After the rush of Bangkok and the cool weather of the North, it seems normal for a backpacker to crave a little island hopping. Instead of heading to all of the popular Phuket islands such as Phi Phi, Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan; I visited the Bangkok islands as they are often overlooked but are just as amazing.
After a short ferry ride I arrived at the island of Koh Chang which is Thailand’s second largest island and is situated along the Gulf of Thailand. On my first night on the island, I met up with a friend from Sydney for a catch up.
We considered it an almost unwritten law that we needed to have a Chang beer on Koh Chang.
The night soon went from ‘a few catch up beers’ to a full blown game of ‘Chang roulette.’ This game is infamous amongst backpackers for determining how the rest of your night will play out. As the alcohol content in Chang beers are not regulated, it is literally a game of chance with every beer you drink.
In order to play, you visit the local 711 store with a friend and choose a Chang from the fridge at random.
After you sing the age old Aussie drinking chant “They tried to go heaven but they went the other way, they went down, down, down,” please proceed to down your drink.
The final phase is to determine who receives the shot to the head (or at least the equivalent in the form of a hangover.)
As the last drops sink back to the bottom of the bottle and your head gets a little hazy, it will be clear to see who has gotten the 8% night-ender and who will be having a sober night with the 2%-waste-of-baht and waste of space.
A few beers later, a pub crawl was amongst us and it is fair to say the night got messy from there. We found ourselves in a respectable Thai restaurant howling 90’s tunes and Aussie classics, changing the songs on the play list to the owner’s dismay.
As Shannon Noll’s classic ‘Let’s Drive’ boomed through out the small Thai restaurant, my friend’s drunken red face turned surprisingly patriotic. I could sense a rant coming on.
“This song should become the REAL Australian national anthem. Shannon Noll is more Australian than god damn ‘Waltzing Matilda!’ Nollsy for Priminister I say; Malcolm Turnbull is a ****.”
As he ranted on, my friend then proceeded to out-chug a fellow backpacker at the bar, declaring his love of schooners over pints because they are easier to scull.
Good to know we are not adding to the stereotype of Aussie bogans travelling Thailand, right?
– Jennifer Lund.