Just when you thought it couldnt be more bizaare..

Trip Start Feb 28, 2012
1
6
40
Trip End Nov 22, 2012


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Where I stayed
Green Guest House
What I did
Burma

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Monday, March 12, 2012

God its freezing here.... wish i was back in the UK...!;

Well Mae Sot has thrown up a few strange experiences, i wish i could say the first of many but there's too many to even count orremember for the blog so here goes i will try my best...

First off, hope you likedd the video's of the tigers, pretty good eh and that Crazy Thai guy trying to tear the bag away from the tigers - he really was that mental. I forgot about the party boat videos though.... I went to a WW2 war cemetry in Kanchanaburi and walked down to river front and i was just sat on the boat pickup point/pier and then that huge party boat came towards me, i asked later and apparently they come about every half hour and are packed especially on weekends and bank holidays and they go on all night, some up to 48 hours and they were so loud!! Pretty funky music too, so as i decide to video it so you can see and hear it i start my scond video as its right infront of me but have to cut off as the guy you sees signals me and throws me a bag of cookies landing just in water infront of me..! Now thats a party boat...!

So back to Mae Sot... It's good here but quiet at night and there are 2 places where westerners gather but they are restaurants and the people there are all American and volunteers who are working here, and because they are at a restaurant they are sat in groups at tables so its not ideal for me.... So i think most of you know, Americans and me just dont mix though a few of you have told me how great they are but im still to meet one above crap one and this trip, so far, has proved no different; words that spring to mind; up-themselves-big-time, act like everyone in Thailand is actually on America's planet! and basically just plain rude...! I really hope my opinion is changed at some point but so far they have only gone down in my already low estimations...

OK, Mae Sot, so my plans slightly changed as i was going to hire a scooter and go to Um Phang but the guy who runs the guesthouse tells me the roads are bad and its too dangerous so i look it up and he's right, the info says you would need a powerful bike (not a 50cc hairdryer then?) to get up some of the hills, and there's no petrol station for ages so you have to take extra fuel if on a scooter!! I can really see me, lost, sun burnt, and with several cans of petrol hanging out my rucksack.... lost but never gonna run out of juice...!

So the plan changes to go to Burma for the day, its only 6km and all i need to do is find the Sawngthaew (thats the pickup truck taxi) from the bus station which is right behind me... easy yes...no, nothing ever is here...! Get to bus station and it takes me about an hour to find out its moved location to about 1km back in town by the market, so after loads of heavy going translation, fending off motor cycle taxi's and general nightmares i head off and somehow find this single sangthaew which was like finding a needle in a  haystack but i am getting better at speaking Thai and more confident and that certainly helped.. so i get there and guess what, its full, but theres a few guys stood on the footplate at the back holding on to the roofrack, so i think, YES, i have always wanted to do that! So i jump up and off we go, and i manage to get a pic on route and yes i do look like a terrorist but the dusty air here kills my eyes and sinus hance the shade and face scarf.

So i get there and immigration tell me i will be fined 500B (tenner) if i go today as i would overstay my visa by 1 day when i go to Cambodia but if i come back tomorrow it will be OK, so i know what your thinking, a tenner, i'm there so may as well go... hell no! On a budget here you know, the sangthaew only cost 20B each way, like 40p... so i decide to go back and come back tomorrow... i jump in the ST (new abbreviation for sangthaew from now on!!) and sit next to this monk.... we end up chatting as he speaks a bit of English, we swap emails but he also writes out his whole address and phone number too! so we go out separate ways and i decide to go to the sauna... (more to come on my monk friend though..!)

So i finally find the sauna after days of trying, and what a place, i turn up and theres an outdoor gym there too!! And what a gym (see the pictures)... there's about 12-15 Thai's there either training or in sauna, so i just strip off and start training with them..! and like usual the ice is broken and i get mostly smiles for just getting on with it... so the equipment - brilliant - there are two chest presses, made from really old carved timber and with two completely rusted barbells on, no extra weights, just a good heavy weight.... there's one set of heavy dumb bells, there's a floor roller for abs which i had seen but never tried before til now, then there's an abs bench set to steep decline as its an angled plank of wood with foot strap made out of like Marquee woven canvas type stuff - major chafage! and if its not got a pool of sweat on by the time you come to have a go, i.e. theres not been a 2 minute gap between goes where the heat simply dries it all up! Then there is within seconds of you workout because its so hot.... then the creme de la creme...the treadmill!! No one was on this, ever, and i see why, theres a pic to show but its just a metal frame with like metal rollers to run on, i mean you atleast need padded trainers for starters but if you go Zola Budd your talking loss of toes in the rollers!!! So i work out, get some pics and then try the Sauna - WOW - Can't see for steam and its herbal tastic, i mean, i dont know what herbs they were but they smelt amazing and with a room of just pure steam it knocked socks off Titanic Spa!

