Beware: Thailand’s Deadly Roads

24,000 people are estimated to die this year in road accidents

I am not the type of person to talk about depressing shit. But this is just fucking ridiculous. Thailand is such a beautiful country in that it has so much to offer, but has a major problem in implementing safety controls on its roads.

During the holiday week from December 24, 2018 – January 1, 2019, 478 people lost their lives in motor accidents reported by the World Health Organization. That’s on average 66 people per day. It breaks my heart.

Road accidents in Thailand

  • 2nd in the world for road accident deaths, after Libya
  • 24,000 people are estimated to die on Thai roads every year
  • 73% of those killed are motorcyclists
  • 36.9m vehicles ply Thai roads – it’s gone up by 30% in the last five years

World Health Organization – BBC News Article

I will keep it very simple, please beware of driving in Thailand. Please keep it safe and hire a driver. Please spread the word. Prayers to those that have lost their lives and to the families that have lost loved ones in road accidents.

Thailand, please make it safe. Please stop drunk drivers. Please enforce the law. Please save lives!

Uluwatu is no joke.

Ok. So it’s been pretty busy to say the least. I have been meaning to get to blogging surfing Uluwatu since I got back from Bali this past summer. I even created a video about it.

Bali is a magical place where everyone is an artist. Experiencing Bali definitely put life in perspective. One of the major lessons I learned while visiting Bali, is to relax and be yourself. The locals are really friendly, humble and understanding. I love Bali!

Uluwatu was at the top of the list of places to surf. This break is no joke! It’s fast, it’s scary and it’s beautiful at the same time. When I first arrived in Bali, I surfed Kuta and Seminyak at Double Six Beach. After 3 nights, I was not as prepared as I wanted to be. But traveling for only 2 weeks, I had to seize the opportunity.

When we first arrived at Uluwatu, it was high tide and very much alive. You will see in the 60 sec video below.

At first glance, I was a bit nervous. All of my friend left me to explore a smaller, less intimidating break. However, I was determined to make my dream of surfing Uluwatu come true.

I paced for about 15-20 minutes examining the entry point through the cave. I also wanted to explore another entry point, but only to learn that there’s only one way in and one way out, through the cave. At this point, I had to muster enough courage to attempt the entry. I studied the surfers that were in the tunnel attempting to exit. I studied the proximity of the walls, the rocks, the waves and timing of each swell.

Once I was brave enough to enter, I took my time and paced my breathing. I knew that the biggest challenge was to remain calm especially with the adrenaline and excitement running through my body.  I was 100% alert for any surprises.

Once I got past the tunnel, the swells came in fast. I lost my shirt about 20 minutes in. Once I got to the line up, there were about 15-20 guys out (this was about 12:20-1:00PM) and I knew it was going to be difficult competing for  waves. I just needed one ride.

It took me 2 hours to figure out one of the breaks towards the right. I was not able to catch any of the waves with such a large crowd. I got anxious after observing and patiently waiting until I noticed another break in the middle of Uluwatu. There were only a handful of guys out there, and there was surely a reason. The waves came in much larger, faster and more powerful (this was on a small day 5-8′). After observing from the far side I took my chances and positioned myself towards the outside. At this point, I was not afraid, nor nervous. I wanted to catch a wave so bad nothing else mattered.

I caught my first in the video above and realized I had came and did was I was set out to do. Three seconds of bliss. I felt good. I felt exhausted. I felt accomplished. I felt lucky. I was grateful.

Thanks for following and hanging in there even though its been awhile since I blogged. Today is my 3 year anniversay on WordPress! So I guess I’m stuck to continuing another year. Until next time! See you in the line up!

