Best of the Best

Trip Start Nov 14, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Banana Guest house

Flag of Thailand  ,
Thursday, April 26, 2007

Well it was back to the Kingdom of Smiles were a Swedish bloke was given 10 years after vandalising one of the millions of pictures of the King. Although after a few weeks of sweating it out in the lovely Bangkok prison he was later pardoned by the King. The start of the finishing straight of our Asian adventure.
We decided we would learn Muay Thai (Thai Kick-boxing) but Amy was ill  for three days due to a funny looking piece of ham we had eaten on the boat from Laos. Unfortunately we had checked into the over hyped Banana Guest-house which was dark, dingy, a sweat-box and definitely not the best place to be ill. Ben and I went off to find things to do and ended up killing an hour in the Hill-tribe Museum., Not brilliant but free nonetheless. We finished the day drinking in a Rasta style bar with the strangest set of people. An American bloke with two middle aged prostitutes and an other American who looked very camp but had the voice of a WWE Wrestler. The next day we found a good place to do Muay Thai. The coach Kru Pong, a small, friendly but deadly man talked us into starting the next day and signing up for five days. The gym was in his mates backyard in the middle of the city suburbs. It was ideal. We were the only students and received one-on-one training for two, three hour lessons a day. He also offered to pick us up and drop us off every day making the 300 Bath (less than a fiver) a day well worth it. We bought some trainers and enjoyed a Macdonalds in preparation for the next five days of torture. Amy felt better, just in time for our early morning run around the streets, ten minutes of skipping, some different exercises, techniques and then a spar in the ring with Kru Pong. Then finally a warm down and a massage. We did this routine every session and it was a great feeling when we finished but this quickly disappeared at the thought we would be doing it all over again a few hours later. It was a struggle and a real test as we hadn't done real exercise for nearly six months. In the end we loved it. The sparring and knocking Kru Pong's jaw out gave me a tremendous buzz despite the thrashing he inflicted upon me for it. We made a good friend in Kru Pong despite him more-or-less only being able to say AMY RUN, AMY SKIP, AMY MASSAGE throughout. We went to his family home for a BBQ which was a highlight and an experience that traveling is all about. Unfortunately we have recently lost all the photos from Chaing Mai and few others through some Full Moon Party madness. Pretty gutted as we had some great ones of us in action. Imagine Ben with a killer right punch, me with a knockout right kick and Amy with ferocious use of the knees and elbows. After the fist day of training we decided we had to move from the Banana Guest-house. We ended up in the Same Same which was much better where we had a charismatic and very business minded landlord called Robert. He would always palm us and anyone walking past the restaurant off with whatever food or drink he had accidentally over ordered. Mulberry Shakes, bagels, Beer Laos and wheat grass seemed to be all anyone consumed.
We celebrated the completion of becoming the Bests of the Best with a few Beer Laos and bagels and then hit the bars. Sex tourism is pretty high on the agenda for a lot of people who visit Chaing Mai. Prostitutes try to entice everyone into the many bars. We went in a couple and enjoyed a bit of craic with a few 'hoes'. Then I met a scouser who did my nut in with his craic about winning the Champions League whatever amount of times etc. They just don't get it do they??? Then he got angry when I hoped Man Utd beat them in the Champions League. He demanded to know why. I don't know I only care about Sunderland and whoever plays Newcastle. I looked for a good reason and came up with "I just like the way they play" what I really wanted to say was because of people like you. The football politics continued and he then said "how can you like Man Utd over Liverpool, Man U are like the Macdonalds of football?" To which I replied, "well I like Macdonalds and Liverpool are just like Burger King, the same as Macdonalds only not as good!" 
On the final day we went to see an Elephant show, which was surprisingly good and then we had an hour long ride around the jungle on one. A dream of Amy's fulfilled. As we journeyed through the jungle, we heard machine gun fire. We had to stop but before panic got a chance to take a hold of us, the guide told us not to worry as Sly is here filming Rambo 4. He visited the elephant school a few days before. The day's tour also included bamboo rafting, an ox-cart ride and a visit to a Butterfly Farm which could have all been easily missed. The next day we flew to Bangkok to make for the party island of Ko Phangan for my birthday.
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