It’s a veritable feast of creepy crawlies! The first thing I think of when I see, say, a spider, is to throw a shoe at it. The Thais go about it in a completely different way. The immediate thought seems to be “I’ll fry and eat it!”.
I found this street vendor selling all sorts of deep fried insects on the streets of Bangkok. Okay, frog is not actually an insect but she also had grasshoppers (huge and small ones), crickets (not the sport), beetles (which I am secretly scared of) and even red ants! Deep fried red ants! Imagine that!
I bought a pack of large grasshoppers for 20 THB and a mixed bag of every single insect she had for 30 THB (RM 5 total). The street vendor laughed and complied with my request – a deep fried cricket here, a sprinkling of deep fried red ants there. There’s even two types of beetles (water beetle and weevil). It’s supposed to be a delicacy here.
I ate it sitting on the steps where my girlfriend took this video of me eating all the deep fried insects:
I also made her eat some, much to her disgust, but at least now she’s tried it. :)
I’ll give a quick review of the insects:
Deep fried grasshopper
Surprisingly crunchy and delicious but the legs can have spines that can cut your tongue. Deep fried frog
These are tiny frogs that can fit in my hand. They don’t even remove the bowels! Tasty and crunchy. Deep fried beetle
The wings can be hard to swallow coz it sticks to the top of your mouth like peanut butter. Deep fried cricket
Tastes like grasshoppers but has more of a bee-like texture to it. Deep fried bamboo worms
Tasty and creamy! Deep fried red ants
Highly toxic when consumed in large quantities. It makes my mouth itch just thinking about it.
I’m not a huge fan of deep fried red ants – it’s hard to pick up (they’re tiny) and I find their venom to be a bit hard to take. It actually made me sick!
I was feeling slightly unwell after eating all these, she thinks it might be coz of the fried grasshoppers, I thought it was the toxin from the deep fried red ants. It’s an interesting experience nonetheless! :)
Sawadeekap! I’m in Bangkok, Thailand! Six of us flew in late last night – it was supposed to be a couples trip planned after a HCMC trip was cancelled. We’re staying at Indra Regent Hotel, which is just a stone’s throw away from the overrated and commercialized Platinum Mall.
Oh! I’ll tell you an funny incident last night. I was going through airport security, and took off my belt to go through the metal detector. I don’t know what happened, but it must have been stuck in the machine coz I didn’t see it – worse – didn’t realize it until the plane landed in Bangkok, I reached to tighten my belt…
…and noticed it wasn’t there. -_-
Anyway, we hit the local 7-Eleven opposite the hotel as soon as we finished checking in. The 7-Eleven over here is really quite good – it has a lot of interesting stuff and it’s cheap!
The Red Bull over here is particularly cheap – all of them going for THB 10 or less. That’s about RM 1 – a price which you’ll be hard pressed to find in Malaysia! In fact, I paid less than the equivalent of RM 10 for all my purchases!
There’s a lot of nice pork wares too – even the store branded instant noodles is Pork Spare Ribs with Tom Yam Flavor. It sounds very Thai. ;)
We had this Shredded Pork Mayonnaise Pocket Sandwich for breakfast just now. THB 12 or RM 1.20 for a sandwich stuffed with pork floss and mayo with the edges (crust) sliced off, just like your mom used to do for you when you were a little kid.
I also found this interesting bread product that goes for 7 baht each – around RM 0.70. I don’t know how to translate it properly coz the writing is all in Thai. It’s just a slice of bread with either butter or milk spread on top but it’s super delicious!
This is quite a funny story. Not LOLOL funny but an interesting experience coz I like to take things in stride and things like this happen. I had a flight cancelled due to fog in Melbourne when I was in uni. Hey, it’s an adventure to me. :)
Our flight from Berlin to Frankfurt was delayed due to bad weather in Frankfurt. No flights were allowed to take off from Berlin. We all waited in the plane for ages. No flights were allowed to depart from Frankfurt too – all the planes there were grounded so we thought we could still make the connecting flight.
