The Gang Goes to Thailand: Ganja in Bangkok (Half 1)

I’m sitting on the Suvarnabhumi airport making an attempt to recap the insanity that’s occurred over the previous week whereas it’s recent in my thoughts. I’ll be sincere, my mind is fairly mush after cooking via over 100 blunts in lower than every week. We consumed a whole unique thai stick in brothers broadleafs & backwoods – which was fairly presumably a world’s first, however absolutely a severe load for my lungs. If that wasn’t although, smoking a whole stick in an evening was DEFINITELY a world document. Even the Thai Stick OG, Han Singh, who has been doing this since he was 15 years outdated (he’s 74 now) was floored to see how excited we had been to strive his legendary wares, and the way a lot we may smoke. He introduced us an entire stick – which they swear had been a whole bunch of grams – however we cooked via that unhealthy boy in mainly one sitting (or night, extra precisely). I think about it was nearer to an oz. and a half, and I used to be shocked at how effectively Han stored up.

This can be a good introduction to the Thai surroundings now. Though there are dispensaries each few ft – with even whole strip malls devoted to housing over 20 completely different dispensaries and consumption lounges, it’s clear that the Thai market continues to be getting its ft underneath them. In spite of everything, the sudden legalization left a variety of room for grey space operations which have since begun to turn out to be extra regulated. For instance, they’ve formally closed down consumption rooms till they will arrange a licensing process for it, and whereas it’s technically not authorized to smoke in public, it was clear the town’s filling up with that delectable aroma identical to NYC. Additional, I noticed like one cop the whole time I used to be there, and we had been removed from the one ones smoking on road corners.

Much more stunning, nonetheless, was the dearth of true Thai genetics which might be obtainable available in the market. Positive a variety of Cali genetics have made their manner out to the far east – we noticed a variety of Runtz and Gelato – and edibles and concentrates are nonetheless banned for leisure consumption, however it was instantly clear that it was essential to the Thai neighborhood to do issues their very own manner. They’ve been making an attempt to seek out their native genetics that had been largely misplaced throughout the prohibition days, prioritizing cover for landraces versus what we’d take into account market-viable. And in case you ask any of the newly authorized operators they’ll all say the identical factor: “Oh man, Thai Stick, that’s like the nice white buffalo now – we haven’t seen certainly one of them in years.” 

Seems it solely took seasoned highway warriors Jimi and I 5 days to seek out. However I’m getting forward of myself…

Photograph Credit score: Derek Fukuhara, Excessive Rise

*Flash Backward*

Let’s first zoom out a bit to make clear how this journey happened. This wasn’t some completely deliberate journey. Oh no, the truth is I didn’t have an energetic passport or any concept I’d be going the month prior. Someday in the midst of November throughout one other weed-filled journey my good friend Josh, Chief Operations Officer at Excessive Rise, requested me if I’d be excited about coming to Bangkok with him and his crew. I had been listening to rumblings of my good friend, America’s favourite pot critic, Jimi Devine’s deliberate journey, although on the time hadn’t realized it was the identical one. As soon as Josh made that clear clearly I couldn’t miss the chance. 

I’ll disclose right here that the journey was deliberate and funded by Bangkok City Inexperienced, who requested nothing however to point out us round and for us to doc our experiences nonetheless we noticed match. Mainly the simplest manner for me to jot down the true shit, and never simply the glitz and glam the manufacturers are centered on you seeing, is to provide the true story of our antics. However don’t fear, there’s a slew of content material round our journey so that you can dig into. Excessive Rise has launched their 30 minute documentary, and Jimi his protection. However I’m going to take a bit of little bit of a special strategy right here, having been to the nation earlier than.

Photograph Credit score: Derek Fukuhara, Excessive Rise

A Transient Historical past Lesson

You see, I used to be in Thailand like a decade in the past shortly after ending faculty, and it was a completely completely different beast. Whereas up to now you’d have a a lot simpler time discovering benzos and opiates over-the-counter on the pharmacies of Khao San, it appears all these retailers have since switched to dispensaries, making the brand new faculty Khao San a completely completely different expertise than what I used to be used to. Additionally price noting the final journey we solely spent like 3 days in Bangkok. Admittedly it was a a lot seedier place again then. It was unattainable to seek out weed, however drugs had been all over the place. So ? When in Rome.