Also, if you like my blog I am very active on Instagram. Check out and follow to see what I’ve been up to! Another big trip starts tomorrow!

https://www.instagram.com/mysurfblog/

Motor Biking Krabi and Ancient Caves

Looking back from hindsight, I am pretty happy I took a chance and spontaneously rented a motorbike in Krabi. I have an M1 in the States and scooters are the best way to get around in Asia. The day before, my good friend and I decided to call it a night and get after it early. My friend decided to cab and I decided to motorbike to Tiger Temple. Things didn’t go as planned…

There’s nothing like the feeling of freedom, the breeze passing through your hair and the thought of endless adventure on the road in Thailand.

Wikipedia

Krabi, the capital of southern Thailand’s Krabi Province, is a resort town near the Andaman coast. It lies in an area of limestone karsts and mangrove forest. On a hilltop reached by stairs, the Tiger Cave Temple is a Buddhist site with panoramic views. Khao Kanab Nam, 2 slanting hills rising out of water, form a local landmark. Andaman Sea destinations like the Phi Phi Islands are accessible by ferry.
Weather: 83°F (28°C), Wind N at 5 mph (8 km/h), 68% Humidity
If you’re interested in motorbiking Thailand here are some suggestions,
  1. Start your day early and rent the motorbike for the entire day, 200-250 Baht/day $6.00/day + gas. It’s cheaper, even if you don’t use it in the morning. Typically, the motorbike is due at 3:00-5:00pm. Thailand is a very chill, casual beach vibe destination. The locals go home early.
  2. Choose a fast and sporty motorbike if you’re solo
  3. Make sure you have pen and paper to take notes on where you’re going and a MAP. GPS can be weak in some areas and/or your phone won’t work.
  4. Have cash and wallet in hand.
  5. Have an extra charger
  6. Backpack with food and water
  7. Stick to the highways and remember where you started
  8. Have extra pair of clothes – shirts and shoes are required to visit temples.

At the time, the original plan was to meet my friend at Tiger Temple. After renting the motor bike, I got lost quickly, and there was no way for me to understand the sanskrit on the road signs. Even with my phone + wifi I had a hard time locating the temple. After an hour unsuccessfully trying to find the temple, I decided to ride. And boy, did I explore.

Road Map

Here are the sites I visited

  1. Khao Phanom Bencha National Park
  2. Lang Rongrian Thap Prik Cave  – 40,000 year old remains found here.
  3. Wat Sai Thai Temple – Reclining Buddha Statue 3
  4. Poo Dam Restaurant – #1 Rated Restaurant on Trip Advisor
  5. Krabi Airport
  6. Ao Nang Beach
  7. Railay Beach

Here’s an 8 minute video of the ride through the forest, Lang Rongrian Cave and flying down the freeway. I could not have seen so much without the motorbike. Definitely an experience I won’t forget and not a bad way to see Thailand.

Surfing Diamond Head Beach, Hawaii

After hiking up the Stairway to Heaven, I surfed at a number of beaches in Oahu. North Shore at Waimea Bay and Diamond Head Beach. Surfing in North Shore is a dream for many surfers. Have you seen the movie North Shore?

The movie isn’t about becoming a professional, but living a humble and satisfying life. Surfers surf for the pleasure. There’s no better feeling than riding down a nice wave. While in Hawaii I stayed at an AirBnb close to Waimea Bay. Diamond Head Beach is on the south east side of the Oahu and about 30-40 minute drive from North Shore.

Since it’s a bit of a drive I planned an entire day of activities enroute to Diamond Head. Here is what you can do before or after surfing Diamond Head.

  1. Surf Diamond Head Beach
  2. Park and visit Honolulu Zoo (cheapest and longest parking rates closest to restaurant)
  3. Eat at the Famous Duke’s Waikiki
  4. After eating, shop and explore the malls
  5. Watch the Kuhio Beach Torchlighting and Hula Show
  6. Surf Waikiki Beach (rentals are located on the beach and great for longboarders)
  7. Hike Manoa Falls
  8. Visit/Hike Diamond Head State Park

All within 8 miles proximity

The surf was amazing and I got lucky. Since there was a storm that missed the island, it created some great swell. I rode a 10′ wave all the way down and was stoked. The water was blue, warm and felt how it should, Paradise. I can’t wait to go back. The only thing I noticed,

  1. The paddle out was quite far and there are reefs below, so be careful not to catch a wave too close to shore.
  2. Bring sandals and make sure you use them on the walk down to the beach. The ground can be very hot from the sun and there is no built path down the cliff.