Everyone boarded an hour ago but we could not take off – at least we got updates from the Euro 2012 Germany-Italy semi-finals match from the pilot, sorry for your loss Deutschland, I supported your team…coz we were in your country and it’s a fine one. Heh.
Anyway, when we finally managed to get airborne, we ended up taxiing above Frankfurt coz there was a sudden influx of inbound and outbound air traffic. That’s when we knew we couldn’t make the connecting flight to Bangkok…and sure enough, we only landed way after that flight has departed.
Lufthansa issued us a free night’s stay at Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel and 30 Euros in “credit” which turned out to be dinner. This is dinner:
There were heaps of people trying to get on a flight – any flight – so one of the staff advised us to get some rest and come back the next day. There were over 200 people on the waiting list after midnight! Thanks for queuing up and checking Nigel!
I had packed my cigarettes into my check-in baggage so I had to get another at the airport – it’s 5 Euros, which is almost double our price, but with a long flight ahead and no bookings yet, you gotta have that nicotine hit.
We went to the hotel and found out that the queue there was quite impressive too. This is where all the cabin attendants stay – it’s connected to the airport so that was good. The queue was still there after we finished dinner. Mind, this is only the Business and First class people so imagine how many people in total which was affected.
I had my notebook and bought 24 hours of WiFi from Sheraton for 19 Euros (about RM 76) using my credit card. I didn’t know how long I would need to wait, and I ended up wasting it coz I crashed at 2 am and woke up at 4 am to go line up at the airport. Oh well.
It’s a good thing I had a souvenir t-shirt of the Berlin Wall so I could change my shirt at least before heading to the airport. I didn’t even unpack coz I fell asleep after the long flight delays.
This was the line this morning. I started queuing at 4 am and this is what it looks like at 7:37 am. (!)
I waited in line for hours before one of the Lufthansa staff saw my ticket and brought me down. I managed to get a confirmed ticket – a husband and wife team with us went through India at 12 pm and Nigel also managed to get the 3 pm flight that I was on.
(all times are GMT +2)
The reason for splitting up is due to the sheer amount of stranded passengers so we couldn’t stay together. There just wasn’t enough seats. The grounding of the Frankfurt airport really affected a lot of people – several thousand people stayed at the airport (Economy) or the Sheraton in Frankfurt (Business and First).
You know what the worst thing was? No one could retrieve their check-in baggage! There’s a rule that it has to stay at the airport or something to that effect. I’m pretty sure I’ve broken the record for wearing the same underwear, jeans, socks and shoes. I could only change my shirt. I can smell myself from 200 meters away. Heh.
I’m also staying awake on willpower and coffee alone. I’ve drank more than 15 cups in the past 24 hours. :x
I’ll have to wait for a while before I’ll know if my flight back to KL later is 100% confirmed. I’m the only one left here coz there were just too many people needing to fly to various parts of the world.
It’s a good thing the Thai Airways Royal Lounge in Bangkok has a shower room so I could use their fresh, fluffy, wrapped towels and brush my teeth and freshen up.
Thanks for booking us on Business Class, Volkswagen Malaysia – that really helps when stuff like this happens. :D
I’m still wearing the same clothes from several days ago (except for the t-shirt) but that shower really freshened me up. I can semi-write coherently while being extremely sleep deprived. Heh.
Now, I shall go back and check if my outbound flight is confirmed. I need to go back today. I don’t even know what “50% confirmed” means. *shrugs*
Oh well, it’s all good! Sawadee krap from Bangkok! :)
Believe it or not, I’ve never been to a Thai girl show. Never.
I’ve lived in the Red Light District in Amsterdam, risked life and limb while backpacking Eastern Europe to follow a couple of guys I just met to see the darker side of Georgia, but as for Thai girl shows, it still remains on my bucket list.
I’ve been to Thailand a lot of times. It was just a series of unfortunate events that made me miss the famous shows our neighboring country has to offer.
