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Children : (2 - 11 Ys.)
Babies under 2 are usually free
Daily Budget:
Soft Adventures 12 Nights
Island Hop
5, 6 & 12 Nights
Kayak Thailand
3,4,5,6 & 12 Nights
Snorkel Thailand
6, 9 & 12 Nights
Dive Thailand
4, 6 & 11 Nights
Climb Thailand
12 Nights +/-
fish thailand Fish Thailand 4, 6, 12 Nights
Travel Tips
  Pool Villas
  Driving safety
  Bar etiquette
  Getting to Thailand
  Domestic Flights
  Weather Charts
  When to Come
  Culture shock
How Not To
  How Not to Climb
  How Not to Fish
  How Not to Dive




Motorbikes in Thailand



A couple of years ago I spent an hour bouncing up and down in the back of a pick-up truck (aka ambulance) with two broken ribs, after having turned a corner with the bike’s stand down. Not fun at the time, but looking back the story is quite amusing. When I got to hospital the doctor emptied a large syringe of something into me and let my friends drive me home. I felt splendid and told them “no, don’t bother staying to look after me, it’s just a scratch, I’ll see you after I get back from rock-climbing tomorrow”.

The next morning I attempted to get up but found myself completely unable to move, pinned to the bed by the excruciating pain of moving so much as a millimetre. I realised that I wasn’t even able to climb out of bed, let alone up Railay rock-faces, as I’d insisted the previous night that I was going to do. Even worse, I badly needed to pee and, as I was living alone in a remote patch of jungle, nobody would hear me if I called for help. “Thank God for mobile phones” I thought, reaching for my Nokia, which to my consternation I then found was a couple of feet out of reach.

“Hmmm, not good, not at all good” I thought, “it looks like I’m about to wet my bed, how embarrassing is that?”. I lay there doing my best to avoid the inevitable until, with huge relief, I heard my friend Mai walk in the front door. She hadn’t believed me when I had said I was OK the previous night and had come to check up on me. Grabbing me under the shoulders, she pulled me out of bed, from which position I was thankfully able to make it to the loo, unassisted but no doubt looking completely ridiculous, hobbling along with my knees pressed together to keep the waterworks closed.

A week later the hospital doctor pinned up an x-ray of my back and then peered at it intently for a worrying-long while.

“Oooo”, he said, pointing out something on the x-ray to his nurse.

“Oooo”, she said.

Then they showed me the x-ray. I could see the source of the oooo's immediately, but I didn’t say “oooo”, too, as I didn’t have the detachment of their impersonal interest - this was my back we were looking at, not theirs. “Eeuuuu, what’s that?” I said instead, pointing at a bit of bone that had broken off my spine. “No wonder my back hurts”.

“No”, the doctor explained, “that’s not the problem, that injury happened years ago, I can tell because the gap between the bone fragment and your spine has calcified. Here’s the problem”, he said, pointing at my two broken ribs.

“Oooo” I said, relief flooding through me at not having broken my back.

On the way home, the cause of the broken spine fragment dawned on me. I had been in a Stockholm nightclub, in my long-ago foolish youth, when my friend Eric had jumped up onto one of the small, square podiums in the middle of the dance-floor and challenged me to a duel of ‘Swedish bum-barging’. Rashly I accepted and we took our positions facing outwards, standing on opposite corners of the podium. He then tried to knock me off the podium with his backside, while I tried to do the same to him. At the time I was a skinny youth, so he won and sent me flying off the podium, landing on my back on its corner. I badly hurt my back and afterwards couldn’t laugh or cough for a month without huge pain.

I'd lament the follies of youth, but I'm 48 now - and still haven't learnt much sense.




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