November 2001 http://www.mofo-records.com/worldtour/photos/
1. An extended adventurous voyage or trip.
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." - George Bernard Shaw.
People. If you are not in love with life and with this planet....get out and travel.
I continue to be astounded by what a beautiful planet we have here. The geography and people are amazing and wonderful.
My 3 favorite things about traveling are:
It was quite sad leaving Nepal. The energy there is fantastic and I had made some great new friends in Nepal and Tibet. After one final Steak at the Everest Steak House I headed off early to the airport to fly to Bangkok.
Somehow I ended up Business class from Kathmandu to Bangkok so naturally that was "SWEET!"
Bangkok has a nice vibe. Immediately, the people are friendly. With a sense of urgency I inquired about getting to Koh Phangan as there were only 4 days till the full moon. I looked into a flight to Ko Samui (the island just south of Koh Phangan) and it turns out there is one in 2 hours. Yeah!! I want to try to get to Koh Phangan as soon as I can as the full moon is on Nov 30th and I hear you need to get there a few days in advance to secure accommodation for the full moon party.
The flight to Ko Samui is nice and the plane is quite small. It’s takes nearly an hour and is full of honey mooners and tourists. The Island of Ko Samui is really beautiful. The airport is like Fantasy Island. But no Mr. Rourke! The Airport is nothing more than a tarmac and a couple of thatched roof huts. I secure a bungalow near “Big Buddha” for the night…..but as I am getting my baggage this cool English dude who looks like the lead singer from Fine young Cannibals is like: “Who wants to go to Koh Phangan Tonight???!!!??”
I say: “Hell yeah!” We need 10 people in order to charter a speedboat. So we round up 8 girls who want to go and we are off!! We head to the speedboat pier near big Buddha on the north side of the island. We charter a boat for 3000 baht…………next thing we are racing through the dark balmy night cutting through the waves heading for koh phang. The excitement level on board is amazing. Everyone is pumped! The lights of Koh Phang shimmering in the distance as our boat roars along!
The English guy and I joked on board that once Richard Branson had done this. (Branson chartered an airplane from the some Caribbean islands, which was technically the first flight of Virgin Airlines). I laughed that times have changed……I don’t think Branson was going to the biggest Rave in the Southern Hemisphere!!!! We are. Yeahhaaaa!!
Koh Phangan, Thailand.
This place is very near and dear to my heart. I didn’t know why I wanted to come here until I arrived. If you love exotic beaches, cool people, GREAT music and amazing seafood you are gonna love this place.
As soon as I arrived on this island I felt something. Something different and special….. Intense excitement, happiness and peace. This place is unique. Of all the places I have been in the world it would turn out that this is my favorite. For me. It’s heaven.
Out side of Burning Man, Koh Phangan has the one of the lowest “asshole to humanoid” ratios in the world. Burning Man being a 0 out of 10, Koh phang is a 0.5 out of 10.
If you come to Koh Phang I recommend staying in Hat Rin. It’s not that hard to find a place to stay plus you are right near all the action. All the good restaurants and clubs…but you can still find bungalows in the hills that are super quiet and chill. You can find ones for as little as 200 Baht per day or spend up to 1000 baht for fridge, hot water, AC.
You should try to get there 3-4 days before a full moon to give yourself time to find a good place to stay. You should plan on staying here for as much time as you can because you ARE gonna love it and you don’t want to have to be anywhere for a while……. I stayed nearly 12 days and that was just about right! I chose to have 4 chill out days in Ko Samui afterwards…which worked out great. Do Koh Phang first and then head off elsewhere in Thailand later.
Getting there early is fun…. watching the people stream in is great. Party people from far and wide are congregating here for what appears to be the biggest party I have seen.. The speakers are set up right on the beach and are as big as Illuminauty@BM! There is something for everyone. Chillout spots with great house music and carpets, tables, and candles set up on the beach. There is hip hop, drum n bass, techno, ambient and the place you will find me….. “The Vinyl Club”. The biggest club on the beach which only plays Goa Trance and Psy-trance! Oh man!!!! It’s Alien Central. It is run by a super cool thai lady named Nina. I was there all the time.
After leaping off the boat onto the beach of Hat Rin we all separated to find accommodation. I headed inland and up a big hill. Not sure where I was going…..but just wandered. Asking some girls where to go…..they pointed me up to some great bungalows on the hill and I secured a great place.
In Thailand the people have a phrase they use all the time. “Same Same”.
When you ask, How is this bungalow compared to that one?
Do you recommend small Squid or big Squid?
Should I go by Boat or take a taxi?
Then after about a week I started to get something new.
Which is the better restaurant?
“Same Same……….But different!”
