Wednesday, 9 June 2010

DO eat your way around Penang

Everything you hear is true- the food here is weird, wonderful and dangerously, belt-buckle-poppingly LUSH.

Just spent an entire, fabulous afternoon stuffing everything under the sun into my face in little India. In just two hours I've munched tandoori chicken samosas, fried yellow bean cakes, Putu Mayam (steamed noodles with grated coconut and palm sugar- which, by the way, are the best thing EVER), and sweet Indian pulled tea. Add that to the local Chinese buffet I had for lunch, traditional Islamic dried fruits for an afternoon snack and the dim sum we are planning to have for dinner in just over an hour and you've got yourself one fat mama. Fat, but happy. I bet Father Christmas has his summer holidays here.

DON'T get sucked into diving on Koh Tao

Unless you want to spend 800 quid in a week (oh yes, I nearly fainted when I realized) and potentially never leave.

Be aware: scuba diving is far, FAR more awesome than you probably think it is, and if you'd like to keep it that way and have some sort of a stab at a normal career/ house/ family then I suggest you stay well away.

Take yours truly for example- only came for an Open Water course, ended up emptying my bank account, getting certified all the way up to Rescue Diver in less than two weeks and am already planning on coming back to train and work as a Divemaster for the next 6 months.

Make a sensible risk assessment and make it now.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

DON'T have your boob fall out in a foreigners' Muay Thai match infront of a hundred strong audience composed almost entirely of pervy British men

Bad times for her. At least she won.

Somehow I don't think the judge's eye was on her uppercuts though.

DO learn some skills in Chiang Mai

If you're feeling like a bit of a culture vulture then this is the place to be. You can learn anything from yoga to muay thai here if you've got the baht. I for one am now both a master chef and a professional masseuse, and I've got the handwritten certificates to prove it.

If you do fancy getting your Ramsay on then I would recommend Pad Thai cookery school, because Meow, the lady who runs it, is an absolute riot. Some of her gems for the day included:

"Can use any mushrooms.... magic mushrooms good for party, everybody can fly"

"Boys wash you hands, no want chilli willy"

and, the ultimate classic:

"Think of you lover.... pound it like an M16 machine gun"