A Travellerspoint blog

Songkran in Chiang Rai

Day 442 – Tuesday 9th April

I find Noi (our roommate) really tiring so I decided to take the day off today and let them all do their thing. So they all went off to a waterfall together and I stayed back at the room reading and chilling out, tried to write the blog but it was far too hot to work so I ended up just having a nap instead. When they did make it back from the waterfall I got going on yet another long blog entry. Once I was done we went round to M’s to hang out with him and Tamara, but those 2 were shattered so we left them to it and went in to town where we met up with Chris and Dre (2 of the guys we met a while ago who joined M for his live gig) and had a few beers playing pool. They’ve all been in Laos for a few days so it was good to see them again and our Chris was dominating at the pool table. Time flew by and it got to 2am and the place was closing but we weren’t ready to go back yet so we went to Face Bar, the local student club. Had a really good night hitting on all the beautiful women and teaching those shy Thai people how to dance, badly. We left there around 4 and got a bit of food before coming back to hit the hay.

Day 443 – Wednesday 10th April

After breakfast I went to get my haircut, turned out to be a pretty comical experience. As usual the woman cutting my hair was in shock that I’d want to cut my blond hair and she was terrified to be the one to do it. After pretty much cutting my hair myself and grabbing her hand to cut shorter we finally managed to reach a point where I was happy. Plus she was too scared to cut my beard, so there I was in this little Thai barber with 2 girls laughing at me as I shave my beard myself (due to my bag being in Chiang Mai I don’t have my clippers!). Luckily Noi has to go back to Chiang Mai and I was more than happy to give her a lift to the bus station, other than everything else it will be nice to have separate beds again as me and Chris have been sharing the last 5 days. After that I went back to the shop and me and Chris got cracking with the garden and the seemingly endless task of digging up all the weeds. As usual it was too hot to work, so after it got too much we went back home and got showered and had some food, then settled down to watch a movie. When it was over we went to the shop as we’d been told a party was on the cards, but turned out we were too late and the party was dying down until it was just me and Chris and the 2 lovebirds, M and Tamara. So we helped them close up the shop and then went off to get some snacks and settled in to the room which just feels like a much nicer, bigger space to be in now.

Day 444 – Thursday 11th April

Had another great breakfast from the Mum and the Me and Chris headed over to the shop to meet up with Tamara and M, but as usual they were off doing something else, they disappear every 5 minutes it seems. Me and Chris opened up the shop and then tried to get started on doing dsome of the gardening work but it really was too hot today and so we just gave up. Thai new year lasts about 4 days each year between the 12-15th April in which time they get pissed and chuck water over everyone. Right there and then I was desperate for it to start tomorrow and then 2 of M’s kid cousins turned up with water guns and I grabbed a bucket and we played around getting soaked, can’t emphasize how good it feels when it’s this hot, plus all my life I’ve loved chucking water over people even got in trouble with the police that one time (remember Mum?). And then Songkran (Thai for new year) got started when Ohm (M’s brother) and a few of his mates turned up and we spent the next 4 hours or so chucking buckets over each other and any girls which drove past. As it doesn’t start proper until tomorrow, we couldn’t chuck water on everyone and if someone says they don’t want it you have to respect that. Although if they’re a hot girl, the rules go out the window and they get soaked. Around sunset we all went our separate ways to get some dry clothes and then meet up later at M’s shop where we had some burgers and booze till about 9 when it all started winding down and me and Chris ended up just staying in watching a movie.

Day 445 – Friday 12th April

This time last year I was in Pyongyang (North Korea) for my first night in what turned out to be the best trip ever. Started off the day with a drive in to town to get some food and songkran supplies, got well and truly soaked on the way in seems everyone wants to get us foreigners the most wet. God I love this holiday so much, it’s so much fun getting soaked and soaking others and it just brings everyone together, argh it’s so much fun!!! After getting water balloons and things we drove back to M’s shop where Ohm and his mates were already stuck in throwing buckets of water over everyone. After a while of sprinting back and forth filling up my buckets and chucking them over anyone and everyone, me and Chris went on a little road trip in the back of one of the guy’s trucks. Definitely the best way to experience Songkran, we got so fucking wet and not just normal water, most people had put ice in their water so it was freezing! Drove around town stopping off every 10 minutes or so to fill up the big bucket on the back of our truck and fill up our cups with whiskey and quite simply we just had the best time. Sorry guys just can’t really put into words how much I love Songkran. Eventually we’d had enough of being completely freezing and we got dropped off back at the base and drove home to get dry. Then I get a call from Noi, turns out she’ll be at the bus station in 10 minutes and she’ll be staying with us yet again, yippee! Really bothers me that she just turned up without even asking if she could stay having just been here for 4 nights as well in our small room with only 2 beds! Plus I really don’t get on with her and I don’t find her fun to stay with. I’ll leave it at that, but safe to say I was not happy about her surprise return. Had some dinner and then spent another night hanging out at the shop, considering we’re there all day it’s not really somewhere I like hanging out at night and so we didn’t stay there so long. Instead we left pretty early to come back and watch Red Dawn; a recent movie about North Korea invading the US. And yes it is probably the worst film ever made but absolutely hilarious at the same time. Random night.