This is my fifth trip to Thailand.
I was there to check out the newly renovated and revamped Club Med Phuket in Thailand last month. This is my very first time at a Club Med resort and the legendary Club Med hospitality with the GOs interacting with the guests was a pleasant surprise for me.
You don’t feel like you’re in Phuket (which can get a bit rowdy) at all. You’re greeted at the airport and as a GE, whisked away to the village. The serenity in Club Med makes it insular – in a good way, since you can always head out to the low end party scene of Bangla Road whenever you want and come back to the lap of luxury. ;)
I like the little touches at the resort – the Club Med trident in the ash trays are so much like cappuccino art, with a fresh orchid.
This is the poolside bar where you can order whatever you want. Club Med is all-inclusive, that’s part of the appeal – you can eat and drink as much as you want – it’s all included in the price.
The Oval Concept Bar is a great place to chill out – there’s an awesome view of the ocean and most of the resort, including the swimming pool.
The main pool is the hub of lots of water activities like water yoga. It’s a great place to lounge and chat with fellow guests and GOs too! :)
There’s fresh coconut juice and snacks in thoughtfully placed refreshment stations as you stroll about the huge resort…
I’ve even come across desserts at tea-time which I took the opportunity to sample. I ate a lot during my stay at Club Med. If it wasn’t for all the activities, I’ll have gained quite a few kgs by the time I got back. Heh.
There were even cold towels handed out by the friendly GEs to wipe yourself with in the humid temperature of Phuket.
You just cannot beat that.
There are also activities that you can participate in every day – everything from golf lessons to snorkeling, whatever rocks your boat. Pun intended.
I made it my personal mission to master the flying trapeze. You can see my efforts here and during the 4D/6N (we flew in at night) I’ve only missed my lessons once.
I got to know the Circus GOs (which stands for Gentils Organisateurs, or Gracious Organizers) and finally managed to do backflips and catches, which was worth all the pain of waking up with aching muscles.
I still have my certificate!
We also went snorkeling on the very last morning. The GO offered us Dramamine pills for sea sickness – individually wrapped – again, it’s the little touches like this that makes you feel welcome.
We went from a small longboat to a large ship before anchoring at a nice spot…
…and spent a good 45 minutes under the water.
I really liked that too – the water wasn’t very clear that day, but it was fun! I love being in the water – it’s so peaceful.
There are a lot of free activities in Club Med Phuket – one thing you won’t be while you’re there is bored.
The adults-only Zen Pool is a new addition which offers a view of Kata Bay.
Yes, you can swim inside, it was officially opened when we were there. You can also get cocktails and lounge by the relatively quiet poolside while reading a book or just enjoying the ambiance.
I had a massage right after I got my flying trapeze certificate – a very apt reward. :)
The new Club Med Spa by Payot makes you feel relaxed just by walking in.
I was quite impressed that the spa of the Club Med village in Phuket is one of the few that’s done by Payot. Payot is a French luxury brand and their spas are legendary.
The masseuse worked through all my sore muscles and the spa only use Payot products.
There’s singles and couples massages with a wide range of treatments. It’s part of the newly completed renovation and a very welcome addition. :)
We had dinner in conjunction with the launch of the newly renovated Club Med Phuket at Chu-Da restaurant. It’s a completely new 98-seater restaurant and we all got a purple scarf as the theme of the night.
Chu-Da is a specialty restaurant that’s also free but requires booking and is adults-only. It’s perfect as a more private dining experience and the pavilions at the al-fresco dining area is very comfortable. I saw a person in a boat of the Zen pool inside the restaurant and thought it was a prop…but no, it was an actual person. Heh.
I gorged myself on Alaskan King Crab that night.
This is probably the longest domino cocktail I’ve ever seen.
Watch it fall!
Club Med is also famous for their nightly performances. These can range from heavily themed circus acts to parties.
My personal favorite was the beach party.
