My neighbour Adam invited me to this one night only gay Oktoberfest special event, which rather randomly actually took place at the beginning of November, rather than in October. He’d been before and insisted that we all dress in traditional German lederhosen gear and well I love fancy dress so how could I refuse? I ordered the whole lot off Amazon for around £30. Unfortunately I was running late so had to head to the delights of Canada Water where the event was held on the tube in full garb all on my own, so got quite a few strange looks and how fun it was to be in just shorts and a thin cotton shirt on a very cold November night. The venue is a few minutes walk from Canada Water tube, around the side of the dock in a massive converted modern warehouse and after downloading my ticket I met my friends inside. This being Oktoberfest we expected a large selection of beer to be on offer. However they seemingly only has one beer left and it was awful! I generally can drink pretty much everything, but this beer was genuinely disgusting. We all thought the same, we tried mixing it with lemonade to make it less bitter, but in the end we just had to hold our noses and chug it. Not very impressed. Anyway we very quickly moved on to gin and tonics which were thankfully much better. The drag queens and other entertainment they had laid on was great and we had a fantastic time, despite the terrible beer. Just all very odd that a beer festival would screw up the beer which one would think was pretty key and also quite easy to order more.
After a very cold couple of months I was really in need of some winter sun and so when one of my best friends Andrew suggested Thailand and more specifically White Party in Bangkok for New Year I jumped at the chance. Andrew and I have known each other since uni, now a fully qualified doctor he moved to Australia several years ago to continue his medical career so unfortunately I don’t get to see him very often. Thus a cheeky break in Thailand. seemed an ideal chance to catch up with him and also have a fun holiday.
I flew to Thailand just after Christmas on December 27th. The only non ridiculously expensive flight I could find to arrive in time for the first party was with Kuwaiti Airways. I didn’t know much about that airline, but it was cheap. Like most Middle Eastern airlines I realised the chance of getting a bacon sandwich on board was pretty unlikely, what I hadn’t reckoned on through that it would be a completely dry airline. Big mistake. I wasn’t looking to get wasted on the flight, but I do like a pre-meal G&T and maybe a glass of wine with my food, particularly as I was stuck in economy. Emirates, Ethiad, Qatar and Oman all serve alcohol so I was pretty surprised that Kuwait didn’t. The rest of the flight was ok, but pretty basic, so I was glad when I arrived safely I’m Bangkok.
I was tired, had all my bags with me and the taxis are super cheap in Thailand compared to London, so I skipped public transport and hailed a cab to the hotel. I stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott, my friend booked the hotel and chose if mainly based on the proximity to the White Party venue. It was a pleasant enough hotel if a little non descript.
The White Party is actually a series of parties over four consecutive days, all with different themes (military, jock, all white, New Year’s Eve) so I only arrived literally the afternoon of the first party so I didn’t really have much time to relax or unwind before hitting the club. From landing til New Years Eve it was pretty much eat, sleep, rave, repeat as the song goes. By the final party I was shattered. Apart from the hotel and Central World, the convention centre where the parties were held, I pretty much saw nothing of Bangkok. Thankfully I’d been before and was also planning to spend some time back in Bangkok later in my trip.
The White Party really was amazing though, the parties were brilliant and the production values of the events was stunning. I had so much fun, so worth doing if you have the chance, I’d definitely go again.