My experience was nothing like the movie and no confrontations with “dahuis” (locals in Hawaii), just make sure you don’t drop in on anyone and you should be fine. Have fun!

Be sure to subscribe to my blog and follow on Instagram to get updates for my next trip.

 

The Kingdom of Siam, Thailand (chapter legend)

Yesterday is but today’s memory, and tomorrow is today’s dream. Khalil Gibran

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One of the most epic trips I’ve had that pretty much got this blog started. Last year, I traveled to Thailand with a friend for NYE and attended the Full Moon Party. I backpacked through Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore. To begin my Thailand series here’s an 8 minute video I created which I will blog in sections. Here are the highlights click below.

If you liked the music and want to listen to more mixes by Trang Traxx, click here.

There’s so much to do, see and explore. If you’re interested in visiting Thailand I will provide details on my experience and insight on activities, where and when to surf and what to look for.

*This is essentially my Thailand series book legend where I will revert and link back all my blogs to each bullet number below. Be sure to come back once I update and release each new blog.

The Itinerary: Places to Visit in Thailand

  1. Bangkok, Thailand
    • Red Light District
    • Wat Arun
    • Chao Phraya River
    • Floating Market
    • Sky Bar at Lebua, State Tower (The Hangover)
  2. Koh Samui
    • Muay Thai Fight
    • Jungle Tour & ATV’ing
    • Na Muang Safari Park
    • Na Mueang-1/2 Waterfall
  3. Koh Phi Phi
    • Monkey Island
    • Phi Phi Islands
  4. Krabi
    • Railay Beach
    • Lang Rongrian Cave
    • Motorbiking through Krabi
  5. Koh Pangan
    • Full Moon Party

I can’t wait to finally document my trip and boy, do I have a lot to show you. Stay tuned.

To be continued…

The Surf at Westhaven State Park, Washington

Surfing in Washington was one of the best experiences I’ve had throughout my surf career. Something about the beach brings a calm and fresh feeling. I drove over 1,000 miles from San Francisco to Washington and I didn’t know what to expect but intel from blogs and surf reports. Reading weather forecasts and surf reports online doesn’t give you a clear picture and it’s hard to understand the tide or conditions without visuals.

I always tend to check in and talk to the locals at the surf shop. They can give you critical information on where the best locations are at a particular time. The Surf Shop in Westport was equipped with gear to allow any surfer to enjoy cold water surfing at local breaks and provide forecasts on the best times to suit up.

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After entering the surf shop I was greeted by a nice and pleasant attendant. She was pretty happy to see me and curious to learn where I was from. I guess signs of non-locals is a good thing for any surf shop. But she gave me some tips about what to expect, where to go and when to go. After leaving the shop, I was excited and nervous at the same time. I had to explore the beach to uncover the safest and best break for low Tide strong north offshore winds.

This is what I uncovered.

The Cove

The Jetty

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After making an assessment and exploring the park, I decided to try out the Jetty. There was a strong offshore wind allowing for waves to break cleanly. It was low tide, strong off shore winds and waves reaching 3-5 feet occ. 2ft overhead. I had a blast surfing Westport, Washington and will surely be back.


To see a complete breakdown of the location and best conditions to surf at these specific locations check out this article here.

Equipment

  1. Isurus Elite 434
  2. O’Neill Men’s Thermo-X 
  3. O’Neill Wetsuits Men’s 5 mm Heat Round Toe Boots, Size 9, Black
  4. O’Neill Technobutter Gloves
  5. LOST Mayhem 6’3″ Lazytoy

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You can also view my entire unedited experience below.