My brothers and I are very close, and now that we live in three very separate parts of the world it makes seeing each other rather difficult, so when our diaries do somehow overlap it’s cause to celebrate (even if it is for only 30hrs) and what better place to do that than Bangkok!
Now having seen The Hangover II, the dangers of three grown men running wild in the streets of Bangkok are clearly apparent, but who says common sense was part of the weekends proceedings?
Here’s what I learnt!
1. If you arrive at your hotel at midnight on a Friday night and have to leave Sunday morning you are asking for trouble. If you cannot avoid it then make sure you have a private TUK TUK for the duration and some Chang Quarts ready, cold and waiting (fortunately my one brother is very focused and prepared for things like this! He has seen man a tour of this nature!) – this is our fearless driver, Ten (yes his name was Ten)
2. In a whirlwind tour like this you need to get absorbed early on. A bucket, a Phad Thai on the street and a box of Marlboros on the Khao San road will do this for you . . .
3. Somehow over the last little while I have forgotten what it’s like to be in a really good club. I also have seemed to have forgotten what it’s like waking up with stamps on your arms and not remembering where the hell they came from!
4. If you are going to wake up extraordinarily hangover, do it in a place like the Mandarin Oriental. First of all the luxury does add a little padding to the pain you will feel and secondly it’s easier to go down for something to eat when there is a string quartet playing in the lobby.
5. As soon as your body is strong enough, head down the river (DO NOT TAKE THE PUBLIC FERRY – YOU WILL HURL!). There is something about a little bit of chaos, dirt and general decay that reminds me of Africa as a whole and allows you to channel the inner warrior for recovery! Eat something overlooking the water (hot is good) and have a beer, no matter how hard it is!
6. When you are in a private boat, do not get ripped off like a tourist and if it starts to rain, you are F%$#@! Subsequent to this point, if it starts to rain and you find one umbrella for three people, its every man for himself (I almost got pushed out of the boat over this)
7. Anticipate the above and have more than one pair of jeans for the trip (I did, but I was alone – hotel dri-cleaning takes time you do not have). If you are at the Mandarin Oriental, take their shuttle boat across the river to the spa. Get a massage (note to self – DO NOT GO FOR A RUN) then steam, sauna and climb into the tiny bubble jet pool and fully re-focus for next night!
8. Have a drink at the edge of the river at the hotel bar (DO NOT WEAR SHORTS EVEN THOUGH ITS A BIJJILLION DEGREEs). Watch the sun go down, have a Corona with lime. Change your dinner reservation 12 times with Quintessentially, the hotel concierge and the various restaurants themselves (you don’t have to do this really but for some reason my family seems to think its imperative!).
9. If you listen to nothing else, listen to this! Go to the Hotel Lebua and have a dirty martini at Sirocco (just check the gallery). This was the place they filmed the scene with the helicopters in the Hangover II . The bar will be packed, you will feel like you are touching immortality (well after 3 very strong Martinis you will). Keep a steady supply of Red Bull to your blood and eat something!
10. If sufficiently drunk move onto the Soi Cowboy (this is the road they party on / lose their shit on in Hangover II – I can see how easily it can happen). The shortest, brightest, dodgiest, craziest road in Bangkok. There’s only one thing to do here, survive!
11. If you are still alive the next morning, have a walk, have something to eat and make sure you fly back business class, anything else at this point may put your body over the edge.
Leave before Bangkok gets you and make a clean break. Make sure all the brothers are still alive (well alive enough) before you leave.
Plan for the next gathering of The Brothers!