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Bangkok 100 Rock Festival, 2006

In 2006 I was living and working in Bangkok, Thailand. What a time to be there – Oasis, still a band, played the city. I had seen them once before, the previous year, July 2005 at the City of Manchester stadium. That was as crazy as you’d expect. Not just a homecoming gig, but at the home of Manchester City. The madness of the crowd made it one of the most memorable gigs for me.

Seeing Oasis, along with the legend that is Ian Brown, and other bands at an outdoors Bangkok festival, I always expected a different vibe. I knew the tropical climate and the buzz of Southeast Asia would give the event a unique atmosphere, but I never considered how blown away I would be by the evening.

Bangkok 100 Rock Festival, 2006 - headliners

I left the festival knowing it was something special, and now, when I look back on it, I realise how lucky I was to be there. Oasis may yet reform – Liam doesn’t stop dropping hints on Twitter – but I am not sure a night in Bangkok with Oasis and Ian Brown will ever be replicated.

The week after the festival, I wrote the following, published on the online Khao San Road travel mag. My 2006 self has made me cringe in parts, but I have kept it totally unedited.

I began at Chatuchak market where tropical rain storms had killed the electricity, so in the dark humidity, I mingled with the tourists and locals, in search of a cheap pair of closed toe shoes, required to prevent getting my feet squashed.

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Vang Vieng: from one problem traveller to another

Humidity was building in the night sky, the tall coconut trees starting to sway dramatically, signalling a storm on its way. “I wish I’d come here 10 years ago”, I said as the last of the Chang beer dripped from the bottle whilst I lay in my hammock precariously strapped between the uprights of my 100 baht-a-night (£1.50 at the time) rickety beach bungalow. “Yeah man, me too”, replied my newly met travel mate, shouting over from his adjacent bungalow, in-between strums on his beat-up travel guitar.

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