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Roxy Bar, Phuket

15 Dec

This place is my favourite bar of the entire trip. We go there to play pool and drink every night, the barman is a legend – a long haired, tattooed Thai in pseudo-rasta clothes called Pod – and the vibe is top.

All the locals are really friendly expats, and the bar is soundtracked by a playlist that rivals The Garden State’s in terms of brilliance: classic rock, classic indie, little known dance gems, and the occasional pop treat. Love it. I have to pop over the laptop every so often ro check the song so I can Download it when I get home!

Last night they had a live music night.

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The act were Arvie, the singer, and Dennis, guitar/backing vox. They were awesome. Arvie’s voice was stunning, she was owning all her covers and made Jessie J look especially ordinary. She would destroy X Factor and should definitely be signed (not that doing well on X Factor equals talent, it’s just a measure so the kids will understand!)

Here we are with the madam herself

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Anfield Cafe, Phuket

15 Dec

We came across this delightful restaurant-cum-cafe-cum-bar (ergh, distinctions…) in the old part of Phuket Town, which is somewhat unsurprisingly located on Phuket.

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I don’t know where they got the lettering from but it’s impressive, as is the array of collectible scarfs hanging from the ceiling, the pick of which is obvs Arsenal’s 1999 double winners scarf (that is my own unbiased opinion…)

The people who own and run the place are Joe and his Ma and Pa, a collection of three wonderful Thais, who speak perfect English and love having guests. We’ve gone back 4 days in the trot to eat, drink and chat footsie with Joe and his Dad.

The food itself is cheap and tasty, both are perennial qualities of a decent meal in my book.

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Above is the pan fried chicken and cashew nut with rice. The oyster sauce that the meat and cashews is cooked in is delicious, and the cashews add a new dimension to the plain chickeny taste of chicken. The rice was nice (if anyone from Uncle Ben’s is reading this, email me and we’ll talk slogans).

One of the best all round places we’ve been to, insofar that when they got an order wrong they let us have the dish on the house, rather than blaming us for ordering wrong like most other Thai restaurants!

Excellent, excellent shit!

Mr Zen Art Gallery, Phuket

15 Dec

I never got to meet Mr Zen, but I stumbled upon his gallery and lapped it up. Dig his pix:

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Fire on the beach

12 Dec

I wish I could instagram these photos I took of a fire spinner. Gawd I’m so trendayyyy

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Broken Promises

4 Dec

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She made us promise to come back and buy something from her. She made me take a photo of her with Hannah so we wouldn’t go back. We actually made sure we went back.

But she was gone.

Why would she break our hearts like that?

Cat Ba Massage

4 Nov

After three days on a boat I needed this:

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The guy was a magician, who, now that I look at him again, looks like Vietnamese Gomez Addams from The Addams Family…

Thanks to my sunburn the experience alternated between extreme pain and transcendentally relaxing.

Living on a boat in Halong Bay

4 Nov

Earlier this week the six of us (Hannah, Sam, Matt, Travis, Harvey and myself) lived on a boat for 3 days. I think it was a junk but the sails were never up so I couldn’t tell. Besides, it’s name begging for an ironic accident to occur…

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It was a really relaxing way of spending 3 days in Lan Ha Bay, especially after having retreated from the typhoon last week. That’s right, Lan Ha Bay, not Halong Bay – they’re pretty much the same except where we went is located around Cat Ba island and less touristy.

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The views were majestic and even more dramatic than Trang An, as we were now out in the open ocean, surrounded by hundreds of individual paradises, all of which were stuck at the top of limestone mountains far above our heads.

We spent our time kayaking through caves and lagoons, diving off the boat and exploring islands. One island, named Monkey Island, was home to a small group of (surprise surprise) monkeys – red faced macaques I think – who Matt threw a stick at “playfully” (his words), pissing them off, only for Hannah’s self defense tactic of throwing sand at them causing them to get further enraged, subsequently resulting in me hurdling kayaks as I legged it into the sea, ala Jack Sparrow. Here’s one of the little shits/main offenders:

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Prior to this we’d gone climbing over the sharpest and craggy landscape possible. I don’t know why I did it barefoot, but my hands and feet still have painful dents in them from this…

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…but at least the view was worth it!

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Our 3 man crew cooked our meals, doing a bang up job every night: fresh fish, rice, chicken, potatoes – we lived the fisherman’s life and loved it. On our second day we passed a fisherman and bought a kilo of crabs and a kilo of shrimp from him for just £15. It was amazing. He even rowed them to our boat for us.

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It was a great experience and thankfully we had perfect weather for three days, blue skies and sun, with a warm turquoise ocean all around us to cool off in. Naturally I’d purchased the tightest trunks I could find before setting off…

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Hannah says I look like Jude Law in the Talented Mr Ripley – I’ll take that…!