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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Travel Around the World with Atomic Tony Tiki
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Around the World with Atomic Tony Tiki
atomictonytiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 14, 2002
Posts: 1278
From: Bangkok
Posted: 2008-05-11 01:31 am   Permalink

So I'm now two and a half month into an around the world trip and I thought i should share with you the Tiki style delights I've seen along the way.

Bangkok
My wife has been planning this trip for the last two years and i was a bit reticent about travelling to South east Asia, until last London Luau when the manager of the Stockholm Tiki Bars told me of the delights of Bangkok's Trader Vic's. So on the first of March we departed foggy Glasgow to the steamy delight of Bangkok. After a days acclimatising, we hailed a cab which took us through the near suicidal traffic to the Bangkok Marriott Hotel.
I knew we were going somewhere far classier than I'd normally visit, when the hotels security checked our taxi for bombs. Greeted by Bond villain style servants (immaculate Thai style pajamas, perfect English and perhaps the ability to kill with their bare hands)we entered the air-con bubble of the Marriott's corporate version of Thai Luxury, walked past their indoor jungle to Trader Vic's, which by-the-way is opposite a Benihana restaurant.



Trader Vic's Bangkok entrance.



The Bangkok T.V's is a modern bar with some nice touches, this lovely central "Quiet Village" that diners can stare at while eating, a few fish-traps on the ceiling over the bar, but no real Tiki atmosphere, defiantly more of a restaurant with a small bar added rather the immersive experience say of Trader Vic's London.

The staff were excellent to totty wee Thai girls in hibiscus sarongs were manning the bar. I started off with a Mai Tai, very nice but the ice wasn't crushed as much as i like and they used the very long brown Menehune stirrers for the pineapple. Jill had the Trader Vic's sling, nice well balanced cocktail with a great cherry taste.

I then ordered a Gun Club Punch, as i had noticed they were still using a lot of vintage mugs and i have never seen a big shot glass in the flesh, the drink came served in a ceramic port light glass.




Not only do they still serve cocktails in these "Holy-grails" but they still use Menehune bowls, I couldn't get any pictures of these being used as i was drawing a bit much attention from the diners by squeaking and pointing as their drinks were brought to their tables.

Perhaps the cocktails were having an effect, so we ordered some "Trader Tid-bits" to soak up a little booze. Tasty as they were, i couldn't but help thinking how many spring rolls i could get from a street vendor for the amount of money the "Tid-bids" had cost. Lets face it for the $5 Mai Tai i could get a room with air-con for the night but that's just part of the madness of drinking in a bar designed so that westerners can get a taste of far flung exotic lands, but then that bar is situated in a far flung exotic land.




Then we did finish up with a Tiki Bowl, which although the bowl was cracked, was lovely drink to finish up the evening. After working in crummy bar jobs in Glasgow and living at my in-laws to afford this trip, it was a much needed slice of tiki heaven.

As we departed to return to the Khoa San Road to drink cheap beer and Mekong whiskey buckets, I notice i wasn't as unsteady on my legs as i would have hoped to been after two cocktails and a tiki bowl. I put this down to the lighter measures they use in Thailand but i did notice as a fellow drinker got up and collected his 18 Menehune stirrers, and then used the wall to steady his walking, that perhaps you should just drink more to compensate.

[ This Message was edited by: atomictonytiki 2008-05-11 01:33 ]

[ This Message was edited by: atomictonytiki 2008-05-12 01:12 ]

[ This Message was edited by: atomictonytiki 2008-09-14 05:07 ]


 
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sparklegem
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 20, 2003
Posts: 209
From: The Living Conditioned Homes
Posted: 2008-05-11 07:58 am   Permalink

Thank you so much for posting your adventures!! It is wonderful to tiki armchair travel with you.







 
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atomictonytiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 14, 2002
Posts: 1278
From: Bangkok
Posted: 2008-05-12 12:44 am   Permalink

AYUTHAYA

So we left Bangkok and headed to look at the famous ruins of Ayuthaya, and one evening taking the sunset cruise around the city we stopped at Wat Chai Wattanram
and spotted these two tiki mugs being used as votive offering holders. No makers marks or bar logo's, but nice to see them.



NONG KHAI (or as i calls it NONG-HOLE)

The lonely planet calls it a sleepy little town by the sluggish Mekong, what it doesn't mention it also elderly English sex tourist retirement village or a dodgy cowboy boarder town. Beside that outside of town a scant four kilometers on a bicycle, across a motorway in the blazing sun is the wonderful Sala Kaew Ku Sculpture Park. Its like Jim Jones was Walt Disney and into Hindu & Buddhist mythology, in the land of the giants.






Built on the command of a sex avoiding vegan shaman, who was later to be arrested for home invasion, kidnapping, threatening behavior with weapons, insulting Buddhism and the serious charge of defacing the image of the king (I don't know whether he pooped on the kings portrait or licked a stamp, but in Thailand the punishment is as severe for both). His mummified corpse is on display in the temple attached to the park but a pack of wild dogs guards the entrance (I'm not kidding) so we just walked around.

