Arrival in Bangkok

(this video is also a tribute to this one)

Bangkok. Haven’t been here since I was a wide-eyed teenager 7 years ago. Back then, my friends and I barely strayed from Khao San Road. This time, I’ve got maps. The city of 8 million is coming of age, newer, brighter, flashier, with new mass transit systems and plenty more skyscrapers. After the gawking stares of Bangladesh, the warm smiles of the Thai people are refreshing. They accept me and countless other farangs for all that we are.

There’s so much to see and do here:  temples and tailors, clothing and cockfights, markets and muay thai, monks and motorbikes, khao san and kathoeys, grand palace and golden wats, chinatown and little india. Historic neighbourhoods to get lost wandering in, canals to cruise along during sunset, the list goes on…

From pad thai to ping pong shows, welcome to Bangkok.

Coming Unstuck – Today’s Travel Inspiration


“There was once a man who became unstuck in the world. He took the wind for a map. He took the sky for a clock and he set off with no destination. He was never lost.” -Castles in the Sky

One of the greatest things about surfing is that it so naturally goes hand in hand with travel.

I’ve just emerged from a month in Bangladesh, where we surfed nearly every single day. And while Bangla’s waves can hardly compare to the world-class breaks of Indonesia where I spent the previous 2 months, it has consistent swell and the beach breaks can get as fun as anywhere. But here it wasn’t about the quality of waves but the adventure: walking through villages where the locals were dumbfounded at never having seen this ‘surfboard’ thing before, exploring the coastline, finding and surfing unnamed breaks near the Burmese border, just you and your friend, the first and only people to ever have surfed these breaks. This is what made it so memorable. Surfers are adventurous, DIY types – it’s always been a part of the culture since the days of The Endless SummerMorning of the Earth and The Forgotten of Santosha. You have to be. The search for waves has led me to places off the beaten path that I never would have ended up otherwise. But whether you’re a surfer or not, I recommend the surf-travel movies Sipping Jetstreams and Castles in the Sky. I hope they’ll stir the wanderer in your soul and inspire you to walk out the door on that next unexpected, unforeseen adventure.

Happy trails:)

Song: The Summer We Raised You by Years around the Sun

Gearing up for a mission in Cox’s Bazaar. Destination: St Martin’s Island, Bangladesh’s southernmost point, next to Burma.

Boarding the ferry at Teknaf, stoked for exploration and uncharted waves.

Bengali boats in the hazy-bronze light of the late afternoon.

Commandeering a fishing boat to access distant reef breaks. The locals were amazed and confused.

Late sun and traditional fishing boats on an inlet near the Burmese (Myanmar) border.

2011 by the numbers

  • Countries Visited: 10
  • Passports used: 3
  • Flights taken: 44
  • Flights missed: 3
  • Flights almost missed: 6
  • Days spent surfing: 27 (2 in Canada, 15 in Indonesia, 2 in Perth, 5 in Byron Bay, 3 in New Zealand).
  • Hospital visits: 2
  • Types of antibiotics taken: 4
  • Dollars paid in taxes: $15,842
  • Interest charged on Student Loan: 5.5%
  • Interest earned in savings account: 5.9%
  • Silver price range: low $26.80, high $48.58
  • Gold price range: low $1318, high $1890
  • Number of consecutive years gold has increased in price: 11
  • Size of barracuda caught: 115 cm/10 lbs
  • Distance driven from Darwin to Cairns: 2,700 km
  • Number of roadkill kangaroos counted in one day whilst driving Darwin to Cairns: 70
  • Number of roadkill kangaroos counted in total whilst driving Darwin to Cairns: 185
  • Amount of Karaoke sung: 5 times in 4 countries
  • PLL: ∞
  • PGF: 0
  • New friends made: too many to count!

Happy New Years, good luck, have fun and make 2012 the best year of your life!