What I did on this day, I can't remember much

Patong Travel Blog

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Morning at entrance of Jungceylon, kids are soldiering.

I have booked 3 day Open water diver course with Thailand Diver before I left Oz, I was required to get there one day before the course start for full payment and equipment size measurement. I never did scuba diving before and nor am I a good swimmer. I still remember back in high school time, there's a lesson in my English textbook talked about scuba diving. It was far fetched for me at that time. I can't believe I am doing it soon. I didn't find where the diving centre was on Xmas night, but yesterday I accidentally found it was just opposite Jungceylon shopping centre.

In the morning, I went to the diving centre as required. I heard the reception lady saying it was a hectic morning. I made full payment and she asked me to fill some forms for my basic information, and then she wrote down the size of equipment for me, as I had absolutely no idea about it.

Bangla boxing Stadium
Then she handed out a diving manual and log book to me and told me to come back next morning at 8am with towel, manual and swimwear. I wasn't sure what kind of swim gear I need to bring with. I thought I need to buy a wet suit. I was checking the diving suit in the shopping mall, they're pretty expensive. I figured that I need to change some cash. I still got a traveller's cheque from my last Japan trip. Nowadays, not many people using it anymore. It's odd that a lot of exchange booth had T/C rate on the board, but when I asked if they change this, they just shook their head, smiled and looked away. It's a bit frustrating that I found I might not have enough cash left if I bought a wet suit. I realized Patong is a good place for money laundry, every 5 steps there's an exchange booth, they can change cash for you without register your ID.
Practise Muay Thai@PBG
But for exchanging traveller's cheque, I had to find a bank. I recalled there're a couple of bank in the shopping centre, but it won't open till 11am. So I just found a spot outside the shopping mall to sit and read my manual till it's open.

After a few hours, it finally opened. I found the agriculture bank had slightly favorable rate than Bangkok bank in the neighbourhood. So I changed my traveller's cheque there. When I first asked the lady at counter if they can change it for me, she was like "Alai na kha?" I had to show her my T/C, lucky the other lady knew and said they can change but need my passport number, hotel address and my signature. I was ok with that. Finally crisis's over. I was still confused with the swimming gear, so I walked back to the diving centre to ask them, and I was told by the other guy that normal dry suit will do, or even T-shirt.

They just need me to wear something inside the wet suit they'd provide. Lucky I got it double checked before I bought anything.

I did want to try a Muay Thai training course and watching a real fight in the stadium the day before, but was hanging out with other people. So I thought about walking to the place this afternoon. But the internet in the hotel was temporarily unavailable, I cannot locate exact route I need to go. It seemed pretty far as well. I didn't want to take a tuktuk for just a couple of hour training course and back. So I walked to the tourist information office, the lady told me Bangla boxing stadium was just 2mins walk from where I was. The other boxing school was quite far, need to take a bike to get there. I actually walked past by the stadium but I didn't look up and missed it. It had lots of boxing gloves hanging there. So I walked to the stadium, I must say it's a bit weird when i first approached that place. The bars downstairs are full of muscle people with tattoos. Then I asked a guy about the price for a show. He showed me inside the stadium what it looked like and told me different price for VIP seat, ringside and stadium seat. I then asked if they do Muay Thai training and how long per session and the associate price. He was surprised that I asked for the training course and asked me if I knew Muay Thai. I said I knew nothing about it, that's why I wanted to learn. Maybe it's unusal for a Chinese girl come alone to the stadium to ask for the training course. They've got some Thai and western girls in the fighting match, but it's probably rare for a Chinese tourist like me. Nonetheless he talked to the other guy and told me 600bht for 2hrs plus 50bhr return transportation if I wanted to do it now. I agreed, so the other guy biked me to the school which I was meant to go but couldn't locate the spot on the map. I must confess this bike trip was more scary than the boxing itself, none of us wearing helmet, and he drove crazy fast in the winding steep mountain road. I didn't know where to put my hands on, so I grabbed underneath my seat edge and hope we won't die.

When we are arrived at the school, the trainer was sleeping near the ringside. The driver woked him up. They had a brief conversation in Thai. I pressumed he was telling him about me, the uninvited guest. I told him this's my first time visiting Thailand and staying here around a week. He's a bit amazed that I wanna try this. He asked me if I had my gear, I told him just normal gym sportwear and towel. He waited me changed my clothes and started to help me wind and tie the hand wraps around my both hands. After that we both facing the big mirror, he asked me to follow his moves. Then we hopping inside the ring, he asked me to punch and kick him. Thank godness, it's not the other way round, he would beat the crap out of me. At first, I had a few communication difficulty with his Thai English. I misunderstood what he wanna me to do next, I always did the wrong move, then he just kicked my waist. I knew he didn't kick with much strength but it was ouch for me. Haven't done any exercise for long time, about 20mins I was out of breath. Then we had a break and drank some water. I must say it's quite different from the normal boxing class in the gym. Those classes, we just practise with a partner a few different punches, and trying not to hurt each other, just exercising. I was attacked twice before, once in NZ by bunch of drunk Brit teenagers, once in Germany by a dirty old man. I found it's really hard to handle the real situation. When the attack happened, I forgot everything I learned from the boxing glass in the gym, was never react fast enough, just got lucky to escape at last. But here, it's the real deal, you learn how to fight with your opponent, not just punch the pad. No wonder those guys staying years for the boxing camp in Thailand. He asked me how long I would stay there, and told me after 7days training I can fight. I was like no thanks, I am scared of blood and didn't want to be beaten up, just wanna learn some self defence technique and exercise off those calories I gained these days here.

I had some exercises with 2 different trainers till they told me finished. Some people said here the training course is not as good as the Tiger boxing gym. For me it's sufficient. I know for beginner like me it's a long way to be a fighter, but I had fun and enjoyed the training course. We took some pictures together and they asked a guy to drive me back. When I got back I realized they only did an hour training with me, where I paid for 2hours. Oh well, consider tomorrow I need to do diving course and I've already got bruise on my knee, leg and arms. I 'd better save some energy.  On the way back, I had a brief converstation with the greek dude who's also in the car. He didn't speak much English. He told me he's been staying there and learning Muay Thai for 3 years already. He also told me if I bought a ticket from the stadium cost 1700bht+, but from the school only 1000bht I can get it. When he told me this, we're already half way back. I felt bad to ask the driver to go back to buy the ticket. Oh well, guess I had to bargain hard with the ticket selling guy at the stadium. I finally got 500bht cheaper than the advised price for ringside seat after complaining they only did 1hr training for me and the info that the greek guy told me. After I bought a ringside ticket for next day, he became a bit flirty and asked me out for a drink, which I felt quite weird all of a sudden. I said to him I don't drink and see you tomorrow. Then I walked back to my hotel and took a shower. Next day I have to get up early for my diving lesson.



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Morning at entrance of Jungceylon,…
Morning at entrance of Jungceylon…
Bangla boxing Stadium
Bangla boxing Stadium
Practise Muay Thai@PBG
Practise Muay Thai@PBG
photo by: darkinvader143