. Amongst all of the stargazing I forgot the chewies and sweets.

5 minutes before were due to board the flight, fly across the world and my phone goes off in my pocket, I had a missed called from home. So I call it back as soon as I can and my mum says “ Alex how do we work the sky interactive on sky news?”
I had to laugh as I talked her through step by step.

Were now sat on the plane and miss Alex has the travel guides out in front of us and were making a bit of a plan, which goes a bit like this. Fly to Bangkok and have 3 days there then head down south on the east coast with stops at, Hua Hin, Bang Saphan and Chumphon then head over to the west coast to Ranong, stopping at Khao Lak  then Phi Phi where The Beach was filmed via Krabi.

So this is it, the journey has started and I would like to leave the UK with a quote from one of my favourite people. As Del boy would say “bonjour.” xxx

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


So its the the day before miss Alex and me fly out to Bangkok, just spoken to her on the phone and we are now checked in on the flight through the internet. I hope she still remembers that i had bagseez on the window seat. 

Last night i finished packing my bag with the help of Nikki. After asking Dave to pick it up and tell me how heavy he thought it was he replied HEAVY! Our bag limit is 23kg for luggage and 8kg for hand luggage, i immediately turned as white as a pair of underpants that had passed the daz doorstep challenge. The reason for this is because miss Alex and me have been stung before in the airport with excess weight charges. Opening up your luggage at the check out counter to juggle about clothing is pretty embarrassing, especially as i had to swap my nice trendy man bag for miss Alex s flowery beach bag for our hand luggage because it was bigger and fit more in. Anyway after a complete re pack of necessary items this time not including a 3rd spare set of hair clippers and a mix up with the units on my dads baggage scales (we read the pounds and not kg) the bag is ready to go.

This morning was my 3rd and last rabies jab, iv never been a great fan of needles and always have to look away like a big wuss. So im now officially South East Asia proof, meaning nothin can get me now apart from a good old dose of the trots. (must check with miss Alex if we have Imodium). Months ago when i went to my doctors to ask what jabs i needed she told me they had lost my record of jabs. So "we ll start again". Great!  iv lost count of the needles iv had and im glad its all finished now. the rabies jab is £70 per jab. Im half tempted to find the biggest and baddest rabid looking monkey and let it bite me just to see exactly what i get for £210. 

I would just like to say to all my family and miss Alex s family and all of our friends that you have made the last couple of weeks here amazing. Miss Alex is right it makes us remember what we have got to look forward to when we come home.

Speak soon xxx

Monday, November 21, 2011

The adventures about to begin!!!

Its the day before we leave home and iv got a million emotions going through me!! Very, very excited but also nervous and im hating all the goodbyes (many of which have already been tearfull-Alfie!!!). Just want to say thank you to all mine and Alex's family and friends for the past few weeks, weve both been so touched and we feel very lucky to have what we have to come home to.

So back packs are just about packed, after a big struggle and cut down of clothes!! I darent look at it today because I finally just got it to zip up last week and dont want to start adding anymore stuff!! Yes girls I do have a travel hairdryer, straightners and a whole new set of makeup but just cos im roughing it for a while doesn't mean I dont want to apply abit of mascara and straighten my hair every so often!

The journey starts tomorrow with a train to Manchester where Im meeting Mister Al at the airport travel lodge so we can have a good tea and sleep before checking in for our flight at 08:30 on Wednesday. From there its a 6 hour flight to Istanbul where we have 2 hours to kill, (airport bar here we come), before a 8 hour flight to Bangkok. Bangkok time itl be about 09:30 when we land but as they are 6 hours ahead it'll feel like 03:30 to us!

I'm going to miss everyone so much, I'll be thinking of you and look forward to seeing everyone when we get back.
Lots of love

Miss Alex xxxxxx