Duration: three weeks
Participants: Number One, Number Two and Number Three
Cameo Appearances: Dan and Danni
Nationality: British (Northern Ireland)
Accent: Sexy, though at times indiscernible
Personality Traits: Borderline alpha male, extreme drunkard, moody
Beverage of choice: Chang beer
General comments: Old man waiting to happen... some may say, boy version of Number Three.
Status: Newly unavailable
Personality Traits: Cluey, owner of Lonely Planet and therefore final decision maker, also most sensible and least drunk on any occasion.
Beverage of choice: Watermelon shake
Luguggage: Massive 20kg backpack... and then some
General comments: Spent the whole trip wearing a string bikini and rolling her eyes at Number One and Number Three
Accent: Nasal, though not all together unappealing
Personality Traits: Occasional moaner, mild drunkard
Beverage: Tiger beer
Luguggage: Extreme minimum... some may even say, under-prepared
General comments: Although at times difficult to get along with... all round great person once you get to know her.
Adventure starts in Singapore.
Number One arrives self satisfied. As fate would have it, he's landed himself a seat on the plane next to a hott Swedish chick (his words). He attempts to join the Mile High Club, but drags the foreplay out too long, and instead joins the Disabled Toilets at Changi Airport Club.
Number Two arrives by local bus and is extremely nervous about only having 100 pounds left in the bank.
Number Three arrives the day after a massive fight between Number One and Number Two. Atmosphere: Frosty. Ironic as temperture actually about 35 degrees and revoltingly humid.
A couple of days in Singapore and we've decided that we're all too poor for this expensive city. Decide to travel to Kuala Lumpur by bus. Go to bus station... bus doesn't leave from bus station, it leaves from some random back street. Locate said bus, and proceed. Cross boarder and get passport stamped twice!
Have first encounter with squat "toilet"/poo hole at a stop on the bus ride. Take one look and walk out. Perplexed as to the exact purpose of the bucket beside the poo hole. Realise i'm actually busting, and go back into bathroom. Can't do it, so walk out again and hop back on bus. Am really busting now, and right before bus leaves i jump off and go back to poo hole. Still can't do it, and spend the next 3 hours holding on.
Arrive in KL which apparently doesn't have a bus station either, and instead driver stops in the middle lane of the road to chuck us off. Picture me this: Passengers trying to get their bags out from under the left side of the bus, as other buses pass within millimetres of toes.
Follow the lead of Number One and Number Two and find hostel easily. Pissing with rain. Spend several non-descript days in cockroach infested hostel in KL. Go and visit the Petronas Twin Towers where we are brain-washed into believing that 'petrol is good'.
We are encouraged by Number One and his love of all things 'transport' to catch the night train up into Thailand. Destination: Krabi. Catch a 13 hour train to Hat Yai. Cross boarder and get two more stamps on passport. Team impressed by colours of stamps. Train suddenly becomes full of people who have jumped on while still in motion. "You want taxi/tuk tuk?" is all we hear. Hop off train and haggle good price on a tuk tuk to bus station. About 30c.
Arrive at bus station and catch local bus 5 hours to Krabi Town. No air con. Team gets a bit testy with each other as we are tired, hot and no-one seems to speak English, so we're really not sure where we're heading. Arrive in Ao Nang.
Number One goes to James Bond island. Number Two and Three spend the day on the beach. Number Three doesn't see the need for sun-cream. Disaster ensues. First lady-boy sighting. Number Three receives email from Dot - Cheltenham still standing.
Catch ferry to Ko Phi Phi. Paradise. Number Three does herself (or her sun-burn) no favours and spends the day wallowing in the 25 degree water, only hopping out for more beer. Go on a three day bender to dull the pain.
Catch ferry to Phuket. Bondi Rescue - Phuket style. Number Two out in water. Number One and Number Three up on beach. Number Three mindlessly dozing and listening to ipod, when all of a sudden she notices Number One leap to action and start sprinting for the water. Number Three uses her un-canny instincts and searches the water for Number Two. There is an Asian man in the water next to Number Two, arms and legs a-kimbo.
Number Three rushes down to the water where Numbers One and Two are trying to help drag in Asian man, who can't swim and is caught in a rip. Asian woman, worried about her boyfriend rushes in to help him. In turn, also gets caught in the rip as she can't swim either. Number Three wades in and drags her out.
Drama. Thankful couple, a lesson well learned. The team packs up and leaves the beach after and action-packed afternoon and heads to the bar for a well deserved beer or 20.
We end up deciding to give the Black Moon party in Ko Pha Ngan a miss and head up to Bangkok earlier. Catch a jam-packed rusted old mini-bus to Surat Thani. Lucky to arrive alive as driver keeps trying to fall asleep. Original plan was to catch the night train up to Bangkok but we get talked into catching a bus instead, landing us there about 12 hours earlier.
Embark on 8 hour bus ride. Arrive in Bangkok at about 11pm and check into expensive, though shit, hotel. Run into some friend's of Number Two, Dan (a burly man from Manchester), and Danni (a tiny tattooed woman), the next morning. They suggest we go and stay where they are, which is cheaper.
Bangkok is hot as hell and not much achieved in the way of sight-seeing, so we hang out and drink beer instead. Realise after a few days that the guesthouse we are staying in actually appears to be a whore-house. Proceed with caution.
Begin another 3 day bender which results in various injuries, including a black eye for Number Three as she smashes her face into an open cupboard door. Number Two leaves us for the Northern Hemisphere and heads off home leaving Number One and Three to carry on. Not much happened. Read Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson and Dr Strangelove. Both from the library Number One was carrying around.
Number Three departs off into the sunset, Southern Hemisphere bound. Interestingly, we all actually left within 24 hours of one another, but we were all at staggered intervals. Finally Number One leaves for his trip home to Londonderry via Cairo, London and Belfast. He would never have won The Amazing Race with a crap flight like that.
And that's the end of the story. Sadly, not sure when we'll see the team back together again... Overall though, a fully ex holiday with some great company. Would definitely go back to the islands of Thailand...