The world didn't end but yup y2k is here ...

Trip Start Dec 07, 1999
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Trip End Jan 07, 2000


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Flag of Thailand  ,
Monday, January 3, 2000

"The world didn't end but..."

Yup, Y2K is here and the world is still turning ( at least that's what CNN Asia says ) but... I found a Y2K bug in TravelPod! Nothing serious it just defaults to 1989 instead of 2000 when you create an entry, have to fix that when I get home :)

Where was I ... Ahh yes, Koh Samui, Beach, Beach and more Beach

"Koh Samui - Tents or sleeping on the beach"

Those were the options when we got to Koh Samui. Turns out we weren't the only tourists which arrived here without reservations. Big mistake. It was jammed packed. Some places were renting out tents on their property, not a pleasant time with the heat and humidity here. As we arrived we could see backpackers walking around in the same predicament as us. Some people had been wandering the Island looking for a few days for rooms. I have to admit we were worried, but the most incredible thing then happened!

"They don't call me Lucky for nothing!"

As we walked out of the second place we tried to find a room in, some Canadian decided to shack up with some girl, freeing up his room in the process :), as we walked out we heard the 6 best words of the entire trip "You guys looking for a room?"... damn straight we were! So we Bee Lined it for the register and I explained to the Thai woman what we were doing and that it was ok to take room 216... A stroke of luck! But wait ... it gets better!

Turns out that I just kept saying "yes yes yes", "It's okay! It's okay!" to the Thai woman and she thought that I was saying that it was okay that we could bypass the waiting list for rooms and take the other room (127) that just had freed up! This was the only time in my trip that the language barrier actually helped us out! We had just gotten 2... count em 2... rooms on one of the busiest places at one of the busiest times ever... what a stroke of luck! I can't say that I would recommend the place, The Viking, to anyone though. The service was brutal and the rooms had bed bugs. But who was complaining :)

"Koh Samui, The Island"

Koh Samui is nice for one thing... the beach. There are some touristy things to do like waterfalls and go carts but I couldn't be bothered. Beach, shopping and clubbing pretty much consumed most of my time here. We met some really nice Brits and a really nice guy from Singapore and hung out with them most of the time. Chaeweng is definitely the best beach on the Island... white sands and the waves crashing in, pretty sweet.

"Damn malaria medicine!"

I have to say the worse thing about this entire trip is the malaria medication I had been taking. Doxycyclin. I got the mother of all sunburns and was hung over extremely bad a few times ( the medication dehydrates you). I guess its better than getting malaria but I would seriously rethink any other trips which require me to take these. I heard a bunch of nightmare stories from others about other kinds of malaria pills too, it's just bad news.

"Red Bull Baby"

We don't get this back in Canada so it was quite the thing for me. Red Bull is basically like Jolt Cola, 40 coffees and sugar in a potent little bottle. Mix this in with vodka you'll be up all night having a great time. Be careful though, some of the brits stayed up for 3 days straight and just couldn't sleep. Needless to say, I am bringing back a case with me :)

"Take the bus!"

Thailand has the highest auto death/accident rate in the world. Koh Samui has the highest rate in Thailand. The day we arrived some tourist died in an accident and I could count at least half a dozen injured farangs walking around the Island. We weren't brave/crazy enough to rent them but just zipping around in busses you can see why things are soo bad. The roads are aweful and everyone just zips around in seemly random directions... I recommend staying on the beach with a cocktail for the length anyone's stay :)

"It's just bad news"

The New Year's bash attracted a huge crowd but a high ... no pun intended ... percentage are here all drugged up. The day we got here someone got all tripped out and slit his throat. It put a bad vibe in the air but there are alot of stupid people out there doing stupid things. A couple people here had been thrown in jail for a few months for having drugs on them and every second moron I talked to was snorting coke or up on ecstacy. Luckily we had a pretty cool bunch and had a blast without any of the druggies doing anything dumb to us. The drug scene here is just bad news...

"The scuds are coming!"

