HOCKEY NIGHT IN THE TROPICS
It was hot. Brutally hot. The sun was high over Bangkok and so was the mercury, teasing 40 degrees on the Celsius scale. Too hot for the birds which fell silent, drooping in clumps in the trees. Too hot even for native Bangkokians who sought out the shade and moved as little as possible.
Me? I’m Canadian, so I did what any Canadian would do.
I went to a hockey game.
Not really – but I could have. There are, as improbable as it seems, nine hockey rinks in Thailand’s capital city. The newest and best is the quixotically named “Rink Ice Arena” housed on the seventh floor of a shopping mall. This is where the Flying Farengs (‘fareng’ means ‘foreigner’ in Thai), a motley collection of Canuck and American ex-pats, get together with interested Thais to sharpen their hockey skills.
It’s tough to keep a sheet of ice in a tropical city like Bangkok. According to a story in the International Tribune, the electricity bill for Rink Ice Arena runs to $25,000.
So are the Flying Farengs good? Well, no, in a word. The national team that competed in the last Asian Winter Games placed second last, just ahead of Mongolia.
But they play hard and they’re getting better. Who knows? In a couple of years they might be ready to take on the Leafs.
READ MORE BALI, BANGKOK AND BEYOND
ENTRY 1: FROM BALI
ENTRY 2: MORE FROM BALI
ENTRY 3: CROSSING THE EQUATOR
ENTRY 4: FROM SINGAPORE
ENTRY 5A: HO CHI MINH CITY
ENTRY 5B: IN VIETNAM, DON’T ORDER THE MUTT-ON
ENTRY 5C: TRAFFIC TRAUMA – VIETNAMESE STYLE
ENTRY 6: AN INTERESTING SIDE TRIP
ENTRY 7: THAILAND: A FRUITFUL DESTINATION
ENTRY 8: AH, SHANGRI-LA. NO, REALLY
ENTRY 9: HOCKEY IN THE TROPICS
BALI, BANGKOK AND BEYOND
Arthur Black travelled on a Voyages to Antiquity cruise called Bali, Bangkok and Beyond on a cruise tour offered through Exclusive Tours. Read all about his adventures on board the Aegean Odyssey, a modern, slimmed-down cruise ship (only 350 passengers) making its way from Bali to Bangkok by way of Singapore, Saigon, Sihanoukville and Angkor Wat. His travel diary can be accessed by clicking the links above. Happy reading!
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