Pad Thai vs Spicy noodles?
“Same Same…….But Different!”
Prawns vs. King Prawns?
“Same Same….but different!”
I love it!!
I dumped my stuff. Showered and headed out! I had to find another place to stay as this one was only available one night…then the price went way up. So I headed out to search the area. A storm was brewing so things were quiet that night. There are lots of bungalows right on Hat Rin beach….but for me they are too close to the party. I prefer to be on a remote hill and walk to the party. It was a warm rainy night and was fun wandering around. I was just walking aimlessly when I heard some Jimi Hendrix through the night. I followed my ears…..and stumbled across a place completely lit with Blacklight and covered in sarongs with images of aliens and mushrooms. It is called “Purple Haze”. I meet the owner. A thai guy named “Mars” and end up hanging out for quite a while. Mars invites me back for a big seafood dinner the next night as 2 of his girlfriends are cooking it up. Sure. 6pm he says. Cool.
I head off and find another bungalow near mine with Hot water, fridge, balcony, hammock and dope view! The shower has a rock formation built into the wall and 3 shower heads! That night just had a chill night.
Now, while traveling in Tibet many of the people I was traveling with thought I was nuts for having travel speakers for my CD player. Some of them travel with mini playing cards to save space……so speakers and CD player is pure luxury. Plus I am traveling with nearly 60 CD’s. which are pretty darn heavy. (They did enjoy the tunes while playing Hearts on those cold nights in Tibet I must say). These are hard core Trekker types. Eat museli and not meat.
However, in Koh Phangan, you walk past bungalows that are rocking out. Everyone travels with their music! These are hard core party types! It’s amazing. I was home! Yeah!!! I need bigger speakers!! Doh!
The next day I checked out the island and took a long nap. At one point during the day while laying in my hammock, a strange thing happened. About 300 or 400 Dragonfly’s were swarming around me. Not really on me. They were about 15 feet away from my bungalow just all flying around in a huge circle. They were big and had amazing colors. Purples and Greens. There weren’t any others anywhere. In fact I didn’t really see any others while in Thailand at all. They did this for a couple of hours. The sun and sky were an amazing orange color and it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. When I asked my friend what they were doing, she thought for a long time and said: “Just fly”
I luckily awoke right @ 6pm. I realized I needed to go meet Mars. Not sure what the situation would be……I headed over to Purple Haze. I figured they would all be just hanging out cooking……..didn’t even know if Mars would remember if he had invited me.
I walk up to his bungalow club and there are 5 people sitting at a table set for 6! Mars welcomes me warmly. The table is overlooking a pretty lake and has huge plates of King Prawns, Fish, Shrimp, Seafood salad and lots of beer. We have an amazing seafood dinner and next thing Mars breaks out a bottle of vodka. Then we move to the couches and hammocks and somehow another bottle appears. Things are a bit blurry after that.
The next day I was supposed to go with Mars to his parents for a big B-B-Q but didn’t quite make it so headed to the Lucky Crab for a seafood Omelet. Then it was out on a walk through the jungle near my bungalow. I walked down a hill and the jungle opened up suddenly to the most beautiful beach. This beach is home to Coco Hut Bungalows and Bumblebee Bungalows……It is very quiet, nude bathers and great for swimming.. I am having a relaxed time and a woman comes up and offers me a massage for 200 baht. Sure. 4 bucks. It was amazing. 1 hour of heaven. Lying on the beach…the wind in the palms……the waves breaking on a tropical beach……..
She is like: “Mr. …..you have NO tension.”
I say: “I know!!”
She asks: “What do you do?”
“Now? Just Travel.” – me
“What do you want to do?”
“Change the world.”
She says: “then you will”
I am as relaxed as I have ever been. I had a massage almost everyday from there on out. Gents, beware the massage with “funny finish”.
I then headed over to Hat Rin beach where the party goes off. The clubs have amazing sound systems. The toilets don’t have running water…but the sound systems are in refrigerator cooled rooms with huge racks of “state of the art” equipment! I love the priorities!
I took a couple of my new CD’s that I had bought while in Zurich and London. Of course, Nina @ Vinyl Club and the DJ who was Italian had no problem and let me bust out some tracks. Next thing I am behind the decks having a wicked set! It was so much fun! I spent much of my time dancing in the waves then darting back to change the track. I had been collecting much of this music for burning man. It was just great that a club existed here that exclusively plays the same stuff. Nina the DJ lady was really excited to have some new material so we recorded everything to Mini Disc. I couldn’t believe what some of my music sounded like on a huge wall of speakers. It was truly an amazing day.
