Tuesday, 20 April 2010

New Years Eve

Well firstly I would like to say Happy New Year to everyone, although by the time this post will actually make it up it will be April. (I can't believe how far behind I am with this).

My New Years Eve this year was, like my Christmas, unlike one I have ever had before. Last years, as I have done for nearly all my NYE, was spent in a very cold Norwich getting "On It" with the few of my friends that were still there, going around some pretty terrible bars around Norwich and paying a shit load for it. NYE 2010 however I spent sweating my head off in Phitsanulok in northern Thailand.

I was unsure how this was all going to turn out really mainly because I had turned to rather special events down firstly Sydney Australia for NYE and also the NYE Full Moon Party which would have had in excess of 50,000 people there and would have been massive. Instead I was in Phitsanulok, a small town I had never heard of before. Only time would tell if I had made the right decision or not.

The night kicked off with a trip around the Phitsanulok Food Festival. Wasn't sure exactly what was going on but basically Phitsanulok had put on a Asian food festival for NYE with possibly around a hundred stalls selling various sweet and savory treats from all over South East Asia. I saw a lot things I hadn't seen since my 4 month trip with Tommy back in Feb-June time earlier that year. There were also a number of stalls just selling various nick nacks, like Wayne Rooney posters. We got a few bites to eat here and saw some of the Dances and bands that had been put on. One being a Linkin Park tribute act which was amazing haha. After an hour or so at the festival and not really being able to eat anything else we jumped back on our bike and headed off to the "Wild Wings" biker bar.

Wild Wings was a bar owned by Aun's friend Manutsawat who by day worked at their printing business and by night they opened their biker bar for the other members of the "Wild Wings" to eat, drink beers, play pool and general kick back. It was an awesome set up they had in the way it was just a bar they had got just for themselves and their friends and for whoever else who wanted to come along and drink there. I had spent the last couple of nights there and tonight was going to be a similar affair to the last few nights only with a few more people and more of an excuse to party. My first call of duty was to be maraca player for the house band playing a long to such classics as Bob Marley's "No women no cry" and Oasis's "Don't look back in anger" which I eventually also ended up butchering during my first and last ever attempt at public singing. I believe alcohol played a large part in that happening.

The rest of the night was a fairly standard night other than the fact I was in Thailand and was with none of my friends from home. Got drunk, played pool, danced (kind of) and eventually as you can see from the video had a little count down at midnight as I counted down the last few seconds of one of the most memorable years I have ever had. I was pretty sad to say good by to 2009 as it had been such a great year but obviously quite looking forward what 2010 had in store.

That is about all I have to say really, it was a great night that lasted till the early hours. As you could see from the photos some guys didn't quite make it through the whole night and ended up passing out on the floor which obviously led to the usual tomfoolery with the drunken corpse. A very memorable NYE for sure and one I will remember for many years to come. I just wonder where I will be and what I will be doing this year!


Monday, 12 April 2010


Suckhothai was a place I had never really heard of before and if it weren't for Aun and her friends I imagine would never have gone. Although upon getting back I did find it in Lonely Planet's top list of things to do to my surprise. Maybe they are running out of new and exciting things to suggest?...

Anywhooo I was currently staying in a place roughly 5 hours north of Bangkok called Phitsanulok and Aun's friend's said they would drive us up to Sukothai roughly an hour north of Phitsanulok to show me around the various temples, Buddhas and lakes that were there. I really appreciate it when someone is willing to go out of their way to give me their own littletour of a piece of their country and thought it would be a great way of learning a bit more about Thailand. I assume the car ride was about an hour, I am not entirely sure as I fell asleep in the car for pretty much the whole journey both there and on the way back, it definitely didn't feel like a long way either way.

When I arrived and had fully woken up we went on a little hunt around the many shops just outside the entrance. I have never really bothered with these shops as they tend to sell a load of rubbish you don't really needed but was surprised when Aun and her friends all got out of the car and started looking around the stalls for things to buy. Aun brought a strange little whistle thing and her friends brought a couple of Samurai swords and a few other wooden nick nacks. I thought about maybe buying a back scratcher but thought it would only end up snapping in my bag so didn't. I was just quite surprised they all bothered buying stuff really only because I always assumed the stalls were just aimed at the various western tourists that came to Suckhothai. How wrong I was.

After a brief shopping trip we all sat down for some food. As usual when I have eaten with Thais' I just let them order something for me. I don't really care what it is as long as it's not seafood as I don't really trust it out here. As always they asked if "I minded it spicy" and I say spicy is fine. Then I always seem to get asked "Thai spicy or tourist spicy". I am never really sure how to answer this as I like my spicy food but don't like to be in pain and it is a little hit and miss out here as to the level of spiciness you actually end up getting. So I just asked for an in between spiciness. I can't remember exactly what it was, it was some sort of spicy noodle soup with pork, very nice as far as I can remember. However the main thing I remember about the meal is the very fat boy (pictured) who had fallen asleep next to me.

After the food we went finally made our way to the temples. I had to pay the tourist price to enter, 5 times more than the other, 100 Baht which sucked. As a way of getting around they all thought it would be a great idea to hire bikes to explore the sights. An idea I was also very much up for as I was still feeling a bit rough from my little virus and cycling around was going to so much easier than walking around the temples. However I once again had to pay the tourist price for my bike while the others got theirs a lot cheaper as they paid the Thai price once again. Humph.

For the next hour or so we just hossed around from temple to temple, taking the odd picture and things really. To be honest there was not a huge amount to say about it as it was just a nice little bike read really. Just look at the pictures to get more of an idea.

Unfortunately the day was cut short due to an ill dog called Sa Tang. Aun's friend Nut had just brought a new dog a couple of days ago and had brought it in a little bag to Sukothai with us. It was one of those little Paris Hilton dogs. I can't remember what we were going to go see but there was some other part of Suckhothai that was very worth seeing so we had given our bikes in and where going to take the car their. However just as we got in the car Sa Tang threw up blood so the we had to rush back to the vet as they realised something was very wrong with him. So we all got back in the car and made our way back to Phitsanulok.

It was a great couple of hours cycling amongst the temples of Suckhothai, reminded me very much of my Angkor Watt experience back in April last year. Unfortunately the whole day was cut short but the little dog being sick. Unfortunately if you were wondering the dog did die the next day. Therefore I dedicate this post to him.

Sa Tang the dog
2/12/2002 - 30/12/2009