Rough draft: at work so no spell checking or pictures, will sort things out later. I also really shouldn’t of left this so long, it’s been a couple months now and I can’t really recall the order of things.
I will start by saying I failed… well I didn’t actually fail because I was never offically trying and you know what they say, don’t try can’t fail. What I’m talking about is the whole no flying thing. When I was in HCMC I noticed that I was rapidly running out of money and still had to get all the way down to KL for my flight home… the plan of bumming around Thailand for a month until the full moon party just wasn’t going to happen, in fact at this point I wasn’t even sure I could make it to KL and survive until the time of the flight.
The plan was to join the guys on a bus into Cambodia and then go across into Thailand and bangkok before heading down to the Islands… this was about the same price as a flight from HCMC to Bangkok but with the added cost of the Visa and the few extra days it would take it just didn’t look feasible with my remaining assets so I jumped on a plane to Bangkok and skipped Cambodia completly… not the end of the world as I do plan to go back as I missed out of Laos anyway.
The flight was short and un-eventful and landing in Bangkok was a bit of a shock at first, I mean skytrains, skyscrapers, billboards and all that jazz which I had forgotten about over my last few months in Asia… also no-one was trying to sell me crap! What a nice feeling that was (though strangely it made me feel a bit lonely :P)
The plan in Bangkok was a bit of a loose one, I stayed a single night in a hostel and then the next morning got up and headed to Khao San road (the big backpacker area) and sat in a pub near the street so I could keep an eye out for Dickie. I knew he was here somewhere and we had a vague plan to meet up and go south but thats as far as it went so what else was there to do other than sit and see if I could spot him… surprisingly not only did it work I also bumped into a few other people I had met in Vietnam.
We booked onto a 15hour (turned into 23hour) bus down to Phuket and went on a quick mission to try and find some valium to ease the pain of the next journey. What was extremely easy to get in Vietnam was all of a sudden impossible to find… any pharmacy you walked into just instantly told you to leave when asked but in the end good ol’ Boots (yes the same boots we have back here) pulled through and gave us a couple.
Phuket was DEAD. The hostel was fine (but no-one in it) and the town was empty but when did that ever stop us! Me and Dickie went out on the town. We wondered the streets, had a good meal and then went to bar street… everywhere was empty even though it was a friday night and things were looking grim and then all of a sudden we saw soemwhere that had at least 20 people in it! and a band! YES! so we wondered upto the place, walked inside and all of a sudden everyone stood up… turns out they were ALL staff and quickly jumped us and the band started playing (just for us).
Few drinks later and few other random dead bars we were pretty merry (blame the Chang, it’s a artifical beer thats 6-14% depending on the bottle you pickup) and decided our last stop would be a ver seedy looking place called <dammit can’t remember off the top of my head, will add later>
Apart from 1 group of Thai guys we were, once again, the only people in there apart from the 20+ girls up on stage, fully clothed, very bored, dancing very badly to a Thai man in a full white suit doing Kareoke… there is a 12minute video of us very drunkly judging every girl which I will put up later!
Next day we left for the Island of Phi Phi.
The boat trip was a couple hours and we were both feeling a bit rough so just lay about in the middle of the deck napping (while Chinese & Thai people took photos of us) until we hit the Island.
I loved the place straight away. No motor vechicals, backpackers everywhere, bars, beach, shops, restuarnts and dive shops all covering an area that takes about 10min to walk from one end to the other… simple! We checked into the hostel (Rock) which was a 16 bed contrete block with no doors and covered with hilarious grafity (btw it sounds bad but I loved it) and instantly met 2 girls from Shrewsbury (my hometown) who go to the same places and know the same people… worlds small aye?
Phi Phi was a backpacker party paradise where I could be barefoot all day and night, enjoy the sun and a sand during the day and drink for free all night (if timed right you could get free buckets from certain bars at certain times). Not much else was done during the 5 days there and I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
I left Phi Phi and jumped on another insanely long uncomfortable bus down to Kuala Lumpar in Malaysia – It was a horrible trip that invovled missing my train, nearly missing my bus (not the bus but the ticket office), having to switch 3 times throughout the 20+ hours it took and then when I arrived in KL at 5am the only ATM’s in the area wouldn’t let me take any money out so I had to walk the 7KM to the hostel I was staying at before heading to the airport in the morning.
By this point I was offically broke. I had about £7 left to my name, a sandwich for the morning, a plane ticket home, a skytrain ticket to the airport and a train ticket from Stansted to Shrewsbury… thats it. Everything will be fine.
Knowing I had nothing to do that day other than my flight home I got up early and made sure I was at the airport with plenty of time (4 hours) to spare., there was no way I was missing this flight. I had my sandwich, checked in, found a nice corner in the airport (things to look out for… peice of floor out of the way, corner is good as you can get comfortable with your luggage, a power socket is a luxury), got out my laptop and jumped on the wifi! Got to love airport outside of the UK.
The plan was get on the flight, use the £7 I had remaining to buy a meal and some water, land in Stansted, get through security and luggage collection and jump on my train home. If i had a couple quid left over I might be able to buy something to eat but either way I would be home soon enough… shame nothing goes to plan.
In the end the flight was delayed 5 hours that caused the following:
I had to spend my last money on a overpriced sandwich at the airport, I only managed 1 meal (on a 17ish hour flight) on the flight using my Chinese money, I didn’t get to the UK until 11pm so missed my train and had to sleep at the airport until 5am… but hey I got home. Thats all that matters!