After 2017’s epic trip I was raring to go with another adventure to the land of smiles.
Another 3 weeks ahead of me and I had dreams of beautiful Thai food every day, beaches, sunshine, late night partying and plenty of photo opportunities.
My trip was planned in the same way as the previous year; a few days in Bangkok followed by around a week in Phuket and then a last few days in Pattaya. Before flying out I had arranged one shoot with Ploy in Bangkok (which I’ll post next) but I didn’t arrange any more figuring I’d work it out once I was there.
The trip got off to a great start meeting Ploy and her husband Maxx in Chinatown. We spent the afternoon shooting in the streets and then at the end, Ploy and Maxx invited me to dinner with them which was a real treat. We visited the Maldives restaurant and ate some beautiful Thai food. Such a great evening. We took so many photos that day that I’ve only just finished editing them – a whole year and a half later!
After a couple of days in Bangkok I then headed down to Phuket. Laying my camera to one side I caught up with my friends at Lucky Bar in Otop and lost the next few days to some very late night drinking and partying. I love these guys so much. Unfortunately this is where things began to go wrong. One night after the bar closed we headed off to a Thai barbecue. One of the girls gave me an Oyster to eat. I’ve never eaten Oyster before and always wanted to try … it was delicious .. but …
About 24 hours later I had lost all sensation in my mouth and was struggling to talk properly. It was like my tongue was paralysed. Then the stomach cramps started coming. I soldiered on for one more night before my body gave up on me completely. I then spent the rest of my stay barely leaving my hotel room. At my wits end (after breaking down in tears in front of the hotel receptionist who was worried about me) I visited a local doctor who immediately prescribed me with a cocktail of drugs to take.
After Phuket I visited Pattaya. The drugs just about allowing me to manage the flight and bus journey without too much discomfort. I arrived at the hotel to be told there was a problem – they had no rooms left! Fortunately they had realised their error and made a reservation for me in a nearby alternative. I spent my first couple of days sleeping and recovering. Just as I was getting over the food poisoning another problem hit – a sharp pain in my mouth whenever I tried to eat. I discovered in the mirror that my gum had almost fallen away from my teeth at the back of my jaw! Visiting a local dentist they told me to continue with the pain killers. They offered to operate but said it would be better to wait until I got home to the UK. They thought I’d had a second infection, but the antibiotics from the food poisoning had killed it.
Although I was in pain, I was able to eat again and the last couple of days were fairly incident free as I tried to build up my strength. Photoshoots were completely off the table however.
Over the 3 weeks I spent approximately 10 relatively free of illness. I lost over a stone in weight by the time I got home.
I was already thinking now about 2019’s trip – it would have to make up for it big time.
And oysters will be forever off the menu.