Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Jungle Fever

After a full night's sleep I'm super-charged and ready to retox at The Jungle Experience. I spend the day chilling (make that sweating) by the pool, before meeting a fellow lone-traveller : a guy from Colorado who also wants to go the the party. It soon becomes apparent that he is in fact a total bore-off, however, so after a cheap Thai street food meal, we part company as I mutter something about needing another shower and I'll catch him later. Like, so much later in fact, that we're in different continents and several decades have passed...

I hail a taxi-truck to Haad Rin and head to Cactus for liquid refreshment in the form of a vodka red bull bucket and sit patiently alone amongst the throngs of gyrating twenty-something's in the hope that someone is coherent enough to actually have a conversation with me. This could be a long night.
I eventually give in and acknowledge the pathetic fact that I'm going to have to go to the jungle alone.  The shame!  So I stumble to the street in search of a taxi and am suddenly befriended by a gaggle of drunken Irish...my party-pals of choice...sweet! We all bond during the bone-shaking break-neck journey into the jungle and arrive at the clearing to find thousands of people busting shapes to the deep, sexy bass reverberating off the trees. Huge day-glo flowers and fluorescent decorations adorn the trees and there are mini-bridges over the various streams running through the jungle. We all lose each other as quickly as we found one another, but by this point no-one really cares, and I take a ring-side seat as the Muay Thai boxing starts. Everyone is in high-spirits in more ways than one, yelling and cheering the Thai boxers on, before the crowd climb into the ring in pairs and don gloves and helmets and box each other, taking drunken swings and only occasionally making contact with their targets. Then the Thai guys take control again and are back in the ring, tightrope-walking, fire-dancing and performing as many other entertaining tricks as they can think of to keep the masses amused.

I stumble off and get lost for hours in the pumping house music, swigging from my bucket...and wearing half of everyone else's into the bargain. As it takes around an hour to fight to the bar for another, I'm a tad more careful not to slosh mine all over my fellow party-goers. Somehow amongst the hoards of revellers I bump into some of the Irish again, and we dance on into the early hours, finally making it back to my bungalow at sunrise with the last dregs of my bucket and my usual carbonara toasty in hand - these badboys are a mere 29baht (about 50p) and are a taste sensation...well, after a night on the buckets they are anyway, their sickly creamy goodness still oozing through my fingers as I slip into unconsciousness. Even the ADHD miner bird ain't waking me from this alcoholic slumber...

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