There really is not a lot of Vinyl actually being played here. It of course is a beach environment so Mini Disc and CD’s work the best. Plus, traveling, you can carry much more music in digital formats. The mentality there is the more music the better. In a traditional environment one night of music is required. Here you need days, and nights, and days, maybe weeks of content! So be prepared.
One day I watched “K-Pax” with Kevin Spacey. I think that Harry Potter was showing too. These movies only came out a week earlier……Now, I am not sure how the big Hollywood Studios get these movies to TV’s in small bungalow restaurants on the island of Koh Phangan, Thailand so fast….but I think it’s just fantastic that they get these films out for such small audiences. Thanks Miramax and New Line. It’s great! And free too! There’s no charge whatsoever!! How do they do it???
Another day about 11am I meet a couple of new friends named Johan, Robert and a their girlfriends. The guys are from Sweden. It was also this day that I meet a great girl from Paris named Christine. Christine is beautiful and is SUPER cool. No drama. Just real. We hit it off immediately and as they say in Thailand. We are “same- same”. (But different!) We partied at the Vinyl club for a while then headed back to my bungalow for an impromptu party. Pics are attached. Another good friend I met was named “Hero” and is a DJ from Japan. Turns out he would be a real hero!
The next few nights were filled with much fun @ Vinyl Club, fire twirlers on the beach and spectacular sunrises! One place that goes off is next to Vinyl called Zoom Bar. The DJ’s are top notch and the crowd is cool and intimate. Cactus Club is great for hanging out and warming up the night while the moon rises. The Full Moon is truly majestic. It is worth all the hype. Trust me.
The Full Moon is one of the only times you can look directly into the Sun.
(Michael Jackson was reported to be in Hat Rin Dec 30th for the last full moon) I hear Papa Chubby is going to be at the next one…..so it really is fast becoming a premier stop on the jet set tour!!!!!!!!!!
Christine and I discovered the best seafood in Hat Rin. It’s called Paradise Seafood and is located on the south end of the beach next to 2 big blue glow in the dark pyramids. The people there are super friendly and the seafood is some of the best I have ever had. Try the Squid! We actually went there every night for the next 5 nights! Plus, big bottles of Chang beer are only 40 Baht! How much are the beers? Only 40 BAHT!!
One night: It turned out it was the King of Thailand’s birthday. So this night everything is closed except restaurants. This is quite amazing. Seeing Hat Rin quiet. It’s great! For a change. Christine and I have dinner at Paradise Seafood (of course) then we settle down at a table on the quiet beach. I have my portable speakers and play some tunes. H5. We are chilling out enjoying the night and about 15 people show up and are just hanging out having some beers….. Then they start practicing fire twirling. They obviously are just having fun and trying out some things while there are no people watching. Christine and I love the show. They start with the basic fireballs on chains…..then sticks. Batons. Then 2 sticks. 3 sticks. Then a crazy guy actually does some sticks with roman candles fireworks attached! It was trippy! Here we are having a private fire show and I was providing the music.
I was playing H5 at the time. I have to say that the H-Track series have been an invaluable companion on my world tour. From the live Candelas Sessions to “Hollywood and Vinyl!” My personal fav??? H7!! It’s near and dear to my heart…..and I can’t put it on without being instantly transported to 1504 India st, San Diego…. The H-Track series has been like a timestamp on the last few years of memories. I brought some portable speakers in London, which have been worth their weight in gold. These speakers combined with the luscious, deep, beats provided by Hugh Herrera have brought much joy to people from the Greek Islands to my mud hut in Tibet to my Bungalow in Thailand! And endless joy to me! Thank You Hugh. Really man.
Another night we meet some really fun guys @ a place called Mellow Mountain. It’s a house club perched on a cliff overlooking the whole beach. I had seen them dancing on the beach the morning before and introduced myself. Gru and Sedric were both from France so it was good for Christine to be able to speak some French! My French sucks. Who knew when you were learning French in school you would actually need it in Thailand to talk to a cool girl from Paris!!! Whooops!!! Should have paid attention in class.
Gru was traveling through Thailand recording authentic Thai instruments to edit digitally later on computer. We had a blast that night. Sooooo many laughs and all headed off together. I had a bit of a “clubbing accident” and hurt my head that night unfortunately. The good news is that I was OK! Life is good!
Christine and I decide to head to Ko Samui to finish out my last 4 days in Thailand in a nice relaxing environment. She was not returning to Paris till after Christmas…but I sadly had to leave soon. Not before one more meal@ Paradise Seafood. Then over to Purple Haze and Vinyl Club. We meet Hero @ Zoom Bar. Then Johan and Robert show up. The whole crew! It seems like it’s the same 20 people at the start of the night and at the end of the night. The crew at Zoom that night.