Can you spot my wife in this picture, yes that her the white spot at the bottom, Jill's five foot and a half so that gives you an idea of how stupidly big these statues are.



This statue represents the cult leader, he is the white elephant being persecuted by the horny yapping dogs.



Horny yapping dogs playing poker and driving cars.



Finally if your thinking I'd like to build a giant Tiki using that method, then this unfinished statue can give you a clue to the construction. Lots of bricks, piles of re-bar and pile on the concrete, anyone can do it, the people who built this park had no construction knowledge before they started, just a dream, a twisted snarling bug-shit crazy dream.




[ This Message was edited by: atomictonytiki 2008-09-14 05:16 ]


 
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atomictonytiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 14, 2002
Posts: 1278
From: Bangkok
Posted: 2008-05-12 01:11 am   Permalink

Woo on fire on the posting today, so then we crossed the boarder in to the wonderful...

LAO P.D.R. (people don't rush)

I guess the tiki-est thing we saw in an Thor Heyerdahl sort of way was up in Phonsavan the slightly amazing PLAIN OF JARS, yes an entire area covered in giant stone jars. Who built them? no one knows perhaps they are stone graves or perhaps they are the wine jars made for the victory celebration of a mythical king.




Some of the biggest of these jars weigh upwards of forty tons and are thought to be 2000 years old.



Now that's my size of mug.



Thanks to some incredibly bloody fighting around the plain of jars in the last forty years, the jars are not in the best condition, severe chipping to large cracks to the sort of damage that could get them listed on the "tiki mug misfortunes" thread. This Jar has a lid fitted, not original like flea market mr bali hai with a Omc pineapple lid, but just one from close by.



Finaly from Luangprabang, check out these lovely carvings of the mythical Mekong river serpent the Naga, you know where Naugahyde comes from.


[ This Message was edited by: atomictonytiki 2008-09-14 05:26 ]


 
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54 house of bamboo
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Sep 28, 2006
Posts: 302
From: Cambridge UK
Posted: 2008-05-12 05:00 am   Permalink

Great reading and seeing your sights. Thanks for posting.

 
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midnite
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 1230
From: 37? 47' N, 122? 26' W
Posted: 2008-05-12 10:11 am   Permalink

On 2008-05-12 00:44, atomictonytiki wrote:
AYUTHAYA

So we left Bangkok and headed to look at the famous ruins of Ayuthaya, and one evening taking the sunset cruise around the city we stopped at Wat Chai Wattanram
and spotted these two tiki mugs being used as votive offering holders. No makers marks or bar logo's, but nice to see them.




Great stuff, atomictonytiki! That photo is a classic. Who uses tiki mugs for votive holders, who does that!?! I am thoroughly digging your travel reports. Looks like the trip of a lifetime, but it's too bad you won't be in London next month for the Luau.

Stay safe and have fun. Keep an eye out for any promising spots to score a good club sandwiche.

midnite


 
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atomictonytiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 14, 2002
Posts: 1278
From: Bangkok
Posted: 2008-05-13 03:15 am   Permalink

So after Lao we flew across to Vietnam and the ever so noisy city of..

HANOI (or ANNOY as i came to call it)

The Hanoi people drive by honking horns, 24 hours a day, they all drive mopeds, any side of the road and on pavements and into bars right up to their table (this is so they can keep an eye on their moped, moped theft is rife). You can't cross the road if your from the west, you try to run or judge gaps, the best advice for crossing the road is stand at the kerb, close your eyes and walk SLOWLY, they always dodge you.

The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology[b]

With dozens of indigenous tribes like the Moi and H'mong, the museum of course only deal with the Vietnam, some lovely local carving and enough examples of fish traps to cover the roofs of every Tiki Centralites roofs.
But outside of the museum they have full sized examples of the local tribes houses, built by that tribes craftsmen.



an example of a Bahnar communal house, almost 60ft from ground to the top of the roof.



in side the house looking up at the roof



An Ede longhouse



Gairai Tomb, aw look my wife has found a new friend.



Details of the figures.



And one for Pocketiki, I love the proper nodger on the carving, and its cheeky over the shoulder look, I swear its winking.



Some other type of spirit house that i failed to remember what it was.

[b]Hoan Kiem Lake

Nothing tiki here but how would you like one of these giant stuffed turtles to hang in your bar. These turtles are the same type that in mythology stole the first emperor Le Loi of Vietnam's jade sword, and turn up as omens at times of great need. This last one turned up in 30th april 1975 and they promptly stuffed it.



Hue

Bah I hate Hue, just on the old DMZ, loads of scammers, but this is as close as you come to tikibars around south east asia, this is the "Why Not Bar"nice bamboo stuff on the walls, fish trap lights, a reasonable mai tai but lacking that certain tikiness.







