Scott starts by explaining how travel sets the stage for wild things to take place like few other things can: New places, intriguing people, the great unknown, caution thrown to the wind, and perhaps a few too many drinks. Things happen, doors open, situations arise, and hopefully legends ensue.
Trevor agrees that, after many years living and working in Southeast Asia, as travel professionals, the show co-hosts are no exception and are likely to have been in more interesting situations than the average traveler due to the nature of their careers.
After a quick overview of said careers, the two touch on a couple of adventures they’ve engaged in together that, as a result of the show’s PG-13 rating, will not be discussed on this episode. However, they concede that, whether as professional travelers or amateur adventurers, there are more than one episode’s worth of travel tales to share and the following are simply a few they’ve chosen to share.
Legend of the Gold Monkey: Nepal
Scott recounts the Legend of the Golden Monkey, which begins in Krabi, Thailand, where Scott was bestowed the magical idol that his friend Darren had brought with him from Calgary, Canada. The Monkey then finds its way to Nepal, where it becomes lost in a remote region of the Himalaya. But the tale does not end there, as this mystical Golden Monkey will not let its legend die so easily and Scott learns a valuable lesson: You never know when you’ll meet someone again.
Never Take Your Eyes Off the Bag: Battambang, Cambodia
Trevor starts by explaining that this tale was one of many that occurred during a 20-day 10-city whirlwind tour of greater Cambodia. Scott and Trevor have a quick laugh about another story that occurred during this trip, in which the two snuck in the rear entrance of Angkor Wat to watch the sunrise from the temple’s uppermost chambers and hilarity followed. The story then moves over to Battambang, where Trevor loads his bag on a bus, turns around for 30 seconds, and then finds that the bus has stealthily driven away! He chases down the bus, or at least he thinks its the bus, and then boards that bus, now with a different driver, and spends the next several hours writing a short story while hoping his bag is safely stowed beneath him.
International Cyclo Races: Hue, Vietnam
Twenty three year old backpacker Scott Coates was passing through Hue on his way from Hanoi to HCMC with his friend Jeremy. After riding across one of the city’s main bridges in a cyclo, a bicycle-powered ‘taxi’, Scott had just enough beer in him that he thought he should be the one pedalling. Perhaps the first tourist to drive a cyclo in the city’s late-night streets, he would not be last. After dinner, Scott and Jeremy, along with two Australians and two Swiss, thought it was a good idea to have cyclo relay races: taking laps around the block and pounding beers in between. Amazingly, no cyclo drivers or riders were injured in the pursuit of another great travel story!
Appearances Can Be Deceiving: Perth, Australia
Back in Trevor’s amateur travel days, he was a bit of a hippy: camping and hitch-hiking through Thailand, Malaysia, and Sumatra before making his way down to Perth, Australia. Unsuccessful in finding any work there, Trevor put up signs on message boards around town stating “I need a ride anywhere!” hoping to make his way to Sydney one way or another. Fully aware that there have been a number of hitch-hiker serial killers in Australia, Trevor agrees to head north, 2000+ km through the Gibson and Great Sandy Deserts, with a well-spoken Englishman he’s only met on the phone. When this gentleman appears at Trevor’s guesthouse looking even more frighteningly unkempt than our intrepid hitch-hiker, what does our foolish young traveler do??!
Quiet as a Mouse: Mae Sot, Thailand
Scott shares a hair-raising tale that took place at the Highland Farm, 43km south of Mae Sot, Thailand, which is in a forested area very near to the Thai-Myanmar border. He had just checked in with guests – tired as usual, and had just laid down for a much needed rest when he heard a scratching noise under his pillow. After looking beneath the pillow he discovered nothing but, as he was soon to find out, it wasn’t nothing and it wasn’t under his pillow but INSIDE IT!!!
A Fine Line Between Adventure and Stupidity: Khao Yai National Park, Thailand
On his first trip to Thailand, Trevor hitchhiked to Pak Chong and decided to spend a few nights in the simple wooden bungalows at Khao Yai National Park. Trevor explains how he and three other travelers met a pair of machine gun toting park rangers who told them about a herd of elephants that typically visited a salt lick down the road from their bungalows.
Although aware that visitors to the park had been killed by both wild tigers and elephants, Trevor and his band of ignorant idiots set out into the darkness of the park, assuring themselves that tigers would likely be frightened off by four full-grown humans with flashlights making a ruckus as they walked along the road. It wasn’t long however that the group heard the thunderous squeak of a nearby elephant and all suddenly realized that they were completely out of their element.
Links to items discussed in this episode:
- Google Maps of Destinations Discussed in This Episode
- The Story Trevor Wrote on the Bus from Battambang
- Trevor’s Book: National Geographic Cambodia
To learn more about Scott & Trevor:
- Follow Scott on Twitter: @scottcoates73
- Trevor’s Blog
- Scott’s Blog
- Scott’s Groovy Map Cambodia
- Follow Talk Travel Asia on Twitter
- Follow us on Facebook
- Follow us on Instagram
- Follow us on Vine
- Theme Music by Jamie Ruben
Our Sponsor: Episode 13 is brought to you by Four Rivers Floating Lodge, Cambodia – If eco-tourism conjures up visions of uncomfortable beds, leaky tents and songs round a campfire, 4 Rivers is not for you. Relax and let your senses take over, 4 Rivers Floating Lodge is at one with the natural order and engages the local community in promoting and fostering the soft tread of an environmentally aware footprint.