Monday, 19 April 2010
I had come up to Phitsanulok for New Years Eve, not because anything special happens in Phitsanulok but just because I had been invited up there. You can read about NYE here.
The journey up to Phitsanulok was fairly simple. It was New Years so just like back home everything was rammed. I got to the bus station with Aun and all the buses were already packed out. Therefore we had to find one of the private buses going that direction. It was going to cost like a quid more but would get us there a lot quicker than the big public coach. So jumped into a little mini bus and set off on the 5 hour journey to Phitsanulok with my knees against my ears squashed up behind the passenger seat.
We arrived late and night and were picked up from the bus station by 2 of her friends on mopeds. It was the first time I had been on a moped in ages with my massive bag on so was a right struggle. However I knew if I had fallen off my bag would have more than adequately broken my fall. They took us to the Wind Wings bar and I ordered some food. I was present with possibly the hottest dish I have had my whole time in Asia. I could not finish it as every mouth full was just felt like a fork full of pain. Once I had washed the spice away with a few Chang beers I was introduced to the guys there who all had various levels of English but pretty much all of them had enough for me to get by. Then shortly after that I had to retire to my abode as I was bloody knackered.
I was there about 4 days all together I think so also got up to a lot of sight seeing while I was there. First day was the trip to Suckhothai which you can read here and then the rest of the time was spent sampling what Phitsanulok had to offer.
On the first full day in Phitsanulok after day one and our trip to Suckhothai I didn't really get up to much that much. Aun and I were lent a moped for the duration of our stay there by "The Wild Wings" so I felt like a fully fledged member hossing around on my very own Wilds Wings bike haha. It was an absolute life saver though. Not only did we now have a method of transport totally at our disposal for the duration of our stay in Phitsanulok. It was also given to us free of charge saving us a packet. We headed back to where we were staying and chilled out for a bit before we headed out for NYE that night.
The next day being a very slow day after the NYE antics I didn't really get up to that much. I managed to get out of bed around midday to early afternoon and ended up just mopedding around exploring the towns temples and markets and food. One of the things I can most remember about that day is how hot it was. I was sweating my head off more than usual for some reason and was buying drinks every 5 minutes! I visited the normal selection of Buddhas, shrines and anything else that is normally associated with temples. They were all very busy as most of the Thai's had the day off as it was New Years Day and had come to the temples to pray and be blessed (is that the right term?) by the monks with water. I am assuming to wash away bad spirits for the new year and all that kind of things. As we had the ped we hossed all over the place from temple to temple. I think at some points we were just driving around for the hell of it just to see what we could find. I have no idea how many miles we did that day but it definitely was a lot. At one point we ended up quite far out of the city amongst a load of rice paddy field which obviously was idea conditions for a landscape photo taking session.
That night predictably ended with a session at "The Wild Wings" bar with the usual games of pool. However Aun and I also went to the Korean style BBQ next door. Where you get to cook you own meat on a hot plate/griddle thing in the middle of the table. Whenever endless amounts of meat is put in front of my I always eat far too much and by the time I had finished felt horrendously uncomfortable. I also sampled chicken liver for the first time. I can safely say it will be the last time as well.
The next day once again relied heavily on where our moped could take us. It just so happened that it could take us on roughly a 3 hour trip along a single road stopping at about 3 or 4 waterfalls along the way. To be honest they all sort of blurred into one. One we stopped at was almost Thailand's answer to Vang Vein. There was hundreds of Thais' bobbing up and down in the water on tubes floating along peacefully in the January sun. It was about a million miles away from the chaos that I was sure was happening in Vang Vien. Another one we went to we got there just that little bit too late that they were no longer letting people in. However for some reason the security guard took pity on us and let us in anyway. The best bit about this was that pretty much everyone else had gone so we had the whole place to ourselves. We spent again here taking photos of the Waterfall and just generally enjoying a bit of peace and quiet. Unfortunately though it started to get dark and we had quite a long journey back to Phitsanulok a head of us so thought it was best we made a move. So we jumped back on our ped and made the journey back home.
I had a great time in Phitsanulok it was a very lazy few days spent eating lots and hossing around on a moped a lot. I have to say a massive thank you to Aun's friends who made me feel so welcome while I was there and really did go out of their way to give me a good time while I was there. Wild Wings was awesome and I was so sad to be saying goodbye to the place. I don't think I will ever make it out there again but who knows. I thought I would be home by now so no idea what the future will bring. Either way I have left with some great memories and a New Years Eve I will remember for the rest of my life.
Oh also the owners of Sa Tang, the dog that died on NYE brought a new dog to file the void Sa Tang left behind. You can see me being introduced to the new dog at the very bottom haha
Posted by Rob at 6:41 pm
Monday, 12 April 2010
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 with Aun and a load of her lovely friends.
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!
Posted by Rob at 10:30 pm