The DJ was insane and we danced till the sun came up. Then the whole clubbed spilled out onto the beach as the sun rose. We headed over to Cactus club for some great house music from 8-10am. We decided against the after hours Bungalow party we heard about. It was time to go. It was a great “Grand Finale”!
Ko Samui, Thailand
Next day around 1pm Christine and I took a ferry to Ko Samui. Ko Samui is “tres luxe” compared to Koh Phangan. We stayed at a killer place called “ZaZen Bungalows” right on the beach. I highly recommend this place.
Our time was spent in Koh Samui chilling out and of course, eating as much Seafood as we could! I recommend renting a scooter. The distances in ko Samui are quite great and for only 3 bucks a day you can have mobility all over the island.
One night we headed over the west side of the island for a spectacular sunset and enjoyed great seafood at an open air market.
Another day we went to some spectacular water falls in the center of the island. The Nam Tok Na Muang Falls are located 10km south of Na Thon. There is a 1.5 km hike up to the top falls and there was no one there. It was paradise!
Another really nice place to stay is Choeng Mon Beach. Quiet and tropical with a great beach. A excellent restaurant we frequented several nights is called “The Happy Elephant” and is located in Hat Bo Phut. The manager is cool.
The final night we spent at a very mellow place called “Sand n’ Soul” which is a good Bungalow/Bar that places great house music. It is located on the beach right in front of “Baby Rasta Bungalows”. Worth a visit.
With a sad goodbye to Christine I headed off the airport to catch my flight to Perth Australia via Singapore. Christine and I had shared so many fun, wild and crazy and mostly indescribable experiences in 12 days we had come to know each as great friends. :-(
I spent 2 fun days in Perth visiting my Godparents. Not before a super search in customs! If you are traveling alone….and under 40…coming in from Thailand. You are gonna get the blue line! Australia customs don’t mess around. You WILL not smuggle that Apple or orange in either so don’t try it people.
My Godparents Robyn and Peter, showed me all over Perth. It really reminds me of Southern California. It’s beautiful. Great seafood too!
By this time….I am truly ready to be home. I haven’t been back to Wellington for 3 years and haven’t lived there since I left to the United States when I was 14 years old.
Wellington, New Zealand
New Zealand. Aotearoa, Land of the long white cloud. And Milky Bar, Milo, Weet Bix, Buzz Bars, Fish and Chips, Jelly Tips, Hockey Pockey Ice cream, 1kg o Cheese, Vogals bread, Jaffas and my mom!! Not necessarily in that order. Mom comes first.
Arriving in Wellington I felt great relief. Just happy to be home safely and get to spend time with my mom. As a bonus my sister was due to arrive from South Carolina in a few days. My mom’s new house is now well and truly finished and has an unbelievable view over the botanical gardens, the city and the harbor.
We had a fantastic Christmas with lots of friends and family. In my mom’s house the champagne flows all day and night and there is a lot of fun and laughter. It’s great!
My grandmother came up from Blenhiem….She is 89 yrs and still plays tennis and actually likes techno!! Cool.
Also, we have a new arrival. One of my mothers cats, Siam, was sadly killed by a car and she got a new Burmese kitten to keep the other cat, Sheba company. This new kitten was born on Sept 11th, so naturally we named her “Manhattan!”. She is so beautiful!
I am living in the “Angala Room” which is tricked out with a jungle/safari motif. It’s really great but more importantly doubles as the communication center of the house. (The Technology Hub. The Nerve Center!) Laptop, Internet, Satellite TV, Fax, Phone etc. Even the Bose system in my area is separately controlled to the rest of the house so I can have Techno while my sister enjoys Christian Rock! Needless to say I am happy and spend lots of time “wired to the world”.
I have been running 6km a day. I am enjoying cooking ALOT, b-b-qing on summery days, and checking out Wellington. It’s a cool town with a wild sunny and breezy climate, cool café’s and a good film and music scene. Lord of the Rings was just filmed here by Peter Jackson. (He is still working on the next 2 sequels). Plus, Ian Pooley is here in New Zealand working on his new album and I hope to see him when he comes to Wellington on Jan 18th.
Lots of killer events are going on: http://www.obscure.co.nz/
Tigermania has hit New Zealand! Mom and just went to see Tiger Woods in the New Zealand Open Friday courtesy of Air New Zealand.
I plan on staying in New Zealand for a few months. (Hey, it’s Summertime!!)
For now my contact information is:
65 Orangi Kaupapa rd,
Tel: (64) (4) 475-8797
Sadly, this year has been difficult for our planet. However, I personally have made tried to make most out of life and I am very optimistic about the future.
2002 will be the best year yet!
Peace and Love. Carpe Diem and Dolce Vita.