Ice Cream and Mopeds

Back in Thailand – I don’t know if they put something in the water (which you obviously cant drink anyway) but it just feels nice. The food smells great as you walk past the street hawkers. The smell of sewage and decay, ever present in KK, is absent. People really do smile here more. And its cheap.

I’m with my David Beckham look-alike travelling companion – Joe – an Essex geezer with a never-ending supply of smiles, and we’re on a mammoth 24 hours of boats, buses, tuk-tuks and noodles to get to a full moon party in Ko Phangan, to hire motorbikes, and to do all of the things that you are advised not to in such places:

“But the majority pack into pickup taxis or hire small motorbikes to drive 20 minutes from the port over a roller-coaster road, narrow and full of blind curves, to Haad Rin. None wear helmets, though few have ever been on a motorcycle before. Hospital officials say at least 231 riders needed treatment from accidents in the first three months of this year – more than half the total for all of 1999. So far this year, two tourists have been killed in physical assaults. Last year saw six fatalities from accidents, assaults, drowning and suicide.”

I love statistics. Six fatalities from accidents – out of how many people? I dunno. But I always say that you don’t really know you’re on holiday until you have a Magnum ice cream bar, and rent a vehicle – a moped if possible. So that’s what I’m going to do.

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