Okay, this is a little embarrassing in retrospect but... being in High Tech back home and being fully aware of the reality of the nuclear threat with Y2K, I was a little worried. Before leaving for the other party Island we all sat around for drinks and then someone pointed it out... "What's that in the sky?" ... Just a plane ... "No ... its bright orange like a jet engine" ... strange... what could that be? after about 15 minutes of debating 3 other bright orange fire balls fly past at the speed of a jet... time check... its 12 midnight in Korea! I have to admit I was really scared, really scared. I couldn't relate what I was seeing to anything I had seen before... the only explanation left... Missiles! In my paranoid state I took a few pictures and asked everyone I saw what they thought it was... "My god, the missiles have launched! Brace yourselves!"

I was freaked, really... until I got to the beach close up we saw what our end of world scare really was... tiny balloons with some kind of fire source under it. The heat makes the balloons rise and the wind takes it away. At night... it really looks like a scud... don't laugh... it really did!

"NEW YEAR'S EVE - Almost didn't make it!"

New Year's eve. We got tickets for one of the many boats which ferries people over to the neighbouring Island of Koh Pangang for the party. The boat leaves at 9pm and returns at 7am. Our boat was late and we jumped off the boat in masses and all ran for the beach on Had Rin. All I can remember is hundreds of us running towards the beach as the count down was going off ... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... Happy New Year!!!! close call! we arrived at 11:59pm ... what a sight! Thousands of people running around filled with excitement, joy and alcohol... it was very memorable.

"Koh Pangang, Had Rin... What a party!"

I don't know how many people were actually there and the night is a bit of a blur but about 20,000 people is my guess. All going nuts on the beach... Loud music, fireworks and lots of people going crazy, that's my summary of the night. The only really crazy thing that happened was that I got shot with some fireworks and my pants got torched. People were lighting fireworks and shooting them directly into the masses of people gathered on the beach... it was pretty nuts... I passed out on the beach for a bit and lost everyone I was with ... then I headed back for the boat home at 7am... That's my story and I am sticking to it! :)

** I got lotsa pictures with a disposable camera ( although I have no idea who is in them :) ) and I'll post 'em when I get back!

"One of the best things I have ever done in my life is... "

In fear of not finding a place to stay in Koh Samui we booked 2 nights in a 5 star resort before coming... excellent move! After the crud and filth of the Viking huts we were ecstatic to stay in a clean posh hotel. We had a bunch of travellers from the Viking that we had gotten to know, to come and use our showers, the Viking was just too dirty to stay clean.

Free champagne in our rooms, pool, bar, balcony overlooking the South China Sea... what more can you ask for... booking this place was the best thing I have ever done... clean once again... its nice to feel human!

"Supa fight, Chaweang Stadium, world famous Thai boxing..."

That's pretty much all we heard for the days we spent in Koh Samui. Trucks would drive around the beaches constantly blaring this advertisement. The sandy beach was no escape either, longtail boats would go up and down the beaches blaring this from their speakers. "Supa fight, Friday night...". We learned to memorize it pretty fast, effective way of getting your message across I guess.

So our last night in Koh Samui we decided that it was time to see what this Supa Thai boxing was all about. Surprisingly, it was pretty much what I expected, a bunch of wooden seats, a dirty boxing ring, screaming locals and 2 fierce opponents.

The first fighters enter the ring... the music starts. The fighters are slightly bobbing up and down to the rythm of the bongos. The fight starts off slowly... boom boom, the bongos play slowly. Bang, one punch makes contact, the other boxer smiles at the first and shrugs it off... "This is a pretty friendly sport" I think to myself... but the cockiness and friendliness between the fighters quickly ends as kicks, punches, knees and elbows start flying like mad. Boom Boom, the bongos increase the speed of the beat... The crowd is screaming like mad... the fight violently continues. There doesn't seem to be much defence used here. They start bashing and flailing violently at each other until WHAM... one fighter falls to the ground... unconscious for a second... fight's over, next fighter please... and it continues... that sums up Thai boxing. All-in-all fairly amusing but terribly violent... if you have the stomach for it, I highly recommend watching a fight.

"Off to Bangkok..."

Well that's it for here... I spent most of the last night playing Jenga with a really nice Thai prostitute ( you can't go to a bar without being approached around here )... now I am off to Bangkok.

I have to admit the language barrier is becoming a little bit of a hassle and a big city might be a nice change. I'll fill you in from Bangkok!

Cheers!
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