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Willover’s Travels Pt 2

I paid the extra for a First Class ticket on the Indian Pacific since it was such a long trip (one of the longest in the world in fact) and I wanted a cabin to myself, there’s diagrams if you follow the link. I also booked the ticket so that I was on the train in the middle of the Nullarbor at midnight on the 31st of December, that way I could celebrate New Years in transit. That turned out to be a good decision becasue it was one of the best New Years Eve parties I’ve ever been to. Seeing as I had a first class ticket, I was able to use the club car, which not only had a bar, but a piano too, and there was a Japanese girl who could play quite well. I had my harmonicas so we played duets and sing-alongs all night. At midnight the chef brought out huge bowls of King prawns and champagne. It was one of the best nights that I can almost remember.

Three days after I left Sydney,  I arrived in Perth (again)…

While I had enough money to get me further than I got last time, I decided get a job just to give me a bit of a buffer; plane tickets always leave a bit of a hole in the finances. So for the second time (hmm, that link is actually better than this post), I phoned a number in the classifieds and was told what time to be at the airport the next day. This time I ended up in Mt Newman.

Three months later I was sitting on a plane to Bangkok. Having learned that hooking up with a hooker can really stall your travels, I determined that I wouldn’t hang out in Bangkok at the Atlanta Hotel* like I did last time, with all the associated risk (wow, just looking at that link, they’ve really cleaned up their act, it used to be pretty seedy). So the next day I caught a bus to Phuket. One day I may go into detail about the pitfalls of spending too much time in Bangkok.

You may well ask, "Why the hell would you even go to Bangkok again? Given that it brought you undone last time". A valid question that deserves an answer…well in those days, airfares were really expensive in Australia (they still are a bit high, but not as bad as way back in the 70s), so the idea was to fly to Bangkok and buy your tickets there, as they had the cheapest flights in the world at the time.


Phuket is a great place, it’s free from hookers, it has cheap food and cheap accommodation and it’s right on the beach.  In addition, it’s one of my favourite places in the world, I’ve been there with ET (my best man and best friend), Mel (I was his best man),  MDW (I was her groom) and several times by myself, and every time was better then the one before. This particular trip I was there with Mel, my Canadian best friend who I actually met there. Funny, but I met both ET and Mel in Thailand 30 years ago and they are still my best friends, although I’m in contact with ET a bit more, (we talk once a week).

After about six weeks of just hanging around enjoying the beach and the seafood, it was time to leave, so we went back to Bangkok where Mel bought a ticket back to Canada (he’d been working in Oman for the past two years), and I bought one to Greece via Moscow. I really didn’t feel like doing the whole overland trip thing through India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey this time, so I just flew over them. I had been to India, and frankly it didn’t hold much of an attraction to me, and it just takes so long to get through those countries…

* A short note on travellers hotels in Bangkok. During the Vietnam war, the two most popular destinations for American servicemen were Bangkok and Sydney (with Bangkok being way ahead of Sydney), the result being a proliferation of western style hotels to cater for the GIs. After the war, these hotels fell on hard times for a few of years until in the mid to late 70s when Bangkok became a mecca for young travellers.

22 Responses

  1. Phuket was a place I always thought I would like to visit but now I’ve seen the accommodation I’m not so sure!! I can guess what some of the pitfalls of Bangkok are but maybe you should enlighten us!!!

  2. this is interesting to me; i’ve never been in this part of the world at all.

  3. No, nor me! i’m starting to dribble at the thought of your adventures in Greece tho – I’m hopefully visiting there myself for the first time this year.

    Mal 🙂

  4. Amazing as always. I can’t say I could stay in these places but your pictures from previous adventures are beautiful.

  5. Aw, phuket! I think I’d rather shit in the woods than use that toilet.

    That hotel website was pretty funny. It seems they may have had some problems in the past.

    This was a very interesting post, WT! Please keep writing about your travels.

  6. My son-in-law brought back souvenir T-shirts from Phuket for the family. My granddaughter’s school banned them…lol.

    Great post, sir.

  7. I like the bold capital red letters to the hotel – no sex tourists. (which is truly sad, in my opinion, because probably – most of those prostitutes are really 14 year old girls).

    I think that train ride would be awesome. I’d really get to see a lot of Australia – well, I guess I’d miss some of it during the night.

  8. ok…had to laugh when you listed the people you went with and the relationship…esp. YDW (you were her groom). classic willow!

  9. keep it rolling..

  10. enidd has been to phuket twice, the second as part of her honeymoon. great place!

  11. I want to ride the train. I don’t want to go to Phuket. I would like to have some King prawns. I wish I had time to read all those links back to your earlier posts. It’s the pits getting behind in my reading here.
    I feel like the two characters posted below.
    Any ideas to get rid of bloating?

  12. I could sit and listen for hours at people’s adventures like this. Something I always wanted to do but just never did. In my next life maybe. Now I have to go google Phuket because if I keep pronouncing it the way I think it’s pronounced, I’m going to have to put money in the swear jar.

  13. Jenni in Kansas may have the best comment ever.

    Me, I am a dolt. Originally, I was thinking that the Indian Pacific was a train in India. Of course, that would be silly as India must be a long way from the Pacific Ocean. The train looks luxurious, and a ride across Australia must be glorious.

    The song “One Night in Bangkok” keeps playing in my head as I read about that leg of your trip. I am looking forward to the next leg of your trip.

  14. I think I’d like to ride the Indian Pacific…

  15. assuming the photo is Phuket.
    The first thing I thought was “tidal wave”

  16. Such an interesting post ( and life ) Peter ! 🙂

  17. Sounds like your adventures were lots of fun! For some reason, although I love hearing about other peoples travels, I have no urges to leave Australia at all these days. However, If Swampy is having King Prawns, I will gladly join her, wherever she may be! Hmmm Now I see why my mum has always dreamed of taking that trip! Its the Prawns!!!!

  18. I’m with Laurie; this is fascinating, and it has a good deal to do with the fact I’ve never been to that part of the world.

  19. I love the posts of your travels. Do go on.

    Forget Hawaii–it sounds like Phuket is the place to be! Articles about it have caught my attention from time to time.

    Can’t wait to hear about Greece; it’s long been on my list of places to visit.

    You will treat us to recordings of you playing a harmonica, right?

  20. My, my… Bang-cock, Fuck-it… those people over there have their minds in the gutter…

  21. Well, now I’m depressed since I’ve never been anywhere. Although southern Alabama can be a bit like a foreign country….

  22. You write this so idyllically….

    And ha! to Shades comment!

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