Day 446 – Saturday 13th April

Back to the old routine of sleeping badly in our shared bed and being woken up early by Noi making loads of noise, how nice it is t wake up in a shit mood again. After breakfast went to the shop and I perked up straight away as soon as I laid my eyes on my buckets and I got stuck in straight away and didn’t stop chucking water at people for pretty much 4 hours straight. This is what happiness feels like! Drove in to town again today to give some of the locals a chance to soak a white guy, gotta take as good as you give! So much fucking fun driving through on a bike and having all the girls screaming as you drive by and shouting I love you as they pound bucket after bucket over you, wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world! I did lose my favourite earring today though which was a bit of a bummer, I’ve had it for like 5 years as well and it’s been all over the world, bummer. I felt like just chilling out alone for a while so I hung in the room as that lot spent another night at the shop. So when I did turn up later, all that lot were wasted (another very important part of songkran) which was a bit uncomfortable for me but we all had a good time hanging out together. Seems like forever since me and M were hanging out together, since Tamara’s coming we barely speak unsurprisingly. But it’s nice just to have our little group all together as we all seem to be on different schedules of late.

Day 447 – Sunday 14th April

Started off the day with a drive in to town to get me a new earring, as I’m still not with my bag that’s another thing I don’t have with me, along with pretty much everything else! Still it’s been good to live out of my little eastpak for almost a month now. Got soaked as usual on the drive! Came back to the shop to get my day started and I spent the next few hours hanging out with the 2 drunk uncles throwing water at anything and everything, those 2 took no prisoners and completely pelted anyone especially the ladies. Had another awesome day! When we got back, Noi and Chris wanted to go to temple, but I was worn out from all the bucket throwing so I gave it a miss. Not long after I got a call from them saying that all the family were at the shop and the drinks were flowing and I should come along. And so I did and we had a little karaoke session on the side of the street whilst drinking whiskey after whiskey with all the extended family, proper good laugh. Once they all left, me, Chris, M, Tamara and Noi headed in to town to go to a club and carry on the night. Everyone was pretty wasted and as usual there was an abundance of incredibly hot Thai girls around, can’t complain!

Day 448 – Monday 15th April

Another day of nonstop bucket throwing, plus today I had a little accomplice, M’s 13 year old cousin who is very beautiful and so with me and her standing in the middle of the road, everyone was happy to stop for us and get a bucket thrown over them. Ah man just writing about Songkran is making me so sad that it had to end, just the feeling in the air was so good and all the stunning girls giving little winks and stopping to say hello and the stream of ‘I love yous’ man am I going to miss being a celebrity when I go back to England. Anyway, me and the girl spent all day just chucking buckets, did go for a little road trip into town at one point but it was pretty quiet, funnily enough Friday was probably the worst day, I thought it would get progressively more crazy but that wasn’t the case. Stopped the water throwing around 5 and came back to chill and watch some TV in the room and have a cheeky nap. Then we headed into town and bought a shit ton of snacks and got started on a little movie madness night in.

Day 449 – Tuesday 16th April

Still no sign of Noi making her move anytime soon! Really don’t know if I would’ve rented this house if I’d known that this is what it would be used for, it’s just so frustrating to be living the perfect life but have this one really annoying thing constantly there bringing me right back down to earth. Plus Songkran is now over which effectively means my life is over, so depressing! Started the day off by driving to town with Chris to get our washing done and then going on a drive to a waterfall just to get some time away from Noi. Although Chris doesn’t feel the same way it’s still nice to have someone to moan about her to. As we’ve been to this waterfall loads of times already, we decided to check out something new and go on a mini trek to the top of the hill. Turned out to be really beautiful scenery and a ridiculously relaxing experience just sitting at the top of the hill looking out over terraces everywhere and having a good chat. After a while there just hanging with the cows, we came back down and had a dip in the waterfall before making our way back. Ended up finding a motorbike key on the way down but as Chris can’t drive there’s no way we could’ve stolen it! Just joking, I handed the key in to a nice family and they said they’d deal with it, they probably drove off with it! Then got told off by a policeman for not wearing a helmet and managed to dodge the fine by claiming that when someone threw a bucket over me it fell off. Somehow he bought it and let me off and we hit the beautiful road back home. Got a few more buckets thrown on us on the way back, sadly though it was just a few and the city streets are no longer completely soaked. Really nice afternoon after the recent madness. Got back and Noi was in a mood so we left her there and went off to hang with M and Tamara for a little bit, but as usual they were off in their little world whispering sweet nothings to each other. So we left them there and drove off in to town. Spent a while walking around the night market and then went to a bar where we had one of the best pool sessions ever, it was like Ronnie O’Sullivan had just turned up for the day. Got news from James as well and he’s back in the country so hopefully not too long before I see him but as Noi’s taking up his bed maybe not! Ended up staying up really late watching Pingu, brought back so many memories of my childhood, almost had a mental breakdown! Literally the funniest show though, and if any of you watched it as a kid I recommend having a little walk down memory lane and check it out on youtube.

