Rode to Haad Rin today on bikes. Where the full moon party is. Feels like the Venice boardwalk of the island but the journey to it is one hell of a fun ride. Up and down hills and curves I have to remind myself the last time I rode a bike I was ten and crashed it into a mailbox the first day. Got stopped at a police checkpoint. Officer said "you're American Sniper". Was a long 5 seconds and then he laughed and said "you look like Bradley Cooper." Sure why not.
Woke up today in Chiang Mai at 7. Feels like people are more friendly here and I haven't been here more than a day. Staying at what seems like the ace hotel of Thailand. Best sleep of the trip so far. Rode motos an hour up the mountain into Suthep National Park. Was cold and the scenery reminded me of Tennessee and some of Percy Warner parks road. Was some fog and cold. one lane road through the the woods where you always honk your horn around every corner. Stopped here on the way down at Doi Suthep. 300 stairs up. Barefoot exploring the temple. Amazing presence but hard to process it all. Cameras don't work. This was how I ingested it. Off to a night market
Paid this dude $5 a day for the moto. Bavarian. Joined him for a Chang beer at 11am. His insight was great.He rents the garden for parties. Anyone interested?
I gave her my phone and she typed in "Ann". This is her friend, the owner of the club, the boss. Ann beat me 9/10 games of connect four. Not so good, but at previous spot I sunk the eight ball after a wink and kiss to the girl. Dancing in the Dark was jamming. Gave a girl a lap dance and then crashed the motorbike. The landlord today gave the best advice. Don't do anything I would do.
Boat day part 2.
💿: Jens Lekman's Summer Never Ends Mixtape
Last 3 days in Chiang Mai has been the best food of the trip yet. Northern Thai sausage is amazing. Friday night out at the bars drinking sang som at little tables. Easily one of the coolest things I've experienced that's so simple. Bars close at midnight because of curfew. Learning facts like Thailand King is richest royal in the world or that technically you can get a 10yr prison sentence for having an e-cig. Met a crazy older white man who told me he killed a man and got rid of the body in the Chiang Mai moat. He introduced himself as Michael. I said "my name is Michael too, welcome to the club". But he's the first Michael I've met that I felt didn't belong. Local rumor was that he's ex CIA who has lost his mind. Definitely lost it. Took a two hr bus up north to Pai. Note how the women sit sideways on the moto. It's common to see a family of 3 or 4 on one. Hot springs time...
Today is Buddha day. And tomorrow is the start of Buddhist lent. Arrived to Thailand on two day holiday where they don't sell alcohol. This woman solid us beers from her raft for 100Bat/$3 each. Right after a Komodo dragon slipped down into the water from a rock nearby. This part of the river could be described as a smoothie of rotten. Also purchased from this woman was a Coca Cola for our 5yr old co-captain whom the sweet mother was letting steer our boat
Spent more of the day moving then seeing. Mediterranean breakfast. Sat on yoga mats and ants. Thai Canadian taxi pickup. Beers at French hostel. Hot Thai girl with pigtails. Talked to a parrot. Did gymnastics on a massage woman while we both laughed. Tiger Balm. The wrong ferry. Tipped the taxi 80% because he almost killed us, himself and everyone in our path to help catch a flight to Phuket. Samui airport is coolest chilliest airport I've ever been to. Hour long cab from Phuket Int. to Patong Beach. Snail gold. Market prices. My bed has wheels. Also this song by blood orange is the tits.
Decided to go the distance. This is the arrival to Phi Phi Island. Stumbled on crazy pool party on arrival. @amongsavages gave a "Sorry. No requests please" sign he had tucked away in his notebook from months ago to the DJ. Instant high fives. Island seems small, crowded and young. Paradise party. Old man, Som, hooked up a place to stay overlooking south beach. New Facebook friends. Mountain kudzu trees and rock wall directly behind the room. Local kids playing soccer in the sand. They played Alan Jackson by the water, which is so calm it looks like a river, and cooked us homemade food. Felt like the guest of honor.