However man, has the sport modified within the final ten years. Over the past yr, actually. Final time I barely needed to hold in Bangkok – I used to be able to discover the jungles, and the islands. However this time we didn’t go away the town, and I’m actually glad I acquired to see a full view of what Bangkok has to supply. That boat tour alone was one of many trippiest experiences of my life – from passing slums to mega mansions to temples to tremendous malls was not what I anticipated once we acquired on the boat, however I had no complaints. Actually, I used to be amazed at not solely the sights, however of Jim’s potential to roll a wooden on a dashing boat, and the mid-water maneuvers we had been made to undertake in an effort to take photos within the Tuk Tuk boat, leaving me feeling like a parkour professional.

However possibly I ought to zoom again out to the start for a second to actually run down all of the shenanigans the boys acquired into that week. It was admittedly rather a lot, even for us.

The Particulars

The forged of characters for this journey was as follows. We had Erin and Derek, the founders of the Excessive Rise Company, Josh, who I already talked about is their COO, Jimi Devine, in my view the perfect pot journalist in America, and me, your pleasant neighborhood deviant.

It’s price noting that as quickly as we acquired to the airport safety turned Erin’s passport away as a result of it had a really minor rip on it. We tried to get tape from one other gate to repair the difficulty however the friggin airline took it upon themselves to name the State Dept and allow them to know the passport was broken, so no luck. Sadly Erin wasn’t in a position to be part of us on our flight, and missed the primary few days. That mentioned, I wish to take this chance to offer an enormous shout out to our State Rep, Ted Lieu, for serving to kind our paperwork with the Division of State in an especially expedited method. 3/5 passports we would have liked for this journey had been obtained inside the final two weeks, and it’s all due to our good friend Teddy – simply so brother, you’ve acquired our votes for all times! 2/5 of these had been deliberate, and Erin was a shock bonus just a few days later. All issues thought-about, it labored out.

So we get on the aircraft sans Erin for what’s going to quantity to an nearly 24 hr journey day, and provided that there’s an nearly 15 hr distinction between right here and LA we misplaced a strong day on the way in which in – although we ARE about to have a 36 hour day right now on our return, so I suppose that makes up for it. However I’ll be sincere, this was the longest I used to be going to go with out smoking in latest reminiscence, so I wasn’t fully excited for the journey. Happily Xanax exists and I slept via the overwhelming majority of the flight to Taiwan. 

It’s price noting we introduced completely no THC with us on this journey as Taiwan continues to be one of many much less pleasant ports to our ilk left on this planet, and we didn’t wish to take any possibilities. Thank god we didn’t, as a result of they made us undergo safety to get to our layover. From there we linked with Jimi, who had taken the primary leg of the journey solo en route from SFO, and jumped on the subsequent aircraft – only a fast 4 hr leap this time. We didn’t sleep this leg – the joy was actually beginning to set in. (Keep in mind, I had lower than a month’s data we’d even be going – I used to be totally satisfied this wouldn’t occur, so this was nonetheless completely surreal.) Earlier than lengthy, we landed in Bangkok.

Photograph Credit score: Derek Fukuhara, Excessive Rise

We Made It

Now, earlier than the flight I let our hosts find out about how this hole in consumption was most likely going to have an effect on me. I wasn’t anticipating to be in an amazing temper, so I politely requested they meet us with some weed so we may expedite the method of getting again on top of things. They obliged, and met us on the airport with a blunt already rolled. We smoked that within the smoking part earlier than leaving the airport. They had been shocked, nonetheless, once we requested for extra. You see, Thailand continues to be pretty timid of their consumption. With most residents smoking at most a gram a day (approx. $30 USD, or 900 Baht), that they had no concept what they had been in for with us. We had been rolling blunts that may fulfill the entire group’s anticipated day by day consumption each time. 