There were fire twirlers…
…and lanterns you can send off into the skies with a wish!
My wish didn’t come true, but I like to think of it as it *hasn’t* come true yet. Thanks for helping me record an emo personal moment Ji San. Haha. :)
It was the perfect way to end a perfect trip. :)
P/S – A bunch of us went out to Bangla Road on the very last night but it was closed due to it being Buddha Day. It was like a ghost town. Thus, the Thai girl show experience is still in my bucket list.
Nevertheless, it was an awesome and unforgettable experience at Club Med Phuket. There are a lot of resorts coming up with similar concepts but nothing beats the original Club Med hospitality. Thanks Kelsey, Kelly and all the GOs from Club Med and Ji San, Kenny, May Kay, Celia and Charlotte who came on the trip! I had a blast! :D
I got a tailored suit for THB 6,500 during a recent trip to Phuket. I chose a design from a “Versace 2012” catalog. It’s a fashionistas dream – the suit making industry is so advanced in Thailand that they even had a catalog for Armani dated 2014. ;)
It took a bit of haggling but we brought the price down by about THB 1,000 (RM 100) each. I had three (very rushed) fittings before the suit was ready. The last time I got a full suit done was a good 7 years ago so I reckon this RM 650 two-piece is worth the price.
I shall call this the Barney suit in honor of Mr. Stinson. This is the HIMYM opening credits pose. :D
I got to experience the flying trapeze at Club Med, Phuket – it was a natural calling, being attracted to all things with an adrenaline factor in it. It’s one of those things that looks easy but it’s actually quite hard. I was at the flying trapeze almost every single day, aching in muscles I didn’t even know I had, wanting to perfect my technique and be a flyer.
The Circus GOs (Gentle Officers) are really big on safety so they see if you can actually do it – hang on a trapeze and then pull your legs up to hang upside down on a slightly raised training trapeze – before they let you go up the real thing.
This is the real thing.
It’s high but they have a safety net and lots of contraptions to ensure that you don’t fall. This here is my first attempt – a 3:30 minute video where I managed to hook myself on the flying trapeze – it’s very long and rather funny, so I’m posting it up, but the rest of the painful journey is on the SixthSeal.com Facebook page.
You have to let go and trust that the trapeze will hold you (and your hands and legs won’t fail you) while you hook your legs over the bar and then back into the holding position. There is actually an “audition” of sorts – they won’t let you be a flyer unless you can pull it off perfectly within the stipulated time-frame.
I also managed to do a back flip landing where you swing your legs in and out until you achieve the inertia required to rotate a full 360 degrees in mid-air backwards before landing on the net.
…but here’s what I got my certificate for – being a flyer. It’s all about timing, doing things when it’s asked of you without hesitation. I was one of the two that made it (the other girl who managed it was not an amateur) so it actually looks easier and has a higher drop-out rate than you imagine. You need to be interested and dedicated.
I only managed it on my second try, I nearly reached the catcher’s hands on the first try but nearly isn’t good enough.
Basically, what you do is use chalk to powder yourself up to your elbows (this is to ensure a better grip for the catcher) and hang upside down on the bar on your knees. When you look backward and see the catcher, he/she grips you and you let go of the bar. There’s an element of trust in it as well, which I have in spades – I always trust that there will be no rocks under the sea when I go cliff diving – and the fear of heights, which is why a lot of people don’t get past the basic hook, but I managed to do it.
My entire body was sore every single day and I had cuts and abrasions all over by the time I achieved this but it was all worth it.
A big thank you to Kelly, Kelsey, Kory, Phil, Hsein Ming, Dennis – all my Circus GO instructors in the Phuket village of Club Med – for being so patient with me. :)
I was so ecstatic that I was on a pure adrenaline high for several hours. It was liberating. Watching the video again made me feel that I can do whatever I want to if I set my mind to it. It was the highlight of my trip. :D
Well it’s technically at Ao Nang before we took the ill fated longboat to Rai Leh. Heh! The miniature crabs comes in abundance and you can literally pick them up from the beach.