So i love it there and decide next day to try the Burma crossing again and then go to the gym! I've been doing morning workouts when i wake up so these extra ones are great and good prep for my attempt at Thai boxing next week! So i decide ill hire a bike (see pic) and get this girly thing with a basket on and head off to Burma!!

I leave the bike at the bridge, the bridge accross to Burma which is called Friendship Bridge, and pay the 500B fee (hope your all now used to the money trabslations in to English by now - last bit of help - its roughly 1 quid equals 50Bhat)... and straight away its another world, its very simlar to Mumbai in that everyone looks mainly Indian or Burmese obviously and i get loads of attention and hello's but just carry on walking and find the market (see pic) and this place really is like a slum in Mumbai, not all of it but most is like a sewer, their loads of stray dogs on tables which just breeze past you whilst i don't even breath! but i find my way out and it gets much better and i chat to a few shop keepers and then see a curry hut right on the main road and yes, beleive it or not, i stop to eat!! But ignore what i saw before, its OK here and just like places i ate at in India but there's about 10 people there and their faces when i walk up and point to sit down is a picture!! They all make a fuss with huge smiles and i choose a few things on view but they bring me a banquet!! (again see pic) with some meat on bone, some fish, all of which i have no idea what is but try and mainly like but its mainly really, i dont know, like when you try potent lime pickle and you screw your face up, yeah, like that!! But like a trained ballerina on point, i hide the pain and nod in approval and eat enough to pass not to insult, hold my stomach and pull a kinda im soooo full face, clasp hands and say thanks and, as eating, had decided i would see if my monk friends address was close, so i ask the random guy who joined me at my table, stared at me but never said a word, i say ask, but i just show him the address and he points with anexpression that says ' yeah, its just up there...' so ive got about 3 hours til i have to be back at the bridge so think, in the immortal words of the book i am reading called 'f?!k it'!, i say it and point at the other kind of taxi i havent yet mentioned which is just a rickety bike with an open box attached at the front, and i jump in, and just like the sceen from Only Fools & Horses where Rodney asks Casandra if he can walk her to her car, she says yes, they alk three steps, and she turns and says 'thanks!'... he basically crosses the road and points to get out... oh yeah, theres a monastry there, and i thought that other guy was pointing a direction, not actually pointing at it...they must have though 'what a lazy got asking for a taxi to it!!

So i wander in and it really is a monastry! I am half thinking if i should even be here but ask somone and just say Khun Zaw and they nod and take me to a living quarters, sit me down, give some water and i think try and call him...all the monks have mobile phones - so funny!! Living with absolutely nothing but have mobiles with pop tunes as ringtones!! So i wait and a monk comes up, speaks no English but sits right infront of me and just waits with me, very chilled, looks totall trouble free but never says a word and we wait for about 20 minutes before i show my camera and nod as though to say is it OK? He nods so i take some pics and he shows me round the place, hence the pics of the rabbits, the kids playing there and all the monks who just loved posing for pictures and were even more critical than you mum when viewing on the view finder! Not like they were going on facebook or anything but i had to delete and retake several before i got a slight smirk of approval! Then after about 45 mins of being there i see my mate Khun Zaw run past 100m away so my new monk mate, who i later find is called Min Nyo Star when he gives me his email, a gmail account!! he shouts him and he comes up - soooo excited to see me and that i ahve sprung this surpise on him, he looks like he has just ran from Hebden Bridge!! So we go sit in the dorm like living quarters, we sit and chat and even manage to communicate with Min Nyo Star somewhow, we take pics and they get some on their phones! (brilliant) so unfortunetaly i then have to go to be back at the bridge by 4pm so he offers to walk me there, we chat and i have to tell you he was a very nice guy, very friendly, always smiling and asking if i was happy and telling me he was happy - he seemed really content as a monk and with his life and maybe sensed something in me that wasn't so content i don't know but we got on well, and he kept calling me freestyle, and said he liked that and by that i think he meant it being a bit different a phalem (whitey) actually coming to visit him - he really diodnt expect that one! That should his zen up a little! So we got to the bridge, shook hands, exchanged goodbyes and i turned about 5/6 times on the few minutes walk over and every time he was still there, big smile and waving... No doubt the first truly cool person i have met so far....