Because it was nonetheless technically morning once we arrived they made a name and had extra delivered to the primary cease on our journey.

Naturally, earlier than we went into the primary cease we met the man and rolled and smoked two blunts. As I mentioned, we had been getting on top of things, and taking in the truth that we had been now on the opposite facet of the world. Although issues hadn’t gone precisely to plan, we [most of us] made it. We rejoiced. 

Photograph Credit score: Derek Fukuhara, Excessive Rise
Photograph Credit score: Derek Fukuhara, Excessive Rise

Beginning The Tour

Our first cease was the ultimate day of Southeast Asia’s first Hemp Expo. Admittedly trying manner nearer to MJ Biz Con than I anticipated, we had been primarily right here to satisfy with the hemp firm that the Queen had began – coincidentally the primary hashish license granted after legalizing. Go determine. Properly it seems she’s now not with the corporate, however they’re undoubtedly doing a LOT, and over the course of the couple of minutes we spent with them we discovered how they’ve been utilizing hemp for fabric in Thailand ceaselessly, and whereas the struggle on medication stopped them from fucking with hashish for awhile, the hemp recreation by no means slowed down. The flexibility within the textiles they confirmed us was loopy, however the truth that all of them started from the identical supply materials was the largest journey. 

Photograph Credit score: Derek Fukuhara, Excessive Rise

I don’t keep in mind a lot else from the Hemp Expo – I used to be exhausted and making an attempt to smoke extra. I keep in mind joking with the fellows that this wasn’t what we anticipated to see on the opposite facet of the globe, having efficiently averted the showroom flooring of the aforementioned conference the month prior. In my lamenting, somebody overheard and requested if we had been from the States. He was a Cali transplant who was making an attempt to make the most of the chance that introduced itself on the market proper now. He had some work with him, and it turned out to be significantly better than the native we’d tried up to now, so I finished the group to get an eighth ($75 USD). We rolled that up and smoked it earlier than getting again within the van. 

From there it was off to our lodge, lastly. Though it was nonetheless technically our first day in Thailand it had been like 3 calendar days since I’d seen a mattress because of the lengthy flight and time touring, and I used to be able to crash. We arrived on the Pullman King Energy Bangkok, which gave the impression to be one of many nicest lodges on the town. An evening on this spot runs round $100-$250 USD, which is a fortune in Thailand, however customary for roach motels within the states. This was not that. They put us within the ‘government’ part on the prime of the tower, with entry to a personal buffet and drinks all through the day. Not that we acquired to take a lot benefit of the meals – really the fellows most likely did, I used to be by no means up for breakfast – however I undoubtedly loved their recent juices. Nobody advised me till the fourth day that I wasn’t supposed to depart the lounge with the juices, however that claims one thing about Thai hospitality and their need to please.

Photograph Credit score: Derek Fukuhara, Excessive Rise

No Relaxation for the Depraved

By some means as an alternative of going to mattress we had been persuaded to hitch the native gang for a drink at this rooftop bar not too far-off. Whereas I’ll admit, I used to be an absolute vegetable and teetering on passing out, I’m glad I acquired to test this place out. I don’t know what this place was known as, however it undoubtedly made me really feel like I used to be some other place. Whereas that they had a welcoming smoking part with a wonderful view, most likely essentially the most thrilling factor about this spot was this multi-story glowing jellyfish dancing above the bar. I don’t know what it was for, or if it was some well-known artwork set up, however I used to be very geeked on it and it stored my consideration as I patiently (lol) waited to go get into mattress.

Though we’d solely simply landed it was already clear that the nation’s panorama has modified drastically within the ten years I’d been gone. When up to now the one medication I may reliably discover had been the kind you’d get from a pharmacy, right here we had been lower than 24 hours in and each form of leisure had already been virtually shoved in our faces. I could be exhausted, however I’m already loving the brand new look of this place.

*After I realized how lengthy this piece could be I posted a ballot on Twitter asking in case you all would like one lengthy mega story, or for it to be damaged down into smaller chew sizes. The overwhelming majority voted for chapters, so right here we’re. I’ll see you in just a few days with half two.*

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