Heard, Seen, Done, Been

Trip Start Mar 24, 2011
Trip End Sep 28, 2011

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

There is nothing better on a Tuesday morning than a lie in... So i had one.

13:00 was the start of my day today, 34 degrees makes me pretty sleepy at the best of times and today was no different. I was roused by the sound of a muay Thai fight (Thai boxing to the less informed) being shown on the new flat screen TV installed in the communal area of the guesthouse. Damn it was loud! (why haven't they invested in wifi?)

My shower decided to stop giving me hot water, but in this heat i really didn't mind a cold one.

There were a lot of people checking in today with Songkran only a week away. The whole town seems to be getting a little busier but it's always nice to meet new people when your travel ling alone. A lot of introductions and advice giving (i feel like a veteran at this now) were done with the usual phrases of 'where are you from', 'how long are you here for', 'how long have you been here already' and 'where have you been, seen and done'. Names only seem to be asked for if you spend more than a few hours with a person or group of people, 'til then its just 'dude', 'mate' or 'hun'.

Two guys (20yr olds Aaron and Tom) had just arrived from Bangkok on the sleeper train and were keen to see the area. We all fancied a beer or two and as i hadn't sampled the bar life here yet i decided to take them into the town to find the local travelers hangouts. I had heard of a place called the 'reggae rock bar' but had no idea where it was so we just went for a walk.

After half an hour we still hadn't found it but heard some music from one of the rooftops, on further investigation it turned out to be a rooftop bar but we could only see a UV glow from the top of one of the buildings. we found the entrance and climbed the stairs to the 4th floor.. what a little gem of a place!

The 3rd floor was littered with people's shoes and had a small set of wooden steps up to the very top of the building, trance music was pumping from above, UV graffiti daubed the walls and glowed under the many UV strip lights. My tattoo was alight (for those of you that don't know, i have a tattoo with UV ink on my left shoulder cap) as we removed our shoes and ascended to the bar.

The floor was made from bamboo poles covered in rugs so was quite bouncy underfoot. We ordered our beers and joined the other travelers/tourists sitting at low tables enjoying the view from the (mostly) roofless terrace. The atmosphere was similar to a bar at a festival in England, plenty of friendly people and a small white dog with a strange under bite. All the walls were graffiti'd (even in the toilets) with amusing quotes and motivating advice. We stayed for a couple more beers and decided to try to find this 'Reggae rock bar' that i had heard about.

To save valuable drinking time we decided to jump in a tuk-tuk to take us there.

The Reggae rock bar was exactly as i had expected it to be, lots of marijuana leaves painted around, rasta barmen and a live band. Again the walls were graffiti'd (i particularly liked the 'Chiang mai ska' hidden amongst the rest) and it had huge wax covered (built up over many years) candle holders which added to the dingy atmosphere.

We stayed until the bar closed (2am) and then headed to a small club two doors down which was open for another hour.

There was a young girl of about twelve selling roses in here (i think you get people like this everywhere apart from in England?) i declined when she asked if i wanted to buy one. but she sat down next to me anyway and say 'ok, i challenge you to a thumb war then'. The deal was if she won then i would pay her 100 baht (2 pounds) and if i won she would give me the 10 roses she had left. I accepted the challenge. It wasn't really a fair fight but thinking it was the 'best of three' i wanted to try to win the first one and lose the second two just to make it interesting. However, she smiled and told me no one had beaten her all night whilst handing over the roses. I felt bad and told her that i had no-one to give them to and she should take them back to sell to the other tourists but she wasn't having any of it. She told me she had already made the money she needed tonight from other thumb wars so i gave her one of the red roses and she left quite happily (i think she was bored of working).

So there i was with 9 roses in front of me getting odd looks from other people in the bar. So i gave them away to anyone who wanted one, including three guys dressed as girls for their stag night :)

The club shut at three and Tom, Aaron and I went to an American diner type place for a steak roll before walking though the town back to the guesthouse.

The boys had to be up at 08:00 the next day to go on their three day jungle trek, so i left them about 4am and hit the sack.
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