[ This Message was edited by: atomictonytiki 2008-09-14 05:39 ]


 
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atomictonytiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 14, 2002
Posts: 1278
From: Bangkok
Posted: 2008-05-13 03:17 am   Permalink

Then we went to Nha Trang

a popular seaside destination, and we were reclining under palm beach umbrellas drinking micro-brewed German style pilsner, eating huge club sandwiches (yes midnite the sailing club Nha Trang, great big sandwiches with real mayonnaise, the first i had seen in a month and a half), we spotted this cable car crossing over to an island with a huge Hollywood style sign saying VINPEARL.
So the next day we walked the 6 kilometers to the cable-car station, totally misjudging the scale of the cable cars, so it turns out Vinpearl is a amusement park, i was having second thoughts about the quarter of a million dong admission ticket ($16 but it just appears to be so much money), but then Jill pointed to the park map and said that exotica bar might be tiki, so off we departed.



the view out the cable car window.



My wife Jill realizing she don't like heights much.




the entrance to the Exotica bar, which was shut for maintenance, considering the amount of building work still happening at the park, i don't think it was finished inside.



The rear entrance to the exotica bar.



My wife much happier on the return after having a state-of-the-art water park almost to ourselves for the whole day, no need to join lines with 30 people in a park.

DALAT and The CRAZY HOUSE

The final thing of Tiki Interest we found in Vietnam is the
Crazy House in Dalat, a half finished rambling structure, a bit like the Thai Sculpture park but on uppers.
Its a half tourist attraction and half hotel.




Its amazing what you can do with concrete, re-bar and no building codes.



The rooms are all themed around a fireplace, this is the Bamboo Room.






These are some of the fantastic coral or stalagmite style concrete treatments, they use glitter on top of the paint to give it that opalescence.



Jill touching the walls, working out how to do it back home.





More of the madness of the crazy house, and yes that is a giraffe sticking out the roof.





This is a separate little tiki hut, which reminded me of the "Ohana hut', it actually got two interior levels with the whole top floor is a bed. By the way that's all concrete, no real bamboo was used.
I wished i had a copy of the book of the tiki to show the builder, i think her building skills going at tiki design, I'd love to see it.

well that's it for vietnam, i'll post pictures from cambodia soon.


[ This Message was edited by: atomictonytiki 2008-09-14 05:55 ]


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hiltiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 10, 2004
Posts: 3159
From: Reseda, calif.
Posted: 2008-05-15 12:10 pm   Permalink

Atomictonytiki, I am really enjoying this thread, you are doing a great job, keep the pictures coming.

 
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sushiman
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 28, 2007
Posts: 313
From: Kumamoto , Japan
Posted: 2008-05-27 04:08 am   Permalink

Just discovered this topic . Coincidentally , just yesterday began researching a trip to Vietnam ( from Japan ) for this August . I'd like to be near the beach . Nah Trang and Mui Ne were recommended . I'd like to hear all about your stay in Nah Trang .

Great pics and captions man . Superb !

S


 
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atomictonytiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 14, 2002
Posts: 1278
From: Bangkok
Posted: 2008-05-27 11:07 pm   Permalink

Nah Trang is totally overdeveloped, its like a Costa Brava holiday town but with Vietnamies instead of Spanish. Lots of Taxi Girls and moto drivers follow you around all the time, but it dose have Vinpearl adventure park.
Hoi Ann is better far lovelier town with fantastic beaches just outside, Hoi Ann I would definatly go back too.

At the moment I'm still in Cambodia, down in Sihanoukville but as of the 7th of June I'll be in Sydney Australia. Were planning on being in Oz for two months, then its New Zealand, Fiji, Kiribati, Hawaii and lastly San Francisco.



 
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atomictonytiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 14, 2002
Posts: 1278
From: Bangkok
Posted: 2008-05-28 02:29 am   Permalink



[ This Message was edited by: atomictonytiki 2008-09-14 05:56 ]


 
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Mongoloid
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 25, 2008
Posts: 590
From: Long Beach
Posted: 2008-05-30 07:24 am   Permalink

Great pictures and descriptions of your exotic experiences, i envy your itinerary, it looks like there are alot more good times to come. New Zealand especially interests me, because thats on the top of my list for my next escape. Enjoy the ride and safe journeys!

 
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atomictonytiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 14, 2002
Posts: 1278
From: Bangkok
Posted: 2008-07-07 1:47 pm   Permalink

Aaaargh sorry about being slack and not posting, been busy travelling Australia now I'm onwards to New Zealand, but first i have to buy a new camera after my old one froze in the desert.

 
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atomictonytiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 14, 2002
Posts: 1278
From: Bangkok
Posted: 2008-09-14 05:58 am   Permalink

Well thats the old broken links fixed now to continue..

 
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