Day 450 – Wednesday 17th April

Tamara had a visa run today, so her, M and Noi all went off to Burma together in the morning and so it was just me and Chris today. After last night;s pool session we were hungry for more and spent most of the morning trying to find a pool house here in Chiang Rai which ended unsuccessfully. Stopped at some really bizarre places to find one, including a huge and terrifyingly empty North Korea hotel where Chirs learnt to drive in the car park. Ended up in a dive of a bar owned by some typical brit expats. Haven’t been to one of these places in a while and it was a fucking depressing place to be on a beautiful afternoon, but it was good to play some pool. After leaving there we went off for a little drive which just ended up with us back at home because there were too many police about and I didn’t have a helmet and didn’t want a fine. Had some dinner and then sat chilling in the room waiting for that lot to get back, which they eventually did very late. Turns out they had a complete mare this morning with 3 separate bikes breaking down and them running back and forth to sort out solutions. Tamara was not in a good mood and seems she’ll be off tomorrow which is sad but I haven’t really been speaking to her as she’s been so cooped up with M so it doesn’t change too much for me. The mood was a bit sombre in the room after that and Noi wasn’t feeling too good so I suggested we go to the cinema to watch the new Thai comedy that’s out. As with every other Thai film it was very slapstick comedy and the crowd loved it, always funny to see what stage there cinematic viewing is at compared to our style films in the West. But it was still a fun film and had English subs so we all enjoyed it and it definitely lifted the spirit in our room. Came back and chilled at the room watching TV for a while, then Chris pierced my ear before bed. The last couple of weeks my left ear has been feeling really naked and so I’ve now got myself a second piercing. Probably won’t be getting a tattoo now so need to mark my body in some other way!

Day 451 – Thursday 18th April

Spent the start of the day just catching up on my diary, the last week has been so busy and I haven’t wanted to miss a minute so it’s been hard to keep up with the diary and the blog. But as usual it always gets done in the end! Spent all day just hanging out in the room, I’m out of ideas on where to go so we had a proper lazy day off. Went to town for food in the evening and ended up going to a bar and playing loads of pool, fucking loving that little ritual at the moment. When we came back we all hung out at M’s place, Tamara ended up staying for now, and then we came back to ours we me and Chris came up with the genius plan of going to Laos for a week. Not that I don’t love Chiang Rai but it would be nice to have one last little holiday of sorts before I go back, plus I need to do a visa un on Monday so I might as well just hop over to Laos and see what it’s like. From what I’ve been told (mainly by Rob) it’s supposed to be a pretty special country and I’m very excited to go now. Plus I really need some time away from Noi as god only knows how much longer she would stay!

Day 452 – Friday 19th April

M’s Mum wasn’t around this morning and as Tamara was with us we couldn’t fit all 4 on the bike, having 3 on it all day everyday has started to take its toll, it’s still a great little runner though. And so we ended up going on a walk to find somewhere open in the stifling heat, that turned out to be unsuccessful and M found us stranded on the side of the road and took us home where he cooked some food. Ended up spending the rest of the afternoon just procrastinating at M’s, all in all very uneventful and boring. Tamara was supposed to leave and so we hung out to say goodbye, but she’s clearly not ready to leave and didn’t feel too well and so we just sat around waiting all afternoon and she never left! Came back to our place and spent a while watching the live manhunt for the Boston bomber, don’t know if I’ve ever seen a news story like it where they can just run a live manhunt, it’s pretty exciting stuff. Must be a news team’s wet dream as they can just sit a presenter in a seat and let her roll off the same speech over and over as all the pictures do the talking. The whole story is also bloody interesting, can’t believe how long it took them to catch the guy, bet he regrets that he made it out alive as life in prison in solitary confinement doesn’t sound too great, death penalty is probably a nicer way to go. Either way his brother quite literally got away with murder! Around 8 I managed to drag myself away from the story and we went in to town, where we bought a couple bottles of whiskey and went and sat in the night market polishing them off. Really cool vibe on a Friday night as the place is packed and there’s live music going on. After finishing off our pre drink session, we headed off to the first club where we got lots of free drinks and had a good old dance with these 2 raunchy older women. After that we got the night started proper and went to our favourite club, Face bar, the local university hang out place. Lots of free drinks, too many beautiful women to count and some good music, awesome night! Definitely going to miss the female attention more than anything I think, being able to walk into a club and just have your pick of all these stunning girls is just the best feeling.

Posted by travellingjoe 03:31 Archived in Thailand

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hahaha - joe lodge you are such a waster - life is going to be such a shocker back here, gonna make me laugh
(doesn't sound like you're gay though!)
I want to say keep on having fun because there's not much time left.
love you (and yes I remember the policeman /water bomb thing)

by elizabethzy

Glad you are still enjoying it - and a whole year since North Korea, doesn't time fly! Hope you get the chance to get to Laos. I'm still struggling to decide where to go later this year, it could well be Laos

by Rob1611

Still living the good life Joe. Excellent stuff. Always interesting to see the pictures; especially how smashing those girls look. UK warming up so you wont miss the hot weather................much! GD.

by m.hurry

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