They have the Zerg Burrow research too – much like Brood Lords (or Guardians in the original Starcraft) – which also leads to the reason behind the lack of updates on the blog. I’ve been playing too much Starcraft II. >.<
Regular programming will resume REALLY soon – promise.
Where else can you get a cheap massage right at the airport for just 300 baht (RM 30) for 50 minutes?
There is this really chill place with water features and professional masseuses at the Krabi International Airport and since we had time to kill before our flight departed, I went for the Royal Thai Traditional Massage. My friend opted for the foot reflexology (which costs the same) instead due to her sunburn.
I was heavily sun burnt and it hurt like hell when she masseuse kneaded me. However, she did some magic which involves:
Kneading my butt checks which magically made my piles go away
Twisting me in configurations that I never thought the human body can do
Lying under me with her knees up while I was on top and pulling me towards her bosom
It was that last bit where gender confusion kinda set in. She told me to relax and just put my head down. I’m not sure if those are fun bags or silicone. Hmm…
(S)he was strong though and the massage did wonders to my tense muscles. She even applied aloe vera lotion FOC since I was so sun burnt. <3
This is perhaps the primarily reason I went to Krabi. We went from Ao Nang to Railey and took a boat to the Phi Phi Islands as our route. Cliff diving is only available in Ton Sai, which is a short longboat ride away from Phi Phi Don.
Cliff diving is a very unregulated sport – basically, you do it at your own risk. You’ll have to place full trust on the guide too coz he’s not jumping and you’re sure you’ve seen rocks underneath the cliff.
What cliff diving is all about:
1. Chartering a longboat to take you to Ton Sai 2. Finding a suitable cliff and swimming from the longboat to the cliff 3. Climb up the razor sharp rock face to the jump off point 4. Leap off the cliff into the water below 5. Swim back to the longboat (unless you see a pool of red slowly spreading, then don’t bother, coz you’ve jumped into rocks )
The first one we did was 10 meters. The longboat stopped and I swam to the cliffs with the guide who showed me where to jump. I didn’t bring my digicam along coz I figured it won’t survive the 10 meter plunge.
I really, really wish I did coz the cliff that you have to climb is fucking dangerous. It’s not rocks, it’s more like razor sharp outcroppings – millions of them – which is where I cut my hands too. There is no path per se, so if you slip you’ll be impaled by the sharp rocks. It looks like this:
I was a bit wary coz the guide was pulling my (third) leg about injuries to the family jewels. He claimed his balls hit the water hard at a 10 meter jump and insisted I protect it. :(
The 10 meter cliff dive was from an outcropping of rock and the view down is fantastic. You get a thrill from looking down, not knowing if there’s rocks underneath and then jumping.
I urged my travel companion to try it as well and she did, much to my surprise. Kudos! She figures she can only do “crazy shit” like this with me so she might as well do it while she’s there.
I wanted more so I asked the guide to bring me to the 30 meter point, and off we went!
It followed the same routine of swimming from the long boat -> climbing up a jagged razor sharp cliff that I swear will cause serious injury if you misstep -> the jump into water. I was at the 20 meter point and wanted to climb further up.
My guide won’t go. He said it was too dangerous and despite me insisting on going on and paying him more money, he still won’t do the precarious climb to 30 meters. I offered him 500 baht extra (RM 50). It’s a no. He pointed to the jump site. It was a 20 meter jump off a branch of a tree.
This is one of the MOST ill conceived on-the-spot, “Hey, let’s make something up” seat-of-the-pants shit I’ve ever seen. I looked at my guide incredulously. He was dead serious. I was going to climb out off a cliff at 20 meters to a branch of unknown integrity and jump from it.
Call it a leap of faith.
I did it, landed badly (if you see the video, you’ll notice it took me a while to resurface coz it knocked the breath out of me). I still have chest pains to this very day. Crap.