So i bike back, got to the gym again!!! i eat and want something healthy but ask that the vendor choose something and i gte this pork and deep fried, fried egg! Yes thats a fried egg, deep fried in batter, and all in an oily soup! and because this is my last night here and theres really nothing to do in the evening i thought i would add this amazing day to the blog (well done to all who read all this way! -- btw, dont worry about reading it all! Its as much a diary for myself as for you too..).

So the only downer today is that i find there is no bus to Mae Saraing, my next stop, just when i thought i had sussed out the logistics of the rest of the trip the very next route out foxes me again! So its ST all the way, thats 6 hours on one of those things but dont worry, ill be sat inside this side but will still be dressed like Carlos the Jackal...

Hope you like my adventures so far and the latest pics, te next place is very quiet and ill be there a couple of days then on to Mae Hong Son which is bigger, again a day or two and the Pai which is very touristy and possibly twice as expensive but wanting now to meet some other travellers so may do a trek from there (even if there are Americans on it too!) and then on to Chang Mai so will probably update again around then....

Hope you are all well, take care and speak soon...Love Lee.x
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Comments

Delly on

Oh my goodness Lee-Lee!!! You're experience is so amazing to read/see! After reading that latest blog I have laughed so much (out loud!) I got teary with pride, I had wide eyes with awe, you are just amazing!!!

I dont even know where to start, othr than I read ever word, so your comment about 'well done if you've read this far...' pfhhh, no way, I love every word! The gym is HILARIOUS!!! As is the spa, the way you described them was ace like they were top notch, then I looked at the pics (amazing pics lee) and it looks like a shed, yet you're so over the moon with them - lesson there I know - dont take things on face value, you got stuck on with the locals and loved it, and yes best steam room ever, just shows money can't buy everything, bet you wouldnt see any snobby travellers in those joints! So proud of you for getting involved and having no fear, so so so so proud of you!

Your monk pals looked amazing, the pics are great, living such simple lives yet so happy and content. They will of course have senses a little unrest in you, as they would most people, as anyone in comparison to them will have some unrest - I would love to have that, contentment all day every day, appreciation for the smallest things in life - again lessons for life and good that you're reminding yourself and us of this.

Aye lee lee, you is doing good bruv! Keep smiling and being motivated every day (can be difficult when alone but you're doing fab) - a trek sounds great, meet some more travellers, keep mixing it up and who knows where itll take you. You are however a major distraction for me hahaha, I have just spent 2hrs enjoying your blogs, atching your videos, looking at pics, looking at the map of exactly where you are right now etc... I feel I must work late tonight now to make up for skanking off work to indulge in your travelling adventures haha! Oh and I also fully agree with Jamie (mum also saying this to me last night) that your writing skills are AMAZING!!! Seriously think you wrote "like a ballerina on point..." - how much writing etiquette do you have... fab!!!

Love and miss you and wish you fabulousness every step of your travels in Thailand xxxxxxxxxx

mr reilly on

Carlos! Is it wrong to say you suit that look?!

wix
wix on

Ha haaa!!! Great comments from both Delly and Jamie... glad you enjoy reading the blogs, i like reading your comments even more..!

In a quiet place right now so next week maybe less to write about although i have met up with a local girl who worked at the last guesthouse i stayed at before i wrecked the walls in the room with dettol (next blog will reveal more!) but Jamie you will love that her name is Porn, even spelt that way... only me ey?! Love you both loads...xxx

Kerry on

Oh my god, I have just read every single blog to catch up on your trip so far! phew!
Still not getting the links for your blog so after speaking to Paul tonight he told be there's been a few more, loads more so finally caught up now!
It was lovely chatting to you on Skype this morning, so had the finally update of your trip.
Internet not great in China so can't view the video's or get on youtube, thing this is government restrictions.
The pictures are amazing! teary and smiling through the whole gallery of shots, really wish I was there .
You look really happy and healthy, like you said this morning you will start winding down even more after a few weeks in.
I love the picture of you with you Monk mates! that is one to frame
What a life they lead, not sure I could do it..... they have no worries no complications, no lovers , that's what makes life exciting, highs and lows so don't let read too much into what the Monk had seen in you !

Can't wait for the next instalment
Just be careful on the scooters lee, with your track record breaking down! ha ha
Miss you loads
love Kerry xxx

Paul on

Lee, what can I say that has not already been said, loving the accounts and photos of your adventures both large and small ! Really glad your immersing yourself in the local culture, and food. Anyway just a quick note as some of us have to get up for work in the morning. Take care of yourself and keep a look out for those Swedish girls..............

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