Thum Lod cave. Went for the tourist 8 hour adventure package with hot springs, waterfall, canyon and cave. The cave was a trip. Like a Disney ride through the goonies set. Three at a time with a guide holding a kerosine lantern. Our guide was a sweet older woman who had to have been between 75-80. Bamboo rafts floating deep inside and stopping several times to climb high inside. Laughed with our guide while she pointed to a rock that looked like either a testicle or a boob. She loved it
Decided to stay at the resort one extra day which means probably a third day too. When in robe? Got to chapter 3 in a book. Can't wait to get to chapter 11. The smoothie girl is so stoked to be making smoothies. The manager talks about what she's grateful for. Ready to ask if they're hiring. The only action of the day was riding north to explore this new beach. Blew a tire off road and a guy fixed it for 200 thb/$5.72, the same price for renting it per day, the same price as dinner. Everything seems 200 baht. Fireworks are legal here and they sell them at the markets. Currently watching someone shoot them off from a boat
Landed in Koh Samui last night and there was a French bar open down the street with incredible vibe. Walked down to the beach in previous photo around 8am. The water is cool and shallow, no waves. Around the corner while walking through the rocky beach was this temple. Journeyed on later to Lamai beach and had a woman give me a foot scrub that feels like new baby feet. Walking around the island is great. The locals very sweet. A stray dog just wandered into the apartment ...
Boat Day Part 1: No Captain. Incredible.
Boat Part 3: A mix of natural geographic, ghetto robb report and goonies. The best day of the trip so far. It doesn't make sense until you see this stuff close up. The same with Big Sur etc. Exactly what I day dreamed of as a kid reading natural geographic. Hiked around an entire island. Stopped for a mojito on a beach. Swam with Nemo. Boat captains name was Sun. He bailed on driving for a second to smoke a cig and tie up something but left us full speed ahead. The engines on the boats are next level. Incredible 💿: Jens Lekman's Summer Never Ends Mixtape
Staying in bungalows on this beach. Morning walk to explore found some cool little shacks.
Tawandang Chiang Mai. "This is probably the most authentic Thai experience you will have up until now. Get out your camera" maybe a couple thousand people and being the only 5 foreigners doesn't describe it well. Off the charts insane everyone at 6 tops. Hot girls dancing live band no interruption ever in the set. Some guy cheersing and then talking to us and translation means. "Finish your drink now". Slammed it. Good night
Pai. Sounds like bye. Similar to a small town in the south in the states. Days are slow. Some backpacker bonnaroo vibes at night but can actually be chill in town or in the country. Amazing food. food market during the day was choice. What taste like fried lemongrass coconut chicken for fifty cents. Got low with a dog at the entrance to a seven eleven. No one on earth sleeps better then the dogs in Pai. 💿: Thai country music
Woke up feeling Iike the sedated tiger I saw the other day. Probably more frail. Spent most of the day trying to read. Trying didn't work. Getting used to the butt spray thing in the bathroom. Drove 20 mins off-roading up a mountain with many wooden signs promising "viewing point". Parked the bikes and climbed up the rocks to a tiny hut. Bought the only Chang beer from a woman who lives on a mat on the upper deck. the viewing point...
The nightlife on Phi Phi is like a frat party on fire. Off the charts testosterone paired with day booze cruises and literal buckets of alcohol. It's a blend of bourbon street, printers alley, and spring break nightclub vibes. The clubs are so loud you can hear them across the island falling asleep. You see backpackers that look like zombies you hope won't wake up in rabid terror. The streets are littered with young travelers raging and the massage ladies asking if you want a blowjob by making the sound of popping bubbles with their mouth. "Sexy man sexy man bop bop". It's definitely interesting and I'm sure I would have stayed longer if I was 20. Must move on. Onto Chiang Mai...