I still insisted on going for the 30 meter jump though but the guide was vehemently against it.
He’ll get into trouble if I die.
(and I thought we had chartered an unlicensed longboat that would agree on anything)
How do I even begin to describe this epic adventure?
We just checked into our hotel in Ao Nang and decided to head down to Railey East at about 7 pm since I read that there’s algae there which glows brilliant blue in the night. The bioluminescence is supposed to surround your body in “a million tiny blue lights” so we headed down despite the longboat telling us that we HAD to get back at 8 pm coz that’s when the last boat departs.
I reckon we could just pay any longboat operators hanging around to get us back at 12 am. We were going to Wing It ™ in the true spirit of ADVENTURE! =D
The trip to get into the longboat sounded the death toll for my Blackberry. To reach the longboats, you have to wade through waist high water and I wanted to Twitpic everything since I didn’t pay RM 38 for BIS international roaming for nothing. Unfortunately, everything got wet, including my friend’s bag and my Blackberry.
That’s okay we’re still going to enjoy the glowing algae! By the time we got there it was nearly dark and we were starving so we ordered food at the incredibly over-commercialized island. There are bars right on the beach and food stalls which were predominantly dominated by Caucasians.
We jumped into the water after that and went for a swim towards the elusive bioluminecent algae.
It was nowhere to be found.
I don’t know if it’s coz of the rain (we were thoroughly soaked) or the rocky seas but the algae just wasn’t there.
We finally gave up trying and decided to create our own creature instead – The Beast With Two Backs ™.
Trying to do that while in that weather is nigh impossible. The waves kept pushing us inland, the rocks lying under the beach kept cutting us, and I lost my fucking underwear.
* Watching this video is discouraged – you can’t see jackshit from the darkness
We finally gave up and just went back to the beach. No longboats in sight.
We walked to Railey East. Nope, no longboats either. We walked back to Railey West and a kind dude manning a tattoo place with dreadlocks said we could try taking the employee only longboat back – it departs at 10:30 pm.
* The soaked cigarette is still smokable, just a bit…watered down
However, there was no guarantee that we can actually get on the boat and it doesn’t stop in Ao Nang so we’ll have to take ANOTHER taxi from there.
We walked back to Railey East to play Spot The Longboat Operator ™. I reckon the game would have been fun if we were not thoroughly drenched, with no cell phones (my friend left hers at our hotel in Ao Nang and my BB died a watery death).
* The rock that thwarted our intimacy
I think we must have walked back and forth from Rai Leh East beach and Rai Leh West beach at least 7 times in vain before the same dread locked guy told us that it’ll probably would be easier just to stay here.
There are several problems though:
I don’t have a cell phone (my BB died in the rain and waist deep water while getting on the longboat)
We were both drenched with no towels and no change of clothes
I lost my fucking underwear to the tides of Rai Leh
My digicam (which is thankfully waterproof) is running very low on battery since it hasn’t been charged since I got here
We have to go to Phi Phi Islands the next day
I left my medication in Ao Nang FML max
Finally, we were so exhausted, wet and bearing cuts from our attempts to recreate the cocktail Sex On The Beach (or Sex In The Sea rather) that we just decided to stay on Railey. There’s a hotel called Diamond Cave Resort which goes from 2000-3000 baht (RM 200-300) per night but since is low season we managed to get a rate of 500 baht (RM 50) – a tip from the dread locked dude again.
Thankfully we had a bottle of vodka with us or else I’ll have withdrawal symptoms from the lack of GABA agonists (clue to what meds I’m taking LEGITIMATELY) – no need for a degree in particle physics for that.
We were a bit concerned about missing the boat to Phi Phi Islands the next day but we woke up super early.
I had wrung my clothes and left them to dry at the balcony but it still wasn’t dry.
It was an adventure indeed – one we dub the Rai Leh Rendezvous.
One thing about hotels in Krabi though – they’re very big on animals as towels.